Forced Entry: As Above,So Below-1991.

Forced Entry:Thrash Groove Metal from United States.


All Fucked UpDemo1987 
Thrashing Helpless DownDemo1987 
Hate Fills Your EyesDemo1988 
Forced Entry / DevastationSplit1989 
Uncertain FutureFull-length1989
Both Parts Live: Northwest Music Video Compilation Vol. 2Split video1990 
Bone Crackin’ FeverSingle1991 
As Above, So BelowFull-length1991
The ShoreEP1995


Colin MattsonDrums (1986-1995, 2002, 2020-present)
See also: Pain Field, ex-Critical Condition
Tony BenjaminsVocals (lead), Bass (1986-1995, 2002, 2020-present)
See also: ex-Critical Condition

Past Members:

Brad HullGuitars, Vocals (1986-1995, 2002)
See also: ex-Sanctuary, ex-L.S. Diablo, ex-Blistered Earth, ex-Critical Condition, ex-Sac Lunch, ex-Soblivios, ex-THUG

One thought on “Forced Entry: As Above,So Below-1991.

  1. bayern, April 5th, 2017

    This band are the least known technical/progressive thrash entity in the annals of US metal. There are hundreds of acts who never went beyond the demo stage, but this one had two full-lengths and one EP released, and yet not many are those who have heard about them. Which is a shame as the guys were one of the pioneers having started as Critical Condition in the distant 1983 although their early style was more towards the hardcore side. This early spell didn’t amount to much, but under the new moniker, acquired in 1986, they accumulated three demos and a split within the matter of two years their consistency paying off as their first official release became a fact in 1989. Unlike the works of Watchtower (“Control & Resistance”) and Toxik (“Think This”) released the same year, this effort wasn’t so much about labyrinthine progressive complexity, but was more on the heavy, stomping technical thrash side with a Bay-Area flair (Testament’s “New Order”, above all) on the more dynamic moments, also recalling another 1989 masterpiece, Nasty Savage’s “Penetration Point” on the more stylish riff applications.

    The debut was a really strong showing providing an ample ground for the band to build on, and come up with something even more impressive. It was the beginning of a new decade which came with its new musical demands, but in Forced Entry’s case this didn’t mean a radical shedding of skin. However, it also meant taking an interesting, eclectic turn, still deeply immersed in the thrash metal idea, but branching out into the unexpected in a vein quite similar to the Finns Airdash (“Both Ends of the Path”) and Stone (“Emotional Playground”), all released in 1991. All the three opuses shifted from the rigorous formula into a more progressive direction which may have delineated their fans including the Forced Entry ones. At least “Bone Crackin’ Fever” doesn’t promise any drastic alterations the guys thrashing with vigour with quirky technical riffs intercepting the moshing melee the leads being another brilliant support with their dazzling near Shrapnel pyrotechnics. The choppy, stop-and-go rhythms of “Thunderhead” remind of the debut and the past few Testament exploits, only more intricate and less predictable, with some aggro-motifs timidly scratching the surface those cancelled by another blistering lead performance. “Macrocosm, Microcosm” starts bewildering the listener from the get-go with sophisticated intricacies, and the rhythm-section only becomes more labyrinthine later on with eccentric mid-paced motifs leaping all around in a charmingly chaotic fashion.

    “Never a Know, but the No” is a fairly cool ballad again following the Testament models in the trend with the heavy parts and the more attached lyrical singing, not to mention the outstanding lead performance the guy easily matching Alex Scholnick himself every bit of the way. “We’re Dicks” deserves its title being a brash hardcore-ish explosion, some sort of a reminder of the guys’ very roots as Critical Condition, having nothing to do with the album’s serious progressive tone. A filler like that can always be excused especially after the following “Apathy” is such a consummate technical thrasher with sweeping crescendos and swirling vortex-like riffage circling the fan with stylish passages galore including the staple stop-and-go gimmick. “The Unextinguishable” is a pounding minimalistic piece with a steady mid-paced main riff its stride “broken” by a cool technical dash which occupies the middle also bringing a hectic quasi-doomy passage after it the latter taking up the whole space in the second half. “As of Yesterday” is the next in line display of technical virtuosity the guys speeding up initially until the trademark heavy riff-patterns and the striking leads return, leaving some space for the technical exuberance at the end. “When One Becomes Two” is a consistent technicaller sustained in a semi-busy mid-tempo manner which gets more jarring with more fluctuating rhythms mid-way the woven mazes even touching Coroner’s “Mental Vortex”; the highlight here and the finest example the band have produced of their attractive less ordinary approach. And also the last one since “How We Spent Our Last Summer” is a friendly, stripped-down thrash/crossover frolicer partly saved by the fine lead participation.

    That last piece also clings towards the filler side making them two here, but in the company of eight pretty strong numbers one shouldn’t frown too much about their presence. The band have given more freedom to their imagination including on the several less conventional riff-formulas encountered, but kudos should be paid to them for staying true to the old school canons in these transformational times, trying to expand upon the template with a few more volatile, less disciplined strokes. The few angrier notes detected also hinted at the guys’ intentions on producing something post-trashy and more quarrelsome in the future, and the fanbase had to wait for four whole years in order to hear the fruit of those intentions. Alas, this 4-track EP would be a total waste of time even for the post-thrash lovers the band trying to blend their vigorous classic thrash approach with the established numetal vogues; not the best “marriage” under the metal sun which logically led to the band’s demise.

    It’s debatable whether the album reviewed here was the band’s peak; it was by all means a step forward compared to the rigid, more orthodox debut, but left a feeling of airheadedness which could have been smoothed out on a potential future recording. Not much to complain here, though, as the whole scene was heading in a similar direction, and Forced Entry could have done much worse than producing a worthy, if not even superior, follow-up to an already good effort. The last “shore” they reached had better be forgotten, though, as this “land” had already been discovered by more diligent, and more persistent “explorers”.


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