Monthly Overview – the Best of October 2021

October was an absolutely stacked month for great albums! It was very hard to choose just a handful below. There were so many high quality releases and I know whatever I ended up choosing I’d miss some out that deserved to be highlighted, so I’ve just gone with whatever felt right in the moment – if  had to do this list again, I’m sure there would be some changes. Having said that, all of the below are superlative albums.

Misanthur - Ephemeris

Misanthur’s Ephemeris was a dark revelation. The band’s expressive black metal struck a real chord with me, and their music offers wonderfully crafted soundscapes filled with blackened delights to explore.

Archspire - Bleed the Future

The latest Archspire release displays their mastery of tech death in no uncertain terms. Bleed the Future is a complex masterclass in how to produce music that’s hugely technically impressive, but that also delivers real songs.

First Fragment - Gloire Éternelle

First Fragment also unleashed a tech death monster in October, although one with a very different character. Gloire Éternelle is epic and intense; it’s a near-frenzied shredfest of power metal-esque extravagance set to an extreme metal backdrop.

Black Sites - Untrue

Untrue by Black Sites is, quite simply, a great metal album with great metal songs. One listen should be enough to convince you of the high calibre of the band’s heavy/progressive metal, and repeated listens simply reinforce how good this album is.

Green Lung - Black Harvest

Green Lung’s Black Harvest is an exemplar of well-crafted doom rock. Building on the band’s earlier promise, this new album is jam packed with stellar tunes and more catchy hooks than you can shake a stick at. Green Lung’s second album is a real winner.

Worm - Foreverglade

The punishing blackened death/doom of Worm’s Foreverglade is malignant and evil. It’s also very, very good if you’ve the stomach for it. These fetid swampscapes are lesser travelled, but Worm are the consummate guides, never missing an opportunity for ripe exploration.

Vildhjarta - Måsstaden Under Vatten

We will end with the colossal Vildhjarta and their equally colossal Måsstaden Under Vatten. 80 minutes of crushing djent, immersive ambience, unusual melody, and melancholic atmosphere might sound a bit much, but the band pull it off with skill. An epic, monster of a record.

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