The 2016 Arsies: January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016 arse

Listen to today's competitors on Spotify

Oof!
Rolo Tomassi start our week with Grievances, a techno-tinged screamoprog powerhouse. The music on this album harnesses the energy and chaos of Dillinger Escape Plan, but in service of an elusive, surprising, but consistent sense of pacing and melody. Tracks like The Embers showcase an almost bi-polar penchant for flipping between complexity and nuance. The remarkable thing here isn't the nearly constant genre-bending, the way that the band pull this off without sounding gratuitous or cleverer than thou. Grievances entertains from cover to cover.
Now, let's talk about Tremonti's Cauterize. This is as straightforward as the Rolo Tomassi is circuitous. This is also just an absolute shredder of an album. So what's the problem? The vocals are a problem. For one thing, they make conspicuous the mismatch between the muscular guitar playing and the emotional aim of the songwriting. It's saying something when a mathcore band can make you sound tone deaf by comparison. For another, the vocals are very King's X-ish, and that's distracting. Still, I give kudos to Tremonti for bringing the metal. I just don't give him the prize of the day; that goes to Rolo Tomassi.
This next match sounds pretty epic on paper: Lamb Of God against Primitive Man!

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