Album Review: Enforcer – Nostalgia (Nuclear Blast Records)

By: Jesse Striewski

It’s been four long years since the last time fans have had some new material from N.W.O.T.H.M. titans Enforcer. There’s since been some changes in band personal since 2019’s Zenith album, with Garth Conduit now taking over for longtime bassist Tobias Lindqvist, yet that hasn’t slowed them down one bit.

The instrumental “Armageddon” opens Nostalgia up with hauntingly beautiful dueling guitars that segue directly into “Unshackle Me,” and from then on listeners are demanded to come take a ride of epic proportions with the band, with “Coming Alive” quickly following and launching one brutal attack of the senses after another.

“At the End of the Rainbow,” “Metal Supremacia,” “Keep the Flame Alive,” and “When the Thunder Roars (Crossfire)” are all more examples of what the band is capable of. The only time listeners are really even given a chance to catch their breath at all is during the title track, a ballad of sorts that finds frontman Olof Wikstrand pouring his heart out (curiously he is the only member of the band featured in the song’s video).

All in all, Nostalgia is thirteen tracks of pure metal at its finest. Make no mistakes about it, Enforcer are at the top of their game (and genre), and surely to remain there for a long time coming.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Album Review: Overkill – Scorched (Nuclear Blast Records)

By: Jesse Striewski

For whatever reason, I tend to forget just how great a metal band Overkill really are from time to time. But then a reminder comes along in the form of an album like Scorched, their twelfth full length studio effort and arguably one of their best releases in years.

The instant the twin guitar attack of the title track kicks off the record, it’s clear that listeners are in for some truly worthy thrash metal. While the intro is a definite highlight, there’s plenty of other moments that come close to duplicating it’s greatness; “Goin’ Home,” “Wicked Place,” “Won’t Be Comin’ Back,” and “Bag o’ Bones” are just a few of the numbers I wouldn’t mind personally hearing in the band’s set list should I ever see them live again.

While Overkill emerged from the same scene and era that spawned the likes of Metallica (who also just recently dropped a new album) all those years ago, their style still remains much more true to form. Overkill might not necessarily be the be all end all of their respective genre, but they certainly have earned a level of respect few others in the scene can match equally.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Album Review: My Dying Bride – Macabre Cabaret (Nuclear Blast)

By: Jesse Striewski

This short, four track EP from U.K. doom masters My Dying Bride serves as a fitting compliment to the band’s recently-released full length effort, The Ghost of Orion. Here the band expands on some of the very same themes from said album.

The opening/title track is an epic, ten minute long opus, with a detailed music video to accompany it. Other tracks like “A Secret Kiss” are far more stronger then it’s title might suggest, while “Orchestral Shores (Buiksloterkerk Cathedral Mix)” is as effective as it’s original version, “Your Broken Shore.” The weakest link by far though is “A Purse of Gold and Stars;” although it’s threaded together well sonically, lyrically it falls a tad short.

Although I tend to forget about them these days, there was a minute when I was still in high school that doom/goth metal acts like My Dying Bride, along with the likes of Paradise Lost and Moonspell (among others) were much more at the forefront for me. But I’m always glad when bands like them come back on my radar; it’s rare that I ever regret re-visiting their older material, and discovering their new music.

Rating: 3/5 Stars