Nos' Record Roundup: October

Date:2019-10-22 21:24:20
(A bit early, I know, but there's only one release day left in the month, and I now have all the albums I'm aware of that I'm the least bit interested in. So I figured I might as well do this now.)

October! Finally, the biggest month of the year for releases has come, and it was certainly eventful. There was more quality in this month than the entire summer put together, and I'll admit there were probably even some things I would have liked that I didn't have the time to get around to checking out. Even the stuff on the list, I didn't get a chance to listen to all of them as much as I would have wanted to. That's a good problem to have, but I do wish things could have been spread a bit more evenly through the year.

Busy months like this also make me wonder how people are able to process so much more music than I am. I felt overloaded by October, and yet I know my list will not be nearly among the largest I'll see people talking about. I can only digest so much at a time, so maybe that's why I discard so much as not being good enough. I don't have the time or energy to waste on albums that don't have the potential to grow into something great.

Anyway, on to the list!

Album Of The Month: Dream State - Primrose Path

At the start of the year, if you told me all the records that were coming out in October, there's no way I would have had this circled on my calendar. But as the singles came out, and the continued impressing me, I found myself getting more and more excited. And it was for good reason. This record is amazing, and something rather unique. It lives in a world between alternative and post-hardcore, with a sound that is aggressive and emotional. The songs have big hooks, and a cathartic feeling to them that is uplifting, even as the songs are about dark subjects. I bloody love it.

The good (these are mostly in order):

Michael Monroe - One Man Gang

Of the entire fall release schedule, this is the album I was most anticipating, given how much I love the previous one. This is definitely a bit different, but just as good. Michael's band is on a roll, giving him some great songs that toe the line between melodic rock and old-school New York punk. It isn't fancy, but it's gritty, fun, old-school rock and roll. As high as my expectations were, this met them. Fantastic album.

Ray Alder - What The Water Wants

Hearing this, it crystallized how much I miss Ray in Redemption. I haven't listened to the album with Tom since it came out, but I've been going back to this repeatedly since I got it. Ray's voice has an emotional tone to it I love, and the songs here give me all the good stuff he did in Fates Warning and Redemption, but more focused. I wouldn't have pegged this as a big-time contender, but it is. This album rules.

Eclipse - Paradigm

Erik's done well for himself yet again. I still prefer Nordic Union, in all honesty, but this would be my favorite Eclipse album yet. I like the slightly darker and more subdued tone on some of it. I guess I'm not a shiny, happy song type of guy. Hopefully, Erik isn't going to be pulled back into duty to pump out albums at a stupid pace again. I think having a bit more time helped him.

Alter Bridge - Walk The Sky

They go back to being more song-based rock, and it makes them so much more appealing to me. I didn't like them being so metallic, and I also didn't see the point in it if Tremonti's side project exists, but this album is just right. It's a couple of songs too long, and the production could still use some brightness to it, but it's their best since "AB III", and is every bit as good as that one. Myles hasn't run out of good ideas yet, it seems.

Saint Asonia - Flawed Design

This style of radio rock is totally played out, and horribly generic, but Saint Asonia does it very well. These songs are everything you would expect, but chock full of solid hooks with good vocals. It's a damn solid mainstream record, but I fear it's going to be too bland to stand out from a crowded field. Still, definitely enjoyable.

Metalite - Biomechanicals

Another band in the Amaranthe mold. Another one that's good, but not great. Enjoyable, but probably won't get many spins.

Life Of Agony - The Sound Of Scars

I'm getting a serious STP/Scott Weiland vibe from Mina these days. That was all I could think of listening to this, but really, that's not such a bad thing. It doesn't fit in at all with the album it's supposed to be a sequel to, but I like it on its own. Not amazing by any means, but a solid record all around. Probably the best of their comeback so far.

The Ferrymen - A New Evil

I'll keep this short; Magnus is Magnus and wrote some good (but not great) songs, and I'm dead tired of Ronnie Romero. It would be better with another singer, but still not great.

Infected Rain - Endorphin

They throw a lot of stuff into the mix, and it doesn't all work. However, there's a lot that does, and it's enough to keep me interested in seeing if they can pare things down to a more enjoyable blend. They're a lot like Jinjer (who appear below), but way better.

The Bad:

Jimmy Eat World - Surviving
They are such a hit and miss band. I loved their last album, and consider "Futures" a top five record for me, but the rest of their catalog bores me quite a bit. This falls into that category, with a host of lackluster melodies and boring guitars that are a far cry from their better stuff. I had some expectations, since the lead single was really good, but it's the only good song here. A real waste.

Flying Colors - Third Degree

I knew this was going to wind up here. The second album ditched everything good about them and became boring dad-prog, and so is this one. They're all so talented, and what they come up with is dull and boring. It's not fun to listen to, and it doesn't even have strong hooks to sell the more downbeat feelings. I have no interest in ever hearing it again.

Lacuna Coil - Black Anima

I thought the last couple of albums were pretty good, but this one is just awful. Christina sounds worse than she ever has, Andrea ruins everything, and the songs are lousy on top of it all. It's almost like a soundtrack for a haunted house. It makes me want to run away.

Jinjer - Macro

Like Infected Rain, they throw all sorts of shit into one big pot. Unlike them, their clean vocals aren't as strong, and their melodies are lousy. The death metal stuff isn't worth sitting through without the melodies, so this didn't work for me at all.

The Worst Album Of The Month: Leprous - Pitfalls

What the bloody hell was this? It sucks. It sucks on every level. The production is sterile and numb, the vocals are all over the place, and the songs have no teeth to them at all. It's an album centered entirely around a horrible vocal performance. This goes down as one of the worst albums of the year.

As for November, there's not a lot on tap I'm looking forward to. There's a new Flower Kings album that's trash, but the Pretty Maids album is good. The month is going to come down to how good The Dark Element's album is. If it's anything close to expectations, there's no competition I see for it in the month.
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