October File – The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love, and Despair – An Introspective of the Human Condition (Candlelight)

Sunday, 8th June 2014
Rating: 8/10

There’s your winner for longest album title of the year: The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love, and Despair – An Introspective of the Human Condition. Sunny stuff, you know? Such a title would normally emanate from the Goth troves; one of those “Woe is me, so this is an ‘Ode to Woe’” type of albums, but not with English cross-channel punk/metallers October File. The band has asserted itself as a substance and style outfit, with social and political commentary fitting of their metallic post-hardcore sound.

The album – positioned as “an examination of what it’s like to be human” – peddles Killing Joke-esque riffs with molten-metal bursts, something readily apparent on opener “I Fuck the Day,” which to these ears, should be a t-shirt slogan. (Sure beats “YOLO,” right?) The song relies upon the post-riffing template, with streamlined punk chords and crashing drums, creating a noisy jaunt of a song that is obviously, the album’s tone-setter. The heavy “Heroes are Welcome” carries forth this momentum, heading into “Reinvention,” a song doused with repetition, yet is strikingly effective, specifically the vocals of Ben Hollyer, who has one of the more imposing (and discernable) sub-barks going at the moment.

Additional tracks of note include “Where the Clouds Meet the Horizon,” and “All Rise and Fall,” a song possessing the album’s best riff at the 21-second mark. Riff identification aside, October File have turned in another unique, heady effort, supporting the notion they are one of Candlelight’s true unsung gems. And like its 2010 Our Souls to You predecessor, The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love, and Despair – An Introspective of the Human Condition figures to have a lasting impact in both the musical, and human message department.

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