The slow acoustic strum of a simple chord progression plays through a handful of times as delay echoes in the background and feral feedback makes its presence known with volume swells, and then surging in with unforgiving urgency we are assaulted to brutal thrash, hardcore crossover. Enabler are not your average Southern Lord band, not d-beat enough to slot into the Black Breath, Martyrdöd and Wolfbrigade pack, here we have a beast firmly rooted in direct and violent hardcore metal. This record kicks it in the teeth like a bastard of Terror, Cursed, Shai Hulud and Cannibal Corpse, unrepentant in its focused and uncluttered anger. It brings back memories of a time when hardcore metal crossover was exciting, back in the early-mid nineties when hardcore bands started to take on elements of grind and death metal and brew it into something noxious and vibrant in its aggressive throat tearing violence.
Formed by main song writier Jeff Lohrber with credits to his name including Trap Them, Harlots and Shai Hulud with the pure single minded intent captured in one brief sentence, ‘The world is fucked and this is the soundtrack to its demise’. This is the bands sophomore record and debut for Southern Lord, however if your familiar with the band’s record ‘Year One’ or any of the splits released over the last year you’ll have some idea of exactly what you’ll be letting yourself in for. The album rarely lets up from full steam ahead, however there are elements of melody that bring to mind bands like Avail, offering some interest and dynamic use of musical space within the tight confines of their manifesto. The band also tread into sludge territory with the expanse of ‘They Live, We Sleep’ until just before the two minute mark the song suddenly lurches into violent crossover like a rabid pitbull attack, this album drips rabies.
Title track ‘All Hail The Void’ kicks off in finger barred simple brutality before twisting into a verse riff ripped straight out of Cannibal Corpse’s mid-paced-riff rule book, this variation in its form is the vital component to ‘All Hail The Void’ and maintains a steady interest throughout the 35 minute length of the record. Whilst rarely dropping out of attack mode, its assorted weaponry is something of a saving grace.
Now you’re going to have to dig some hardcore in your sonic diet to get to grips with this record and if you’re listening habits include some ‘Gomorrah’s Season Ends’ or ‘Birth Is Pain’ then you’d do very wisely to invest your time in ‘All Hail The Void’. However there will be plenty to interest those keen on contemporaries such as Ken Mode and All Pigs Must Die. I found the record refreshing in its variation away from purist d-beat crust and a valuable addition to current the hardcore/whatever you want to call it metal. You remember when you were young and angry? Rekindle that with Enabler!
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Scribed by: Andrew Sloan