Here's a battle that I've been dreading from the moment I pseudorandomly built the bracket. Black Crown Initiate begin tonight's moshfest with their first full-length album The Wreckage Of Stars, and it's clear from the opener A Great Mistake that they are more than up to the challenge of the Arsies. Every single track on this album is muscular yet refreshing, and the most remarkable thing is just how much clean singing and undistorted guitar there throughout an album that is otherwise obviously mean as fuck.
Speaking of mean, Misery Index's The Killing Gods is 43 minutes of unrelenting nastiness, a deathgrind tour de force. In fact, the only slowdown to the onslaught is the title track, which it turns out is a sucker punch. All in all, Misery Index is a force to be reckoned with.
A very tough decision needs to be made here. The Misery Index is more brutal, which is its strength and its Achilles' heel when facing a more nuanced competitor. BCI is that competitor, and so I'm in the difficult position of having to give the nod to the slightly less brütal album. But with these two powerhouses, that's a relative thing. Congratulations to Black Crown Initiate!
Tomorrow, we'll see who reigns supreme: Artificial Brain or Karma To Burn?