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Forced Entry "As Above, So Below" CD

Posted on Wednesday, May 17th, 2006 @ 11:11am » permalink

Forced Entry - As Above, So BelowAlright, so many people seem hungry for thrash that I figured I'd throw you another bone this week. Forced Entry was a Seattle-area trio and also the absolute best thrash band that I can think of from the northwest. They formed around 1984 as Condition Critical but had changed names by the time of their second demo a few years later, though they didn't officially debut until 1989 with "Uncertain Future". That first record was awesome, but Forced Entry really hit their stride two years later with "As Above, So Below" (1991, Relativity).

This band is just fucking criminally, criminally, criminally overlooked as far as I'm concerned. Sure, they have their legions of revering fans, but far too many still don't have a clue that they existed. Hell, I myself am still guilty of forgetting about them too often these days. But damn if they weren't an impressively killer band with a pretty original (not to mention diverse) take on songwriting. Despite the writing becoming a bit disjointed at times (tolerably so, under the circumstances), these cats jump around all over the place from exaggerated mosh breaks to ripping crossover-fueled vocal patterns (or the occasional dash of sarcasm) while combining the melody and complexity of the Bay Area kingpins with the meatier crunch of what was happening on the east coast at the time.

There's also somewhat of a Prong-ish sense of groove seeping in on occasion, but you'll also find – on this album in particular – some of the most fucked thrash riffs in the history of mankind. I can barely wrap my head around some of this shit – not so much from a technical standpoint so much as just, like… who the fuck would come up with some of that stuff!? Some of the riffs/solos are just whacked with bizarre harmonics, arpeggios, or queasy vibrato, and with so many changes in each track it can get pretty wild. But it's all simply awesome, and the recording is fuckin' great on this thing, which really allows the guitar parts and basslines to bounce shit off of each other rather frequently.

The more straightforward (yet still impeccable) "Never a Know, But the No" is probably Forced Entry's most "popular" song – somewhat of an incredibly badass "thrash ballad", if you will. But "Bone Crackin' Fever" actually opens the disc with a bang. I mean, what the hell is going with that ludicrous harmonic run during the verse? And those mangled pinch-harmonic/bend things in "Macrocosm, Microcosm"? What the fuck!? You've really just gotta hear some of these little tidbits to get the picture… I honestly can't think of any other band that's done shit that sounds like that.

"Uncertain Future" was on Combat, so it actually got reissued years ago in that series that Century Media's European division did (with the band's final self-released EP, "The Shore", tacked on as a bonus), but sadly "As Above, So Below" never received the re-release treatment that I'm aware of. A damn shame. So, of course it's out of print and relatively sought after these days, meaning that you'll have to scour the net in search of a deal or pay through the nose to get a copy. $17 is about as cheap as I could find one this morning (linked below), so… keep checking eBay if you're hoping to find a bargain. But don't count on it!

@ Amazon.com
@ Half.com

12 Comments...

  1. Anonymous says:

    Z-Rock used to play Forced Entry on their late thrash show a lot. Washington actually had other obscure metal bands like Bitter End and Panic.

    -carlos

  2. Dan says:

    Regarding the reissues: Marquee records has a killer reissue of Torment In Fire and Forward To Termination (42 tracks!!!) with TONS of extras!! They will also be reissuing Soldiers Of Misfortune as well..now if they would only reissue Epidemic Of Violence by Demolition Hammer!! http://www.marquee.com.br/index.asp

  3. broKeNbot says:

    I don't know why I never picked this up! Very catchy, "Bone Crackin' Fever"! Very well produced. Lots of groove, ala Pantera!? Good stuff especially "Never a Know, But the No", that's classic! All the classics always had a "Ballad".
    Keep them coming Andrew!
    Thanx for the Thrash news! This is what I heard on a forum thread: Those albums will be released on a monthly basis, starting from September 28, 2006.
    I can't wait for those Sadus CD's!!!

  4. Paul says:

    Very cool album and sadly underated. I'm definately with you in thinking "As Above" is a bit better than the debut.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Damn..
    I forgot all about these guys! I'm gonna search through my old cassettes and HOPEFULLY I can find it…

  6. AdamXP says:

    FE definitely hit at the wrong time too being that the thrash wave was waning… and were sadly overlooked. When their debut came out back in the day on the Combat, it was a bit of a let down b/c the 2 prior demos, Thrashing Helpless Down and Hate Fills Your Eyes were just amazing (in that raw but classic demo sort of way). The material just did not come across as well on the full-length. Weak recording. Does anyone have copies of these???? MIne were stolen out of my car years back. Someone needs to reissue both of the records with the demos as bonus tracks.

  7. Anonymous says:

    this is good stuff. catchy

  8. i'm digging this. super-squiggly harmonics and a cool bass solo at the end of "bone crackin'".

  9. Zach says:

    I'm not much of a fan of thrash, but holy fuck that is some awesome shit. Ludicrous riffage. I love the main riff for "Never a Know, But the No" even though its not as insane as the other tracks.

  10. Finn says:

    incredible band- i saw them many times back in 90-93 or so, with other great NW bands like Dumt, the Accused, Panic, Rawhead, etc. you're right, they're CRIMINALLY underrated. light years ahead of what most of the thrash pack was doing. really, they almost predate the whole DEP/Converge thing.

  11. schloo says:

    I HAVE THIS TAPE IN MY CAR RIGHT NOW. HAAHAHA.

  12. Anonymous says:

    i couldnt agree more with your review of as above so below,couldnt of said it better my self! bone crackin fever is one of the most awesome extreme energy bad ass songs i`ve ever heard.and innovative/original guitar by brad hull.

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