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Enforcer - "Into The Night" (CD)

Enforcer - "Into The Night" CD cover image

"Into The Night" track listing:

1. Black Angel
2. Mistress From Hell
3. Into The Night
4. Speed Queen
5. On The Loose
6. City Lights
7. Scream Of The Savage
9. Curse The Light
9. Evil Attacker

Reviewed by on May 9, 2012

"Fans of early-'80s metal will find it faithfully recreated on Enforcer's 'Into The Night.' Those looking for more modern or original sounds won't find them here."

From the falsetto screams to the big guitar breaks loaded up with Eddie Van Halen-style finger-tapping fretwork, nearly everything about Enforcer's "Into The Night" screams 1982 even though it was produced in 2008. Like the followup disc, "Diamonds," which I also reviewed, this album disregards just about everything past the early '80s. What that means for the listener is plenty of sex and Satan (and sometimes — as in the subtly titled "Mistress From Hell" — a mixture of the two), along with a good-sized dollop of cheese. Granted, it's tasty cheese, but still...

Like "Diamonds," "Into The Night" features an appealing analog sound, giving plenty of heft to the guitar-and-bass combo of Adam Zaars and Joseph Tholl on tracks like "Scream Of The Savage" and the speedy boogie of "On The Loose." Zaars' solos are things of early-'80s beauty on "Speed Queen" and "Mistress From Hell," with a nearly six-minute instrumental, "City Lights," giving him a chance to show off as a soloist and rhythm player, unencumbered by "Olof Wikstrand's vocals. It's also the one time the band really slows down from breakneck speed.

It isn't that Wikstrand is a bad singer. In fact, his vocals on "Into The Night" and "On The Loose" almost remind one of the Scorpions' Klaus Meine at his best. The problem is that he's way too wed to punctuating everything with a falsetto shriek throughout much of the album, making the vocals feel interchangeable.

That might not be as much of a problem if the songs — with the aforementioned exception of "City Lights" — didn't all race along at roughly the same gallop. And though I understand that Enforcer intends to create the exact same atmospherics as the early-'80s tunes that they (and I) love, the fact is that by eschewing modern production, the band has created a new work that sounds dated. Being influenced by a band or musical era is one thing; trying to completely replicate it is another.

Fans of early-'80s metal will find it faithfully recreated on Enforcer's "Into The Night." Those looking for more modern or original sounds won't find them here.

Highs: "City Lights," "Into The Night" and "On The Loose"

Lows: Slavishly recreating '80s sounds results in been-there-done-that feeling, despite some great playing.

Bottom line: An album that faithfully recreates the sounds of the early '80s, but doesn't add anything new to them.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)