Enemo J – When Evolution Is Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Evolve

Enemo J (pronounced ee-nee-mo jay) could have fitted in very well with the nu-metal explosion that took the late 90’s by storm. Hailing from the good ol’ north of England, they offer us something different than the current splurge of pop punk that seems to have taken over the airwaves as of late, fitting as the indie record label that they have been signed to is named Say No To Emo Records.

Hailing from Burton-on-Trent, Enemo J consist of duel vocalists Chris and Craig, Broady and Roy on guitars, Simon on Drums with Bucky on Bass. This latest line up of the band has been stable for the past couple of years and has enjoyed success in various competitions as well as playing the prestigious Download Festival in 2010.
When Evolution Is Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Evolve is the bands third studio offering, the previous two (The Angels Will Return For Us and Live By Wish, Not By Hope) were given a fair amount of critical acclaim by publications such as Kerrang and Terrorizer magazines. Now its CackBlabbath’s turn to turn up this album and tell you all what we think!

Sounding like the dysfunctional love child of bands like Korn, Sepultura, Soulfly, Fear Factory and Hatebreed, Enemo J offers us something fresh, yet strangely nostalgic. It has a distinctive Nu-Metal feel to it, albeit less like Limp Bizkit and more like some of the heavier bands that emerged during that time.

The intro track is a 35 second spoken word sample taken from the 2010 movie, Legion. A young girl reminisces about her childhood and her mother’s opinions on God. This intro sets the album up nicely for the hard-hitting riffs of the second track, Our Final Day. If what you were expecting was a quiet, melodic walk in the park you’d be sadly mistaken. The second track pounds in with enough heavy drums and guitar sounds that I believe even the seasoned metalhead would be forced to bang their head. Despite being heavy, it isn’t so distorted as to be uncomfortable. To be honest, the sound sits perfectly between stomping heavy riffs and dirty vocals, and strikingly catchy melodies and extremely distinctive beats I could imagine easily dancing to at a rock club. Until the Light Takes Us carries on with the level of heavy riffs and vocals, yet the chorus is much softer and much more melodic.

You would be excused for thinking that Paige was setting up a ballad from the gentle intro, but again in comes the gritty vocals and thudding guitars. The change of dynamic from swaying in and out of beautiful melodies to the harsh vocals really works well and offers us enough variation not to become bored with the sound. No Enemy follows the same path as Until the Light Takes Us and Paige, however Son of the Elohiem is far more rap orientated. This is by far my favourite song off this album and it sounds like what Machine Heads 2001 album Supercharger should have sounded like.

1012 returns us to the heavier sounds of Enemo J, then Leave Your Ghosts kicks off with a short spoken segment before crashing through with more bone crushing metal whereas Frontlines sets off much in the same way as Paige, softly introducing the song then blasting us with the now familiar heavy vocals and a fair bit of rapping. The last 16 seconds of this song is Simon Pegg of Hot Fuzz fame trying to correctly pronounce Enemo J. The fact that he continuously says Emo J made me giggle.

I enjoyed this album. It was a little heavier than the music I have been listening to lately, but not so much so that I found it painful and incoherent. If you like bands like Sepultura, Hatebreed, Fear Factory, Devildriver and American Headcharge I’d give these a listen. All in all, a great album and I will watch this band with interest. If all goes well, they should be big!