Richmond, Virginia is a city with a rich and storied punk rock history. As I type this, I am jumping out of my skin with excitement because as soon as I clock out today, I’m driving to Richmond to see reunited RVA greats Avail, the best live band I have ever seen in my life, play their first live show since 2007. But the city’s scene continues to crank out great music. And today, as it happens, Richmond has given us one of the best hardcore albums of 2019 thus far.
The Richmond band Enforced make a hard, forbidding form of crossover thrash, full of chant-grunt vocals and floorpunch riffs. They absolutely destroy. In 2017, they released the great EP Retaliation. Last year, I saw them rip it up at the Damaged City festival in Washington, DC. And today, they’ve come out with the colossal, enormously satisfying At The Walls, their first proper full-length.
At The Walls hits with all the brutish immediacy of a lot of the best ’80s and ’90s hardcore. There’s not a lot of dynamic range in the record, which is fine. Enforced do one thing, and they do it with spirit and passion and rigor. Most of the songs aren’t new; they’re newly recorded versions of the songs that appeared on Retaliation and on the band’s 2016 demo. But it still plays like a real proper debut album. Dwid Hellion, frontman of Cleveland metalcore legends Integrity, appears on one song, and he also did the album artwork. You can stream the LP below.
At The Walls is out now on WAR Records.