I'd alluded to the possibility that judging Automata I and II as a single cohesive album might be costly to BTBAM, and now here we are with a dead heat between that unholy union and Rivers Of Nihil. I can only ascribe the narrowness of this bout to Automata II diluting the relative purity of I. Even discounting that, only the most devout BTBAM fanfolk could credibly call Automata a shocking evolution for the band. No, that accolade clearly goes to Rivers Of Nihil; even throughout the famously divisive Metal Press, critics and boosters alike universally gaped at the achievements of Where Owls Know My Name. Automata can definitely boast higher highs (I'm looking at you, Millions)... but these are incremental wins, not massive stretches.
In simpler terms: WOKMN just makes me happier. I mean, I just-now listened to it twice, and I'd rather hear it a third time than pop on Automata I and II. You know what that means....
Congratulations to Rivers Of Nihil, creators of the best album of 2018!
Tomorrow, we pick up where we left off, with BTBAM2012 vs Textures in the last Quarterfinal match.
Rivers Of Nihil will not be receiving a Gilded Arse this year, as that is reserved for the ultimate finalists of the Arsies X tournament. They will not go home emptyhanded, however; instead, they'll receive a $50 gift card to Red Robin Gourmet. With careful planning, that could feed the whole band! Red Robin... yummm!