The week ends with two very impressive debut full-length albums. Black Crown Initiate start the evening with The Wreckage Of Stars, a darkly philosophical shredfest that still showcases melody without shortchanging you on the ferocity factor. After several listens, the one weakness that stands out for me is the brickwall mastering on the album, but that seems to be going around in our industry. Contrast that with Artificial Brain's Labyrinth Constellation, who manage to dodge the brickwall curse mostly by sounding a lot like Gorguts (no surprise, since he produced Gorguts' latest masterpiece Colored Sands and plays bass with them nowadays). But when you get down to it, Artificial Brain's high points aren't quite as high as those of Black Crown Initiate, and I feel like the latter has given us something more original this year. So, BCI narrow defeat AB and make it into the Quarterfinals next week!
Speaking of next week, come back on Monday when Aborted and Hark battle it out!