I guess nobody told the Holy Mountain to pace themselves.
Enemies is the third release in as many years from these No Idea workaholics, and it's one that finds them going in a decidedly more thrashy direction than they were previously able to. Whereas their last couple records toed that fine line between crust and thrash, these new songs take a turn for the latter, and though they may not have known it at the time, a turn for the better.
Their recordings were hard and aggressive enough as it was, but that extra step has now been taken, and this now four-piece has taken heavy doses of His Hero Is Gone and Born Against and pushed it that much further. Much like Bloodstains Across Your Face in Decline, this is a collection of songs, six new recordings, the Wrath 7" and two songs recorded live at The Fest last November.
All of that adds up to eleven songs. Eleven songs sure to punch, knock, and pulverize you straight into the ground without any semblance of restraint. It's what's come to be expected from the band, and it's what they deliver.
The first six songs were those initially recorded for this new EP, and those are the ones that took a bit different of a direction. Make no mistake, anything you've loved about the band is just as present as ever, only amplified this time around. Carrying a frantic pace from beginning to end, the dizzying assault of dissonance and deep vocals present something so brutal, but at the same time, strangely melodic. It's an interesting dichotomy that the band is able to work out -- for all the blistering speed and cacophony created, there is that bit of underlying melody, and though it's not immediately evident, it's there. "The Will of the People" scales back a little, offering more groove than unrelenting fury, but still striking a balance between the two. The riffs are engaging, full of small twists and turns to keep you on your toes, and the vocals fit the track just as well as any. It's also a bit longer of an offering, giving the guitarists ample time at the end of the song to show their chops, and keep the weight of the track on their shoulders entirely.
The actual EP songs progress quickly, then leading into the three found on the Wrath 7". As mentioned before, the songs found on that record do have a decidedly more crusty feel than anything else to be found on this collection, but regardless, it has no problems coalescing with the prior or following material. A little more emphasis is placed on vocals, and less on musicianship with songs like "Re-Construction" turning those vocals and bass up in the mix, and dealing less with guitar soloing or quick chord progressions. The aggression and raw sound of it all is still there, albeit parlayed in a bit different of a manner.
With the two live songs to seal off the package, there's a lot to enjoy for any recurring fan of the band or somebody just now getting in. More a style tweak than general overhaul, the changes made by these Florida ragers have been for the better, and should do nothing if not continue to facilitate the growth of their sound.