REVIEW: Enforcer @The Live Rooms, Chester 12/10/15

I’ve travelled all over for gigs in my time. From North Wales to North France, from Stoke to Amsterdam, and I’d do it all again. However I can’t explain the joy held in my heart when I found out that Enforcer had been announced to play a stones throw away from my house in leafy Chester on their co-headline tour with Wolf. The Live Rooms was the venue, and fellow Swedes Dynamite were supporting who I’d heard some great things about, alongside some local talent to boot. After scrambling around a nearby church that I’d left some camera equipment at the weekend prior, I grabbed a quick pint next door and then headed in!

Reaper

Arriving at The Live Rooms on a Merseyrail chariot of fire, Liverpool’s Thrash up-and-comers Reaper were first to take to the stage, and they quickly proceeded to set the tone for the night. 80s Metal fans through and through, they played with all of the zeal and maniacal enthusiasm that their idols can no longer manage and they impressed me no end. There are a lot of young Thrash bands coming out of Liverpool and generally they all sound the same, often sticking to the tired formula of Kreator riff+cheap lager can smashed against head with a bellowing “You’re by far the heaviest crowd we’ve ever played for ‘Insert student union’!”. There was no nonsense here, though. Instead Reaper wasted no time at all and blasted through a no frills set of pure and sincere Thrash and they left absolutely nothing on the stage. Ones to watch for sure.

Dynamite

Next up was something I simply wasn’t ready for. As the band strolled calmly onto the stage and began churning out some soft bass I was standing by anticipating a filler performance before the main event. And then it all kicked off. In a flurry of denim - and indeed leather - they sprung into action with Quo-esque synchronised movements and a statement of intent - to rock! I had judged that I’d be hearing something quite doom-laden from the band’s appearance but instead I was treated to a balls to the wall classic hard rock masterclass. The Swedish four-piece play in perfect tandem with one another on stage, from the crazed foundation of Jonas on drums to the electrifying tower of vocals from Mattis up top, and it all blends together beautifully. They played like veterans of the road and made our quaint little venue their arena for the duration of their set. Dynamite injected a lot of fun and generated a lot of movement into the Chester crowd and served perfectly as a warmup to their fellow countryman who were up next.

Enforcer

Now I enjoy Wolf as much as the next man, but there was only one reason I trudged down the canal carrying my gear on a cold Monday night, and that was to see Enforcer! I’ve been a massive fan of the Swedish speedsters since my first listen years ago and I’ve enjoyed their albums progressively as time has gone on. Their latest assault From Beyond was an album that blew me away at the time and one that I had on repeat endlessly, but since then it had sadly fallen out of my mind and I hadn’t been thinking about Enforcer much. That was until they were announced by the wonderful folks at The Live Rooms, and leading up to them bouncing out onto the stage before me I had been hyping myself up no end with the album alongside the older classics too. The set wouldn’t disappoint, and neither would its architects. As I mentioned before The Live Rooms is a great yet small venue, but Enforcer carried on from where Dynamite left off and exuberantly began administering their Speed Metal medicine. The stage was awash with banners sporting From Beyond’s artwork, so it was no surprise to see a few tracks played from the album, not least of all the addictive title track itself.

Away from this, though they were ready to bring the classics to the table, with ‘Destroyer’, ‘Live for the Night’ and ‘Death Rides This Night’ all making an appearance in the first half. To say the new material gels in well with the old would be an understatement however; a lot of it is faster, more complex and a whole lot more adrenaline fuelled live than that which came before. That being said, Enforcer know how they got to be such a popular name in the live arena, and they know what the people want to see when they pay their money and down a few beers. Leading into the last third of the show they turned things up a notch and treated us to a quadruple of fan favourite, starting with ‘Midnight Vice’ and ‘Take Me Out of This Nightmare’ before finishing with fist pumping classics ‘Katana’ and ‘Mesmerized by Fire’. And then they were gone. This was the second time seeing Enforcer for me, and to see them in my own town alongside other great talent both locally and internationally was a special treat. The gathered fans were only small in number - which is both an embarrassment to the town’s ‘Metalhead’ pretenders and a testament to the loyal few who made up for their absence - but the Swedes made it their home for the night and gave nothing less than 100%. I hope they come back soon with some other Swedish talent, of which there is absolutely no shortage.

Unfortunately I had to dash about five minutes into Wolf’s set. What I saw was great but it’s hardly worth reviewing in any capacity. The Live Rooms had gifted a brilliant booking to the local metal fans on this night, and despite the disappointing turnout I really hope to see future bookings of similar ilk. Until then!


BACK TO ARTICLES

ALBUM OF THE MONTH-MAR '17

Artist - Jesters of Destiny
Title - The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown
Label - Ektro

Thirty years after Jesters of Destiny arrived, dropped Fun at the Funeral and disappeared back into the night, they’re finally back with a second full length release courtesy of Ektro Records, and whilst it could never live up to first album, the eccentricity of the band shines through once more and it’s a crazy ride from start to finish. Pick it up on April 4th!



FIND US ON
FACEBOOK

GIG OF THE MONTH - MAR '17

Artist - Hammerfest IX
Date - 23rd- 26th March
Venue - Pwllheli, Wales  

One of our main highlights of the year, this month we’re off to Wales for Hammerfest, HRH’s Heavy Metal flagship. With the return of two Power Metal titans alongside a host of others, this year looks to be one of their best ever. We’ll be covering the whole festival and conducting interviews as well so lookout for the cameras!