Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Retroview: Forced Entry

Two Sacred Reich shirts in the same picture?! Isn't there some kind of law against that?

I grew up in Snohomish County, Washington- about 25 miles north of Seattle. Seattle is a pretty happening town now, with lots of bands, artists, cultural events, and industry icons like Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Boeing and Nintendo headquartered there, but back in the 80s and early, pre-Nirvana 90s, it was different. Back then, it was mostly weird, isolated rednecks that marched to the beat of their own drum. Bands like The Accused, Dumt, Date Rape, and *cough* Bigtop did their own thing and generally attracted almost no national attention. Forced Entry were no exception: they played a pretty unique brand of thrash that wasn't really like anything else out there, and aside from a small cult following, nobody ever really gave a fuck. To atone for my earlier Crazytown post, though, here is a look back at the mighty Forced Entry, my favorite band in 7th grade!

Thrashing The Helpless Down demo / Uncertain Future LP (1987/1989)
Forced Entry started off as a very good, but not super noteworthy thrash band. They were definitely on the heavier end of things, especially for 1989- I'd say they were one notch below Solstice / Demolition Hammer / Malevolent Creation-style "death metal." I put it in quotes because, as Lucho Metales and I often talk about, it really is death metal in name only when you compare it to Suffocation, Internal Bleeding, Pyrexia, and so forth. I'm lumping the demo in with this album because they're mostly the same songs (maybe even the same recordings? I don't remember).

This album is totally good, and you should definitely pick it up if you get the chance, it's just not as mindblowing as their second one! There's nothing wrong with it at all, but it's pretty fun to go down the thrash metal checklist and tick off items one by one:
  • Oil painting on the cover, although they probably couldn't afford Repka so they got their buddy from Edmonds Community College to whip something up
  • Lyrics about toxic waste and mutants:
    Stagnant earth, chemical wastes
    Chaos ruling, it never waits
    Mutant cells, join as one
    Lethal minds spell destruction
  • Picture of themselves looking like they just woke up from a coma, complete with puffy high tops (see above)
7/10 bloody axes

As Above, So Below
Now this is a masterpiece of technical, progressive thrash! Imagine the precision and brutality of Dark Angel with the angular, progressive touches of maybe Cynic or something and you have an idea of what to expect. Although it is impossible without access to the Nocturnus time machine, it almost sounds like they were listening to a lot of Oppressor's "Agony," because the riffs are more than a little bit similar. You might remember the song "Macrocosm Microcosm," which got a fair amount of airplay on Headbanger's Ball, but that song is by far the weakest part of this album. The rest are full of technical, cock-smashing brutality like the lead track, "Bone Crackin' Fever":

The majority of the songs are long, twisting epics with tons of weird syncopation and meandering riffs (in a good way), but they do keep it very real with another thrash staple, the goofy party song. In fact, this album includes not one but two goofy party songs: "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," which is about bongs, administering cunnilingus, urinating on oneself, and other trappings of being a white trash metalhead. The chorus is "Get fucked up!"

The other one is "We're Dicks," which is a song that articulates their anti-authoritarian, individualistic philosophy and highlights their belief in personal freedom. I'll warn you right now that the language is a bit coarse, but if you can handle that, the song is simply splendid.

With an album this awesome, the cover art isn't really critical, but it's a nice bonus that this is a pretty sharp design, all things considered. The composition is a bit static because it's symmetrical, but the use of color is remarkably vibrant for a thrash record in 1991, and I really like the illustration style on the hands.

10/10 bloody axes

The Shore (1995)
Hey, nobody bats 1.000, right? Even the best bands fall short sometimes, and unfortunately Forced Entry is no exception. This isn't bad, but like Uncertain Future, it just isn't that awesome in comparison to As Above, So Below. Like a lot of thrash bands, they tried to slow things down and did a little of the groove metal thing, and nobody wanted that to happen. Leave that to Pantera, the masters of power groove. Forced Entry did it pretty well, all things considered, but it's just not what you came for, you know? I give them a pass on this EP because it doesn't suck, but I wouldn't encourage you to seek it out (and it's really hard to find).

5/10 bloody axes


  1. Thank goodness for the internetz

    I found this out of print classic here:

  2. Well, it's a good thing you atoned for the earlier post. I've never heard Forced Entry, but they sound pretty good. Your taste in metal is certainly there. However, I wonder what traumatic event in your life would steer you to embracing the crazed cock-lusting of Crazy Town. That might be worth further exploration with a licensed therapist.

  3. ian- jamming CxT is likr taking the express train to awesome town! try it sometime!

  4. "I'd say they were one notch below Solstice / Demolition Hammer / Malevolent Creation-style "death metal." I put it in quotes because, as Lucho Metales and I often talk about, it really is death metal in name only when you compare it to Suffocation, Internal Bleeding, Pyrexia, and so forth"

    No need to put it in quotes if you're old enough to know that death metal was there when Suffocation were still in their fathers' balls.
    There's 14 years old people listening to Possessed right now, saying "they're thrash, not death!", but by 1985 standards they played DEATH METAL.
    Same for bands like Morbid Saint, or even Blood Feast.

  5. well i was in 2nd grade in 1985, so i guess im one of "those" people

  6. the shore are bonus tracks on the re-release of uncertain future which is pretty easy to track down.

    and yes i'd second the notion the shore isn't so hot.

    saw forced entry with sacred reich.....awesome live

  7. Forced Entry were the like the Sadus of Seattle, only with more of a redneck factor. After reading your last post on them, Sarge, I scoped As Above, So Below. Shit is the maaaad notes! I love the crazy pick scrape/harmonic stuff Brad Hull does at the end of riffs. Also, to anyone interested in getting the album--



  8. ben, good to know! the only copy of "uncertain future" that i own is a dubbed copy from 1990 or so that's on the second side of circle jerks "group sex," which is deliberately left blank so you can record something on it (which i did).

    asa, totally! that album is seriously mega-underrated. you would think all the proggy thrash dorks on teh interwebz would be jizzing over forced entry at every opportunity like they do about cynic or whatever, but i guess the lack of robot vocals is a dealbreaker!

  9. Hahah! I'm totally listening to Focus as I read that.

  10. Forced Entry was semi big in CT., but The Accused were huge (as huge as hardcore/thrash could get.)

  11. Forced Entry was semi big in CT., but The Accused were huge (as huge as hardcore/thrash could get.)

  12. There was a show on Comedy Central in the 90s called "Almost Live!" based in Seattle. Forced Entry was on quite a few episodes.


    As Above So Below still kills to this day.

  13. thats a sweeeeeet fanny pack that dudes got on

  14. am i the only one that found the name of the band mildly troubling? i always thought that backwoods dudes like this probably thought it was funny that it could mean a break-in...or a horrible description of, well, rape or something.

    either way, i loved watching their video on headbanger's ball back in the day, and watching the guitar player do his everlasting solo as he walked through the streets of seattle.

  15. Much like the cover of "Uncertain Future" these dudes were drawning in the ocean of mediocrity. Sad but true.

  16. "We're a bnuch of dicks, we tell it like it is" ....had it it on tape. classic, not really mind blowing or anything for me but still really good.

  17. Sweet! I always thought of The Accused and Christdriver when I thought "Seattle and metal" which was maybe once every 10 years. This shit rocked! Damn if I don't enjoy a little redneck in about everything.


  18. Forced Entry fucking rules... My Dad is Brad Hull.. We now play in a different Metal band together..

    L.S. Diablo

    Give it a look if your interested.



  19. holy shit, brad hull's son- amazing! your band is pretty sweet, i can definitely hear a bit of your dad's playing in there. tell him that internet metal nerds love him!

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  23. hey man!
    i am also a big fan of forced entry and i regret to myself by not being born as to be in one of their shows.

    after hours of seeking i finally made it to get their demos and albums


    about that dude, riley, such a lucky guy with the posibility to lear those brad's skills that made forced entry so unique

  24. i love forced entry i got to catch a free live show at the mural ampi-theatre back in the early ninties, when uncertain future was the only thing to hear i believe these guys were way ahead of there time and overshadowed by the grunge scene and even queensryche i believe that nevermore was the other band just after the demise of sanctuary. thanks for the blog site on this band a personal fav from my high school daze.

  25. oh yeah dumt as there also i think that forced entry used footage of that show to make the bludgeon video but im not sure (mural ampi-theatre)

  26. Great topic, thanks for taking such good care of this website!

  27. Hey, I love Forced Entry.

    Anyone got an Above, So Below t-shirt they'd wanna sell me?


  28. I'm not certain where you get the Pantera reference when talking about "The Shore". Sounds a little more like what Testament was doing at that time but better...Just my opinion.

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