Review: EnforcerNostalgia


Who here is nostalgic for the ’80s? Just me? The whole world?!

It’s possible that ’80s nostalgia is oversaturated right now. Maybe it’s even past the point of ‘cool again’ since you can get your fill just by walking into a Target these days. Still, I think there’s something magical about the decade I barely existed in. Perhaps it’s because my image of that time is entirely shaped by goofy movies and TV shows depicting the era, but it’s also the only time period where metal actually found its way into the mainstream. All my favorite media somehow manages to depict an incredible amount of patched-out denim vests, mohawks, and punks/rockers as total badass ne’er-do-wells you just don’t wanna mess with. Good luck finding good heavy metal on the radio these days. And no, Metallica doesn’t count. They are just somehow the only band that got grandfathered in.

It’s really a shame. Not that there isn’t plenty of bad stuff from the era that didn’t age well, but mostly because absolutely shredding on guitar used to be a respected part of the culture and fully featured on MTV (us old folks are still mourning the loss). It sucks, mostly because that high energy, high velocity playing is still reaching new heights to this day, albeit not reaching as wide of an audience. But hey, life is change! To every old fart who thinks speed/heavy metal is dead I say this: “LEARN TO USE THE INTERNET! THE GENRE IS ALIVE AND WELL!” What’s more? It’s spread all the way to Sweden and come back to us in the form Nostalgia, the new album by Enforcer.

Now, I’ve never actually done cocaine, but this track “Coming Alive” just might be the audio equivalent. Soaring falsetto vocals, sped-up thrash n’ roll riffing, and drums that just don’t quit. All the pieces are there. Don’t fight it. You’ve now entered a world where everything is somehow made of steel, leather, and denim simultaneously. I mean, just look at this band’s logo! It’s impossible not to be transported back in time to when the record store ruled supreme. Imagine it. You just woke up, all you want is a Pepsi, then maybe later you’ll head down to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters that aren’t just valueless hunks of metal but can actually be exchanged for goods and services! If you’re lucky, your buddy might show up and smoke you out with a joint that you can take more than two puffs from without feeling like the world is gonna end.

In fairness, this record isn’t without its downsides. The title track is pretty much a slow power ballad. Look, I told you there’s some bad stuff from the 80’s that didn’t age well. It’s not even a terrible song, I just can’t figure out why they decided to start things off  the music video with a dude in the bathtub. I guess that’s just what you do in Sweden before heading out to play in the snow? It does feel a little cheesy, but I gotta admit after a couple listens I really started to dig that song too.

If you are at all a fan of ’80s metal, you gotta check this one out. This band has a great range. It’s a traditional heavy metal sound with a the perfect amount of speed/thrash mixed in. Did I mention the guitar leads? Prepare to be blown away!

Nostalgia drops today via Nuclear Blast.

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