The Quarterfinals begin... with another upset!
Longtime Arsies viewers will suggest that I've got a softspot for BTBAM. It's a fair cop. But whereas The Parallax Part II stands up to multiple listens in my opinion, the same cannot be said of Coma Ecliptic. There aren't as many payoffs this time around, and while I applaud the band for experimenting with their peculiar formula, there's something halfbaked about this one that dogs them.
Mutoid Man's Bleeder is vital and in your face, and every single minute of the album pays off immediately. When BTBAM feel like homework, Mutoid Man feel like they've gotten you to cut class altogether. And perhaps the most remarkable thing is that Bleeder sneaks in plenty of things you'd expect from a prog band; the difference here is that the time signature changes and guitar runs are all in service of raw mayhem, and so feel more like style points than cleverer-than-thou ostentation.
Mutoid Main trounce BTBAM, and earn the first Semifinal berth. Who will take them on? Will it be Byzantine or The Armed? Fuck if I know. Let's find out together on Monday.