Another agonizing match. Well, at least you have an excuse to listen to both of these albums another time. My pain is your gain.
Esoteric Malacology is certainly Slugdge's finest hour (to date). As ever with this band, come for the quirky gimmick, stay for the mindbendingly great technical death metal. Their riffs are so fresh and iconic and brütal! And yet, if I had to sacrifice Digital Veil in order to have Esoteric Malacology, I wouldn't be able to do it. Even though the Slugdge is moar metal and has flawless production (which y'all know is important to me, and which I can't say of Digital Veil), The Human Abstract's (likely) final album is still a stone cold classic.
Our first Quarterfinal battle is cast, then: BTBAM2018 vs The Human Abstract. That's going to be another heartbreak in a week. Tomorrow, I get to listen to Dillinger Escape Plan and TesseracT one more time! Pretend to be surprised by the outcome!