The Round Of 16 starts with an upset (for some), but the conclusion is clear.
Yes, Automata I+II as a whole is a record with Issues, and it's at times self-indulgent. But BTBAM are also remarkably restrained at other points here, with the apparently flawed Automata II rounding things out and hosting the biggest surprises and swings (pun intended). Meanwhile, what Beyond Creation lack in over-the-top jolts, they make up for in sheer technical excellence. Algorythm's more fluent jazz-metal fusion might have triumphed over Automata's attempts at the same.
What trips up Beyond Creation, then? Mostly, it's a matter of degrees. Both bands have problems with forgettability when they're at their busiest, for instance, but BC suffers a little more for it. The same goes for pacing and production. Both bands deserve accolades for their work in 2018, but only BTBAM makes it out of this skirmish. Barely.
Are we headed toward a BTBAM vs BTBAM final? Not so fast; first, they'll need to get through whomever wins tomorrow's contest. Will it be The Human Abstract or Slugdge?