Enabler

Shift Of Redemption EP

Having dropped arguably the most visceral and aggressive album of 2012 with All Hail The Void, Milwaukee’s Enabler return with the Shift Of Redemption EP, four more blasts of scathing aural violence. Following yet another shuffle in their ranks (which saw drummer Andy Hurley depart as Fall Out Boy returned to active duty) the band continue to hit every bit as hard, though they are not just covering old ground. It would be erroneous to suggest this record even approaches being ‘hooky’, but there is more melody woven into the abrasive attack, making it perhaps a little easier to swallow without compromising on intensity.

The frantic title track kicks things off, drums and serrated riffs running rampant before lurching into waves of thick chugging and guitar squall, which forms an epic soundscape that is pure post-metal, and is an exhilarating shift in direction. Elsewhere they seem to be flying the hardcore colors (often overwhelmed by their metallic leanings) with pride. “Live Low” is drenched in punk-rock sneer, lurching into a two-step stomp as it too seems to double in scale, while the 97-second “Sacrifice” has a vague new-wave flavor underpinning its mid-tempo chug. Closer “Fall Selflessly” stands as the boldest statement, further conveying the band’s refusal to remain in any box into which they might be pushed. A funereal trudge drenched with glacial guitar, its early passages are chilling, dispiriting and desperate all at the same time, dragging the listener over coarse ground as it struggles to maintain its sluggish momentum. Collapsing under its own weight, the final third of the track roars to life on a massive groove that holds a finger in the face of anyone who might deign to look in their direction, raising the song into ugly yet catchy anti-anthem territory.

Though it has less of the deranged energy that suffused All Hail The Void, which conveyed the sense that the band teetered on the brink of a full emotional collapse, Shift Of Redemption still makes for some of the most passionate, poignant and vicious heavy music around. Enabler's honesty and ambition combined with great songwriting elevates them above the majority of those trying to make a racket that is as brutal as it is affecting, and that they seem to do so with such ease is almost unfair to the competition.

Think Fast! http://www.thinkfastrecords.com

“Shift Of Redemption”