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Enabler - All Hail The Void (7/10) - USA - 2012

Genre: Hardcore / Sludgecore
Label: Southern Lord Recordings
Playing time: 34:32
Band homepage: Enabler

Tracklist:

  1. F.A.T.H.
  2. The Heathens
  3. Speechless
  4. Fuck Today
  5. False Profit
  6. All Hail The Void
  7. True Love
  8. They Live, We Sleep
  9. No Deliverance
  10. Save Yourself
  11. Trust
  12. Funeral Dirge
Enabler - All Hail The Void

ENABLER’s first real release came in the form of the absolutely delectable, mouth-watering "Eden Sank To Grief" – a record high on groove-reliant Sludgecore brilliance and low on bullshit. Two years later they’re back with their second full length – after releasing a collection of splits and an equally exciting four track EP – (can we really call albums of 22 and 34 minute duration ‘full’ length?), this time around, armed with kickass new drummer Andy Hurly of, uh… FALL OUT BOY. Yeah, really, FALL OUT BOY. No kidding. Either way, "All Hail The Void" once again delivers an unrivalled, pummelling assault of Hardcore/Sludge glory! Or does it? I don’t know. 

"…Void" starts out promisingly with the unabated “F.A.T.H.”, which could easily serve as an appropriate soundtrack to a riot-induced apocalypse. Unfortunately, and perhaps inexplicably given that this aggression never falters, there’s blandness to the rest of the album that, while never of anything but high quality, does serve to disinterest.  

There’s a much greater reliance on the downtuned-ness of the instruments to create the element of “heaviness” than the riffs and grooves themselves, which is the main difference, and perhaps weakness, in comparison to "Eden…" Any real comparison that could me made to groove maestros MASTODON or even the groove-laden sludgery of ADMIRAL ANGRY on the basis of that release is absent this time around. There’s a gravitation towards the Hardcore/Grind styling of CONVERGE, whose influence on "…Void" is undeniable – “Funeral Dirge” sounds at times uncomfortably similar to that band’s “Dark Horse”, and there’s a general tonality to the instruments and vocals that can’t be separated from CONVERGE’s sludgier moments. 

The album is not without its charm. The Hardcore swing of the final section of “They Live, We Sleep” into the overpowering gallop of “No Deliverance” marks a return to form late in the proceedings. But for the most part something’s just simply missing, even if I can’t say exactly what…  

"…Void" is, all in all, an impressive sophomore effort, albeit one that fails to capture the excitement of the band’s previous release(s).

(Online July 2, 2012)

Joshua Bulleid



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