The 2016 Arsies: January 15, 2016

January 15, 2016 arse

Listen to today's competitors on Spotify

Speaking of double albums, Soilwork start us off today with their followup to the 2013 epic double album The Living Infinite. Unlike that earlier album, the strength of The Ride Majestic is its economy. From the first track, it's clear that the band and the songs are in a hurry to be heard. Not to say that this music is a departure for them; if anything, Soilwork's hallmark consistent sound is still very much in full force (which as always is as much as potential criticism as a virtue). But this is certainly also a band who are building on what they know. The result is a collection of songs like Enemies In Fidelity, clearly Soilworkish but also clearly experimental and quirky. Maybe this is why The Ride Majestic as a whole sounds like a collection of deep cuts, like one unending Side B of an album.
Minsk on the other hand make Soilwork look terse by comparison on The Crash And The Deal. This is a band that have perfected their brand of sludge to its most refined state, with a focus on emotional intensity. This is probably what Godspeed! You Black Emperor would sound like if they were actually metalheads. Sure, this album is monstrously long... but it's almost relentlessly vital and present. And heavy, so heavy. Minsk squeak by with the win over Soilwork, and will come back in three weeks to do battle against Intronaut.
That's it for another week of the Arsie! Come back Monday, and I'll tell you the tale of two Italians: an imaginary killer, and the guy from Creed.

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