October File - Our Souls To You
Hardcore-infused Industrial Metal
Disc 1: 11 songs (1:01:00) Disc 2: 10 songs (54:00)
Release year: 2010
October File, Candlelight
Reviewed by Goat

Striding masterfully onwards, October File seem somehow even more intense on their third full-length, building on 2007's excellent Holy Armour From The Jaws Of God and consolidating their reputation as the band of choice next time you need something to blast at a political rally. After all, with the demise of the mighty Ministry, a rabble-rousing band to make you headbang whilst you march is sadly lacking in the Metal world, and October File more than have what it takes. They sound like Killing Joke gone Hardcore playing with latter-day Ministry at their angriest - yet don't mistake that 'Hardcore' monitor to mean that they're a Hatebreed clone. Instead, the band are more like an intelligent Industrial band stripped of their electronics and playing with Punk Rock intensity. Almost constantly mid-paced but never less than crushingly heavy, the music is pounding and intense, shout-along songs mixed with atmospheric dirges to create a deep and interesting album.

Part of what makes the band great is their ability to write great, crushing riffs, and match these to an aggressive vocal attack. Of course, John Watt's capably diverse percussive attack works wonders, and the songwriting is stellar, but it's Ben Hollyer's gruff vocals that really keep you coming back for more. Crawl kicks the album off in style, soon followed by Corporate Evasion's pulverising groove and scorn for political elites, whilst the slower and slightly more atmospheric and melodic pound of Falter is sure to get heads banging. All tracks flow wonderfully and feel natural next to each other, and there's little filler - although I would like to see a bit more variety. The nine-minute Dredge does amazing things with deceptively simple tools, a mid-track melancholic dirge, yet expanding the band's palette a little more would make it even better. Being fair to the band, Proggy touches do pop up here and there, the first part of the title track especially with its varied eastern and liturgical chanting, sampled voices and shouts of 'fuck!' Yet for the most part Punk Rock directness drives the band, and the likes of Eau Du War and the two-minute A Public Display Of Anger are very enjoyable as a result.

Interestingly, the quality of tracks holds up even deep in the tracklisting. Isolation's intense churn is great, whilst September sounds like Napalm Death in their mid-90s groove period - in a good way, of course. The heavy and depressing Love Is (A Warm AK-47) has a clunky Godflesh grind to it, and Our Souls To You (part two) closes the album with some rhythm-section-driven instrumental rocking. There's a second CD, featuring an alternate version of the album mixed by Justin Broadrick, and it has a rawer, more 90s feel which makes it a great companion piece for the curious. It is shorter than the other disc by a track, and probably won't take priority over the main mix for most people, but is nice to have. All in all, this is a great package - the band are supporting Fear Factory on their upcoming UK tour, and are probably even more incendiary live. Recommended.

Killing Songs :
Crawl, Falter, Dredge, Isolation, September, Love Is (A Warm AK-47)
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by October File that we have reviewed:
October File - Holy Armour From The Jaws Of God reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
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