I’ve gotta say, October was probably the best month for releases so far this year. (Don’t I always say that?) There were several that could’ve been in my top 3 any other month, and many more that I found highly enjoyable. My release list is smaller this month since I’m narrowing down my focus and not doing weekly posts at the moment, but that’s not to say that October is a month to be missed!
As far as the “core” scene goes, we were blessed with loads of great returns from Bilmuri, Boundaries, Counterparts, Fit for a King, The Gloom in the Corner. Outline in Color, Sleeping with Sirens, Varials, and We Came as Romans. Some more well-known acts dropped worth-while albums too such as Architects (trust me, it’s better than you think), Black Veil Brides, Lamb of God, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Death metal groups like She Must Burn and A Wake in Providence brought the heavy and Obsidious and SLWBRN released some really stellar debuts.
Of course, there are loads more that I recommend and I’ve listed them all below. From all of them I’ve picked my top three favorites to share with you.
My Top 3 Albums of October
‘Exile’ by Demon Hunter
I’ve been a fan of Demon Hunter for about nine years now. In fact, their album ‘True Defiance’ is what really got me into heavy metal in the first place so perhaps I’m a bit biased… ok, maybe a lot biased. They’re one of my favorite bands and I own all of their albums (except for this one which will soon have to be remedied). What I appreciate most about Demon Hunter is that they’re not afraid to lean into their melodic side, even so far as to write ballads, which is mostly unheard of in metalcore. I find this facet refreshing, especially when every other band in the scene is trying to get heavier and heavier which, to be honest, can be exhausting. Demon Hunter just writes good songs. Ryan Clark is one of the best lyricists in modern metal, in my opinion, and his distinct singing and screams separate him from any other metalcore vocalist. All of their trademark staples come through again in ‘Exile’, which also happens to be their first concept album. Their heavier side breaks through in tracks like “Defence Mechanism” and “Freedom is Dead” while their melodic side shines in “Silence the World” and “Chemicals”. My favorite track at the moment has got to be “Revolutions” which has a healthy balance of both sides of the spectrum. Moreover, ‘Exile’ contains the most features of any other Demon Hunter album including Max Cavalera of Soulfly, Tom S. Englund of Evergrey, and Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest. In total, ‘Exile’ is a worthy edition to the Demon Hunter discography, proving that good songwriting still trumps whatever the latest trends are.
‘Soul Revolution’ by Fire from the Gods
I recently got into Fire from the Gods in 2021 and I immediately fell in love with AJ Channer’s vocals. His voice is so expressive, it’s like peanut butter, switching between crunchy for the heavier angsty side of things and creamy for the more melodic elements. What also makes Fire from the Gods stand out are their lyrics and message, which are as pertinent as ever in ‘Soul Revolution’. Channer uses his own experience to write anthems against descrimination, intolerance, and hatred, making FFTG one of the most relevant bands today. Sonically, this is a tight album, nothing feels too long or out of place. With groovy verses and catchy choruses, FFTG again incorporates their signature blend of rap and alt metal, contending with the golden days of nu-metal against other rap rockers like P.O.D. and Linkin Park. An emotional roller coaster with tons of rhythm, memorable anthems, and aggressive rapping, ‘Soul Revolution’ is an album not to miss.
‘Pain Remains’ by Lorna Shore
I think I would be remiss if I didn’t include ‘Pain Remains’ in my top of the month list. With new vocalist Will Ramos, Lorna Shore has sky-rocketed in the metal scene by realizing how unique and powerful the deathcore subgenre can be. Their distinctive style of blackened technical symphonic deathcore fulfills all the heavy desires any death metal fan could dream of. Ramos is bar-none one of the best screaming vocalists out there, switching effortlessly between earth-shattering gutturals to mutant shrieks. With that said, I gotta say that my favorite bits were the random guitar solos that popped up every now and again. They were so interesting and perfectly inlaid into the harshness of the constant breakdowns and blast beats. ‘Pain Remains’ is an all-or-nothing album. Either it’s symphonic and beautiful or it’s balls-to-the-wall madness, no in-between. Lorna Shore are truly pushing the boundaries of what can be done with deathcore and that’s why they made top of my list for last month.
Best of October
Week of October 7th
Counterparts – ‘A Eulogy for Those Still Here’ [melodic hardcore]
Illyria – ‘Take Me Somewhere Beautiful’ [post metalcore]
Lamb Of God – ‘Omens’ [groove metal]
Teramaze – ‘Flight Of The Wounded’ [progressive rock/metal]
Week of October 14th
Bilmuri – ‘GOBLIN HOURS’ [pop rock/post hardcore/electronicore]
Outline in Color – ‘Coast is Clear’ [post hardcore]
She Must Burn – ‘Umbra Mortis’ [symphonic death metal]
Alter Bridge – ‘Pawns & Kings’ [hard rock]
Boston Manor – ‘Datura’ [alt metal/rock]
Boundaries – ‘Brightness’ [metalcore/hardcore]
Lacuna Coil – ‘Comalies XX’ [gothic metal]
Lorna Shore – ‘Pain Remains’ [technical deathcore]
Nothing More – ‘Spirits’ [progressive alt metal]
P.O.D. – ‘When Angels & Serpents Dance (Reissue)’ [nu metal/punk/hard rock]
Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Return of the Dream Canteen’ [funk rock]
Sleeping With Sirens – ‘Complete Collapse’ [metalcore]
Varials – ‘Scars For You To Remember’ [metalcore]
We Came As Romans – ‘Darkbloom’ [metalcore]
Week of October 21st
A Wake In Providence – ‘Eternity’ [technical deathcore]
Architects – ‘the classic symptoms of a broken spirit’ [alt metal/hard rock]
Black Veil Brides – ‘The Mourning’ EP [hard rock]
Cabal – ‘Magno Ineritus’ [blackened hardcore]
Crooked Royals – ‘Quarter Life Daydream’ [progressive metalcore]
Week of October 28th
Demon Hunter – ‘Exile’ [melodic metalcore]
Dr. Acula – ‘Dr. Acula’ [deathcore]
Fire From the Gods – ‘Soul Revolution’ [rap metal/nu metal/hard rock]
Fit For A King – ‘The Hell We Create’ [metalcore]
Obsidious – ‘Iconic’ [progressive melodic death metal]
October Ends – ‘Phases’ [metalcore/electrocore]
Palaye Royale – ‘Fever Dream’ [alt rock]
Polyphia – ‘Remember That You Will Die’ [progressive instrumental rock/trapcore]
SLWBRN – ‘Where the Light Can’t Reach’ EP [melodic hardcore]
The Gloom in the Corner – ‘Trinity’ [metalcore]