July 12, 2013 | , | 3.5

Enabler, Shift of Redemption

Enabler: Shift of Redemption

Just as Zozobra recently did with their latest EP, Milwaukee’s Enabler has released Shift of Redemption, a four track EP not only announcing line-up additions, but also additions to the band’s sound. New to the group are lead guitarist Eric Dunn and Mouth of the Architect’s Dave Mann on drums. The injection of these guys hasn’t done much to overhaul the group’s scathing and abrasive music, but it has brought in other elements such as a good bit of melody woven into the bruising rhythms and aggression the band showed on their stellar All Hail the Void.

The title track for the EP kicks things off with some off-kilter, buzzing guitars and aggressive drum work. So far so good with the two new guys. Jeff Lohrber’s vocals are as vicious as ever as he barks along with the scattershot of guitar squeals, rumbling bass of Amanda Daniels and the ever shifting tempo. It’s not only a great song, but also one that shows a bit of melody leaking in from the sides — a touch that isn’t wholly unwelcome (I did love the hardcore abusiveness of their last full-length). “Live low” is a massive punk-fueled middle finger to just about anyone and everyone in earshot. It’s more inline with what we’ve heard in past material, but with a bit of an airy feel as the sludge opens up smoothly here and there.

The second half of the EP is comprised of the more post-hardcore driven “Sacrifice” and “Fall Selflessly,” a song that is a complete departure from the other three. It’s filled with melancholy, as it slowly rumbles to life and builds over the first two and a half minutes before settling into a sludgy groove. The track much different than anything else the band has done (on any of the albums I’ve heard anyways) and is probably a preview of the varied sound we can expect on their next full-length.

Shift of Redemption isn’t necessarily an essential release, but it serves as a road marker in the band’s path to their final destination. The changes in the group’s sound on these four tracks are an early indication of what we can expect from Enabler in the future.