Let's end the week with a fun, thrashy, and well-balanced match!
Starting things off this week is Era, the latest from Scottish deathcore band Bleed From Within. It's a competent headbangdfest from start to finish, laden with infectious grooves... although I have to confess that this is not the most memorable collection of deathcore songs out there. That may be due to the formulaic nature of the riffs strewn about the album; even within the songs that try to be less obvious, there's not a lot of surprise to the onslaught. Replayability is not a problem here, which ironically might be aided in part by not being able to remember what you just heard.
This is not the case with Decapitated's masterpiece Carnival Is Forever. Here, Vogg et al. ably stay within their lane, churning out riff after surprising, punishing riff. The album's middle third is where the band run into problems of pacing (with more or less a full stop in the middle of the title track), but the one-two punch of Homo Sum and 404 cures all. Decapitated come out on top, and will come back in two weeks to try it again.
Next week, we end the First Round by choosing Decapitated's next challenger, either Unearth or Textures.