Virginia-based crossover maniacs ENFORCED open their Century Media account with a blistering new album, "Kill Grid". Informed by an incredible cross-section of extremes, from thrash and punk to death metal and hardcore, the emergent outfit drop a nine-song cluster-bomb of thrashing death on apathetic times. Formed in Richmond in 2017 out of shreds of disbanded hardcore and punk bands, ENFORCED quickly found their calling between the undying support of regional punk/hardcore scenes and their respective record collections. Whether it's behind the eyes of Sacred Reich and Integrity or trampled under the weathered boots of Bolt Thrower and Amebix, "Pure Crossover Death," as ENFORCED call their devastating din, speared its way through two demos (Demo 2017 and Retaliation) and their no-holds-barred debut, At the Walls.
"I would describe our sound as metal and hardcore," says ENFORCED guitarist Will Wagstaff. "We come from punk, hardcore, and metal, all of which can be taken to the extreme?and we love everything about it. I love Iron Maiden and Morbid Angel and Poison Idea and GISM. I love anything that inspires me in either how extreme or how good the songwriting is?or both! There is a difference between 'One' by Metallica and 'Jesus Wept' by Suffocation, but they nonetheless inspire me. Our main goal is to write music that combines extreme elements from our favorite music with good songwriting." "Kill Grid" came together over a two-year period while ENFORCED were marauding halls and dive bars across the East Coast and Canada. Indeed, inspiration came from different directions, but playing live with bands like Sacred Reich, Red Death, Iron Reagan, All Out War, and Integrity shaped what was to come out of the Richmonders.
While it was the two demos and "At the Walls" that attracted the attention of Century Media, it is "Kill Grid" that's going to put ENFORCED on top-lists of circle pit lunatics around the globe. To track their sophomore full-length, ENFORCED enlisted long-time friend and studio maven Bob Quirk (Memory Loss, Misled Youth) as well as Philadelphia-based studio whiz Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Cavalera Conspiracy) to engineer and mix/master.
"We have worked with the same engineer for all of our records," Wagstaff says. "Bob has always done all our engineering and helped to be a keen ear with regards to the structure of songs, samples, etc. The drums were recorded at The Ward, an older and very large recording studio with hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings, with Ricky Olson and Bob. We got to have a guest guitarist, Josh Francisco (BloodRitual, Outsider), lay down some solos on the record. He has great influence and loves everything 1980s, and he plays a snakeskin Jackson, so we knew he would be perfect. Always use Les Pauls for the rhythm parts, and a Jackson Soloist for the leads.
"Whether it's "Kill Grid"'s erudite lyrical bent?frontman Knox Colby cues off guys like Max Cavalera (Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy) and Mike Score (All Out War), or their savagely smart crossovers, ENFORCED are primed to take over everything from squats to big European festivals. Indeed, if songs like "The Doctrine," "UXO," "Curtain Fire," and "Trespasser" are an indication of headbanging, stage-diving greatness, then it's "Pure Crossover Death" for life!