Kids, get your vest and stitch those patches because This Is Hell has a new EP.
The Enforcer EP is the Long Island, NY hardcore thrash band’s latest effort. Containing only four songs and running about 10 minutes long, there’s so much aggression packed on this EP.
As the very short introductory “Flag of the Serpent” seems to head in the direction of setting the release’s tone, guitarist Rick Jimenez manages to sneak in some unexpected riffage. This leads into the title track, which really carves out This Is Hell’s niche of ‘80s thrash with hardcore vocals on top. As vocalist Travis Reilly screams, “Vengeance/ Redemption” near the end of the song, it makes you understand why fans do push-ups in the mosh pit for god’s sake.
The sound continues into the gang choruses (“Who isn’t a sucker for that stuff?” says hardcore kid) of the sound-heavy, almost Pantera-like “Walking Abominations.” It leaves room for absolutely no prayers and while it feels like the song is headed in one direction, it goes a complete opposite way. Wait, haven’t I said this before?
It’s an important point. There is an abundance of bands doing the thrash revival thing like an epidemic. It’s to the point where I get a new cd and say, “Oh, you have a thrash revival band? Please tell me more.” Hopefully the sarcasm bell is going off because this new fashion of thrash makes underground grindcore bands all sound more diversified.
Which is why This Is Hell is a best kept secret. They can do Soundwave and though they have gained many fans, it’s a complete mystery why they aren’t bigger. Then again I’ve had Sundowning on my shelf…since 2006.
That fact aside, This Is Hell has been a standout, never worrying about egos, shiny over-the-top instruments and “copying” Megadeth.
So while we’re on the topic of thrash, back when Black Mass was released the Metallica comparisons were made both sonically and lyrically. And yet I was all eyebrows raised at knowing there would be a cover of “Whiplash.” I mean it’s from Kill ‘Em All, more like a how dare you.
How dare I think that. The cover remains an honor and tradition of the original, but This Is Hell brand it their own with Reilly’s vocal style. And, well, it sounds faster than the original- so take that Metallica (and no, society hasn’t forgiven you for Lulu).
While The Enforcer EP is an obvious continuation of Black Mass, it’s also a total tease for the full-length. Thanks for the wait guys, not nice. But at least breaking your neck has never sounded like this much fun.