Enterprise Earth's third record Luciferous has held its rank as one of my favorite deathcore albums ever since its release in 2019. I thought the possibility of that record getting shoved off by the band was damn near impossible. With the introduction of vocalist Travis Worland in 2022, the band embarked on a quest for a new sound – an exploration that initially seemed to have an elusive goal. However, it marked the genesis of a formula that finds its ultimate perfection in Death: An Anthology.
I was completely caught off guard by exactly how much I love this record. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a picky listener, especially in the realm of metal. I seem to have ears that just don't grasp onto over-the-top, "sorry about your eardrums" type of noise, prevalent in so many metal genres. But after my fifth listen to Death: An Anthology, this album is already in the running for my top albums of 2024.
I had the pleasure of seeing Enterprise Earth on tour last year alongside Fit For An Autopsy and Ingested, and immediately knew Travis was something special. I have a vivid memory of my jaw hanging open halfway through their first song, feeling myself realize the incredible direction his vocal abilities would take the band. Death: An Anthology emerges as a melodically distinct creature, diverging from their previous works yet retaining their foundational sound.
Before I get deeper into detail, everyone needs to know this is a headphones record. Gabe Mangold, aside from bringing the heat on guitar and backing vocals, delivers prodigious production across every inch of each track, much of which gets lost if you're not set up for it. With each plunge into its depths, Death: An Anthology keeps revealing a treasure trove of intricacies—a kaleidoscope of new sounds, unique harmonies, and diverse tones. What intensified my excitement for this record is the clear meticulous attention dedicated to the intros on every track. Production left no empty space and seemed not to rest until they found a way to inject electrifying energy into each moment.
Something that Enterprise Earth did with 2022's The Chosen that was carried into this record, was the perfectly placed, hard-hitting features. Death: An Anthology boasts Darius Tehrani (Spite), Ben Duerr (Shadow Of Intent), Wes Hauch (Alluvial), and Matthew K. Heafy (Trivium). Tehrani's feature on "The Reaper's Servant" compliments Worland's mid tones with his growls from the seventh layer of hell, roaring "God is not here."
"King of Ruination" has unearthly guitar sliding that feels like its straight from an alien lair while "Malevolent Force" starts with (what I interpret as) a didgeridoo beckoning demons into throes of war. "Blood and Teeth" was the only track that didn't blow me away. Worland's cleans could use some refinement before standing in isolation like they do in this track. "Accelerated Demise" begins with a rock n' roll riff that somehow shapeshifts seamlessly into metallic rhythms while "Curse of Flesh" serves as a deliberate and measured conclusion, a perfect winding down that leaves no melodic stone unturned.
All in all, Enterprise Earth knocked the wind out of me on almost every track and I'm confident it will have the same effect on both new and old fans.