There’s nothing like opening with a proverbial shot to the temple, which is precisely what Enemy logic do on their album ‘Breakdown of the bicameral mind’ with demented opening ‘the iron law’ leaping out of the speakers with unexpected ferocity. Hailing from Ireland, Enemy logic play melodic death metal (hint: don’t describe yourselves as metalcore – it conjures all sorts of horrible notions of Killswitch engage and you guys are so much better!) in the vein of early In Flames or Unearth and this is their second album in two years, filled with terrace-chant vocals, none-more-brutal riffing and an astonishingly tidy production (although the guitars do sometimes suffer at the hands of the drums) given that Enemy logic are still (inexplicably) unsigned.
Following the immense opening of ‘the iron law’ is the slow, keyboard infused ‘final movement’ which utilises the dual vocal approach to good effect and contains hints of Soilwork’s melodic crunch which is by no means a bad thing – certainly adhering to the European school of melodic death metal is preferable to the endlessly predictable US scene. ‘Heart of stone’ is an album highlight, kicking off with the sort of riff that encourages circle pits while the vocals reach new heights of brutality. Better still, the track boasts a genuinely memorable chorus section which will get fists pumping in unison and the keyboards are used sparingly enough to add a genuine weight to songs without overpowering them completely as they sometimes do in bands such as Children of Bodom. ‘Heart of stone’ just helps to underscore the point that you don’t need a bucket load of cash and endless production polish to turn out heavy and intelligent metal and it’s nice to hear a band who don’t rely on the same old tricks to sell their songs but who offer up a genuinely new interpretation of the melodic death / thrash genre. Speaking of which, ‘the savage mind’ opens with a wonderfully atmospheric keyboard part before the guitars take the whole thing in a darkly melodic direction that mixes as many elements from Dimmu Borgir as it does from Soilwork and the furious riffing introducing the chorus is jaw-dropping awesome as is the multi-layered vocal approach.
After such a complex delight as ‘the savage mind’, ‘distorted process’ is a comparatively straightforward blast through thrash-infused death metal territory which, while perfectly fine in itself, fails to match the dizzying highs of the previous two tracks, although to suffer in comparison to two such strokes of genius is hardly a major failing. ‘Dual diagnosis’ on the other hand swirls in on a strangely melodic and incongruous riff and Enemy logic are off into their own twisted world of metal again impressing with their sheer speed and versatility and the changes of tempo and direction are well-executed and exciting – it’d be great to see the band pull this one off live and the brutal mid-tempo chug that centres the song is a head-banger’s delight. ‘Fall of the sun’ sees the band’s self-confessed Arch Enemy comparisons make more sense with a complex riff and a vocal that sounds like the singers have been drinking some pretty unpleasant acid-fuelled homebrew although the addition of a female backing vocal adds an essentially different touch that marks out Enemy Logic as a band not afraid to try out new ideas and sonic variations on an otherwise well-worn theme. ‘Hostile hallucination’ opens with a rolling drum solo before proving to be the heaviest song on the album as well as simply f***ing awesome – it’s another highlight on an album already packed with highlights and it’s guaranteed to be a pit favourite. ‘Vengence served cold’ gives guitarist Sean another chance to try his hand at keyboards for the gently melodic intro before the band join in with a scathing blast through In Flames territory with harmonised riffs and pounding drumming vying for attention before the vocals kick in and obliterate everything. Final track ‘endless life’ closes the album on a brutal note and it’s an impressive feat that the band have managed to create an album with no discernibly weak moment over its forty minute run time.
Why Enemy logic aren’t signed is a mystery – they could easily go head to head with any of the bands listed here as influences and for a band without label backing to produce an album this powerful and packed with invention is a testament to a group of tenacious and ferociously talented individuals. Moreover the band are currently offering a download of their debut album for free from their myspace site so you can see yourself whether or not my review is justified or the mere hyperbole of a music journalist deprived of sleep and existing on bacon rolls and tea alone. Ultimately, Enemy logic take a genre that has already seen some phenomenal bands (soilwork, in flames, heaven shall burn to name but few) and give it a damned good shake up, throwing in a variety of cool elements while still creating music that’s heavy enough to flatten cities. A remarkable achievement – support this awesome band and check them out now.