This contest is a real smack in the ass, folks, and not just because the bands in question represent the oldest of grudge matches: LA vs NY! Let's start the action with Devil You Know, the oft-hyped Los Angeles based supergroup formed by members of All Shall Perish, Bleeding Through, Devolved, and KSE. Their debut The Beauty Of Destruction is everything you might want if you enjoy even half of the aforementioned bands. But it's more than a sum of its constituent parts, and the music that DYK have crafted here is wholly original to them... even if it takes almost half the album until you get to tracks like Seven Years Alone and It's Over where even the specter of their former selves completely disappears.
That said, DYK trying to step to New Jersey's self-described space metal prioneers Torrential Downpour in terms of originality or unexpected evolution is like Batman trying to out-dark Bane. Truth Knowledge Vision is an utter stunner of an album, so demented as to border on psychosis, so deft as to make you question what you think you knew about progressive loud music before they arrived. Tracks like Tkv alienate to the point of defying reverse engineering. Maybe if you listened to nothing but King Crimson, Battles, and The Mars Volta for a year straight, you'd start thinking like these guys Even their (relatively) most straightforward song, Bring The Stars Down, features polyrhythms. The band are known to stray into less-than-metallic territory once or twice on Truth Knowledge Vision, but they make up for those flights of fragility with some serious throwing-down otherwise.
Today, Devil You Know give you the most straightforward headbanging experience, and the most recognizable metal mouthfeel. Those are pretty much the only areas in which they have a lead. Torrential Downpour own them in every other way, and thus snatch the win. TD will take on Artificial Brain in three weeks, with a contest so extreme and mental that I will most likely suffer an aneurysm.
One half of the bracket has been culled. Tomorrow, we start on the second half of the Round Of 64, with Aborted and Tortorum.