Another battle, another two very different approaches to metal. Lo-Pan wins the coin toss, so we start with them.
Colossus comes out of the gate with guns blazing, no warm up needed, just full-on swagger. It's a 42-minute ride through a dirty carnival, somewhere between The Black Crowes, Tool, and QOTSA, all bass-and-guitar unison runs and propulsive drums. And I'm hard pressed to think of a better album in recent memory to listen to while you're driving somewhere, anywhere.
Nero Di Marte are after something different: a more atmospheric sound, longer songs (Derivae's shortest songs are as long as Lo-Pan's longest), and a generic sense of oblique foreboding. The album starts out a little slow, but by minute 3, the afterburners kick in, and from Clouded Allure onward, every track emerges fully-formed and ready to pummel. Halfway between Isis and The Ocean, with plenty of Gorguts-style discordance for good measure, NDM seem like the sure winners. But here's the thing: an hour after listening to both, I can't stop thinking about Lo-Pan. They snatch the otherwise certain victory from Nero Di Marte, and will go up against Triptykon on January 26th.
That's it for today! Come back on Monday, when JaPaBo will let us know who emerges victorious, Agalloch or Shrapnel.