Many moons (presumably some of them of the weeping sort, we would assume) ago, we announced our collaboration with f.y.e. for the Decibel Meter, a monthly collection of titles to help keep CD/vinyl shelves bursting with the latest extreme titles from all across the metal landscape, be that deathly, proggy, tradd…y(?) or any of the other sort. This month’s collection coincides with the October 2019 issue, featuring Opeth on the cover, for a suitably seasonal demon of the fall, and includes titles featuring both sides of the vocal spectrum that seem to so often divide opinion on this band.
Morning rises (a stretch there, we know, we know) with the deathly side, as the aforementioned Swedes did, and standout orchids (sorry, last time!) on this month’s list include: the sophomore-release homerun Samsara from Venom Prison; As the Kingdom Drowns, from Tazmanian tech devils Psycroptic; much-anticipated debut full-length To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardicen from the Portland trio Vitriol; and the skull-crushing Obscene Majesty by slam titans Devourment. Also on the harsher vocal delivery include sophomore standout Heaven that Dwells Within by fast-rising Vancouver blackened crusties Wormwitch.
Since we already were dividing this by vocal style, a band similarly known for cover both sides of the spectrum would be a logical transition (or, possibly, still life portrait?!) and the recently-released eighth LP Atonement from Boston metalcore mainstay Killswitch Engage certainly checks that box. Moving further towards the more traditional side: Paladin’s debut album Ascension delivers a mean yet melodic mix of thrash and power metal that may appeal to fans of both styles; and Hammerfall continues a legacy of fantastical power metal with Dominion. Ending on something with the more classic side certainly makes sense, and Sacred Reich’s first album in 23 years, Awakening, is absolutely not to be missed (and sure to be making an appearance in plenty of year-end best-of lists, so get ahead of the game on this one!).
For the vinyl enthusiasts, this month’s fye exclusives includes two variants on 3 From Hell in green with black swirl and grey with black swirl, and Queen of the Damned in coke bottle clear. Our condolences to the family and friends and (fanatical followers) of horror icon Sid Haig; please note the soundtrack vinyl was selected weeks earlier.