Band: This Is Hell
Release: The Enforcer (EP)
Release Date: Out Now
‘Black Mass’, This Is Hell’s debut release through Rise Records, saw the Long Island, NY, metalcore quintet incorporate more thrashy influences into their sound than ever before. This follow-up is essentially more of the same, as the band continues to develop and define their new direction and sound. ‘The Enforcer’ is a concise manifesto that injects four new tracks directly into your ear holes in an intense 11-minute burst.
Instrumental opener ‘Flag Of The Serpent’ rocks like a mini-Orion and is an effective introduction to This Is Hell’s new retro sound. Although this number could easily have been developed into an epic full-length piece, it certainly succeeds in teeing up the EP’s title-track.
‘The Enforcer’ is instantly impressive, as its explosive JFAC-esque intro gives way to wave after wave of lightning fast riffage, providing the first real taste of what the band have been working on these past two years. It’s impossible not to hear the influences from the Bay Area thrash scene in this new material, as the guys take all the best aspects of the genre and blend them into a single two-and-a-half minute aural barrage.
‘Walking Abominations’ is a comparably melodic piece in the same vein, breaking up the sound of the release and ensuring that there’s enough musical diversity on the EP. The Pantera-inspired gang vocals on this are particularly awesome. A cover of Metallica’s ‘Whiplash’ provides a fitting close to the release that is every bit as raw and aggressive as the original. The band has clearly had a huge influence on This Is Hell’s new material and their rendition of the Metallica touring favourite is a fitting homage to that fact.
This new direction is hardly innovative, but the new tracks are an extremely pleasing listen – this is thrash metal played really well, by people who are clearly enjoying what they do. We reckon the best is still to come from This Is Hell!
Reviewer: Solomon Radley