Enterprise Earth – The Chosen
Released: January 14, 2022
Dan Watson // Vocals
Gabe Mangold // Guitar
Rob Saireh // Bass
Brandon Zackey // Drums
The deathcore genre decided to decimate 2022 nice and early, all by January 14 apparently. Just ask Fit For An Autopsy (our review here) and Shadow of Intent (our review here). Now it’s Enterprise Earth‘s turn to blow our minds with The Chosen. Oh boy, this Friday’s going to be a big one. The Washington-bred outfit have swung a few filthy tracks our way already, including ‘Where Dreams Are Broken‘, ‘Reanimate // Disintegrate‘ and ‘Legends Never Die‘ – so you know this LP is going to be something else. Pull those goggles down, it’s time to dive in.
One has to brace one’s self before delving into a deathcore record spanning well-over an hour, it’s going to be consuming. ‘Where Dreams Are Broken‘ punches you in the throat out of nowhere. Double-kick drums, thrashy riffs and a groovy-rhythm setting up the opening single as a melodic melter. The intersection of high and low gutturals, along with raspy cleans – will send your mood directly to brutality appreciation. The track is packed with chuggy breakdowns and immense pace, setting up The Chosen to be a massive success.
‘Reanimate // Disintegrate‘ eclipses Meshuggah-esque djenty tones as front-man Dan Watson delivers retching gutturals across the enormous six-minute mathy track. With groovy interludes throughout, Enterprise Earth will keep you guessing on the rhythm. About mid-way through, the carnage pauses and slips into an extended eeriness, which slingshots into a filthy and slow breakdown, eventually sliding back to the pace it started with. ‘Reanimate // Disintegrate‘ will leave you with no relief of consistency as it suddenly ceases again with a wrap-around breakdown before a guitar medley. After hearing this again as part of the album, it leaves a wonder as to whether this is deathcore’s answer to The Dillinger Escape Plan… how mathy is this album is going to be? I’m ready to find out.
I guess Enterprise Earth decided they’re ready to ‘Unleash Hell‘, and that they did with track three. Another six-minutes of mayhem will have you tossing and turning your neck to the lashing pace of filthy djent. Once again, the pairing of inhale/exhale uncleans is a unique polarising energy that sets this band apart from the rest. Tracks like this encompass the personality of the four-piece, as they proudly showcase the obvious djent, the thrash, the technical versatility, and the abstract flow that ensues. Oh, and let’s not forget perpetually juicy breakdowns towards the end – this one’s got it all.
‘I Have To Escape‘ has an ominous intro that’ll have you searching your home for a way to overcome your COVID isolation. The track kicks into bassy melodic chaos, with hooks that’ll slice your neck open once again as crescendo after crescendo hits. The deathcore outfit are not afraid of pushing boundaries, nor are they afraid of sticking to a mould. Channelling a concoction of death metal elements, Enterprise Earth penetrate melody and access unforgiving chaos with bubbling riffs and menacing drums. You’ll need a handkerchief for the forehead afterwards.
After a minute of instrumental interlude with ‘The Tower‘, the boys head to mid-point territory with ‘They Have No Honor‘. Watson really pours it all out with this one, as those double-kick drums return and only rest for a slow hellish section in the lead-up to ongoing chaos. They use thrash-metal as a transitioning feature while turning up the dial to the max. Gabe Mangold sustains a thrash solo that’ll think you’re listening to a Megadeth or Testament record, an impressive inclusion on a deathcore record.
Aside from the title-track later on ‘Overpass‘ is one of the longest songs on The Chosen, lasting a solid eight-minutes. An echoing clean-vocal Metallica-esque intro showcases the softer side of Enterprise Earth, once again highlighting their musical diversity, compared to the average deathcore band. Careful though, after a couple of minutes, the speed-metal kicks in with a lick of djent, and you’ll be locating a new hanky. It’s amazing how Mangold uses the guitar like playdough, bending and stretching his instrument, but respectfully in-tune with melody, direction and narrative. The final third of this monster track turns to into sonic marching of an army before a disgusting breakdown ensues, smashing this delicacy into smithereens.
Ok, so the first half of this album has been mind-blowing, and is easily long enough to be a record in itself. Let’s see what the second half holds. ‘You Couldn’t Save Me‘ boils back into deeply tuning with more proggy-tones, with even more of a Meshuggah sound than before, including vocally, before a brief moment of what may be best described as crust. This song sees the Washington outfit expanse heaviness to its limits, particularly instrumentally. Usually, you’d find the vocalist leading pace in a way, but with Enterprise Earth, there are moments where Watson is simply filling in blanks that the rest of the band cannot possibly fulfil without him. What I’m trying to say is there’s so much room for solos and instrumentals, that this band have created an energy without the constant necessity for a vocalist, whilst remaining stupidly heavy.
Once again, we get a short bathroom break with ‘Unhallowed Path‘, an acoustic interlude that transitions toward the final third of this chaotic record. ‘Legends Never Die‘. Having released this is as a single before Christmas, with some familiar aliencore vibes, reminiscent of our Aversions Crown friends, who would be proud. The song is filled with utter bloodshed, technical chaos and blasphemous breakdowns. In tracks like this, there’s remnants of stylistic experiments from newer age deathcore bands like Shadow of Intent where orchestic elements are used to contrast with the chaos, albeit Enterprise Earth are dabbling, as compared to the former who are known for it.
‘My Blood Their Satiation‘ will consume you with building mystery, until that classic crescendo hits and Watson projects his gutturals beyond ability. They get the djent to kick in at the peak of thrash which takes the hectic nature of this song to the next level – once again with the band demonstrating how to optimise their instruments to perfection. There’s also an insufferable breakdown on this track that will have you shaking your head in confusion at how they keep getting more and more disgusting.
What else has this record got left for us? Surely, it’s reached its peak? Perhaps not. ‘Skeleton Key’ tip-toes in which gives a nod to their more historic sonic styles, particularly with the ongoing breakdown aesthetic. Of course, this is all leading us into the album’s title track, which may be a moment that this has all been leading us toward.
Nine-freakin’-minutes fam, let’s get filthy. An operatic intro leads us into some high-tuned riffs as it feels like a climb to an unknown abyss with ‘The Chosen’. Then Enterprise Earth go blackened. Is triple-kick drums a thing? If it is, then this is it. The quartet pummel the ground with a crossover into deeply-tuned hell. And, as expected, all ceases. Cleans scrape in alongside a steady rhythm, only for a moment though. Then, BAM, chaos once again – it feels like we’re sliding down the other side of what we were climbing, really fast, and really visceral. The transition carries through a couple times more, building many textures into the track, and demonstrating the level of thought that went into the writing. ‘Atlas’ is the end of the ride for us today. An instrumental that bridges the chaos to the calm, and a send-off to a pretty awesome record.
The Chosen is immensely diverse and captures the essence of so many genres. From deathcore to thrash to djent, you’ll be kept engaged across this giant record, spanning over an hour in duration.
Enterprise Earth – The Chosen tracklisting
1. Where Dreams Are Broken
2. Reanimate // Disintegrate
3. Unleash Hell
4. I Have To Escape
5. The Tower
6. They Have No Honor
8. You Couldn’t Save Me
9. Unhallowed Path
10. Legends Never Die
11. My Blood Their Satiation
12. Skeleton Key
13. The Chosen