“The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love and Despair – An Introspective of the Human Condition” maybe a mouthful in name but it matches its epic wording with a sound just as imposing. The fourth album from UK metallers October File is a tempestuous adventure casting voracious riffs, rabid rhythms, and virulently addictive grooves into a riveting confrontation of highly flavoursome and predacious enterprise. Since their opening provocation “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” EP in 2004, the London based quartet has been a predominantly thrilling provocation for ears and thoughts but as the band enters their second decade this new uncaged beast is their finest intrusive hour yet.
A concept album based on the emotions in its title in regard to the human state and its response to certain situations, the Jamie Gomez (Cathedral, Ulver, Altar of Plagues, Electric Wizard) produced nine track investigation is a challenging incitement armed with impossibly compelling qualities and voracious intent. The band’s inspirations which range from Killing Joke and Amebix to Godflesh and Gang Of Four, still place loud whispers on the creativity of the band, especially the first of the four but only to flavour the ravaging artistry and confrontational imagination of the band.
The Candlelight Records released album opens with ‘I Fuck The Day’, a track which from a troubled brew of voice and agitated atmosphere, veined by a harsh guitar tone, unleashes a portent of oppressive coaxing and threatening intensity. It is soon expanding into a prowling bait of rhythmic enslavement though; vitriolic riffery and savage bass tones driven by the drama fuelled scowls of vocalist Ben Hollyer. The track continues to experiment with its temptation, merging restrained and ferocious aspects seamlessly for an impressive start to the release.
The strong entrance of the album is more than matched by the intensive weight and pressuring groove of ‘Heroes Are Welcome’, the song fired up by hungry sinews and rapacious energies, and then left pale against the scintillating ‘Reinvention’. The track is pure instinctive, bordering bestial virulence, an impossibly contagious groove and repetitive toxicity lashing the senses from within hungrily abrasing guitar scathing. The song provides a venomous landscape to enslave senses and passions whilst recalling a mix of early Killing Joke and Therapy?.
Variation is as ripe on the album as the antagonistic rhythmic temptation of drummer John Watt and the impressively resourceful guitar design of Matt Lerwill; tracks like ‘The Water’ with its eleven minute emotively bred intrusive doom seeded tsunami and the potent acoustic evocation of ‘Upon Reflection’ an unpredictable and pleasing diversity for thought and adventure.
The ravenous predation of the album is back in command as the final stretch of the album comes into view. Firstly, ‘As The Clouds Meet The Horizon’ smothers air and senses with a tidal wave of almost pestilential seduction speared by exhilarating grooves and biting hooks whilst the following ‘All Rise All Fail’ rages like an angry bear with murderous intent. The last track, ‘To Be Watched Upon’, is a vicious temptation with sonic acrimony drenched in venomous enterprise, bassist Steve Beatty steering the danger and intimidation of the song forcibly through ears. Ten minutes of primal provocation, the outstanding song brings a tremendous album to a mighty conclusion.
Released on 26th May, October File’s new predator is an exceptional and dramatic triumph, the pinnacle of the band’s creativity so far and standing tall alongside the best releases of 2014 so far.