OCTOBER BURNS BLACK: Two Worlds Collide (Outland Media 2022)

Gothic rock is dead. It died in the 90’s, on the last few years of the decade, when it branched into those who thought that if you added eye make up to the beat, you could trick the ones with the bats and the jabot shirts, and that if you sharpened guitar riffs and sped up the drums, you’d earn the heavies and get them to be part of your crowd. Dark techno and gothic metal “were born” and all that was authentically gothic consumed and disappeared. Fortunately, unbeatable people in a tribe in Wales survives yet and forever to the invader. Oh no, that was something else. The ones who resisted here were the gothics, even though they could have been or seem like they were from Wales. They were german. Or American. Or from wherever the hell they were from. The thing is gothic rock was dead. Or so was said.

Well, October Burns Black (or its people, that come from here and there, from then and now) didn’t know. Or they did and they were the ones who held on, who knows. The important thing is that listening carefully to Two Worlds Collide, you can clearly appreciate that gothic rock (the classic one, the good one) wasn’t really dead, it was just junketing. Here are the punchy basses, the amazing beats, the talking guitars and the low and deep voices. Long hairs and hats. The good darkness. And epic, tones of epic. They had already made it clear in their first two extended plays (Reflections and Fault Line) but in this one, their first album, Two Worlds Collide, it’s even more clear.

The first thing in this album to get your attention is the beautiful artwork. Billyphobia does again an excellent job with the design and the cover that, even them being simple, they are pretty evocating. I’d also dare to say they foretell what you will later find in between the grooves of the cd: foggy atmospheres, cold environments and a hard and outright sound, carved in grey stone. Rod Hanna (voice), Lars Kappeler and Tommy Olson playing the guitar, James Tramel (bass) and the good Simon Rippin in charge of the drums. Also add Gordon Young in some of the guitar passages and just with their resume, you can have an idea of what it is. Such talented and such expertise they have they all conform an amazing band. And they prove it every single time. Talking about concrete topics, in this case it’s almost not needed. The ten cuts in the album are simply magnific, filled with strength, power, (and again) epic and a lot of that classic gothic darkness. Divide and Conquer, Fickle, Blind Faith or Two Worlds Collide, are a very clear example to teach in schools if there was this type of music. But Black Veil, Tightrope, The Grand Leveller, Condemmed or All I Never Wanted can’t even go behind. Obviously not even Regress, which I knowingly left apart because it’s one of my favorites in the album., only if I have to choose only one, though.

Two Worlds Collide is one of the best Gothic Rock albums of 2022. I’d even say it’s even the best one of the decade. I may be exaggerating; you’ll have to find out yourself. Obviously, if you don’t enjoy this kind of music, you won’t be interested in OBB. But if you are one of the few that have ever enjoyed this style adapted by any of the big bands of the musicians mentioned before, you’ll definitely love Two Worlds Collide. Like myself, or even.