Taking two and a half years to write and record “Bloodlines” having formed in 2016, Enquiry Within have a reputation for playing their own special blend of Metalcore and Thrash. They are based on the outskirts of London and comprise vocalist Jacob Waller, lead guitarist Dan Lewin, drummer Henry Waller, bassist Jon Cresswell and rhythm guitarist Phil White. All the bands members contribute backing vocals, except the drummer with the core writers being Lewin and the Waller brothers.
No, opening track “Blind” has nothing to do with anyone from Bakersfield California. So put that thought away straight away. Instead Jacob Waller harnesses his inner thoughts and produces a vocal style akin to Soil frontman Ryan McCombs while the band scream the backing vocals over an infections Thrash Groove Metal riff. It’s pretty obvious from the start of the album that this is a band you’d expect to win the annual Metal 2 The Masses event and win a place on stage at Bloodstock. Not just because of the skills on show but also because they have a sound which has a broad appeal, Hard Rock fans should love this as much as your old school and new school Metal Heads. The opening track has an easy sing-a-long ability without being cheesy while the solo is in Avenged Sevenfold territory. Turning left, “Hunter” has an Industrial Metal start without any programming and a Rammstein esq opening verse. The song builds from that base into something more akin to their core sound while telling the story of a Terminator like being from whom you can not escape as it hunts you down for the kill.
“Battle Torn” comes across like a Kill II This track, again, no programming but a an Industrial Metal guitar sound and chant of “he’s the leader, the great disciever” in a fist pumping chorus while breaking away for a ripping solo that you wouldn’t expect to fit the style on paper, but does perfectly. “Wasteland” returns to the stylings of “Blind” with a rich Metalcore lead flourish running the show and some freer feeling kit work in galloping style. There are a few hints at Power Metal influences throughout the album and this cut with its bright elongated solo is no different when coupled with the story tellings of the vocals. “Bloodlines” brings to the table a big bass sound with acoustic guitars before bursting into life with a solid riff, pick slide and bloodcurdling roar. There are some cannibalism inspired lyrics like “We shall eat your flesh and drink your blood” during the epic grandeur which raise an eyebrow but like the cheesiest of Horror films, it’s all good fun.
Turning over the page, “Warmonger” is a song about having a leech in your life, someone who your grow to hate and sucks the life blood out of you. We’ve all had that experience at some point and some more Avenged Sevenfold styled riffs and a slick solo mean the track has an awful lot to offer. “Watch It Burn” could be retitled “Watch Me Burn”, it’s introspective lyrics another twist in the tale that make for a varied and interesting listen. Make no mistake, this isn’t a Nu-Metal track, but a thunderous modern Metal piece of work with oceans of headbangability. “War” harks back to the early 90s for some nostalgic Metal sounds that claim “We are the War!” and allow Cresswell his own bass solo. The buried gang chant will no doubt be much louder in the live arena but it’s minor point when they close the album on a stand out track [7/10]