Forced Entry "As Above, So Below" CDPosted on Wednesday, May 17th, 2006 @ 11:11am » permalink
Alright, 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!