Enterprise Earth have turned grimy death metal into a psychological weapon to drill right to the core of the psyches of those in their way via their monstrous newest album, April 5’s Luciferous. The album quickly proves devastatingly brutal and beholden to no one, pulling from whatever extreme metal styles the band feel most adequately represent their vision in the moment, which circulates around a core of mind-bendingly brutal riffing.
The band have set their music apart by seeming like they want listeners to feel the hit of every note, at least as much as possible. They have pushed their brand of sonically filthy mayhem outward, incorporating a clear epic feel at times reminiscent of “classic” death metal which contributes to the apparent broad psychological scope of their work. They’re definitely not just trying to see how fast they can play their instruments—in the midst of their musical annihilation, they have strikingly asserted themselves with catchy songwriting, at least compared to some alternatives. Even the vocal work packs an ear-catching element of accessibility, with Dan Watson feeling like he’s carefully elaborating on his often bloody lyrical themes even via his shredding screams. The caveat to even the hint of intrigue-driving “accessibility” is that once you enter the place Enterprise Earth and the figure on the Luciferous cover are inviting you to, you get beaten to a pulp.
The band find a kind of meaning in the auditory suffering, but that “meaning” is not that everything is all okay in the end or even that it can be “okay” at any further point. Enterprise Earth have instead packed a feeling into their newest record of utter backbreaking despair that knows no bounds, using the context of epically grueling death metal to elucidate and explore a pervading sense of rot that one need not look too far for these days. They include both terminal personal and larger, societal perspectives on the infectious darkness, as exemplified sonically by their combination of bone-breaking metallic stews with soaring riffing and by their almost surprisingly epic closer, which asks the pointed question of what comes next after what we have done to this planet. They take the destruction and death we’ve wrought as a fact in the rearview mirror we’re indefinitely feeling the shockwaves from.