Holy crap. Today may be my favorite competition of this entire Arsies. Two Kurt Ballou productions go head-to-head, and that levels the playing field... if by "levelling" you mean evenly distributing landmines. There's so much delicious malice on these two albums.
Speaking of that, this means that for the first time in Arsies history, a Kurt Ballou production is making it to the Finals. This is personally significant, as I'd thought I was past Peak Ballou up until now. It's also statistically significant, as Ballou produces roughly 37% of all music recorded in North America.
The Armed throw down a more ambitious battle plan with Untitled, and their sound is more ferocious and nihilistic, as if they mashed up Refused and NIN, put it on an 8-track, and then repeatedly donkey punched you with it. Mutoid Man has more of a pissed-off Jesus Lizard thing going on, and is a more accessible kind of controlled chaos. Either way, these are two masterful albums. And so, faced with two excellent ragers, I'm forced to include in my criteria which album I'm less prepared to stop listening to. On that basis alone, I have to give it up to The Armed; Untitled is a work of art. But I wish there'd been a way for Mutoid Man to go a little further.
Tomorrow, Intronaut faces Good Tiger.