This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #84, the Monster issue. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.
Everyone knows October is the scary month, so naturally the country is fascinated by Donald Trump. If Trump were a metal band, he most likely be Steel Panther – but that’s probably giving him too much credit.
Donald Trump isn’t joking. He’s not wearing a costume and his campaign is no act. This Halloween, the scariest thing is imagining a Trump presidency.
So please, do your part and vote for this guy. Or this guy. Just whatever you do, don’t vote for Trump. In the meantime, here’s all the latest and very best metal of the month that’s fit to print. All praise Black Phillip.
Metal Album of the Month
Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
The mighty Swedish pioneers of extreme polyriffery are back and, if the 4 years since their last record Koloss taught them anything, it’s that staying true to their sound while exploring a fresh expression of it is non-negotiable. On that count, The Violent Sleep of Reason is extremely successful. The 10-track full length comes in at just under an hour and is their first record recorded live since the None EP in 1994. It sounds huge, uncontrived, relentlessly brutal and totally uninterested in current trends in metal.
Mouth of the Architect – Path of Eight
2006’s Time and Withering and 2008’s The Ties That Bind helped cement Mouth of the Architect as a capable force in the experimental post-metal sludge scene. Path of Eight catapults them into a place with no rules with a full on concept record played out across eight songs.
LISTEN: FULL ALBUM
The Best Metal of the Month
EVERY TIME I DIE – LOW TEENS
Low Teens finds the almost 20-years running quartet at the absolute top of their game – grinding, primal, and with nothing to lose. Jump to the 2:18 mark of “The Coin Has A Say” to see why (though the whole song, and album, are great).
ALCEST – KODAMA
Before there was Deafheaven or Astronoid, there was the almighty Alcest. While the French duo unintentionally started the blackgaze craze in 2007, they’ve grown increasingly into their own sound with each release, and Kodama is no exception.
ANCIIENTS – VOICE OF THE VOID
Vancouver four piece Anciients largely followed a Sabbath meets vintage Mastodon playbook on its debut full length, Heart of Oak. Their sophomore record finds them exploring darker, more wide open spaces, more akin to Mastodon’s 2009 Crack the Skye, but with even more moody variety.
THE DILINGER ESCAPE PLAN – DISASSOCIATION
It’s tough to listen to Dillinger Escape Plan’s 6th studio release knowing it’s their last, at least for the foreseeable future. The near-legendary post-everything quartet deliver one of their finest records in Disassociation, from its sterling production to its desperate, vein-popping performances.
RED FANG – ONLY GHOSTS
For every thousand sludge metal acts out there, there’s Red Fang, the alpha stoners of the genre. Sounding like perfect blend of Relapse Records, Portland and Pabst Blue Ribbon, most of these guys are probably old enough to be your Dad, even if they still act like junior high kids pimping beer outside the gas station.
GIRAFFE TONGUE ORCHESTRA – BROKEN LINES
Turns out if you combines members from Mastodon, The Mars Volta, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Alice in Chains and Dethklok, you get something decidedly awesome and entirely different than you might expect.
CHARRED WLLS OF THE DAMNED – CREATURES WATCHING OVER THE DEAD
Famed producer and guitarist Jason Suecof (The Contortionist, Trivium, The Black Dahlia Murder) and vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest) have joined forces to create a thrashing mix of death metal and traditional NWOBHM that actually works. Think Chimaira meets Priest and Dio.
LISTEN: “THE SOULLESS”
PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS – PREY
As if resurrected from the dead, Planes Mistaken For Stars have returned with their first album in 10 years. Their last release, 2006’s Mercy, was ridiculously heavy and Prey picks up where it left off, turning in one of the band’s most accomplished albums to date.
LISTEN: “FUCKING TENDERNESS”