Saturday, December 07, 2013

October 31-Meet Thy Maker (2014 Re-Release)

Hells Headbangers

Originally released in 1999, and serving as the full-length follow-up to the October 31 album "The Fire Awaits You", "Meet Thy Maker" is a case study in how take something that was good (ie: This band's already distinct take on horror-themed traditional heavy metal) and make it ever better! This sophomore release saw the band, which was lead as always by Deceased's King Fowley (vocals and drums), add a rhythm guitarist to the fold by the name of Kevin Lewis (Cryptameria, Nailhead and Overlord). The "two guitar attack plan" allowed for more versatility all-around out of October 31 and it certainly seems as if it helped to light a creative fire under guitarist Brian "Hellstorm" Williams because his lead solos here are nothing short of bad ass! With bass duties being taken care of once more by Jim Hunter (While Heaven Wept, Twisted Tower Dire) this new four-piece brought a shit-load of enthusiasm and energy to the party making the difference between album number one by October 31 and album number two stick out like a sore thumb! Things get turned up to 11 (I love you Spinal Tap!) as King Fowley takes his boys on a journey into the heart of darkness all while tearing the f**k out of anything and anyone that comes in their way! These four gentlemen serve up a huge can of whoop-ass by means of this wicked combination of "Killers"-era Iron Maiden,  "Painkiller"-era Judas Priest and"South of Heaven"-era Slayer! If all of that sounds cool on paper just wait until you get a load of it in live, dripping buckets of blood baby, color! If the original album wasn't cool enough (I mean, it came with a snapping Saxon cover in the form of "Power and the Glory" folks so what more could you ask for????) this upcoming re-release will also feature bonus material including the group's 1998 EP, "Visions of the End"! That alone would make this re-issue a real treat (especially as this bunch pulls off a smashing cover of  Lizzy Borden's "Give 'Em the Axe" on said EP!), but then you also get the following bonus material as well:
1)"When Darkness Covers the Sun" (which was recorded during the sessions for "Meet Thy Maker" and is one fiery slab of primitive heavy metal goodness!)
2) A 1997 demo version of "The Chosen One" 
3) A 1999 demo version of "Meet Thy Maker" with Chuck Parsons on lead vocals (Very cool and gritty version to boot!)
4) A live version of "The Chosen One" from 2000 with Shawn Pelata on lead vocals (Again, a cool version that is raw, but real and very METAL if you know what I mean!!!)

So, what it all comes down to is this. With this upcoming 2014 re-release of "Meet Thy Maker" Hells Headbangers has delivered the goods as far as choice bonus material and this is a MUST OWN for fans of October 31! With a new album also scheduled for 2014 it looks as if good things are in store for King Fowley and his crew although (and I hate to say this as I am really starting to dig this group) the chances of October 31 suddenly having a breakout moment are probably slim. This sort of heavy metal comes from the heart and is wicked cool, but let's face it today's kids just don't seem to be all that interested in "normal" heavy metal anymore. Instead of having it served straight-up it has to be mixed with this or that which is a shame as October 31 has so much to offer metalheads who like their metal with muscle and menace! Still, I'll keep on shouting from the rooftops about this kind of traditional heavy metal until my dying day because it's in my blood and a band like October 31 fills me with warm feelings! Yeah!

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Blogger Kevin Lewis said...

Hey man, Kevin Lewis here, just saw the review of the re-release, thank you so much! I truly loved my time in the band, and love the fact that a new generation of fans are going to get the opportunity to crank some ripping metal!

7:25 PM  
Blogger Kevin Lewis said...

Great review man, always nice to find appreciation for such a fun album to record. We were firing on all cylinders at the time, and those tunes still stand up 15 + years on!

7:28 PM  
Blogger Kevin Lewis said...

Great review man, always nice to find out people still appreciate the hard work we put into this album! Two of us lived over 360 miles away, and commuted back and forth every two weeks for several months to rehearse and record, but man was it worth it!

7:29 PM  

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