October tends to be a strong month for new metal releases, and this year was no exception. To start the recap, Fit For a King returned with their new album The Hell We Create. The Texas metalcore band remains reliable in the scene, continuing their trajectory of including a variety of styles within ten tracks, ranging from deathcore to accessible alternative metal. On the heavier side, grindcore trio Cloud Rat continue to impress in the underground. While the band borrows their name from a cute rainforest animal, their new album Threshold is ferocious and nasty, as grindcore should be. The similarly brutal death metal of Ripped to Shreds has also received a lot of attention with their latest, 劇變 (Jubian).
However, if you’re after something more accessible, Katatonia returned with the melodic “Atrium”, their first new music since 2020. Fire From the Gods present a modern take on the reggae-tinged rap rock sound (a style exemplified by bands like Skindred and P.O.D. during the early 00s nu metal era) on Soul Revolution. “8 Billion Rats” in particular is not to be overlooked. As always, the releases explored below range from brand new or underground artists to some of the headliners who continue to represent and carry heavy music forward.
Freedom of Fear – Carpathia
Beautiful cover art is a great way for a band to make a first impression. A striking painting featuring a pair of wolves traversing the snowy landscape of Carpathia foreshadows the harsh grandeur of this record. Formed in 2015, Australia’s Freedom of Fear are a younger name on this list, led by frontwoman Jade Monserrat. The band’s second full-length is primarily melodic death metal, with notable influences from progressive, black and symphonic metal. The sound remains diverse and interesting throughout. For example, the opener “Zenith” is technical death metal in the vein of Obscura or Necrophagist. The title track after that centers the gothic and black metal elements, including choral vocals in the background and blast beat drumming. The album is brimming with technical skill and melodic solos from the band’s two guitarists.
Throughout its 40-minute length, Carpathia varies the pacing and incorporating different instrumental elements throughout to keep things interesting. The music is layered and complex without ever becoming claustrophobic. Softer instrumental sections are interspersed throughout, notable in the songs “Nebula” and “Entities” as well as the two interlude tracks. Overall, Freedom of Fear have crafted a very engaging death metal record, as enjoyable as it is technically impressive.
Love is Noise – Euphoria (where were you?)
Love is Noise, a new band featured previously on here, dropped their fantastic six-song debut EP at the end of the month. Cameron Humphrey, ex-drummer of Lotus Eater, initiated the project after the dissolution of his previous band. Love is Noise is signed to Jason Aalon Butler’s (Pressure Cracks, Fever 333, ex-letlive.) label 333 Wreckords. Single “Movement” also features his vocals.
The first two songs “Nothing” and “Wonderland” are driving, Deftones-style alternative metal, with occasional screams for emphasis. “For You” and the moody title track have prominent shoegaze influences and are slower and more atmospheric. The most experimental track is “thegreatestlove” with elements of noise rock. A hybrid of shoegaze, post-punk and metal, Love is Noise is an absolute must-listen for fans of bands like Loathe and Deftones.
Counterparts – A Eulogy for Those Still Here
This hardcore/metalcore band from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada is known for a consistently strong discography. For several albums, they’ve worked with well-respected producer Will Putney (who is also a member of vocalist Brendan Murphy’s other band END). Counterparts’ seventh full-length, A Eulogy For Those Still Here, is hard-hitting and cathartic.
Overall, there’s a bit more variation compared with its 2019 predecessor Nothing Left to Love. “Skin Beneath a Scar”, “Soil II”, “A Mass Grave of Saints”, and the title track represent the band’s melodic, emotive side. Early single “Unwavering Vow” is the fastest and heaviest track, while the slowest is “Soil II” and the most melodic is the title track. “Whispers of Your Death” is a tribute to Brendan Murphy’s cat Kuma, who is the sole focus of the music video. With a chorus reminiscent of Will Putney’s main band Fit for an Autopsy, “A Mass Grave of Saints” closes the album on a memorable note. Counterparts have added another winner to their catalog.
Lorna Shore – Pain Remains
It’s clear that Lorna Shore is the biggest name in deathcore at the moment. Led by charismatic frontman Will Ramos, the New Jersey band is close to reaching one million monthly listeners on Spotify. They just started a sold-out headlining tour and their album debuted at #150 on the Billboard Top 200, an impressive feat for a band this heavy (and relatively new on the scene). While Ramos isn’t the band’s original vocalist (Tom Barber fronted Lorna Shore for the first nine years) he’s certainly helped catapult the deathcore group to their most successful and well-known era yet. Following the runaway success of “To the Hellfire” in 2021, Lorna Shore shows no signs of slowing their momentum.
Early single “Sun/Eater” is a good indicator of the sound throughout Pain Remains. The standout track, which initially premiered in May, starts with a dramatic symphonic and choral buildup, leading to the furious drumming and brutal breakdowns. Lorna Shore concludes their album with the titular “Pain Remains” trilogy, a seamless composition spanning twenty minutes over three tracks. The first part “Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames” delves into melodic death metal and is one of Lorna Shore’s most interesting moments. Ambitious, intense and densely layered, Pain Remains continues the band’s massive trajectory upwards.
Polyphia/Chino Moreno – “Bloodbath”
Polyphia has explored a variety of music genres through their technical, mostly instrumental guitar-driven sound. On Remember That You Will Die, the Texas-based band collaborated with eight different artists, ranging from hip hop producer Killstation to guitarist Steve Vai. Fittingly named “Chimera”, after the fearsome hybrid creature of Greek mythology, one track seamlessly incorporates trap, metal, and Latin sounds. One particular standout is “Bloodbath”, featuring Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno. The dynamic djent track is driven by chugging eight string guitar riffs. While it starts off with a deceptively calm beginning, “Bloodbath” ranks among Polyphia’s heaviest songs to date. In addition to his performance on the song, the Deftones frontman also wrote the lyrics.
Lamb of God – Omens
Lamb of God, who saw their start in 1994 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, have been one of metal’s big names for a while. This month, the groove metal band released their ninth full-length album – actually their eleventh if you count their covers project and 1999 debut under their initial name Burn the Priest. The band’s core has remained largely unchanged through their long career. The departure of drummer Chris Adler remains their only significant lineup difference. Lamb of God may be a few decades removed from their early underground years, but their hardcore punk roots and ethos remain strong.
Frontman Randy Blythe recently funded a rainforest preserve project in Ecuador and filmed a documentary about the environmental destruction and changing climate in the region, giving real context to the apocalyptic lyrics of tracks like “Denial Mechanism”. His incisive writing paired with Mark Morton’s driving guitar riffs propel Omens, especially standouts like “Nevermore” and “Gomorrah”. Closer “September Song”, featuring strings and a memorable guitar solo, saves the best for last. While Omens doesn’t tread new ground, the band remains a reliable force to be reckoned with. Next they’re getting on a boat…
Chrome Ghost – House of Falling Ash
Finally, we have a hard-to-classify post metal/doom/shoegaze hybrid from Sacramento, California. Chrome Ghost’s influence from the Seattle grunge scene is also prominent, and not just because they did a three-song Nirvana covers EP earlier. The sprawling 14-minute opener “Rose in Bloom” starts off sounding like a Nirvana or Alice in Chains ballad, before a heavy sludge riff enters at the 2:20 mark. The song continues to build and reaches its peak with a growl at the 11-minute mark.
Subsequent tracks continue to build on the foundation set in the opener. “Where Black Dogs Dream” has some Mastodon-style guitar picking and a little Americana influence. The closing title track is the heaviest of the bunch, with more growls than the rest. Consisting of 4 songs ranging from 8 and a half to 14 minutes and two short interludes, House of Falling Ash is a slow-burning, rewarding listen. Each composition is unique, while remaining part of a cohesive whole. Ambient and ethereal at times, while sludgy and foreboding at others, listening to this album is an immersive experience. Chrome Ghost is not a name to overlook.
October Release Tracker
Lionheart/Ice-T – “Live by the Gun” (Oct 4, rap metal/hardcore)
Gaupa – “Moloken” (Oct 5, doom/stoner metal)
Bury Tomorrow – “Abandon Us” (Oct 6, melodic death metal/metalcore)
Convictions/Dakota Alvarez – “Stigmata” (Oct 7, metalcore)
Modern Color – “Greener Grass” (Oct 11, sludge/shoegaze/alternative metal)
Make Them Suffer – “Doomswitch” (Oct 13, deathcore)
Gojira – “Our Time is Now” (Oct 14, progressive metal/alternative metal)
Avoid – “Can’t Take This Away” (Oct 14, punk/post-hardcore)
Foreign Hands – “Tearing Down Your Reality” (Oct 19, metalcore)
Chelsea Grin/Trevor Strnad – “Forever Bloom” (Oct 21, death metal)
For the Fallen Dreams – “No Heaven” (Oct 21, alternative metal/post-hardcore)
Oceans – “I Sing Alone” (Oct 21, nu metal/progressive metal)
The Plot In You – “Divide” (Oct 25, post-hardcore)
Nita Strauss/Alissa White-Gluz – “The Wolf You Feed” (Oct 25, melodic death metal)
Quicksand – “Feliz” (Oct 25, alternative metal/post-hardcore)
Katatonia – “Atrium” (Oct 26, gothic doom/progressive metal)
Vulvodynia – “Artificial Divinity” (Oct 27, brutal death metal/slam)
Avatar – “Dance Devil Dance” (Oct 28, groove metal/melodic death metal)
Crosses – “Vivien” (Oct 28, darkwave)
In Search of Solace – “No Turning Back” (Oct 28, hardcore)
The Wise Man’s Fear – “Mazerunner” (Oct 28, metalcore)
Grief Circle – Weightless (Oct 6, doom metal)
Armed for Apocalypse – Ritual Violence (Oct 7, sludge metal/death metal)
Cloud Rat – Threshold (Oct 7, hardcore punk)
Counterparts – A Eulogy for Those Still Here (Oct 7, metalcore)
Faceless Burial – At the Foothills of Deliration (Oct 7, death metal)
Get the Shot – Merciless Destruction (Oct 7, crossover hardcore)
Goatwhore – Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven (Oct 7, blackened death metal)
Lamb of God – Omens (Oct 7, groove metal)
Queensryche – Digital Noise Alliance (Oct 7, heavy metal)
Suspyria – The Valley of Despair (Oct 7, alternative metal/metalcore)
Wednesday 13 – Horrifier (Oct 7, industrial metal/horror punk)
Alter Bridge – Pawns and Kings (Oct 14, heavy metal/alternative metal)
Birds in Row – Gris Klein (Oct 14)
Boundaries – Burying Brightness (Oct 14, deathcore)
Exist Immortal – Exist Immortal (Oct 14)
Firtan – Marter (Oct 14, progressive black metal)
Girih – Ikigai (Oct 14, instrumental post metal)
Glassblower – Generation Loss (Oct 14, grindcore/hardcore punk)
Lacuna Coil – Comalies XX (redux) (Oct 14)
Lorna Shore – Pain Remains (Oct 14, symphonic deathcore/blackened deathcore)
Outline in Color – Coast is Clear (Oct 14)
Ripped to Shreds – 劇變 (Jubian) (Oct 14, death metal)
We Came As Romans – Darkbloom (Oct 14, metalcore)
At the Graves – Fear is God (Oct 20, sludge/doom)
A Wake in Providence – Eternity (Oct 21, symphonic deathcore/death metal)
Architects – The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Heart (Oct 21, alternative metal)
Battalions – King of a Dead World (Oct 21, sludge metal)
Black Royal – Earthbound (Oct 21, stoner/death metal)
Cabal – Magneto Interitus (Oct 21, deathcore/blackened hardcore)
Crooked Royals – Quarter Life Daydream (Oct 21, progressive metalcore/post-hardcore)
End Archaic – Infected Nature (Oct 21, hardcore)
Freedom of Fear – Carpathia (Oct 21, blackened death metal/progressive death metal)
Full of Hell – Aurora Leaking from an Unopened Wound (Oct 21, hardcore)
Inclination – Unaltered Perspective (Oct 21, straight edge hardcore)
Invictus (Canada) – Unstoppable (Oct 21, groove metal/melodic death metal)
Serj Tankian – Perplex Cities (Oct 21)
Vatic – Mercer 217 (Oct 21, nu metal/metalcore)
Chrome Ghost – House of Falling Ash (Oct 28, doom metal/post metal)
Dead Cross – Dead Cross II (Oct 28, hardcore punk/thrash)
Demon Hunter – Exile (Oct 28, alternative metal)
Despised Icon – Déterré (Oct 28, deathcore/death metal)
Devenial Verdict – Ash Blind (Oct 28, doom/death metal)
Fire from the Gods – Soul Revolution (Oct 28, nu metal/reggae metal)
Fit for a King – The Hell We Create (Oct 28, metalcore)
The Gloom in the Corner – Trinity (Oct 28, metalcore)
Grieve – Empty, Like Me (Oct 28, nu metal)
Love is Noise – Euphoria, Where Were You? (Oct 28, shoegaze/alternative metal)
Obsidious – Iconic (Oct 28, progressive metal)
Polyphia – Remember That You Will Die (Oct 28, instrumental progressive metal/trap/djent)
Psychonaut – Violate Consensus Reality (Oct 28, psychedelic rock/post metal)
Worm – Bluenothing (Oct 28, doom metal)