On this, only the fourth day of Arsies competition, I experience real remorse. Back in their respective days, I fucking loved both of these albums. Yet here I am, forced to dismiss one of them during first-round play. A more cynical or conniving host would have rigged the bracket so that this match happened a month from now.
The scorecard tells the story. While Digital Veil's production suffers inordinately from the loudness wars that especially ravaged the landscape in the early 2010s, it is by many other measures the better album. Revocation is a tour de force; the problem is that its core strengths (ridiculous shredding, neoclassical charm, catchiness, replayability) are matched by Digital Veil, while the latter gains an edge when it comes to innovation and pace.
The Revocation is a classic, still more than holds up, and should just be in your rotation every few months at least. It's just not enough to triumph over The Human Abstract, who win a hard-fought first round and move on.
Tomorrow, intergalactic slugs fight a piece of performance art. Blech.