Much like Skull Fist on the Suicidal Angels show last week, Sweden’s Enforcer are this touring packages unashamedly heavy metal retro tribute act. But unlike the Canadians I’m a bit more aware of these guys – well apart from the Nuclear Blast years.
Most of Olof Wikstrand’s dozen years as head honcho, guitarist and vocalist of Enforcer (at some point he’s played every instrument in the band) has been looking at heavy metal from almost thirty years ago through a rear view mirror. Listen to something like Midnight Vice from second album Diamonds and you can imagine influential NWOBHM DJ Neal Kay spinning the 7″ of this song at one of his legendary Soundhouse club nights between Running Free by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest’s Breaking the Law.
Enforcer haven’t reinvented metal, achieved anything exactly groundbreaking or offered something original over their four full length albums, but they pay homage to a bygone and timeless era the best way they know how. As the releases have appeared they’ve interspersed their almost heavy metal tribute act with a bit more from the speed metal genre, creating something a bit more aggressive than what was offered up on the debut release, but something a fan of bands in the vein of Exciter would have heard decades ago.
Regular visitors to these shores since 2008, and I’m assuming that’s partly label pressure due to releasing an album through Earache, I’ve only seen them once and that was in 2010 at Bloodstock. Considering I had to check if I’d seen them it doesn’t really bode well for my entertainment value of the band over the tail end of the working week, but if nothing else it’ll provide some much needed respite between Nervosa and Flotsam & Jetsam. Watching some of these throwback bands live just seem to become tedious pretty quickly. I generally put that down to myself being tired rather than poor showmanship.
As I’ve not heard their latest release I thought I’d post up Undying Evil from last years From Beyond album.