Enabler - La Fin Absolue du Monde 01Last year, two EPs caught me totally off-guard. For a long time I just couldn’t get on with any form of punk – despite my penchant for good grind – though in recent years my tastes have developed and I’ve been increasingly delving into the –core end of things. But I was totally unprepared for how much I would enjoy Tide of Iron’s split with Grace (The Hard Work EP), and even more so Enabler’s Flies. It’s rare to hear such a well-crafted expression of rage that both captures the fury of hardcore and maintains a catchy punk sensibility. They’d managed to mix together the violent wrath of Converge, the catchiness of Poison Idea, and the songwriting props of Nasum with their own individual flair into a single, wonderful package. Naturally I was delighted to hear they had released their second LP, La Fin Absolue Du Monde, earlier this year, and boy did it live up to expectations.

“Close My Eyes” is quite the opener, instantly demonstrating Enabler’s ability to blend catchiness and aggression to perfection. It’s not the sort of youthful, exuberant anger you get with a lot of punk, either; Enabler’s world is dark and desperate. They’re not here with a positive message of rebellion, encouraging you to fight the system – they’re here to tell you exactly how fucked the world is and how little we can do about it. “New Life” and “Neglect” up the grind content without sacrificing the memorable riffs, before “I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This” gives us one of the best scream-along moments at its climax with the frantic refrain “no future, no fate, there’s nothing but the lies we make.”

“Balance of Terror” offers a brief moment of respite from the onslaught with its slower pace, but is followed by some of the heaviest music on the album in the form of three sub-two-minute songs all designed to grind your face off with increasing violence. We’re then treated to a re-recording of the best track from the Flies EP, “Sickened by the Wake.” It’s another slower song with a hint of groove, and perhaps the catchiest on the record, yet miraculously it manages to impart as much condensed anger as any of the preceding tracks. There’s no justice in the world if this song doesn’t become an extreme metal anthem, it really is that good. Amazingly, Enabler manage to follow up this masterpiece with two equally exciting offerings. “Rain Darkness” ups the pace, building to a wonderful climax, while “Felony” showcases the band’s ability to write brooding epics as well as hardcore anthems and short grind shocks. My only, very minor complaint about the songwriting is that the final two tracks, while both excellent, don’t quite stand up after the preceding trio. Otherwise the songwriting is flawless. Fourteen songs in thirty-six minutes: take note, incorrigible song-padders.

Enabler - La Fin Absolue du Monde 02

It’s not just good news on the music front: the production brings out all the aggression in the performances while allowing the nuances to shine through. The guitars sound huge and filthy, while retaining clarity. The bass is full and fat, drums punchy, and vocals performed with exceptional spite. Of course the whole thing is very dense and compressed, but all of the emotion is preserved and the relative brevity means aural fatigue isn’t really an issue.

I urge you all to go and listen to this record right now, even if you’re not usually into hard/metalcore (it’s on Bandcamp and Spotify so there’s no excuse not to). Ultimately it’s the album I’ve returned to the most this year, and it will take a slew of utterly outrageous December releases to knock it out of my top ten of 2014. I have been enabled!

 Tracks to check: all of them. But if you insist on specifics, go for Close My Eyes,” “I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This,” “Sickened By the Wake,” “Rain Darkness” and “Linear Existence”

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  • I have to admit this one has been on my bandcamp wishlist for far too much, I really liked it at first listen but there has been a lot of stuff in there I really loved and it has been a lesser priority in my actual shopping sprees. I will have to correct that.

  • Luke_22

    Really underrated band and album. I’m not usually into punk/hardcore influenced metal but this shit is just so pissed off and catchy that it’s hard not to get caught up in the rush.

  • brutal_sushi

    Why is AMG ignoring Black Crown Initiate?!

    • Because we’re small and petty and didn’t get the promo.

      • brutal_sushi

        Well now I feel like an asshole…

  • lacsativ

    Does anybody have a list of the 5/5 records rated by AMG?

    • I believe if you click on the 5.0 at the bottom of one 5.0 review like Opeth’s latest one it shows you all the others with the same s ore.

      • lacsativ

        The tags, I see. Thank you, worked like a charm!

  • Tom Busler

    So, basically MEGA THANKION for calling this to my attention. Somehow (probably b/c I’m not normally a -core fan), this band had escaped me for the entirety of their existence, but no longer. This *particular* album slays, but… MY-OH-MY, *All Hail the Void* has more HQ riffs per minute than just about anything this side of *Beneath the Remains*. Perfect tempos, focus on songwriting… a treasured discovery for me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jean-Luc Ricard

      I reckon this is a much better record than AHTV… but you’re welcome, glad you enjoy!

  • Mark Z

    I love their EPs and All Hail the Void, but honestly wasn’t particularly thrilled by this. The production took a pretty big turn for the worse. It’s way too limp and compressed for music like this. The fact that they only
    have one guitarist now hurts them too – I agree “Sickened by the Wake” is a great track, but the version on the Flies EP, with a better production and that solo that busts in midway through, is far superior to the one here. A lot of the shorter songs like “Prey” feel completely throwaway, but even the better tracks don’t match the catchiness and songwriting of the highlights on Void. Oh, and the concluding fade-in/fade-out on “Consequence” just feels so sloppy from a songwriting perspective. I cringe every time. Still a decent record, but a bit of a disappointment for me.

    • Jean-Luc Ricard

      I agree the production isn’t as good as on their previous stuff because of the compression, but it still sounds very good – that guitar tone is fabulous and you get all the righteous ire. Initially I thought the same about SBTW but having listened to them both an awful lot, I prefer the album version. It’s totally stripped down. And I disagree about the shorter songs, they’re well placed and improve the variety and pacing of the record. I guess we can agree somewhat on “Consequence” though ;-)