The 2019 Arsies: January 7, 2019

January 7, 2019 arse

Listen to today's competitors on Spotify

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We start Arsies X off in ferocious fashion, with one-time champions Between The Buried And Me winning the first cointoss against Cannibal Corpse. (We've chosen to unify Automata I and Automata II, two separate releases, as a single cohesive album; this may or may not do the band any favors.)
Automata showcases BTBAM at their jazziest and most experimental, a logical successor to the albums that have come before it. There are lots of big swings here (some more successful than others). It is also, in some key ways, the least metal album that BTBAM have ever created, hewing closer to progressive rock than anything else.
Not to worry; Cannibal Corpse's A Skeletal Domain brings enough metal for two or three albums. It's as muscular as it is technical, with Paul Mazurkiewicz and Alex Webster continuing to offer a masterclass in rhythm-section excellence. Where the album suffers is in its memorability and pacing, a victim of its own relentlessness. It's a solid death metal album, but it does not satisfy quite as much as (parts of) {@Automata).
Congrats to BTBAM2018! Their latest incarnation moves on to the Round Of 16. Tune in tomorrow to see who will take them on; will it be Norma Jean or Beyond Creation?

Interesting side note: three years after releasing A Skeletal Domain, Cannibal Corpse followed up with the objectively superior Red Before Black, only to also be cruelly dispatched in first-round action... by Cannabis Corpse, of all people.

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