A little piece of Arvika, Sweden paid a visit to the city of Philadelphia when the Enforcer + Warbringer tour stopped by The Foundry on October 1st. After starting their 54 date tour on September 5th at the Brick By Brick in San Diego, CA, the two heavy metal groups have been entertaining audiences all over the USA.
Although the Enforcer + Warbringer bill might be new to The Foundry stage, this is not the first time these modern day heavy hitters have shared the stage together. The two bands actually toured together three years prior back in 2016 with special guests Cauldron. Although setlists and catalogs have changed as new music from each band is released; the one thing that hasn’t is the totally badass-ery these two groups bring to the table when they’re together.
The night started out with the local opener Night Mission who play shows all over the Philadelphia + Delaware area. The band put on a pretty compelling performance filled with a wide variety of well written heavy originals. They even threw in a cover of Judas Priest‘s “Breaking The Law” which was a nice touch to their set and got the audience revved up for the acts to come. (To get more information on Night Mission, feel free to check out their Facebook page HERE).
Next up was Warbringer which I’ve never actually had the opportunity to see before. The Napalm Records signed thrash metal band made up of John Kevill, Adam Caroll, Carlos Cruz, Chase Becker, and Chase Bryant definitely live up to all of the hype. Since their formation in Newbury Park, CA in 2004, the band has shared the stage with every iconic thrash band known to date, along the likes of Megadeth, Obituary, Overkill, Kreator, Muncipial Waste, Arch Enemy, Iced Earth, and more. They even recently played Thrash Domination 2018 with both Testament and Exodus. It’s pretty obvious that they’re barbarous sound contains a myriad of kick ass influence from all of those they have had the opportunity of sharing the stage with.
Throughout their career, Warbringer has released five full length studio records and two EP’s.
On this most recent co-headling tour with Enforcer, Warbringer continues to carry the thrash metal torch and bring raging riffs and ferocious vocals to stages across the globe. After warming up the crowd with the Motörhead track “(We Are) The Road Crew” (RIP the great Lemmy. We miss you always), their set opened up with the ever-so-heavy “Remain Violent” that started with Kevill giving himself one last pump up and running on stage. And just like that, the show was off with a bang. The band played a wide variety of songs from their catalog including “Prey For Death” off of their 2009 record “Waking Into Nightmares“. They also dove into their most recent track “Firepower Kills” (the only new track they played that night) which only saw the light of day for the first time on September 25th. This single foreshadows the release of their sixth studio album which is set for release in February of 2020.
When Warbringer were ready to end their set, the crowd littered with metalheads old and young, wearing battle vests adorned with the many patches of literally any metal band you can name, chanted, “ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG!” They were lucky enough to be gifted with three. (“You wanted ‘one more song’? Well how about three?” — John Kevill).Warbringer closed out their set with “Silhouettes“, “Woe To The Vanquished“, and “Living Weapon“.
To close out the riff filled night was Swedish metal band Enforcer who are currently riding on the wave of their most recent release, “Zenith“. Known for their 80’s-esque style and sound, Enforcer fit perfectly alongside classic bands like Exciter, Accept, Anvil, and other notable speed metal groups. They’re also considered apart of the NWOTHM (New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal) as their music is pretty reminiscent and seems to be heavily inspired by the representative metal bands from the 70’s and 80’s. You’ll even note that the name of this most recent movement is evocative of the notorious NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) movement that occurred in the mid to late 1970’s.
Although I was a casual fan prior to seeing them at The Foundry, Enforcer‘s live show without a doubt sealed the deal for me. Their set began with the track “Destroyer” which faded into my one of personal favorites from Enforcer, ‘Die For The Devil’. As the opening track of “Zenith“, “Die For The Devil” has everything that you could ask for in a classic heavy metal track. From the immediately recognizable crunchy riff, to the melodic and catchy chorus line, everything about this one makes you get lost in it.
Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Olof Wilkstrand not only looks the part of their 1980’s speed metal inspiration with his leather pants, bleach blonde hair, and accompanying sweatband, but also has the incendiary tenor voice to match which is showcased in high vibrato screams like in the beginning of “Undying Evil” (from their 2015 record ‘From Beyond‘).
SkullFist‘s very own Johnny Nesta is also appearing in the Enforcer line-up on this current tour and was sure to bring his smiles and passion with him. Watching him perform was nothing short of a blast as he truly seemed to be enjoying every single second. And of course, the night included some epic stage chemistry between Nesta and Wilkstrand, and Nesta and Chase Becker (who actually also is sharing double duty as he also performed in Warbringer earlier in the night).
One of the best parts of the entire show was watching a young boy, at the oldest maybe 13, head banging and singing each and every word. Although metal shows may not as highly attended in the United States like they are in South America or primarily ANY part of Europe; I do have to say that metal shows have the most passion no matter where you are in the world.
The night finished with Enforcer‘s encore which included the track “Katana” as well as “Midnight Vice” which keeps the classic and memorable speed metal vibe continuing right until the very end.
All in all; this Enforcer + Warbringer co-headlining bill was one hell of a show for a warm October night in Philadelphia. The true fervor existent in each band, each member, and with each and every track shows their true devotion to their craft and their passion for continuing the art of heavy metal for years to come.
If you’re looking for a fun night out with some good old fashioned thrashing to further instill hope of a rock and metal future, be sure to check out this show when it comes to your city. The trek continues on for both Enforcer + Warbringer for the next twenty days until they reach their last stop in Tempe, AZ on October 28th at Club Red.
See both Warbringer and Enforcer‘s setlists for their show at The Foundry on October 1st, as well as a full list of tour dates left on this current co-headlining tour below:
1. Remain Violent
3. Descending Blade
4. Demonic Ecstasy
5. Firepower Kills
7. Prey For Death
8. Living In A Whirlwind
9. Combat Shock
11. Woe To The Vanquished
12. Living Weapon
2. Die For The Devil
3. Searching For You
4. Undying Evil
5. From Beyond
6. Bells Of Hades
7. Death Rides This Night
8. Zenith Of The Black Sun
9. Live For The Night
10. Mesmerized By Fire
11. Take Me Out Of This Nightmare
13. Midnight Vice
UPCOMING TOUR DATES
10.9 — Indianapolis, IN — Black Circle Brewing Co.
10.10 — Atlanta, GA — The Masquerade
10.11 — Durham, NC — Motorco Music Hall
10.12 — Winter Park, FL — The Haven Lounge
10.13 — Margate, FL — O’Malley’s Sports Bar
10.14 — Ybor City, FL — Crowbar
10.15 — New Orleans, LA — Southport Hall
10.16 — Houston, TX — Scout Bar
10.17 — San Antonio, TX — The Rock Box
10.18 — Austin, TX — Come and Take It Live
10.19 — Dallas, TX — Trees
10.20 — Merriam, KS — Aftershock Live Music Venue
10.21 — Tulsa, OK — The Shrine
10.22 — Oklahoma City, OK — 89th Street
10.23 — Albuquerque, NM — Launchpad
10.24 — Denver, CO — Herman’s Hideaway
10.25 — Salt Lake City, UT — Liquid Joe’s
10.26 — Las Vegas, NV — Backstage Bar & Billards
10.27 — Tuscon, AZ — The Rock
10.28 — Tempe, AZ — Club Red
Have you seen Enforcer + Warbringer on their current 2019 tour? If so, be sure to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts are and your personal highlights of the show!