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To Every Enemy - "Reapers" (CD/EP)

To Every Enemy - "Reapers" CD/EP cover image

"Reapers" track listing:

1. An Introduction to Our Home
2. Outlaws
3. Of All the Friends I've Had, You're the First
4. For Better or for Worse

Reviewed by on January 20, 2013

"The band desperately sounds like it wants to compete with the genre's big bands, and To Every Enemy made a fundamentally strong first run at it with 'Reapers.'"

Like a comic book superhero, the genre of hardcore has been around for quite awhile now, which has many fans are calling for a reboot and a return to the basics. In the wake of this super-saturated and tech-savvy modern metal and hardcore landscape, some choose to do just that. To Every Enemy instead chooses to walk the modern route, a move that seems to be working famously for superheroes like Superman and Batman in the movies. Whether or not the members of To Every Enemy will become superheroes themselves remains to be seen, as this is their debut EP.

Tight guitar rhythms with frequent open chug patterns lead the songs alongside a familiar formula of one playing a strum pattern with another providing an accent melody over it. The vocals range from core screams to guttural later-Impending-Doom-esque growls, and backing clean vocals (and one gang scream) provide counterpoint in the style of Miss May I. The strong breakdowns within the songs are not numerous, which keeps the music concise and less gimmicky.

Emerging from San Antonio in south Texas, To Every Enemy follows the idea that "everything's bigger in Texas," opting for gigantic guitar production, comparably huge vocals, and a bright sheen that smacks of lots of editing work. One drawback to the super-compressed sound is the highlighting of the clicky and heavily quantized drum work, which makes it lack a natural sound. Aside from that low point, there are some clever production tricks, like faux tape-jitter sounds, back-masked reverb anticipating vocal lines (making the vocals hit stronger), and a plethora of backing synthesizers.

This is new school hardcore for attention deficit listeners. The band desperately sounds like it wants to compete with the genre's big bands, and To Every Enemy made a fundamentally strong first run at it with "Reapers." The EP is available on iTunes now.

Highs: Massive guitar and vocal sound, high energy level.

Lows: Drums feel too clicky/quantized.

Bottom line: A hardcore debut that aims high and feels promising.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)