While the rest of the metal world was busy trying to reinvent the wheel, Sweden's Enforcer decided to take a different approach. Rather than worrying about the future, the band embraced heavy metal's past, and in 2004 they formed a band that would bring speed metal back to the world. Founded by guitarist and vocalist Olof "The Enforcer" Wikstrand, the band caught the attention of the underground metal world with their 2005 four-track demo -- it made their reputation and led to their playing and touring their punishing sound on both local and festival stages. Their debut full-length, Into the Night, offered punters fast riffs, extremely high-pitched vocals, rumbling melodic basslines, and thwacking, high-energy drums that settled comfortably alongside vintage bands such as Angel Witch, Diamond Head, Rage, Exciter, and early Iron Maiden, and with their catchy hooks and extreme attack, they found a place of their own inside that vintage sound. Later recordings such as 2010's Diamonds and 2015's From Beyond doubled down on that aesthetic and built upon it, giving them an approach all their own.
The band, consisting of Olof and Jonas Wikstrand, Adam Zaars, Joseph Tholl, and Tobias Lindqvist, channels the spirits of old-school speed metal bands like Venom and Anvil, paying homage to the brash aggression of those metal pioneers without ever feeling ironic. In 2008 the band released their debut, Into the Night, on Heavy Artillery. Enforcer later signed to Earache, which released their sophomore album, Diamonds, in 2010. The following year saw Enforcer ink a deal with Nuclear Blast, which issued their third album, Death by Fire, in 2013, as well as 2015's punishing From Beyond. After a three-year writing retreat with few live dates to interrupt them, the band re-entered the studio and emerged with Zenith in 2019, their first album to feature new guitarist Jonathan Nordwall. The finished album was regarded by most critics as their most ambitious effort to date. In addition to offering a translated cover version of Terminal's "Zadnji Izlet" as "Regrets," they sonically channeled everything from Operation: Mindcrime-era Queensrÿche and Blind Guardian to ABBA and Europe. ~ Gregory Heaney