Record Reviews

Album review: Enforcer “Nostalgia”

Sweden’s Enforcer soldiers on for the love of metal with its sixth studio album.

Enforcer is such a fabulous heavy metal band. Its music is a fantastic celebration of the best of the heavy metal of the 1980s. Formed in countryside Sweden around 2005 by Olof Wikstrand, the band debuted with the album “Into the Night” in 2008. Lead vocalist and guitarist Olof has been the only constant in this band and has also played bass and drums at various points during the band’s career. His brother Jonas Wikstrand has been on the journey for most of the time and has played drums, bass and keyboards. The current line-up of the band also features Jonathan Nordwall on guitar and American musician Garth Condit on bass. Enforcer is a melting pot of the good stuff that we grew up with. The result is an instantly recognisable sound that Enforcer has established as its own. It is fast, riff-happy and melodic. It is the kind of music that is perfectly suited for out-of-control air guitar attacks and wild headbanging. There’s plenty of energy on this album. The track “Coming Alive” is a speedy slap in the face while the album’s title track, “Nostalgia”, is a terrific anthemic mix of power ballad and power metal. “Heartbeats” starts off slowly but soon explodes and picks up speed. When it comes to Enforcer, they rarely stay slow or quiet for long. Other stand-out tracks that hurt my neck include “Unshackle Me”, “Kiss of Death”, “White Lights in the USA” and “Metal Supremacia”. This band is all about sweaty, high-energy heavy metal. The album’s lyrical themes continue a proud heavy metal tradition of demons, death, roaring thunder, Armageddon, destruction and freedom. “Keep the Flame Alive”, one of the album’s best tracks, says it all. Enforcer is one of the best bands in the current generation of heavy metal bands that pay tribute to 80s metal but without just copying what has been done. These bands are creating fantastic new metal on top of that 80s metal foundation (which in turn, of course, was built upon the metal of the 70s). Olof’s voice is a perfect fit for this kind of catchy metal music. He lives and breathes 80s metal and his passion shines through in his vocals. This new album brings back good memories of having seen Enforcer live in Tokyo in 2015 and dreams of them returning to Japan. I love this kind of proper and timeless heavy metal.

Enforcer’s “Nostalgia” will be released via Nuclear Blast on 5th May.