Holy Armour from the Jaws of God
Candlelight Records 2007
Hammering powerful and calamitous metalized punk through the skulls of the nameless dead, October File are without remorse during their scathing onslaught. On October File’s third album they take on a scorched earth vision similar to Discharge and Killing Joke and then update it with clean vocals and a thick guitar sound that flows out with some surprisingly catchy riffs such as the opening riff of A Munitions Crusade and the caustic main riff of Another Day. Anger doesn’t begin to describe the bile that seeps from ever orifice of October File. Hallowed be Thy Army manufactures death and destruction through distorted riffing, slow drumming breakdowns, and charging harsh vocals, but then eloquently fuses those aspects with a calm in the middle of the storm. The high-pitched clean notes and smooth clean voice are a perfect contrast to the crushing heaviness to the fortress walls on either side. I hear some echoes of some other fellow Brits, Axegrinder while listening to these songs and especially on Friendly Fire. I guess it is because they both has a hard on for Amebix and Discharge. The emotionally somber riffing that calls to mind the ash strewn aftermath of a nuclear holocaust is deeply ingrained in both bands. Blood and Sweat reminds me a lot of Ministry circa The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste. There is sarcasm and irony billowing endlessly from Ben Hollyers blackened lungs on Religion? Meanwhile the vocals are juxtaposed between the harsh screams and frail clean ones on album closer, So Poor. The production on Holy Armour is surprisingly unmuddied and the drums especially have a sharp snap to them. A comment must also be said for the fantastic cover art on this album. On Holy Armour, October File successfully bridges punk and metal into a without coming across as trendy or unconvincing. This is an album without love or compassion. It is a scarred aural landscape devoid of all comfort. War never felt so unforgiving.