February 5, 2009 | , | 4

Enemy Reign, A Means to a Dead End

Enemy Reign: A Means to a Dead End

Featuring former Skinless vocalist Sherwood Webber, Enemy Reign‘s debut EP delivers five solid tracks of bludgeoning, grinding death metal that will leave you face down in a pool of your own blood. Tearing through the five songs in just over 20 minutes, Means to a Dead End combines blasting guitars, grind influenced rhythms, Webber’s guttural vocal dominance and a good bit of bone crushing grooves.

For a self-financed debut effort, Means to a Dead End has a pretty damned good production. Each track has plenty of power and oomph in all the right spots. Guitarists Nick Guenther and Justin Lascelle deliver a bruising cascade of riffs and leads while bassist Cassie Begay and drummer Andon Guenther drop some heavy-as-hell grooves capable of leveling city blocks. Wrap it all up with Webber’s stellar vocal range and delivery and you’ve got yourself a debut EP to rival most full lengths.

The opening track opens with a huge scream and then explodes into a manic frenzy of drums and layered screams. Webber’s guttural delivery mixes in well with the driving riffs and furious rhythms. The groove really sets in nicely after the one minute mark. Man, the combination of Webber’s growls with the backing screams makes for one evil sounding song. The drums will sand blast the flesh from the bone especially when used with the sick lead just before the three minute mark. I don’t think you can do much better with an opening song than this one — it’s full throttle all the way through.

I love the riff work that opens up “Isolate” as the rhythm builds in quickly to a pummeling pace. The vocals are a bit more midrange for the main delivery, but do dip into guttural depths to great effect. This one has a sense of urgency as it carves its way into your skull through various orifices. The layered vocals give the song some tremendous depth. There are more tempo changes throughout this song that even the most ADD affected metal head will have trouble keeping up.

Means to a Dead End
The title track starts off with a nice thrash influenced riffage/drum combo that settles into a grinding groove rapidly as the vocals come in. This track tears through riff after riff as Enemy Reign throw haymakers from every direction with blasting drums, vocals change-ups and distorted guitars. Man, the chorus is catchy as fuck even with the building rhythms and riff on top of riff.

Throw Myself to the Wolves
“Throw Myself to the Wolves” opens up a massive can of whoop ass with as it explodes immediately from the speakers. Deep, guttural vocals trade off with mid-range growls as the rest of the band bludgeoning each other over the head with their instruments. This track is full on grinding death metal mayhem at its best. Overall, I think this song’s rhythms and crushing guitar work make it my favorite by far. It’s a non-stop, barbaric affair and I love every minute of it.

The final track on the debut EP starts out a bit lighter, but no less aggressive with some memorable riffing and drum work. Several tempo shifts will leave your cerebral cortex a coagulation pile of fetid organ matte after this track is over. Layered vocals, thundering rhythms and driving riffs give way to evil, spastic layered leads around the two minute mark. The breakdown that follows isn’t huge, but carries the momentum along nicely into another series of slick riffs and rapid fire double bass eruptions. The track ends with layered screams and seriously massive riffs.

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I’ve got to tell you, man… I haven’t heard this good of a self-financed debut EP in a long time. Enemy Reign‘s caustic blending of grind and death metal may be par for the course in this particular genre, but their furious delivery will leave competitors in the dust, licking their wounds. Means to a Dead End is anything but that for the band. It’s just a small taste of what’s to come from the band and be warned, they will be recording their proper full length this year.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: