Week Five begins with TesseracT's djent masterpiece Altered State. I've gone on at length about the sumptuousness of this album. One thing I haven't yet pointed out is that, if you're looking for wall-to-wall metal hijinx, this is not the album for you; the shredding (such as it is) is subtle and restrained. Fortunately for TesseracT, the same holds for Mastodon on Crack The Skye, their least showy album to date, so those deductions cancel each other out. That's not a knock against Mastodon, as this album contains a unique genius unlike anything else they've done before or since. Alas, it's not quite enough to justify a win, which instead narrowly goes to TesseracT. Narrowly.
Next up, it's Intronaut vs Rivers Of Nihil (who incidentally have our last remaining release from 2018... more on that tomorrow.)