I’m always afraid of October. Not because of Halloween, which I despise greatly. Not because autumn in general, which I love. I’m afraid because usually, October is the strongest month of the year in terms of releases, maybe next to March/April. In year two of Covid, you can definitely feel that a lot of artist compensating for the weird situation it brought to us with art, which makes those times a bit easier to bear. So follow me into the rabbit hole that is October’s best releases!
Last year, Atræ Bilis turned some heads with their promising debut EP Divinihility, only to return one year later with their even more impressive full-length Apexapien. And this dissonant and mid-tempo steamroller is hugely epic, making them a must-listen for every death metal fan around.
Releasing a neo-soul album in the same year as Hiatus Kaiyote can be tough, but Dragonfruit are obviously confident enough to tackle that. Gears of the Giant Machine is exciting and compelling, dancing around the sweet spot between intimate bedroom soul and big band extravaganza.
You’re looking for the soundtrack to your next meditation session? Look no further – Light Caught The Edges has got your back. With its hypnotic atmosphere and beautiful layers, From the Mouth of the Sun released an ambient highlight of the year, proving that Lost Tribe is the place to watch for great ambient music.
I’ve been following Luo for quite a while now, and while their releases have always been solid, nothing quite touched the magic they created on their fantastic live rendition of “In The Dark”. When the teamed up with AAC, I was curious, and curiosity gets rewarded. Convoluted Mess Machine at least tickles of the greatness they once reached, presenting one great experience of electronica, fusion, and prog.
After whatever Gojira thought they were doing with Fortitude (I love how every riff sounds the same), I was waiting for a groovy math metal record to fill the void. Thankfully, Hippotratkor seem to be decent people and took the responsibility. They even outdid themselves with Meridian!
Ooof. There is so much beauty and warmth to be found in Ash of the Womb, so much so that every time I revisit this record, I fall back into it’s mysterious world and get hypnotized once again. With a wonderful vibe between Kyuss-ish desert rock and more classic doom, Illudium’s newest album is one of the very best you can listen in the genre this year!
There are some boxes This Wild Life check that should it make impossible for me to like them. On first glimpse, they are a very formulaic, superficial indie pop act. And on second glimpse, this impression stays. Nevertheless, I just can’t resist the incredible catchiness of Ever Blossom, so musical prejudice is once again proven to be at least unreliable.
First off, what a dope-ass name. Secondly, I’m having so much fun with this record. Duck reminds me of a more punky, forward-driven version of Kraus‘ Path, which was one of my favorite records back in 2018. It also made me aware that Kraus released a new album in October, which I’m extra thankful for!
Can we call them a supergroup? The Silver bring members from bands like Horrendous and Crypt Sermon together, picking a few traits from said bands to add to their compelling and interesting mix of doom, dark rock, and black metal. And let me tell you, Ward of Roses is an absolute highlight in the metal world this year.
War-themed metal bands usually gain my antipathy right from the start. The romanticizing of war within metal can feel bitter and kinda twisted, so I was reluctant in checking out The Blind Leading The Blind back in 2018. But 1914 showed me that a band can deal with topics like that in a narratively rich, respectful way, and they continue to do so on Where Fear And Weapons Meet, on top of writing excellent death metal.
Their last album Tambour cloche blew me out of the water with their fantastic textures and intricate layering, and I was eager to dive into Hidden Poeple‘s next album. Comment s’étaient-ils rencontrés ? builds on the dense atmosphere of the duo’s previous work, and I’m in awe of their aural magic.
I was pleasantly surprised by Far In, but not entirely convinced. Nevertheless, I found myself coming back to it again and again, building up a strange fascination with Helado Negro‘s musical world. This is a record that needs your attention and patience, rewarding the listener with great little details and a great artistic depth.
Hailing from sunny California, this black metal duo carries their Swedish/Norwegian influences with poise, creating an outstanding black metal album with Rotting Body in the Range of Light. Feral Season placed themselves on the map of bands to look out for with this great record.
I wasn’t aware of a new Kraus record up until I listened to Porto Geese while researching for The Noise Of. Out of habit, I checked Kraus‘ socials and FUCK YEAH, there is a new album! View No Country is just as great as Path, and I’m more than eager to spend more time with this record.
Masada – II
October 25 // Zegema Beach Records/I.Corrupt.Records/a bunch of others
Swim Camp – Fishing in a Small Boat
October 29 // Know Hope Records
There is this void Young Jesus left with their last album, and I’m very glad to find something in that vein in Fishing in a Small Boat. There is intense warmth to Swim Camp‘s new album. I’m afraid it will be largely overlooked, but if you’re reading this, give it a spin and thank me later!
I never thought we would get a new Vivid Illusion album – after all, it’s been 6 years since the phenomenal Circumnavigation | A. Their new seltitled shows a matured project, capturing all the qualtities of their previous album while adding some new, improved elements to it. Masterful!
What a damn good jazz record. Jazz is all over the place in 2021, and I’m grinningly celebrating the myriad of great records, adding Juniper to that list! The fact that Linda Fredriksson is one of the first openly trans jazz musician I came across, which just adds some more color to jazz. I would love to see more diverse representation in a forward-thinking genre like jazz, since the sky is trans after all.
Thanks for scrolling!