Review: Enabler

Enabler, All Hail the Void Southern Lord

The first thing I thought when I heard this record was, are these guys really from North America? It’s not like this sort of music is never made on this side of the Atlantic, but for every Black Dahlia Murder or Darkest Hour, Europe produces two dozen bands on the model of Carnal Forge, Nightrage, Fear My Thoughts (feel free to spin this list out as long as your sanity will bear). Yes, Milwaukee’s Enabler can be classified as part of the latter day development originated in the Gothenburg death metal sound of the late 1980s/early 1990s. But, lest one fear that we are simply going to pigeonhole them with this label, let it be said that Enabler have produced a wicked disc with a sound that is, if not all their own, a fresh take on the genre.

Let us take Black Dahlia Murder as a point of comparison, both because they plow a somewhat similar stylistic furrow as Enabler and because they hail from roughly the same part of the country. Before going further, allow me to say that the version of BDM that I am discussing is what they were playing in the first half of the aughties, i.e. around the time of Unhallowed and Miasma, after which I kind of lost interest. The first thing that really distinguishes Enabler is their guitar sound. I don’t think that they are tuned down quite as far as BDM, but the sound that they achieve on All Hail the Void is meaner and nastier by a long length, recalling the sort of thick, razors through flesh type of sound that emerged from Sunlight Studios all those years ago. Ok, maybe they don’t quite reach the dank heaviness of Left Hand Path, but they are close enough to make the comparison valid.

Where other bands have marched down the tried and true paths of the Swedish deathmetal scene, Enabler merge this style with an element of crust that gives their music a tone and feel that is all its own. In addition, there are elements on All Hail the Void that fans of the U.S. deathmetal scene of the 1980s will find satisfying. There are blast beats here, a goodly number of them in fact, but used in such a way as to move the songs forward rather than just wallowing in them. There are also pleasing elements of melody that provide a nice change up from the aggression that spews forth in most of the tunes on this record.

Once again, Southern Lord has picked a winner. From start to finish, All Hail the Void is blistering blackened HC at its very very best. This is a band that could really go a long way. Should they choose to, Enabler have the option to be a really dominant act in this field. Their next disc will tell us a lot about what they are going to be. That is for the future. For now it is enough to rock hard and enjoy a real slug of excellence. Well played, gentlemen.
[Note: I really dig these guys’ attitude, if this interview in Noisecreep is anything to go by.]

Magadh

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