October 31: Gone to the Devil

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October 31: Gone to the Devil
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October 31: Gone to the Devil
Heavy Metal
Hells Headbangers
November 18th, 2013
Release length: 7:10
Myspace
Website
October 31 is a lesser known Heavy Metal group that formed back in 1995 in Arlington, Virginia. Over the years they released three full-length albums, a few EPs and demos, as well as a live album and, back in 2008, a compilation titled Heavy Metal Warlocks. Their last new recording was 2005’s Red Hot EP, which followed their third full-length, No Survivors, that very same year. Eight years later, and the band find themselves signed to Hells Headbangers for yet another EP, a seven inch two song release titled Gone to the Devil. Does this stack up as another worthy entry into their discography, or should it have just been a single?

Right away it’s obvious the meat of this release is the new original composition “Gone to the Devil.” The deeper rougher vocals give the slightly distant music some extra authority, and the richer melody of the chorus definitely amps up the energy that is already on display. The guitar solo is impressive as well, and the build to it is as sweet as the main verse that immediately follows before another solo hits. It’s an instant two-step mosh pit pleaser, and the experience is like hearing it live for the first time.

The Uriah Heep cover “Too Scared to Run,” however, doesn’t fair as well. The distant guitars and drums sound horrible in the main verses, and what seems to be additional harmonized chanting in the chorus is pretty weak. The bass guitar is largely absent, but when you can hear it, it makes one hell of a difference. The guitar solo is pretty rough too. It starts fine, but sounds like it shifts to deeper notes that are horribly off key with the rest of the music behind it.

Gone to the Devil shows a band that hasn’t forgot how to tear things up. The raw audio quality makes the title track sound like a live performance, but the cover of “Too Scared to Run” just sounds wretched. If you’re an October 31 fan, you’re going to buy this seven inch vinyl EP regardless of what is said in this review just for the one new song. But if you expect quality from both tracks, just know one is quality old-school Heavy Metal that is a blast to listen to, while the b-side feels like a mandated bonus track the band really didn’t care too much about.

01. Gone to the Devil – 3:36
02. Too Scared to Run (Uriah Heep cover) – 3:34
Initial Pressing Score: 5.5/10

October 31
October 31

Digital review copy of this release provided by Hells Headbangers.