October 31 are an American heavy metal band formed in Virginia in 1995 by King Fowley of Deceased (he isn’t actually deceased as I first thought when I read King Fowley Deceased but is the vocalist/drummer in the band Deceased) and Brian Williams from the Melvins. Joined on Bass by Jim Hunter October 31 started out as a three piece but several line-up changes down the line sees the current line with five members. Now signed to Hells Headbangers they re-released their 1997 debut album and follow up The Fire Awaits you (originally 1999) on 21st January 2014.
The lyrics seem to be mainly based on the Dark Arts – Witchcraft and Sorcery and the Dark Ages – Knights and Swords! Like their first album I picked up similarities to bands such as Megadeth, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden classic heavy metal with lots of screaming riffs and powerful drumbeats. With fourteen tracks I’ll pick out a few highlights/observations.
The opening track The Warlock could be described as Death Metal Sleaze as I picked up similarities to Chicago band Bones, who fit that description although I could tell what October 31 are singing, unlike Bones! The drum beats and riffs are fast, almost brutal, almost punk and this is definitely the highlight track for me. Prelude/Lost City is an epic at nearly eight minutes including a two minute gentle introduction before leading into an almost gothic sound, think The Mission or The Sisters of Mercy. I also picked up the gothic sound in A Million Goodbyes, this track reminding me of a song I used to hear in clubs in the late eighties, Away by The Bolshoi.
There’s an instrumental track included in Vindication and three covers, including Day of The Saxons by Canadian band Witchkiller, I hadn’t heard their version before, so listened to the track on YouTube, and October 31 have done it justice, although strangely I picked up elements of Fallen Angel by Poison in this one. As usual my first listen was in my car, on my commute, and I hadn’t looked at the track list so when it came to I Don’t Know I thought this sounds just like Ozzy Osbourne, which is a good job as it turned out I was listening to a cover of.
Production was a bit shaky in places. For instance, I had to turn up the sound to hear the voice properly on Prelude/Lost City otherwise it wasn’t a bad album, but not as good as Meet Thy Maker hence it gets a lower rating from me.
1. The Warlock
2. Salem’s Curse
3. The Fire Awaits You
4. Prelude / Lost City
5. Voyage To Infinity
6. Day Of The Saxons (Witchkiller cover)
8. A Million Goodbyes
9. Voyage To Infinity
10. The Fire Awaits You
11. Child Of The Damned
12. When Darkness Covers The Sun
13. I Don’t Know (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
14. Public Enema Number One (Iron Maiden cover)
(Tracks 9-14 from Voyage To Infinity demo 1996)
King Fowley – Vocals
Brian Williams – Guitar
Jason Tedder – Guitar
Jim Hunter – Bass
Dave Castillo – Drums
October 31 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/October-31/715270695153791
More information about the re-release of the two albums can be found in our earlier feature: https://planetmosh.com/october-31-to-reissue-first-two-albums-through-hells-headbangers/
Read our review of Meet Thy Maker here: https://planetmosh.com/october-31-meet-thy-maker-re-release/