Jesus fuck good morning! Black Crown Initiate won the cointoss again, and set a furious pace and tone with their debut album The Wreckage Of Stars. Whether they're going for a restrained passage with clean vocals, or letting loose with technical runs, they're always dark and intense. The Malignant is a perfect example; even the opening acoustic guitar is hectic. The only exception to this pedal-to-the-metal pacing, paradoxically, is the title track, a slow burner. As it's in the middle of the album, it's less of a liability and more of a welcome intermission from the heaviness. Of course, BCI don't hold a candle to Xerath when you're talking about bombast, and III is appropriately over-the-top. It's a potent blend of orchestral ambience and tasty shredding a la Symphony X... when it works. But more than once, the blend comes across as awkward, like Metallica with the San Francisco Symphony. These misses lend an ill-fitting taint to the whole album, which by the way is supremely long. And these issues with cohesion only serve to underline just how well-blended BCI are at all times on The Wreckage Of Stars. Xerath's missteps are all that BCI need to take the win this morning.
Tonight's gonna be cray cray: Artificial Brain goes up against Torrential Downpour!