October 31 - Metal Massacre 31

October 31 - Metal Massacre 31

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(CD, Hells Headbangers Records, 2016)

Even though my point of origin stands from the other side of the Atlantic, I do understand the impact the “Metal Massacre” collections had on spreading the word of Metal in the US and giving the chance for some young bands to get a recording out. OCTOBER 31 also acknowledge the influential works of Metal Blade so they come up with a 10-track collection with covers on songs which saw the light of the day being part of those eight volumes. “Metal Massacre 31” will get you back in time, so you can take a glimpse of how the US / Canadian Metal scene was shaping up and - who knows? - you may dig deep in your collection and re-spin some of those gems.

The first thing you will notice as “Cross My Way” kicks the door down is that OCTOBER 31 have pretty much re-recorded the originals without changing much. Sure, King Fowley does not sound like DEATH DEALER’s Andy LaRouche but to me this is the beauty of this collection; having OCTOBER 31 delivering these tracks through their own type of Thrash. Yeah, the take on OMEN’s “Torture Me” is awesome and especially the way King has tackled the original’s US Power Metal singing will get you in the fist-pumping mood at no time. And speaking of vocals, you should check how the OCTOBER 31 singer is handling the almost King Diamond’s pitch on DEMON FLIGHT’s “Dead Of The Night”. Ok, the cover does not sound as cult as the original does but hey, the point of the compilation is to pay homage to that period of time and not recreate the '80s magic (this is not possible by the way). SACRED BLADE’s “The Alien” with the epic groove and HALLOW’S EVE’s thrashin’ “Metal Merchants” earned more listening time, and especially the latter, simply because this was my first encounters with that killer band. I won’t pretend that I knew FINAL WARNING but I have to admit this type of US Power Metal with the galloping rhythms and the epic / whaling vocals does not fail me ever. The same goes for the cover on TYRANT’s “Battle Of Armageddon” which in full disclosure I did check out during the first album spins because I thought it was from the pre-JAG PANZER era band which shares the same name. Either way, this is another fine example of the US Power Metal scene which I think has not received the credit deserved.

Seeing how “Metal Massacre 31” made me search online for the original versions to learn about bands that I haven’t heard before (even if I had, I wouldn’t remember), I’ll say that OCTOBER 31 have succeeded drawing the attention to that part of the US Metal scene. Even if it is sad getting acquainted with a band which no longer exists, I’ll take this in place of having such songs being lost into oblivion. God job, OCTOBER 31!





01. Cross My Way (DEATH DEALER)
02. Forbidden Evil (WAR CRY)
03. Torture Me (OMEN)
04. The Awakening (TITANIC)
05. Dead Of The Night (DEMON FLIGHT)
06. Heavy Metal Virgin (ALOHA)
07. The Alien (SACRED BLADE)
08. Metal Merchants (HALLOW'S EVE)
09. The Warrior (FINAL WARNING)
10. The Battle Of Armageddon (TYRANT)


Matt Ibach - Guitar
King Fowley - Vocals
Brian “Hellstorm” Williams - Guitar
Jim Hunter - Bass
Sean Wilhide - Drums