The 2016 Arsies: January 19, 2016

January 19, 2016 arse

Listen to today's competitors on Spotify

The venerable Lamb Of God win the cointoss, and so we begin the day with VII: Sturm und Drang. Their seventh album starts strong, with the first half providing a bit more diversity and experimentation for the band, without straying too far from their winning formulas. And then, Overlord happens right at the midway point. As a delineator between album halves, it's an effect airbrake... for good and for ill. The rest of the album finds the band returning to form, and I have to say it brings some relief by dint of its familiarity. Overall, this is a strong LOG album, and a worthy addition to the band's catalog, but it scores more with its sense of comfort than visceral rage.
Primitive Man have very little burden of past performance, and are therefore free to raise holy hell on Home Is Where The Hatred Is. This is one nasty album, bilious and subtle as a shank. The emotionality here is fiercer than anything on the LOG, so in that regard, Primitive Man snatch the upper hand and keep it throughout their play. Alas, the EP is also chronically dirgelike in a way that can border on tedious or formulaic, even for black metal. And dedicating the last 4 minutes to a noise/porn experiment may be a form of entertainment or catharsis for the band, but it's good for no one else. Quite telling that today's shorter (by 18 minutes) release is the tougher listen to get through. All that said, Lamb Of God manage the win today, but only by a hair. Let's see how they fare against Rolo Tomassi in two weeks.
The next battle is almost upon us: Good Tiger versus Ensiferum!

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