Enabler: Year One

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Enabler: Year One
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Enabler: Year One
Hardcore
Creator Destructor Records
May 22nd, 2011
Release length:
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Enabler is a newer Hardcore act to come from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is formed by members of now fallen groups. Amongst the members involved are Jeff Lohrber of Todaay is the Day and Trap Them fame handling guitars and vocals, as well as Logan Kelly from Dead to Fall glory, and Brian Serzynski from Abaddon handling drums. Bubba Nitz fills out this line-up as the group’s bassist, and appears to be the newcomer of the group and not tied to any well known groups prior to this band. The band went into the studio and recorded material for two releases, titled Eden Sank to Grief and War Begins With You, but earlier this year the group signed with Creator Destructor Records to issue both as one CD. This also lead to new artwork for a digipack CD release that feels more suiting to the dirty, crusty, angsty Punk riddled Hardcore sound of the group. Given this is pretty much a Hardcore supergroup, one can pretty much it will either fail miserably, or it’ll leave the listener begging for more.

Luckily it becomes the latter of those two options. Year One is actually one of the better supergroup projects to make it’s way out into the music world. With the strong mixture of dirty Punk and Hardcore, this compilation of two previous recordings really make for a blistering effort. The quality of the recording is ultimately handled as a modern supergroup act as well, coming off clear and heavily digital, but not clean enough that it takes away from the heaviness of the music being performed. The bass is loud enough in the mix that it nicely adds to the overall heaviness of the music, while the guitars themselves have a decent amount of distortion that allows them to sound crushing and come off sounding deep as well. The drumming throughout offers nice mixtures of Punk and Hardcore two steps, as well as manages to match some of the more chugging moments well, but also keeps up nicely with the random blast beat sections that introduce more of a Grindcore influence to some tracks. Of course, the vocals are your typical screaming style, but are performed in a manner that matches the deeper guitars while backed by an authority-driven attitude.

As stated, this collects the first two (which at this point are the only two) recordings the band issued. The first eight songs on this release come from the Eden Sank to Grief recording, while the last five came from the War Begins With You release. And yes, there are thirteen tracks on the recording. This is one of the only problems to the recording, the song “End of the World Party” is not on the track list of the final product, but rest assured it actually is available on the CD, so you’re not missing anything. This song works well to close the first set of songs, and would have been a shame to lose anyhow considering it’s slower, chugging nature at times, especially towards the end, just makes the heavy music come off a little heavier and tread into Doom Metal territories as if the fallout from a grand climax that the song “Renegades” set up well with it’s more Punk oriented attitude and musical output that is met with decent intensity, as well as some slower moments scattered about. “Mercenary” kicks the album off nicely, and it immediately shows the band’s mixture of Hardcore with Grindcore influences, kicking the listener square in the teeth with it’s angry, dirty music, and from there the next few songs keep up the pace and manage to offer some unique and really catchy chords at times, such as the start of “Unconditional Surrender” and it’s more Punk-like hook-fueled opening that has been altered for a more aggressive Hardcore sound.

The final five tracks are not all that different, but at the same time you can really see a stronger Grindcore presence on some of these tracks then others. “The Fury Inside” starts off the second set of tracks, and it’s mixture of Punk riffs mixed together with a strong Grindcore atmosphere with plenty of blast beats really makes the song feel more brutalizing then the tracks that came before it. This set also seems to have a stronger bass presence, the drums are a bit louder, and the vocals sound a bit different thanks to being cleaner in the final mix. The biggest change with these songs is that, due to these changes, the atmosphere of the songs sound different. While the first eight came off as commanding and authoritive, these songs just sound like well orchestrated Grindcore meets Punk that often bridges into all too familiar territory of bands like Napalm Death sans the Death Metal, Phobia, even Nasum. This isn’t to say they are weak songs though. “No Love No Hope No Fear” really has some catchy guitar work towards the ends which is preceeded with some great intensity through blast beats with general anger and attitude behind it. That same kind of attitude continues on the last track, “Symbiosis”, which carries more a Punk sound then any of the other styles the band uses throughout this release.

Year One makes for a heavy, aggressive Hardcore album. The band’s ability to mix that style with Punk and Grindcore works in the band’s favor, and helps to keep many of the songs to sound unique and fresh. The only issue here is the stronger use of Grindcore on the last give tracks, which seems to deter from the established sound from the start of the album, and often is not all that impressive, though still solid music nonetheless, especially “Symbiosis” with it’s guitar hooks that make it the most enjoyable song off the album. If you’re a fan of Hardcore in any respect, Enabler is a band you simply need to give your attention to, and if you missed the first two releases already, Year One is your best chance to check out the potential that this group possesses.

01. Mercenary – 1:12
02. Unconditional Surrender – 2:39
03. Fucking Wartorn – 2:10
04. Black Friday in Hell – 2:13
05. Eden Sank to Grief – 2:03
06. Survival Kits – 1:20
07. Renegades – 4:10
08. The Fury Inside – 5:39
09. End of the World Part – 1:34 [not on track listing]
10. No Love No Hope No Fear – 1:54
11. War Begins With You – 2:07
12. Heart Attack Man – 1:41
13. Symbiosis – 2:26
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Enabler
Enabler

Physical review copy of this release provided by Creator Destructor Records.