Enabler – Flies (The Compound)

Sunday, 22nd December 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

2013 has been a busy year for Enabler.  Flies marks the second EP release for the band this year, following the Shift of Redemption EP and their first release for The Compound.  Enabler plays a blend of metallic punk/hardcore music that truly blurs the lines between each part of their sound.

The EP gets off to a promising start with the instrumental “Switch.”  It has a very memorable hooky main riff yet prepares you for the destruction to come.  “Flies” begins the level of abrasion that will continue through the remainder of the EP.  Plenty of punk and hardcore attitude, throaty shouts, an occasional breakdown, and a slight bit of grind continue through “Meaningless Life,” “Sickened by the Wake,” and “Sleep Forever.”  What is interesting and very welcome is the inclusion of some scorching solos that normally don’t fall into the hardcore by the numbers rulebook.  The EP ends on its highest note with a cover of Sepultura’s “Arise.”  Covers work best when the band embraces the song as their own, and Enabler do just that with “Arise,” cranking up the hardcore brutality and giving the song a newfound sense of attitude.

While there are some very interesting parts to Flies and it’s commendable to see a band not rigidly following the hardcore playbook, in a 13-minute EP there are not enough memorable moments.  Outside of “Switch” and “Arise,” the four remaining tracks are a blur of noisy riffs and monotone shouts.  Even with the inclusion of some unexpectedly brazen solos, it’s difficult to place which of the songs is which, despite repeated listens.

Ultimately, Flies serves as a stopgap between their last EP and their upcoming full length in 2014.  Despite the shortcomings present, it’s nice to see a band that is willing to step outside the hardcore norms.

Enabler official site