After All - Dawn Of The Enforcer (Ván Records) 2012
I admit to being a latecomer to this Belgium speed/thrash metal band. I just happened upon this album on an on-line record store and they had it one sale. I took a chance on it from the description and from the fact that it was obviously wrapped in an Ed Repka cover. Upon first listen I thought to myself, "how did I miss out on this band?" After All's "Dawn of the Enforcer" is a full-throttle speed metal assault driven by classic speed metal riffing, fiery guitar solos, and soaring clean vocals that remind me of the days of Agent Steel, Realm, Toxik, Forbidden and the like.
While the album is strong from front to back, songs like "Digital War" and "Spread the Infamy" are definitely among the best, with "To Breach and Grieve" being the very best. To top it off the production is perfection. A big nod to producer Dan Swano for some fantastic mixing and mastering. It should also be noted that the band's lyrical themes all seem to focus upon the, "wake up and pay attention before it's too late" social commentary.
It didn't take long for me to discover more from the band but past albums aren't quite the same. For "Dawn of the Enforcer" the band replaced their vocalist and bass player for two new individual. The vocals are part of what I immediately loved about this album but I was, of course, curious about their back catalog and found a wealth of killer metal there as well. (More on that in later reviews.)