November, the last big release month of the year, is now over and with a great slew of releases in its belt. With each new month I have been more and more impressed with all of the amazing albums and EPs that have come out. November has stayed true to that pattern and I’m happy to share with you my favorite releases of the month.
Over the course of November’s 30 days we witnessed the return of some iconic rock and metal bands such as Disturbed, Devin Townsend, and Nickelback as well as YouTuber Jared Dines’ first solo album. In the metalcore realm groups like Abbie Falls, Avoid, Borders, Oceans, Stain the Canvas, and Tallah released some real bangers, while deathcore bands such as Chelsea Grin, Diamonds to Dust, Ten56, and The Last Ten Seconds Of Life brought the heavy with their respective records. Pop-punk acts like Action/Adventure, Magnolia Park, and Youth Fountain reminded us that alt music can still be fun while He Is Legend brought their own southern twist back to alternative metal. Northlane and Mammoth WVH both dropped deluxe versions of their latest releases, and Wolves at the Gate used the holiday season to introduce a great Christmas EP. I’d also like to point out several lesser known groups, mainly Citadel, Rogue Half, and The World Without Us, who kept the scene fresh and vibrant. Overall, November was a very impressive month full of firsts for me.
As always, there is much more great music from November than the ones mentioned above. I’ve chosen my three favorites, but I believe that all of them listed below are worth a listen. Enjoy!
My Top 3 Albums of November (in alphabetical order)
‘Suffer in Hell’ by Chelsea Grin
‘Suffer in Hell’ is my first outing with Chelsea Grin and with only 8 songs, closing out at a clean 26 minutes, ‘Suffer in Hell’ isn’t a lengthy album, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in face-melting blast beats and breakdowns. It’s also the first part of a double-album experience that will be concluded in March 2023. Vocalist Tom Barber screams a gripping and energetic performance, each growl more guttural than the last. The album is full of groovy riffs and catchy lines, especially in tracks like “Origin of Sin” and “The Isnis”.
Since I started diving into deathcore at the beginning of 2021, my biggest problem with the scene has been that the music often feels contrived, as if each band is trying to outdo one another with “heaviness”. Eventually, most bands end up sounding the same and tend to run together, not actually leaving much of an imprint behind; the wall of sound turning into white noise. Not so with ‘Suffer in Hell’. In fact, I would say that the shorter length has kept it distinct, and its memorable hooks elevate its replay value. With a punchy mix, well-written structures, and groove-centered riffs, ‘Suffer in Hell’ is a great introduction for me into Chelsea Grin and makes me want to go and check out the rest of their discography.
‘Dark Sun’ by Dayseeker
Like the previous album, this record is my first time exploring the music of Dayseeker, and boy, was I moved. It’s been awhile since an album hit home like this one has for me. It’s not as heavy as my other two picks, and it seems like a lot of people were thrown off because of that, but the honesty and truth in the lyrics moved me. Much of the lyrics focus on the death of vocalist Rory Rodriguez’s father as well as his journey in becoming a father himself. I think that’s why this album stuck with me. I am very close with my own dad, and this album has put things into perspective for me. My grandpa passed away less than 3 months before I was born, and since I was his first child, it left my dad fatherless before he even became a father himself. Being a brand new dad, I cannot imagine doing this without having my own dad to lean back on and that’s why this record resonates with me so deeply.
Musically, it’s on the simpler side, but it allows Rodriguez’s stellar vocal performance to shine all the more. He holds some of my favorite chorus melodies of the year with songs like “Homesick”, “Crying While You’re Dancing”, and “Afterglow (Hazel’s Song)”. Tracks like “Dreamstate” and “Neon Grave” still have some grit to them and the electronic layers throughout are breathtaking. ‘Dark Sun’ is an emotional rollercoaster and one of my very favorites of the whole year. Definitely worth a listen if you’re a fan of metalcore or posthardcore. It makes a great soundtrack for driving late at night or in the rain.
‘Amidst the Hallowed and Vanquished’ by Diamonds to Dust
November was apparently a heavy month for me, because two out of my three favorite albums are deathcore records. Just like the other two albums, this was my first full dive into Diamonds to Dust and I am very impressed. For a 13-track long album ‘Amidst the Hallowed and Vanquished’ doesn’t feel that long. Though Diamonds to Dust exceeds at being as heavy as a lead hammer, they do a great job of switching it up from time to time, sometimes throwing in some cleans, spoken word, or even rapping. Vocalist Christian Roche shows real dynamics with his screams, from screechy highs, to full mids, to indiscernible lows, all of his tones are astounding, rivaling the best of the best, which is especially impressive for a sophomore outing.
On a personal level, I grew up listening to christian rock and christcore. There are a lot of great bands from that sector, but outside of Impending Doom and Becoming the Archetype, none of them particularly nailed the modern death metal/deathcore sound very well. Diamonds to Dust is just what the scene has needed for years now, brutally heavy, balls-to-the-wall deathcore with crisp, modern production. I’m in love with this record and I’m excited for the future of Diamonds to Dust.
Best of November (in order of release then alphabetized)
Week of November 4th
Avoid – ‘Cult Mentality’ [nu metalcore]
Citadel – ‘Decompose’ [progressive metal]
Dayseeker – ‘Dark Sun’ [post hardcore]
Devin Townsend – ‘Lightwork’ [experimental rock]
Disillusion – ‘Ayam’ [progressive metal]
Ingested – ‘Ashes Lie Still’ [death metal]
Magnolia Park – ‘Baku’s Revenge’ [pop punk]
Rogue Half – ‘The Middle Distance’ EP [alt rock/metalcore]
Slowly Slowly – ‘Daisy Chain’ [pop punk]
Turnover – ‘Myself in the Way’ [indie rock]
Varia – ‘Awakened by the Setting Sun’ [post hardcore/metalcore]
Windvent – ‘Rhema’ EP [metalcore]
Youth Fountain – ‘Keepsakes & Reminders (Deluxe)’ [pop punk]
Week of November 11th
Abbie Falls – ‘Hell is Other People’ EP [metalcore/deathcore]
As They Burn – ‘Ego Death’ EP [nu metalcore]
Chelsea Grin – ‘Suffer In Hell’ [deathcore]
Epica – ‘The Alchemy Project’ EP [symphonic metal]
He Is Legend – ‘Endless Hallway’ [southern alt metal]
L.S. Dunes – ‘Past Lives’ [post hardcore/post punk]
Mammoth WVH – ‘Mammoth WVH Deluxe Edition’ [hard rock]
Northlane – ‘Obsidian – Deluxe Edition’ [industrial metalcore]
Void of Vision – ‘CHRONICLES III: UNDERWORLD’ [electrocore]
Week of November 18th
A Titan a Deity – ‘Descendant’ EP [metalcore]
Action/Adventure – ‘Impostor Syndrome’ [pop punk]
Borders – ‘BLOOM SEASON’ [alt metalcore/rap]
Cold Kingdom – ‘Life//Love’ [hard rock/alt metal]
Disturbed – ‘Divisive’ [hard rock/nu metal]
Gatherers – ‘( mutilator. )’ [post hardcore/emo]
Jared Dines – ‘the grey’ [metalcore/deathcore]
Nickelback – ‘Get Rollin’’ [hard rock]
Of Truth – ‘Not The Same’ [post hardcore]
R3VO – ‘Fireflies’ EP [progressive rock]
Soen – ‘ATLANTIS’ [live progressive rock]
Stain the Canvas – ‘All Fine / eniF llA’ [alt metalcore]
Tallah – ‘The Generation Of Danger’ [nu metalcore]
Ten56 – ‘Downer, Pt.2’ EP [nu deathcore]
The World Without Us – ‘Silver Tongues’ [metalcore]
Wolves At The Gate – ‘Lowborn’ EP [metalcore]
Week of November 25th
Alda Sky – ‘A World Divided’ EP [metalcore]
Carnivora – ‘Petrichor’ [groove/death metal]
Circles – ‘The Stories We are Afraid of, Vol. 1’ EP [progressive alt rock/metal]
Clairvoyance – ‘Hades’ EP [metalcore]
Diamonds to Dust – ‘Amidst the Hallowed and the Vanquished’ [deathcore]
The Last Ten Seconds Of Life – ‘Disquisition Of An Execution’ EP [deathcore]
League Of Distortion – ‘League Of Distortion’ [alt metal]
Marked as an Enemy – ‘Meanwhile’ [metalcore]
Oceans – ‘Hell Is Where The Heart Is’ [nu metalcore]
Once Awake – ‘Once Awake’ [melodic death metal]
Our Mirage – ‘Eclipse’ [post hardcore]
Next I’ll be working on my Album of the Year posts, so stay posted for those! ‘Til then, I’d love to hear about your favorite albums from November in any genre, and what albums might make it to your Album of the Year list.
Remember to find me on social media to stay updated and continue the conversation. Have a great week!