I'm sure many of you already know Enforcer. The Swedish speed metal band finally released their third album, Death by Fire, some months back, after slogging through some heavy touring and the loss of a guitarist. The singer has now picked up guitar duties but I don't think that has slowed them down at all. If anything, they have come back with a fury.
The disappointing part about this record to many is that it's not Diamonds II, but that can be a plus in many aspects. While they haven't really changed their old school formula, the new album doesn't sound exactly like their older ones. While the first two more either more of feel-good classic metal, this one is much darker and grittier. It's a bit faster too, the album almost flies by. It's kind of like Iron Maiden -before they turned to the pretentious proggy stuff- meets early Metallica, or maybe even some Diamond Head.
The loss of their guitarist, whose name escapes me (who remembers names anyways?), really hasn't hindered them at all. They're still able to crank out some kick-ass tunes like "Death Rides This Tonight," "Mesmerized by Fire," "Take Me Out of This Nightmare," and "Crystal Suite." Hell, the other songs are pretty damn good. Nothing groundbreaking, but you can't really complain about some old school riffage, can ya? I think the only that this album really lacks is more catchy choruses and the like, ones that you expect from a band like this. There are a few, like "Take Me Out of This Nightmare," but they don't quite compare to hooks of the first two albums.
That being said, it's a pretty solid album, I wouldn't review it if it wasn't. I like the new dark direction they're taking, rather than the sleazy side they kind of always had before. Maybe speed metal isn't quite done for after all.