ENFORCER - Finally, North America Gets A Young Euro Band On The Rise!

January 19, 2016, 2 years ago

Mark Gromen

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For decades, North American metalheads could only read about hot, rising bands overseas, unless forking out for airfare, hotel and tickets abroad. All too often, if they don't implode (see In Solitude), by the time they'd get an opening slot on a domestic tour (typically several albums down the line), those early (read raw, more aggressive) tunes are shelved, more refined or have been replaced by whatever's being pushed from the latest release. True, Sweden's speed merchants Enforcer are on their fourth album (although the style and intensity have yet to show signs of waning), but this is a (co-)headlining tour, allowing for a career-wide setlist. Bringing along young, hungry bands, like Cauldron and Exmortus was a bonus.
 
Opening with the pair that also began last year's From Beyond: “Destroyer” and “Undying Evil”, the focal point is guitarist/singer Olof Wikstrand: blond hair whirlwind, leather armbands, shirtless beneath an unbuttoned black leather vest, tearing around the stage and mugging for the crowd. Catchy fist thrusting anthems, delivered at hyperspeed. North Americans, if you just keep supporting your local faves, or go to see cover/tribute acts, while bypassing tours from bands "you are unaware of," metal will cease to be a viable force beyond 2020. Bands like Enforcer are the future of metal. A pair of scrims, with the title and artwork from the aforementioned album, either side of the drummer, was the only adornment onstage. “Mesmerized By Fire” might be the catchphrase for the evening, the audience transfixed by the rapid delivery. Stepping back to the sophomore effort, a blue hued “Live For The Night” continued the blur, with sweeps and hammer-ons, before a mid-tempo “From Beyond” gave everyone a collective break. 

“Death Rides This Night” seemingly caught the crowd off guard, but this was one of those shows that people will be talking about a decade from now, claiming they were there and remember Enforcer when...A thunderclap heralds the pulsating red lit “Take Me Out Of This Nightmare”, the twin leads providing an opportunity for a rapid-fire sing-along. “Run For Your Life” gives way to another mid-tempo number, “Mask Of Red Death”. “Katana” ends the proper set, before a brief dip offstage, returning for a green begun “Midnight Vice” encore, with a flurry of strobes.

Fist throwing, old school speed metal show that's not happening anywhere else on this continent. Experience it for yourself!

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