Enertia – Piece of the Factory (Divebomb Records)Tuesday, 21st July 2015
Friends of mine who like to talk metal shop often discuss bands who fall between the cracks in terms of attaining just credit for solid discographies. Whether not being in the right place at the right time, or performing in a style that’s too light/too heavy/too melodic for the populace to accept, what I like to term the ‘Armored Saint’ syndrome. You can place a number of American groups in this category to one degree or another: Flotsam & Jetsam, Metal Church, and Wrathchild America spring to mind.
Consistently slugging it out in the underground on their self-released terrain since 1996, New York metal act Enertia released a series of albums that delivered killer songs and performances, gaining much acclaim here and abroad. Their street level approach has elements of power, thrash, and groove – never forgetting about the hooks and vocal melodies that are key for long-term retention. Determined to have another full-length on the market, Piece of the Factory as their fourth record comes 11 years after Force – but their label Divebomb re-issued a double album Victim of Thought compilation in 2014 that contains all their material from the late 90’s.
Digging deep into these 10 songs, you’ll find Enertia focused, intense, and perhaps a bit more emotionally aggressive in their output. Vocalist Scott Featherstone (also in Ion Vein) has an amazing range, gritty and low when necessary but easily able to belt out some sinister screams and classic ‘money note’ holds. Mike Howe, Eric A.K. and a little bit of John Bush come up when checking out the anthem qualities of “Demons of Silence” through the more sensitive and commercially viable “Beside You, Beside Me”. There seems to be extra spices of ripe riffing and killer lead breaks to prove Roman Singleton belongs in the exemplary metal hero conversation – merely invest time into “Do It Again” and the mid-tempo chugger “The Prisoner” and set the brain to stun.
The rhythm section of bassist Joe Paciolla and drummer Jeff Daley know when to go full throttle in the power/thrash scheme as well as lay into a solid pocket groove, demonstrating tact and grace for the individual song needs. Favorites change by the day: the riff and rhythm chess match that internally moves the title track as well the driving 6:20 closer “Letting Go” should go down a storm if artists like Leatherwolf, Metal Church, and Wrathchild America mean the world to you… along with a bit of that Texas cowboy stomp that made Pantera superstars.
If this is indeed the band’s final hurrah, Piece of the Factory has Enertia going out fighting, and we wouldn’t expect any other fitting finish.