Traditional 'true' heavy metal bands aren't exactly few and far between. In fact we're being pummelled to death with them. October 31 is such a band, and there is a lot of merit in them, musically. The songs are pretty good ("Just an Illusion" and "The Verdict" in particular), they handle their instruments well, and it sounds pretty good.

There is one 'but', however: The singer. He definitely can't sing to save his life. He sings kindof low, his tones waver and wobble, and whenever they go slightly higher my teeth grind together in agony. King Fowley - for such is his name - also takes care of the drumming, which is average at best.

The climax of the album is a cover of Saxon's "Power and the Glory", and when the climax on an album is in fact a cover then it's a sure-fire sales bin case.

October 31 have in the mean time drawn within their ranks Shawn Pelata as a singer. Maybe he improves on King's oral performance, so by all means check out the band in concert or their next album, but give this one a miss.



Written March 2000


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