Friday, 12 December 2014

Enabler - La Fin Absolue Du Monde (European Version) (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 8/12/2014
Label: Century Media

‘La Fin Absolue Du Monde’(European Version)  CD/DD/LP track list

1. Close My Eyes (02:27)
2. New Life (02:39)
3. Neglect (02:38)
4. I've Got A Bad Feeling About This (02:27)
5. Information Overload (01:23)
6. Balance Of Terror (02:57)
7. World Sterilization (01:28)
8. The Exiles (01:23)
9. Prey (01:06)
10. Sickened By the Wake (02:38)
11. Rain Darkness (02:40)
12. Felony (05:45)
13. Linear Existence (02:43)
14. Consequence (03:52)
15. Live Low (02:13)
16. Mortal Enemy (02:30)
17. Seekers of The Truth (03:59)*Cro-Mags Cover


“Led by front man, songwriter and guitarist Jeff Lohrber, ENABLER stands as one of the most honest, pissed off and heartfelt metallic hardcore bands around today. The band's sound, which is a unique mixture of thrash, death metal, punk rock and hardcore, has made an impact all over the world since their debut EP "Eden Sank to Grief" was first released on Andy Hurley's (Fall Out Boy, Raicetrator) FC Records in 2010. Two full length albums, three EPs and multiple split and compilation appearances have been released on various labels since then including the
critically acclaimed 2012 break-through album “All Hail the Void” on Southern Lord Records.

In 2014, the band released their 2nd full length LP „La Fin Absolue Du Monde” on Creator Destructor/Earsplit Compound. The album title is based off of the John Carpenter movie „Cigarette Burns”. Recording was done in December of 2013 by
engineer Shane Hotchstetler at Howl Street Recordings (Expire, Northless) in Milwaukee and it was mastered by Steve Austin of Today Is The Day at Austin Enterprise (Lamb Of God, Converge, Deadguy). The amazing artwork was
finished by Chris Smith at Gray Aria design.

The album was performed by Lohrber on guitar and vocals, Amanda Daniels playing bass and providing backing vocals and Ringworm touring member Ryan Steigerwald on drums. ENABLER played Century Media’s 2012 SXSW showscase (with The Atlas Moth, Young And In The Way and more) and kept in close contact with the label. Following the release of „La Fin Absolue Du Monde”, the label offered them a deal and shortly after plans were made to reissue that album through Europe. Lohrber went back to Howl Street to record a few bonus tracks and on December 8th, the album with three additional tracks will be released throughout Europe.

Enabler is:

Jeffrey Lohrber | guitars, vocals
Amanda Daniels | bass, backing vocals
Ryan Steigerwald | drums


To get it out of the way, yes, Enabler did count the drummer from Fall Out Boy as part of their line-up for some time, but putting that to one side, they're an great band deserving of being mentioned in the same breath as their peers in The Secret and the previously reviewed Martyrdod (and on a more respectable note, frontman Jeff Lohrber also plays drums in noise-metallers Today Is The Day). Like these two bands, Enabler combines the energy and fury of hardcore with that largely indefinable brilliance of metal that makes us love the genre. Their latest release with 'La Fin Absolue Du Monde', now reissued with 3 bonus tracks by Century Media, is their second full length LP that follows a string of low key peripheral releases.

The record sounds like it could pass for a well recorded demo, which is meant in the best possible way and lends character to the record just as much as the 'webcam mic in the corner' sound did to second wave black metal. In essence the recording is raw and just seems to shine from all the bullshit that has been stripped from it. That guitar tone, raw and rich without substituting warmth, comes alive in single string melodies. The drums especially are defined by the production, reminiscent of Cynic's pre-Focus demos, basically exposing every ubiqitous tech metal drum trigger blast beat for the fraud it is. Finally vocals, and what do you expect from them in a band like this? They're shouted in a way that can only be done when you mean every damn word, and while Jeff Lohrber does not have most power or distinctive punch to his delivery, anyone expecting Black Breath levels of harsh vocal prowess will always be disappointed.

Musically the record far from disappoints - it's basically punk music done right in this day and age, with enough mid tempo head banging passages to hook you in. The band inject enough variation to keep the mouth breathing 'oi' factor endemic in so much punk to a minimum, and you get the impression these guys can play with a lot more technical proficiency than is actually recorded, apparently having made the conscious decision to substitute fatty embellishments for lean performances with passion.

The band understands the importance of variation too. The anthemic chants of 'I've Got A Bad Feeling About This' evoke the best punk has to offer vocally, with the lyrics 'no future, no fate, there’s nothing but the lives we make', being a simple and profound manifesto from a hard working band that will always be doing it DIY for nothing more than love of the music. The track 'Mortal Enemy' is essentially a death metal song, with only the lack of someone making Satan noises keeping it in the same genre as the rest of the album. Additonally, unsettling vocal flourishes on 'Balance of Terror' and guitar harmonics on 'Linear Existence' serve to give the album more atmospheric flavour. For all it's fury and relentlessness, the lack of dynamics and one track assault characteristic of the genre can often prove limiting to the lasting power of the album as a whole. Enabler thankfully shed this mantle with well thought out diversions from the onslaught.

Reading around for material it became apparent some have stuck the 'metalcore' label on the band, yet my associations with the term are too closely linked to Kerrang's idea of respectable music for comfort. Lump them in with Converge et al if it makes you feel better, I'm just going to spin 'La Fin Absolue Du Monde' once more and bang my fucking head.

Words by: Jake Mazlum

You can pick up a copy here and read our original review of this record here

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