October File

Our Souls To You

Written by: PP on 06/05/2010 00:16:31

I'm in the mood of reviewing ambitious releases today, so I figured I might as well go for October File's third album "Our Souls To You". But unlike the Carach Angren record I just reviewed, October File doesn't rely on theatrics or dramatic effects. They rely on brute force encapsulated within a carefully constructed, progressive hardcore / post-hardcore hybrid sound that's characterized by scrupulously constructed build ups of darkened atmospheres, unleashed on the listener through the ferocious vocal rage of Ben Hollyer. "Our Souls To you" is a brooding, morbid album that doesn't give a shit about today's current trends, and instead travels its own path within the hardcore genre.

"Crawl" opens the album with driving hardcore riffs and the fierce, uncompromising yell of Hollyer. It immediately lets the listener know that "Our Souls To You" is a record that attempts to capture a real feeling, one of stubborn, steadfast rage, very similar to the type of mood their British colleagues in Gallows and The Ghost Of A Thousand have gone for on their latest album, respectively. "Corporate Evasion" in particular will remind you of the similar simple-but-effective hardcore punk riffage of the latter.

October File, however, are a much more varied band. "Our Souls To You (Part 1)", for example is a progressive piece, bringing into mind how Converge opened up "No Heroes" with "My Plagues" in terms of how much thought has been put into developing the soundscape slowly to the eruption point. October File obviously do it much more extensively than Converge, given the seven minutes of all-instrumental build-up, before the band launches directly into "A Public Display Of Anger" with Hollyer screaming "there's no washing in the holy water" as the opening line of the song. The instrumentation borrows bits and pieces from punk and metal, bringing into mind the fiery hardcore punk of Gallows (on "Grey Britain") or The Ghost Of A Thousand (on "New Hopes, New Demonstrations"), but only briefly because like I mentioned before, October File barely sound like anyone in particular. The thing is, where else can you hear the roots of original hardcore (Black Flag) meddling with progressive elements, modern production, and metallic, at times even industrial soundscapes? That's why it's difficult to pigeonhole October File into just hardcore like you can do with Gallows and The Ghost Of A Thousand. Their approach is a tad bit more ambitious (yes yes "Grey Britain" was ambitious as well) because of how varied the structures used are throughout the album.

For the best songs, check out "Falter", "A Public Display Of Anger", and particularly the last track "Love (Is A Warm AK47)". Because if October File's past albums haven't convinced you yet that they belong to the elite of the resurgent British hardcore scene, then these tracks--and the whole of "Our Souls To You"--will.

7

Download: A Public Display Of Anger, Love (Is A Warm AK47)
For the fans of: Gallows, The Ghost Of A Thousand, Black Flag
Listen: Myspace

Release date 05.04.2010
Candlelight Records

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