Album Review: The New Enemy – “Evolve to Destroy”

The New Enemy
Evolve to Destroy

The New Enemy is a Toronto band with heavy riffs in a crisp post-hardcore sense. They have two full lengths and two other EPs; pushing since 2008. The other releases are a little more punk but maintain their multi-influenced sound. Mostly The New Enemy embraces the start-stop alterna-metal punch. With many influences, each song is different from each other, never mind the albums.

The first opening riffs of “Broken Wills” quickly take hold of the listener. That slow, dirge groove is rollicking. Quicksand, and even Stillsuit, is drawn upon hear with a Helmet Betty injection. The time changes of the drums.

An angrier, faster, crustier groove pushes the second track, “Dark Side of the Swoon” (cool name!). There is a taut tension here; that while may not be rigidly, definable genre; it rocks. A lsower tempo (short) draws the end inward, but stays rough. Again, a quicksand comparison is inevitable.

“Benevolent One” Brings a two-step hardcore feel of a Rise Against; and then I see the final track, “State”, is 88 Fingers Louie cover. So yeah. The first minute and a half is punchy in an Ignite way. This is catchy without being poppy, The chorus would get a venue hopping ang and singing along. This is truly infectious while remaining heavy and confrontational. That attitude fits the lyrics, begging you to listen and think. At that 1:40 mark, though, the song stops dead and changes completely. Some melodic, layered singing takes over. A slow, drawn out part takes over for a few until the main, plodding riff revisits with an amalgam of all three sections. The vocals are scratchy growls (which is good to me). That saves this song I think.

The title track, “Evolve to Destroy”, is a weird fella. The bass is more noticeable (always my favorite part) and paired with the mid paced drums. A quick burst of sped up punk takes center stage. This song is definitely written like a modern hardcore song. The time changes that bandy definitely keep it interesting. Lyrics of how humans are destroying the earth and more are repeated in an angry roar.

The New Enemy pulls many influences but stay consistent, which can be tough execute. They enlist splashes of melodies, but refrain from clean singing (thank god), always employing a snotty punk growl. The opening tracks post-hardcore influence is shed rather quickly as the EP moves forward. The hardcore punk (such a wide term) takes center stage for the majority. The production is clean and tight. The whole sound definitely starts with a Fat Wreck Chords 90s feel; I can ear Good Riddance and NUFAN. But TNE, I think, stays more relevant and significantly less repetitive than those comparisons (I have a few songs by each band I like but I never liked full albums).

Oh and it has a cool cover. I have always loved the impact of black etching. And here, it helps the idea behind the music resonate.

You can buy this on Bandcamp for Name-Your-Price; except all money towards the digital will be going to a Canadian Cancer Society (Music 4 Cancer). Which is undeniably awesome. Bands can inspire and challenge with their music but TNE is doing something. A limited 7” is also available, hand numbered to 200 copies for $5. (Hutch)

RIYL: Quicksand, Stillsuit, Gallows, Rise Against, Sick Of It All, Ignite, Only Crime

Purchase Evolve to Destroy here.

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