Evolving from deathcore prospects to one of extreme music's most unrestricted craftsmen, Enterprise Earth has furnished their most comprehensive showing yet with the full length, Death: An Anthology. The album follows the universal acclaim of last year's The Chosen and officially commences a new era for the collective - now fronted by vocalist Travis Worland.
Anchored by the songwriting prowess of guitarist/producer Gabe Mangold and fully executed with cohorts Brandon Zackey on drums and Dakota Johnson on the low end, Death: An Anthology not only asserts the band's progression into new creative terrain, but thematically braves the unknown in its brutal confrontation of our shared mortality.
Further bolstered by an impressive list of guest contributions, including submissions from ben Duerr of Shadow of Intent, Matt Heafy of Trivium, Darius Tehrani of Spite and Wes Hauch of Alluvial, Enterprise Earth have turned a corner in their career with the kind album that will no doubt transcend trends and hold up long after its cycle.
As for the weighty thematic direction of the new album, vocalist Travis Worland detailed how the project afforded some personal catharsis.
"Coming from a heinously religious upbringing and background, death has been at the forefront of my mind since childhood. Going to Hell, going to Heaven, going nowhere at all, being stuck between two polar opposite eternities.
So, I wrote about it. From all manner of perspectives. The death of self, the death of someone or something important to you, the death of a relationship, the death of individuality, fantastical stories of what awaits us when we die.
Death takes many forms and can be spoken of in so many different lights. This is my story of death and dying. This is 'Death: An Anthology'."
In an attempt to better detail the creative roadmap of their latest opus, Enterprise Earth have broken down the album with a track-by-track debriefing - an itemized rundown of how heavy themes and extreme musicality come together in perfect fusion.
In their own words, this is Death: An Anthology from Enterprise Earth.
This track serves a lyrical and musical overture to set the tone for D:AA. We had the idea to start a song a capella to begin the album, originally as a more traditional vocal performance a la Bohemian Rhapsody. However, we decided to utilize a vocoder effect as we felt it lended itself to the overall theme and vibe of the album and also felt a bit more modern. The song then bursts into a massive instrumental section with nearly every instrument and effect in play at once.
"FACE OF FEAR"
This track serves as a sequel to Abyss, carrying instrumental and vocal motifs throughout. Musically, we wanted to start with something chaotic, jarring, yet groove based. Lyrically, it’s about Travis’ fear of drowning in a physical and metaphorical sense. While the song starts with a more dissonant and chaotic feel, after the third chorus it releases into an open, airy, and melodic groove that brings back some of the melody from Abyss.
"THE REAPER’S SERVANT"
We all love old school metal and thrash and this song unapologetically showcases these influences but with modern voicings. Starting with classic thrashy riffage it quickly drops down to low tuned chugs and heaviness that you’d expect from EE, jumps right back up to an 80’s inspired solo, and then ends with one of the biggest riffs and sections of the album which was completed vocally by the amazing Darius Tehrani of Spite.
Lyrically, the song touches on the topic of death from a storyteller’s perspective; waking up in Purgatory and upon meeting a spirit of the realm, learn that in order to earn your salvation you must take on the reaper’s mantle and harvest souls for your place in Paradise. The song stems from a love of fiction and pays homage to Dante’s Divine Comedy.
The bulk of this song was conceived at the same time as Psalm of Agony and The World Without Us but wasn’t completed until our Lake Tahoe writing session in the spring of 2023. Powerful orchestration, big chords, and aggressive, unrelenting riffs. This song was intended to intrigue and command the listeners attention.
The lyrics contain a message about the infuriating struggles of trying for so long to help someone who won’t help themselves, and in turn the hateful destruction of your relationship. The anger that builds upon recognizing their pathetic facade and the negative impact they’ve had on your life. It’s about overcoming and surpassing the old growth of your life and cutting away the dead and dying vines that hold you from true potential.
"KING OF RUINATION"
There wasn’t really any hiding our influences here. Drawing from our heavy Meshuggah influence along with some other great low tuned Swedes (Humanity’s Last Breath, Vildhjarta) we merged that with our own brand of heavy groove. The highlight of the song is the Ben Duerr feature, who wrote his entire part.
The song deals with the death of individuality in our society at the hands of those we’ve entrusted with our livelihood. No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, we are all fed the same shit-filled propaganda and funneled into the system to work, suffer, and die. Like trench knives in surgeons hands, we become brutalized by our leaders and depleted of humanity, sentenced to fight amongst ourselves in chaos.
"CASKET OF RUST"
Sometimes songs write themselves in a few hours and sometimes it takes years for an idea to grow and mature into a full composition. The intro, verse, and chorus were ideas that Travis had in the rifflog for over 10 years and the entire song poured out during our cabin writing session. Every member had a heavy influence on the respective parts they contributed which made this one of the most fun songs to write. It’s definitely one of our “everything but the kitchen sink” tracks as it has a wide array of influences orchestrated into a 7 minute epic. Avenged Sevenfold, Dimmu, Behemoth, Lamb of God, Slice the Cake, Opeth, Meshuggah, and more.
Thematically, Casket is about the death of a relationship. Giving everything you have to something and tearing yourself to pieces, bit by bit, only to forge your own prison cell in the process and become trapped by the love you gave. It changes you forever, and a part of you dies in the sacrifice you make of yourself at the altar of your hope for a better life.
Fun fact: this song started as a grossly bastardized Juicy J trap beat that somehow developed into a metal song. We were not taking ourselves seriously at all when writing this (I’m pretty sure we were all drunk and/or stoned when we started this one) and that’s probably why it turned out so fun and ridiculous. Once Brandon put his groove over the intro melody it turned into a completely different beast. It twists and turns from a melancholy and eerie verse section into a wall of sound chorus and takes a more “peaks and valleys” approach to the songwriting aspect.
Coming from an extremely religious background and upbringing, the lyrics discuss the tyranny and forced servitude that the Christian God has used to subdue humankind. Death of the soul, death of free will, and loss of agency over one’s life and experience on Earth.
An old idea revived from Gabe’s riff graveyard, this song was one of two discards from The Chosen writing sessions that made it on to D:AA. A pummeling and recurring tribal groove motif unleashes into chaos chords and thrash. The clean bridge was written by Dakota and Gabe at 4am in a Walmart parking lot in Gabe’s studio trailer a few hours before Kota’s flight home. It’s the best Walmart riff of all time…Ok, maybe we can’t actually claim that but we’d like to think it is! Wes Hauch’s tasty solo was the icing on the cake and was quite fitting given the aforementioned Walmart bridge was very Wes/Alluvial influenced.
Lyrically it details the silent, dark fight against the malevolent force that is mental illness and namely, extreme depression. A constant cycle, almost ritualistic, of being consumed by your own mind and feeding off its toxic fumes, enveloping your day to day life and feeling unworthy of reprieve. A slow death, grinding you down to nothing, one cell at a time.
Our instrumental prog jam. We’re all music nerds in this band and we wanted to just let loose on a track musically without regard to boundaries. A chicken pickin riff, odd time grooves, and a good ol’ fashioned solo section where Gabe, Brandon, and Kota trade licks. It’s fun, fast, wacky, and yet it’s still aggressive and feels like EE.
"BLOOD AND TEETH"
We were on tour with Shadow of Intent during the fall of 2022. In the Ft. Worth green room there was piano, and Travis is known to noodle on the keys when they’re presented. He came across this melody that immediately hooked me and gave me a strong riff idea so I asked him to record a quick video so we could expand upon it sometime in the future. Fast forward a few months to the spring writing session. We recalled the piano melody intro, adjusted and developed it slightly, and the rest of the song exploded forth. Pulling more into our prog metalcore influences, we also threw in a bit of tech death and down tuned Deathcore in addition to, dare I say, a sexy and jazzy clean bridge. A personal favorite, this song is a real musical and emotional journey.
Lyrically, we come back to the motif that carries from Casket of Rust. This time, diving deeper into the topic of trauma and understanding that the wounds we have suffered will scar and reopen, again and again, forever altering the trajectory of our lives. At times, we beg for death as a result of our suffering, seemingly endless and a constant reminder of the Hell we’ve experienced. The will to live deteriorates, and the threshold for pain dramatically increases as the body and mind struggle to adapt to a newfound perpetual gnawing.
"CURSE OF FLESH"
If you’ve listened to the closing track on The Chosen, Atlas, then you’ll probably recognize the beginning of Curse of Flesh. Atlas was originally intended to be a two part song on The Chosen but we decided to cut part two since that album was already shaping up to be waaaay too long. I’m glad we made that decision as Curse of Flesh became a very fitting closer to D:AA. Starting with the end of The Chosen and ending with the vocoder effect found at beginning of D:AA, it made itself a very symbolic track. Also, seeing Matt Heafy’s raw vocal tracks (that he recorded live in one take on his Twitch channel) was definitely an “oh shit!” moment for me. Not only was having one of my biggest musical heroes and influences on an EE track a massive honor, but he and Trav sounded SO rad singing the chorus together.
The final lyrics: interestingly enough, the chorus was the first set of lyrics that were intentionally laid out for the record. It became the source of the album’s theme and set the stage for the rest to be written, particularly spawning lyrics for The Reaper’s Servant. It closes on the topic of immortality and its consequences. Your spirit trapped in the ether, watching the world you knew crumble and fall away all while reliving your human experience, watching it on loop like a film reel and being left with nothing but yourself and your fragmenting memories. Death is thankfully inevitable, and should be accepted as such but the pain of outliving our loved ones and well, everything else, would be too much to bear and drive any man to insanity.
Death: An Anthology from Enterprise Earth is now available via MNRK HEAVY. Order the album - HERE
Enterprise Earth heads the Death: An Anthology North American Tour with special guests INFERI, Crown Magentar and Tracheotomy. See the complete list of dates and cities below.
4/12 San Diego, CA - Brick By Brick
4/13 Anaheim, CA - Chain Reaction
4/14 San Francisco, CA - Neck of The Woods
4/16 Portland, OR - Dante's
4/17 Seattle, WA - Madame Lou's
4/18 Spokane, WA - The Big Dipper
4/19 Missoula, MT - ZACC
4/20 Calgary, BC - Dickens
4/21 Edmonton, BC - Starlite
4/23 Winnipeg, MB - Park Theatre
4/24 Minneapolis, MN - Amsterdam Bar
4/25 Des Moines, IA - xBk
4/26 Chicago, IL - WC Social Club
4/27 Cleveland, OH - TempleLive
4/28 Detroit, MI - Sanctuary
4/29 Toronto, ON - Hard Luck
4/30 Montreal, QC - Fairmount Theatre
5/1 Portland, ME - House of Music
5/2 Worcester, MA - Palladium Upstairs
5/3 Mechanicsburg, PA - Lovedraft's
5/4 Brooklyn, NY - Meadows
5/5 Albany, NY - Empire Underground
5/7 Virginia Beach, VA - Scandal's Live
5/8 Greensboro, NC - Hangar 1819
5/9 W. Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern
5/10 Jacksonville, FL - Underbelly
5/11 Orlando, FL - Conduit
5/12 Fort Walton Beach, FL - Downtown Music Hall
5/14 Houston, TX - Scout Bar
5/15 Austin, TX - Come and Take It Live
5/16 Ft. Worth, TX - Haltom Theater
5/17 Lubbock, TX - Jake's
5/18 Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
5/19 Denver, CO - HQ