Lääz Rockit

Know Your Enemy

United States Country of Origin: United States

Know Your Enemy
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: September 16th, 1987
Label: Enigma
Genre: Power, Thrash
1. Demolition
2. Last Breath
3. Euroshima
4. Most Dangerous Game
5. Shot To Hell
6. Say Goodbye M.F.
7. Self Destruct
8. Means To An End
9. I'm Electric
10. Mad Axe Attack
11. Shit's Ugly

Review by Felix on April 12, 2020.

Guess it is common understanding that No Stranger to Danger achieved the excitement level of house dust, no more, no less. Given this fact, Know Your Enemy was in a relatively comfortable situation right from the outset. Even its incredibly misshapen artwork was ignorable in view of the musical improvement the album featured. And today we know that a multi-colored, miserable artwork is just a trademark of the entire present thrash metal world. Lääz Rockit were just the harbingers of this evolution.

The band had left the barren fields of heavy / power metal. Now the dudes were concentrating on a mix of power and speed metal. The average production failed to lend the material an adequate degree of harshness and today the mix of the album appears antiquated. On a positive note, it’s a brilliant sound for people who like to travel back in time. The first high-pitched screams of Michael Coons will leave no doubt that the traveler has arrived. His vocals are as eighties as possible, a lot of high tones without any form of balancing counterweight. He did not perform badly; one just has to get used to this kind of singing again.

The A side houses the gems of the album. The dynamic 'Euroshima' boasts with a good flow, pretty sharp riffing and an above average intensity, inter alia due to some rumbling double bass parts and a swift mid-part. 'Most Dangerous Game' is one of those tunes which begin like a ballad and end as a vibrant thrasher. 'Last Breath' would have been great with a less stupid, less stomping chorus - its guitar work is solid. Unfortunately, the B side is left out in the cold in terms of gems. The conventionally designed songs get shorter and shorter as if their lengths were symbolizing that the group steadily runs out of breath and ideas. They pass by without outstanding sequences or miserable sections. In terms of style, they are on par with songs of Satan / Pariah, but with regard to the quality level, I see a difference at the expense of the US American quintet. For example, the chorus of 'Self Destruct' is pretty coherent and catchy, but only seen in isolation, because it is poorly embedded into the song. Other pieces also have relatively attention-grabbing parts, but do not form an outstanding whole.

Decide for yourself whether or not you want to (re) discover this so-so work with eight regular tracks, a superfluous guitar solo, a meaningless intro and the oh so funny titled, completely useless outro. Despite a few early highlights such as 'Forced to Fight' from the debut, the band only gained momentum with the release of the fourth, clearly thrashing full-length. Know Your Enemy was a misleading name, because it looks like the dudes were, contrary to the title, not aware of their true antagonists – a certain lethargy and predominantly mediocre songwriting.

Rating: 6.4 out of 10