October 31 - _Meet thy Maker_
(Metal Blade, 2000)
by: Paul Schwarz (7.5 out of 10)
The one-star cast -- Deceased main man King Fowley being that one "star" -- of October 31 have delivered a traditional eighties "cult" heavy metal record. And they've actually done it pretty damn well, just without any surprises. Though he is reported to be being replaced on their next album by the more accomplished -singing- voice of Shawn Pelata, King's half-successful attempts at singing in tune on _Meet thy Maker_ somehow flaws it in a very good, honest and metal way; it divides October 31 from that commercial over-clarity that afflicts HammerFall. Of course, what with Deceased sliding closer to full-blown melodic metal mayhem by the day, the divide between Fowley's main concern and this side-project-of-sorts is not that sharply defined. Furthermore, King lapses into his "Deceased (capitalised or not) voice" a number of times on _Meet thy Maker_. Thus, there are points where one could be taken for the other. The production, executed by Fowley, is rough, but not so lo-fi that the fist-banging power of tracks like "Power and the Glory" ("To the power and the glory / Raise your glasses high / To the power and the glory / Be with me tonight", its unrepentantly traditionally themed chorus lyrics!) or "For There Is War!" can't be comprehended, and without having to go through dozens of careful listens either, the songs pretty much jump out and grab -you-. Brian Williams and Kevin Lewis' guitar duelling sees them pull out classy riff lines with pleasant regularity, and though, probably through the influence of a similar metal "upbringing", they remind of the results of the Smith/Adams pairing in Deceased, their similarities do not amount to mimicry and are quite acceptable. A fun, air guitarable record, but ultimately not something truly special.

(article published 12/8/2000)

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