10 Albums You Should Listen to This Fall

Fall is here, and your playlist is stale. You’re ready for something to finally blow the speakers out of your piece of shit car on the way to work. Or maybe you’re looking for some albums that will completely derail your workout. Who actually knows how to do pull ups to odd time signatures or do kettlebell swings to glacial doom riffs, anyway?

You need something with teeth and tentacles. You need something that reeks with the putrid stench of decay. You need something that grinds and pulverizes flesh into a red, wet smear that will stain the basement walls. 

You need these albums, massive amounts of volume, and an altar on which to sacrifice your eardrums.


The Acacia Strain, Step into the Light & Failure Will Follow (2023)

Technically, this is two albums, but that really isn’t the point. The Acacia Strain gave us another brutal offering with the 10-track, ALL-CAPS full length album Step into the Light. The band delivers their signature brutality and grit on this album coupled with some of the most aggressive drumming in the band’s discography. This album sounds like what getting your teeth knocked out feels like.

However, the real star of The Acacia Strain’s year is the Failure Will Follow EP. This 3-song EP showcases The Acacia Strain playing doom and sludge so well it feels like it’s what they’ve always done. Released on the same day as Step into the Light, this sonic assault of the senses is a 10-story swamp monster.

Slow, plodding, and terrifying, the beast levels everything and everyone in its wake. No prisoners. No mercy. 

Standout Tracks: “Fresh Bones," “Open Wound," “Sinkhole," “Bog Walker," “Basin of Vows”


Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestial Lineage (2011)

The out-of-focus cover of this classic album says it all: chaos, wilderness, and uncertainty. Who or what is actually on the cover? Is that a body covered in a white sheet? The haunting lack of clarity is the pillar the album is built upon. Wolves in the Throne Room weaves in and out of blast beats, demonic wails, massive forest-bound choirs, and haunted open spaces.

This album is perfect for fall because it is as eerie and unpredictable as it is violent. Like a perfect funeral, this album is filled with pockets of beauty and lament. Brutality and loathing. Benevolence and loss.

Standout Tracks: “Subterranean Initiation”, “Astral Blood”, “Prayer of Transformation” 


Holy Fawn, Death Spells (2018)

Holy Fawn is shoegaze at its most delicate and destructive. Death Spells floats to the ground like a falling leaf until it crushes a promising young man like an old oak tree. The melancholic guitar tones are tinged with sadness and power–making some songs as beautiful as they are haunting. Lyrically, the album evokes images of dark shadows and ornately displayed carcasses.

The mystery of nature and the beauty of death are lyrically and musically palpable on Death Spells. This album is an access point to the deepest shadows in the forest. Listen with an open mind and a sharp object to protect yourself–should anything decide to slink beyond the edge of the woods.

Standout Tracks: “Dark Stone”, “Arrows”, “Yawning”, “Sleep Tongue”


Great Falls, Objects Without Pain (2023)

Great Falls–a three piece wrecking crew from Seattle–released an album mid-September that opens with a murderous leer and never relents. Objects Without Pain is loaded with gobs of feedback, shrieks, and thick, nasty bass.

This 8-song release is an escaped killer on the loose primed to chase its victims around the woods–which makes it the perfect soundtrack for an autumnal run through the woods. “Dragged Home Alive” sets the tone for the album: unpredictable, heavy, and intense. Jam Objects Without Pain after dark if you dare.

Standout Tracks: “Dragged Home Alive”, “Trap Feeding”, “Ceilings Inch Closer”


Blackbraid, Blackbraid II (2023)

Blackbraid II grinds and howls with the majesty of a barren forest beneath a full moon. This indigenous black metal solo project by Sgah'gahsowáh heaves with pulsating drums, angry melodic guitar phrases, and bloodletting growls from unexplored realms.

Throughout Blackbraid II, there are moments of blinding speed and untethered brutality like “The Wolf That Guides the Hunters Hand” and moments ideal for serene contemplation like the acoustic passage of “A Song of Death on Winds of Dawn” sandwiched between chaos. The duality makes this Blackbraid album perfect for this season of transition.

Standout Tracks: “The Wolf That Guides the Hunters Hand”, “The Spirit Returns”, “A Song of Death on Winter’s Dawn”, “Twilight Hymn of Ancient Blood”, “Moss Covered Bones on the Altar of the Moon”


Slow Crush, Aurora (2018)

Aurora sounds like an October night in a teenage horror movie set in the late '90s that was written during the 2020 lockdown. Often, autumn evokes a nostalgia buried deep within us for what was, and the big midtempo riffs and Isa Holliday’s haunting vocals make Aurora a beautiful way to entertain that nostalgia without listening to an album you’ve played to death.

Show up for the heavy doses of fuzz but stay for the playful blending of modern shoegaze and grunge. 

Standout Tracks: “Glow”, “Drift”, “Shallow Breath”, “Tremble”


Rolo Tomassi, Grievances (2015)

Abrasive. Loud. Occasionally epic. Rolo Tomassi’s Grievances is a throwback–in the best possible way–to aughts-era metalcore ethos. The songwriting is tight and executed with laser-precision. The guitars twist and turn, sharp vocals punch through the mix with urgency, and the band’s use of piano and strings frequently reset the listener’s expectations of where the album will go next.

The band blasts through styles with technique and emotional intelligence that never feels gimmicky. Every part of the album is sincere which is why it still feels so alive today. Grievances bellows from beyond like a haunted choir. Listen to what it says, lest ye be cursed.

Standout Tracks: “Estranged”, “Stage Knives”, “Funereal”, “All That Has Gone”


Converge, Axe to Fall (2009)

While this may not be the most iconic Converge album, Axe to Fall is the most perfect pick for fall. The album hits all the right notes for the season of death and harvest: fast, gnarly, dark, and haunting. The first four tracks rip an absolute hole in the universe with their thrash-fed punk eruption. Then, “Worms Will Feed / Rats Will Feast” throws the first surprise at the listener. The song slows down and emphasizes intelligible lyrics–a rarity in the Converge discography.

While much of the rest of the album could be described as legitimately great hardcore, Axe to Fall ends on a pair of power dirges. “Cruel Bloom” and “Wretched World” close the casket on this album with a layered complexity not usually associated with Converge. If it’s been a while since you’ve listened to Axe to Fall, this is your sign to give it another play.

Standout Tracks: “Dark Horse”, “Cutter”, “Axe To Fall”, “Worms Will Feed / Rats Will Feast”, “Cruel Bloom”


Pelican, The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (2005)

Recently reissued on vinyl, The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw garnered Pelican some attention outside of the post-rock and metal realms. And almost 20 years later, the album still holds up. From the cinematic opening track “Last Day of Winter” to the raw power of “March To the Sea” all the way to the serenity of “Aurora Borealis” and “Sirius”, the album is big, loud, and beautiful.

Pelican’s second full-length is perfect for inspired daydreams on crisp fall days. Play it from start to finish on a walk in the woods with your headphones or on your turntable while staring out a window because this record is meant to be taken in slowly and completely. Let it wash over you and see where your imagination goes.

Standout Tracks: “Last Day of Winter”, “March To the Sea”, “Sirius”


Night Verses, Every Sound Has a Color in the Valley of Night: Part 1 (2023)

The new album from the enigmatic instrumental group Night Verses is chaotic and unpredictable. Filled with heavy low-end guitar, drums that pound and race like a panic attack, spacy solos, and tons of discordant atmosphere, the album sounds like Miles Davis if he grew up listening to Slayer and smoking weed out of aluminum cans.

Pockets of audio samples give Every Sound Has a Color in the Valley of Night: Part 1 a heavy tinge of otherworldly creepines which makes this the perfect soundtrack for when you finally sit down and write that nautical horror novel you've been talking about for the last six years.

Standout Tracks: “Karma Wheel”, “8 Gates of Pleasure”, “Bound to You”


Honorable mentions:

  • Majority Rule, Emergency Numbers (2004)
  • The Armed, Perfect Saviors (2023)
  • ‘68, Yes, and… (2023)
  • Conjurer, Mire (2018)
  • Blood Command, World Domination (2023)
  • God Complex, To Decay in a Deathless World (2021)


Tagged: converge, great falls, holy fawn, night verses, rolo tomassi, the acacia strain