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October 2012 Best Heavy Metal Albums

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After an average September, the caliber of metal releases reached another level in October. Generally our writers give only a couple 4.5/5 star ratings in a month. October saw more than five. Some worthy albums missed out because of the depth of quality this month. Here are our choices for the best metal CDs released in October.

1. Pig Destroyer - 'Book Burner' (Relapse)

Pig Destroyer - Book Burner
Relapse Records

Book Burner is loaded from top to bottom with riffs piled on top of riffs and blastbeats galore. Also present is extremely tight musicianship as Scott Hull demonstrates his claim to the grindcore guitarist throne with an unbelievable performance.

Adding further complexity to the chaos is an excellent sense of timing with seamless tempo changes and variation. Obviously, the stellar songwriting creates the swirling complexity, and goes a long way towards making Book Burner a textbook, near perfect example of caustic grindcore. Hull and company also make the wise decision to keep the album short with a total of 19 songs clocking in at just over a half hour, all very nicely broken up by the tempo changes and variation.

Read the complete Pig Destroyer - Book Burner Review

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2. Neurosis - 'Honor Found In Decay' (Neurot)

Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
Neurot Recordings

Honor Found In Decay, the tenth album from Neurosis, is perhaps the most impressive step in their evolution. Every track is an exercise in the absorbing of notes, from the heavily groove influenced opening “We All Rage In Gold” to its sullen closer “Raise The Dawn.” Nothing on this record will disappoint the long time listener.

What this record does, much like their catalog, is move beyond the tradition of structure and more to the realms of fluidity. Neurosis is a band that takes time to absorb. Never has this band been so foremost and honest in their delivery and execution.

Read the complete Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay Review

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3. Daylight Dies - 'A Frail Becoming' (Candlelight)

Daylight Dies - A Frail Becoming
Candlelight Records

Graceful and honest, Daylight Dies’ new album A Frail Becoming speaks to the listener through an act that is moving, eloquent and beautiful. The North Carolina melodic death/doom quintet's fourth effort is forthright in easing all the tension of previous releases, and surges ahead with a more focused sound. This is the album longtime Daylight Dies fans knew they were capable of writing.

Nathan Ellis and Egan O’Rourke absolutely bring their best performances, while the playing of Barre Gambling, Charley Shackelford and Jesse Haff creates melodies that leave the most lasting impressions. In what is by far their most sincere, and stunning release, Daylight Dies have created one of the best metal albums of the year. Read the complete Daylight Dies - A Frail Becoming Review

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4. Enslaved - 'RIITIIR' (Nuclear Blast)

Enslaved - RIITIIR
Nuclear Blast Records

RIITIIR is a very dynamic and dense album. The lengthy songs are constructed with layers of guitars and atmospheric keyboards that meander at times, but upon repeated listens burrow their way into the subconscious. It’s a daunting album, but ultimately a rewarding one.

The ebbs and flows between progression and aggression keep things interesting, although the scale tilts toward the progressive side of the coin. There are still plenty of good old fashioned riffs, like on “Veilburner” along with more experimental sections.

Read the complete Enslaved - RIITIIR Review

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5. My Dying Bride - 'A Map Of All Our Failures' (Peaceville)

My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures
Peaceville Records

A Map Of All Our Failures is a breathtakingly beautiful record, full of achingly heavy but melodic riffs and melancholic orchestrations weaving in and out of funereal march rhythms that are sparse, yet insistent. Every note and every beat matters, but it’s the spaces in between that best convey the tragedy and inherent heartbreak so characteristic of My Dying Bride.

As evocative and moving as the music is, the intensely emotional vocals of Aaron Stainthorpe are central to the band’s unique sound and he turns in a peerless performance. Mostly reliant on a mournful, gothic croon, Stainthorpe offers diversity with spoken word passages and the occasional foray into death metal growling, but it’s a sign of the band’s maturity that the vocals never overwhelm the music and that in whatever form, they remain entirely appropriate for the mood of the song.

Read the complete My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures Review

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