Reviewed: February 2018
Released: 2018, Hatestone Records
Reviewer: Kieron Hayes
Enemynside is an Italian group, putting out music (under that name at least, they existed for some time prior as Scapegoat) since around the turn of the millennium, with some line-up changes along the way culminating in a hiatus from 2013 to 2016. Now returned, they give us a bite-size mini-CD of new material called Dead Nation Army, my first exposure to the band.
It’s a consistent little package, all four songs having a very modern thrash sound that reminds me a lot of Lazarus A.D. This isn’t explicitly retro thrash, nor is it high octane balls-out stuff designed to go at you as hard and fast as possible. It has just a dash of groove sound here and there, laced into the music, to lend it some mid-pace melody. Some will prefer something more overtly old-school or fearsome, for those who don’t mind something thrashy but taking a somewhat slower pace, this seems enjoyable enough. The production is pretty bass-heavy too, more so than is typical for the genre.
At just four songs long, Dead Nation Army certainly doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, though there also isn’t a whole lot to talk about. “Buried Past” has a fun chorus that sticks in your head, “For All the Jerks” is probably the most high-speed of the tracks, bursting right out of the gate as soon as the latch is off.
I appreciate that it doesn’t sound like they’re just aping an older band (I do love me some thrash, but I’ll admit it’s a valid criticism of a lot of newer bands). If it suffers from anything it’s a lack of clear identity for itself. This is competent, slick thrash, but there’s not much else to describe it. It’s a sampler of a band that’s been out of action for a few years, now getting back on its feet. When the time comes for a full release I’ll be hoping for something that leaves more of an impact.