I really do not know what to say anymore! Metal, especially ‘new’ Metal releases is simply a bottomless pit. I am still reeling from September and the colossal number of albums that dropped every Friday. For example, did you see September 25th? Hell, some 70 odd albums unveiled on that day if you cared to dive in – something for everyone! You would think there would be some respite, but no, October is going to be just as relentless in its pursuit for your Metal attention. For this month’s Event Horizon, I have pared the list down to a manageable 10 selections but could not resist adding another list of notables that should be considered as essential listening over the next 30 odd days! Until November…. Metal, it’s just so fucking glorious!
Enslaved – Utgard
Released: 02 October
Style: Progressive Black Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
In Utgard, ENSLAVED continue exploring uncharted progressive and psychedelic territories – placing them in a unique position of both bearers of tradition as well as explorers into the unknown – propelling themselves into the future, yet honouring their roots.
This is the 9th consecutive album cover artwork done by Truls Espedal – and like the album itself it is definitely on the wavelength of the long-distance pulse from the ENSLAVED generator. It is a piece of art that mirrors a massive concept and a band that is also more lyrically and philosophically inspired than ever before. That Truls is a master of his art is established a long time ago, but he has truly outdone himself on this interpretation of our Utgard. Just looking at how the colors and techniques are used to create the depth and grandiosity of the horizon. The perfect travelling companion into these uncharted territories.” (From Bio)
Hellripper – The Affair Of The Poisons
Released: 09 October
Style: Black/Speed metal
Label: Peaceville Records
Here’s something you might already know – HELLRIPPERis a black/speed metal band based in the Scottish Highlands. You need to take notice! HELLRIPPER have gained a solid following in the underground metal scene over the past couple of years and with the release of the debut album in April 2017, it is only increasing. A live band was assembled and led to several live dates scattered across 2017 and 2018 including an appearance at ‘Old Grave Fest’ in Romania alongside the likes of Necrophobic and Wolfbrigade. 2018 saw the the band sign to US-based record label ‘Reaper Metal Productions’ – a division of ‘Hells Headbangers Records’ and, the release of a 4-track EP in April 2019 through the label followed. The band embarked on their first European tour in April (which included an appearance at the pre-show of the acclaimed Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands). At the end of 2019, the band signed a deal with the legendary ‘Peaceville Records’ for the release of their second album ‘The Affair of the Poisons’ in 2020. The album title itself is based around a real-life 17th Century scandal of murder and witchcraft. The inspired cover artwork is by Skadvaldur. The band will support the release with a number of European and UK dates throughout 2020 and 2021. For a lot of people, this is one of the most awaited albums of the year! (From Bio)
Necrophobic – Dawn Of The Damned
Released: 09 October
Style: Black Metal
Label: Century Media
With thirty years of active, nefarious service under their bulletbelts, NECROPHOBIC are undisputed legends of the death and black metal underground. Formed in 1989 by drummer Joakim Sterner, the Stockholm blackhearts propagated a singular and fearless vision from the very start, confirming their prowess with now legendary debut album The Nocturnal Silence in 1993. Eschewing the self-conscious amateurism and primitive sonics that many of their peers held dear, NECROPHOBIC established a bold and vivid identity of their own, conjuring a densely melodic but endlessly wicked take on macabre extreme metal that countless lesser bands have since emulated.
With guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergeback back in the fold after a five-year hiatus, it was a self-evident career peak for all concerned. Not just the best sounding record of the band’s career, but one of the most monstrously dramatic and destructive records of the decade, it made the prospect of the next NECROPHOBIC album even more mouth-watering. Fast forward to 2020 and chief songwriter Ramstedt has summoned another breath-taking eruption of otherworldly malice, this time bearing the title Dawn Of The Damned. As he states “You can be a pretender and play evil sounding music because it sounds cool. But for me, it doesn’t matter if we sell 1000 records or 100,000 records.” Ramstedt concludes. “This is for real. It’s not pretend, and that’s the difference.” (From Bio)
Rise To The Sky – Death Will Not Keep Us Apart
Released: 09 October
Style: Atmospheric Death/Doom
One-man Atmospheric Death Doom from Santiago, Chile. The album was produced along music producer Filippos Koliopanos (Ocean of Grief), who crafted a powerful yet profoundly emotional sound. The cover artwork and booklet were done by design artist Gogo Melone, who translated the music and album concepts into a genuine piece of art.
Main man, Sergio.G says: “In a post-apocalyptic world, not long away from now, a couple run away from death, which takes the form of many creatures wandering this devastated world. They run around to many places, trying to avoid death, until they find a high cliff where they would be safe. Unfortunately, only he can make it up, while she is not able to climb up, facing certain death in the open land below the cliff. Upon this dilemma, he looks down the cliff towards his beloved one, and chooses to descend only to face death along her, hoping for eternal life together after they die. This was my dream and it is the inspiration for the album you are about to hear.” (From Bio)
Wayfarer – A Romance With Violence
Released: 16 October
Style: Black Metal/Americana
Label: Profound Lore
WAYFARER is black metal of the American West. A cavalcade of fury, melancholia, and dust-laden storytelling; the band is informed by the fierce and adventurous spectrums of heavy music, along with the stark Americana of the “Denver Sound” artists that carved the identity of their home.
In “A ROMANCE WITH VIOLENCE”, their most fully realized effort to date, WAYFARER presents a searing silver-screen requiem for the myth of the West. This new work sees them at their most intense and triumphant, as well as at their most pensive. Bold, rhythmic and riff laden, the band’s pointed expedition across the frontiers of black and extreme metal are tinged with the grit and genuine air of artists like Sixteen Horsepower and Jay Munly, and the majestic heights of the Ennio Morricone/Sergio Leone collaborations. Through seven harrowing anthems of the high plains, the album paints a poignant exploration of heroes and killers, the setting sun on a romantic era, and the shadow it has cast on the world we live in today. (From Bio)
Benediction – Scriptures
Released: 16 October
Style: Death Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
At last, BENEDICTION return to the fold with a crushing new album and an equally impressive line up. When vocalist of over 20 years Dave Hunt announced last summer that he needed time away from the band to finish his PhD, the lads decided not to sit back and wait. With Dave’s blessing, they decided to push on without him. Since they announced the reappointment of Dave Ingram, Vocalist on some of BENEDICTION’s classic early releases such as ‘The Grand Leveller’, ‘Grind Bastard’ and the groundbreaking opus that is ‘Transcend the Rubicon’, often classed as one of the most influential as important death metal releases to date, attention on this cult band has gone ballistic.
The new release “Scriptures” has that typical BENEDICTION Death Metal core, fused with the punk rock anger and attitude, the heavy Metal powertrain riffing that’s become a staple for the band, aggressive monster vocal delivering meaningful lyrics to entice you in, and that groove that only BENEDICTION seem to possess that sets them out amongst the others in their field and has become a trademark of their material over the years. (From Bio)
Armored Saint – Punching The Sky
Released: 23 October
Style: Heavy Metal
Label: Metal Blade
Metal veterans ARMORED SAINT are back with Punching the Sky, their first new album in five years. Punching is their eighth full length, which will be out Oct. 23 on Metal Blade. The follow-up to 2015’s “Win Hands Down” was tracked with veteran producer/engineer Bill Metoyer and bassist/producer Joey Vera and is once again being mixed by Jay Ruston.
“The goal is to write really good music. I know I’m stating the obvious here but that’s about the size of our agenda,” says bassist Joey Vera of the upcoming album. “We’ve been able to shed a lot of expectations that sometimes plague a band like ours that has been around a long time, and we’ve recently moved into a comfort zone with just being ourselves. We have this kind of freedom now that we didn’t really have early in our career, and we can take some chances and make the kind of music that we want to hear. This record is a reflection of where we are at, right now.” (From Bio)
Disrupted – Pure Death
Released: 26 October
Style: Death Metal
Label: Memento Mori
In their endless quest to push and support current underground acts that perpetuate the odor of vintage death metal, on October 26th, Memento Mori Records will release the second album from Sweden’s DISRUPTED, Pure Death, on CD format. The vinyl version will be released by De:Nihil Records on October 9th.
Think Nihilist/Entombed, Interment, Grave and God Macabre with a healthy dose of D-beat à la more recent acts such as Bombs Of Hades or Bastard Priest, and you’ll get quite an accurate picture of what to expect. This is a band that retains the old glory and aesthetics of the Swedish tradition but enhances the sound, the speed and, yes, the heaviness. Time to rot again, only more gruesomely!!! (From Bio)
Convulse – Deathstar
Released: 30 October
Style: Progressive Death Metal
Label: Transcending Records
Finnish progressive death metal veterans CONVULSE will unleash their long-awaited new full-length, Deathstar, October 30 via Transcending Records.
A near forty-one-minute masterwork, Deathstar delivers nine tracks that transcend the boundaries of standard death metal. Fusing the prime tenets of death metal, heavy rock, and prog into something innovative and enticing, the record arguably picks up where the band’s underrated 1994 gem Reflections full-length left off adopting a similar genre-bending approach and modernizing it. (From Bio)
Draconian – Under A Godless Veil
Released: 30 October
Style: Gothic Doom/Death
Label: Napalm Records
Almost five years after their sixth long-player Sovran, DRACONIAN once again cast their breathtaking veil of melancholy over the world. This second full-length release featuring singer Heike Langhans delivers a captivating mélange of dreary doom and contrasty vocals and mixes Heike’s angelic female voice with Anders Jakobsson’s death growls. The one-hour long album, graced with haunting cover artwork by Natalia Drepina, is carrying the legacy of gothic doom metal à la My Dying Bride or Trees Of Eternity into the new decade and will drag the listener into a sorrowful cosmos right with the first notes of the spellbinding opener “Sorrow Of Sophia” that interweaves beauty with crippling depression. After crushing slow rhythms and the fragile “Sleepwalkers” that leads through barren soundscapes, the band – founded in Säffle / Sweden in 1994 – rises up to their best in the nine-minute long ‘Ascend Into Darkness’, which will echo in the listener’s ears long after the final chord has died away. (From Bio)
Other notables this month:
Amiensus – Abreaction (Transcending Records) – 02 October
Monsterworks – Malignment (Eat Lead And Die) – 02 October
Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment (Metal Blade) – 02 October
Ascension Of The Watchers – Apocrypha (Dissonance) – 09 October
Repuked – Dawn Of Reintoxication (Soulseller) – 09 October
Furnace – Dark Vistas (Soulseller) – 09 October
Spirit Adrift – Enlightened In Eternity (20 Buck Spin) – 16 October
Pallbearer – Forgotten Days (Nuclear Blast) – 23 October
Sarcator – Sarcator (Redefining Darkness) – 30 October
Stalker – Black Majik Terror (Napalm) – 30 October
Evildead – United $tate$ Of Anarchy (SPV/Steamhammer) – 30 October
Carefully considered and selected by K-MaN
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.**