Sworn Enemy is finally back with their newest record in nearly five years with Gamechanger, which will arrive on April 5th via M-Theory Audio. This is an intense release that will bring those of us in our 30’s and 40’s back to the glory days of NYHC crossover.
The first thing that came to mind when I heard Gamechanger is that I was feeling the same vibe when I heard Biohazard’s Urban Discipline. Urban Discipline was a gamechanger in itself at the time and the same can be said for Sworn Enemy’s (aptly titled) work. It’s that perfect combination of hardcore, thrash and groove – with heavy breakdowns and copious double bass. I will admit that this is one of the strongest, most well put together crossover records I’ve heard in nearly decade.
While those of you who regularly read my work know I’ve been rather critical of Machine Head’s Robb Flynn these past number of years, I must say, that as a producer, he might have found his true calling. Without any doubt whatsoever, the production on Gamechanger – does exactly that – it changes the game and raises the bar. Additionally, Zack Ohren’s engineering is perhaps the best I’ve heard on a hardcore record. What really stands out is Taykwuan Jackson’s drums. Wow! Ohren should be giving others lesson on how to record drums in this genre. But overall, the mix is so well done and every instrument shines.
“The Fall of Modern Man” is an intense track with some meaty interplay between the drums and bass that lays down some heavy groove that is able to nest Sal Lococo’s vocals and the guitars brilliantly. “Seeds of Hate” is a song where Matt Garzilli and Jeff Cummings shine on guitar. But quite honestly, all the tracks on this record are intense and carefully crafted. There’s no filler here, there are no toss aways. Sworn Enemy took their time with this record to make it the right way, and it is just so evident in every single track.
If you’re into Madball, Biohazard, Terror, Pro-Pain, Leeway and the 90’s more metallic turn in the NYHC scene, this is a first day purchase. Better yet, pre-order it now.