BravePicks 2023 - ENFORCER's Nostalgia #27

December 5, 2023, 4 months ago

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BravePicks 2023 - ENFORCER's Nostalgia #27

Where does the time go? 2023 seems like a blur as we continued to rebound from COVID, the music industry still struggling to get back on their feet. But metalheads have always been strong survivors and music ruled the day, with countless memorable albums and live shows happening more than ever! 

But lets celebrate! It is that time of the year to unveil our annual BravePicks countdown, where the devout scribes at BraveWords cast their votes at the hits and misses of the year! So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2023 each day in December! 

Everybody has an opinion and it’s time for ours! And stay tuned in January for the writers’ individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), What/Who Needs To Stop In 2023? and Metal Predictions For 2024. All will be showcased come the New Year!

BravePicks 2023

27) ENFORCER - Nostalgia (Nuclear Blast)


Ah…the good ol’ days. Nostalgia is a powerful, sentimental feeling, a reminder of times past, when things were better. Sweden’s Enforcer does just that on the aptly titled Nostalgia, a dose of ‘80s speed metal with certain glam influences, although toned down from 2019’s Zenith. The guitars possess that precise technicality with inhumane speed, resulting in a refreshed band again making their mark as one of the top acts in heavy metal. Those that wrote them off after Zenith would be mistaken to do it again. 

Nostalgia dreams and screams its way to #27 on our countdown.

BraveWords spoke to Enforcer mainman Olof Wikstrand in an exclusive interview – an excerpt below:

BraveWords: Nostalgia feels like an Enforcer album in all the best ways. You're not reinventing the wheel. It's fun. It's big soaring tracks, it's big guitar, it's big vocals. It's everything I really want from this band. You don't really need to throw out the blueprint. This is what this band is and people fucking love it. So why reinvent it?

Olof: “I think so. I mean, because a big part of the idea was to make something that was more cohesive or of consequence. You know, this last album, the idea with Zenith was to make an album where every track would stand out to each other. And I get that that was a pretty wild idea, looking back on it. And a lot of people didn't pick up that and just focused on what they didn't like rather than what they actually liked about it, which was a bit fucked to me, but whatever. That's how it works. But this time I really wanted to do an album that could work as an entirety. But also where every song could represent a single for the band. So that was the mindset that I had when I started this album process.” 

BraveWords: It’s almost like bands now are in the business of creating singles. In a perfect world you'd have an album that you can play top to bottom and listen all the way through and there be no weak spot. If you create every song and have every song have significant weight, then it doesn't matter.

Olof: “Yeah. And after all, I'm inspired by the biggest albums of the genre. You know, I'm looking at albums like Heaven And Hell or Back In Black, those big rock albums and how they are composed and which varieties they have. Like Sad Wings Of Destiny is an example that I always take up or Number Of The Beast. They have such a huge variety at the same time as they are straightforward and you got like super memorable tracks. At the same time they're a bit cliché, but they also have a ton of surprises. You know, it's just fun music to listen to.”

BravePicks 2023 Top 30

27) ENFORCER - Nostalgia (Nuclear Blast)
28) GATEKEEPER - From Western Shores (Cruz del Sur)
29) PRONG - State Of Emergency (SPV / Steamhammer)
30) KK'S PRIEST - The Sinner Rides Again (Napalm)

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