The Human Abstract loses on production values; that's no surprise, as I've consistently said that about Digital Veil throughout this competition. Above and beyond that, it should be pointed out that BTBAM's long partnership with producer Jamie King has reached a pinnacle of faultlessness with Automata. Production points aside, there's a lot of excellence on both albums, but Digital Veil is more consistently listenable, with a better pace throughout. The easy (metal) listening of Digital Veil is all the more remarkable when you consider how much the band twist themselves into knots with dynamics, time signature changes, and fretboard virtuosity. Automata has arguably slightly bigger swings and higher highs, but it also suffers from an unevenness on some of its material (moreso with Automata II than with I) that just isn't there with Digital Veil. It's a small distinction, but among such august company, that's enough to cost them the day. Congrats to The Human Abstract!
Listen up, btbammers: not only does your favorite band have another chance next week (with Parallax still in play), but we remember that we still have one other 2018 album vying for glory this round. If Rivers Of Nihil don't make it past the Quarterfinals, we'll have a sudden-death match to determine who gets bragging rights for 2018.
Before all that, however, we'll go on to the next Quarterfinal match on Monday, between TesseracT and Mastodon.