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4 out of 5 skulls
July 24, 2012 | ,

Enabler All Hail the Void

Milwaukee-based Enabler have just let loose in the wild their sophomore full-length All Hail the Void, a 35 minute long ferocious assault of sludgy hardcore (with elements of crust, punk and death metal thrown in for good measure) if ever there was one. The twelve tracks on this album approach with the force of hail storm pummeling from all sides with an energetic intensity.

Formed in 2009, Enabler features guitarist/vocalist Jeff Lohrber (Harlots, Eyes Upon Separation, Trap Them, Today is the Day, Shai Hulud), guitarist Greg Thomas (Misery Signals, Shai Hulud, The Risk Taken), bassist Amanda Daniels and drummer Andy Hurley (Racetraitor, Kill the Slavemaster, Fallout Boy, The Damned Things, Earth Crisis). The collection of influences that these four individuals bring to the table results in an album that is bruising and addictive.

“F.A.T.H.” plays with you a bit with mellow, acoustic guitar for a solid 38 seconds before rolling drums, crusty guitars and a viciously barked vocal comes crashing in. The track has some serious bludgeoning riffs and heavy handed drum work to get you ready for “The Heathens,” a song that keeps the raucous momentum churning with thick bass, a head snapping rhythm and some off-the-wall guitar work. Despite the all-out aggressive nature of this beast, there’s a churning, undercurrent of groove fueling All Hail the Void that is contagious as hell.

The rumbling bass, twisting guitars and layered group vocals on “Speechless” make it a standout song, as the title track unleashes one hell of a marching riff that will have your local Urgent Care sold out of neck braces in no time. The song also includes some of the more aggressive vocals, especially as the deeper trade-offs come in about half way through. Once the cold atmospheric guitars of “The Live, We Sleep” (one hell of a song, by the way) have passed we’re greeted with a flurry of rabid drums, barked vocals and another series of chugging riffs that stick with you for a good while. “Save Yourself” brings more sonic destruction to the table with catchy drums, churning guitars and an amped up tempo as “Trust” pummels its way through your skull with a fairly straight-forward approach. Album closer, “Funeral Dirge,” is as far removed from a dirge as I think you can get as the song explodes out of the speakers with frantic drums, dizzying guitars and more of Lohrber’s barked vocals.

I had initially passed on reviewing this album. I just didn’t hear much that caught my ear on the first cursory listen that I gave All Hail the Void. Then, not really paying all that much attention, I happened to throw it into the CD player on the commute home from the office and it sparked something while I sat motionless amongst a few thousand of my closets friends — most of whom were probably texting or listening to NPR. It was this singular moment where Enabler caught my attention and have held it ever since. This is one of those albums that just won’t go away. I’ve listened to it over and over for far too long now.

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