Mandatory Metal Monday begins with Byzantine's To Release Is To Resolve. And man, is it rockin'. It's got a strong shredding body with a metalcore finish, and notes of early Meshuggah and BTBAM (without the circus freakiness). This is 100% guaranteed to make your head bang, from start to finish (with the notable exception of the very Queensrÿchean intro to God Forsaken). It's also at times heavier than anything they've put out in a while, possibly due to the lineup change (new leads and bass).
Speaking of heavy, Oceano fight back with Ascendants, a ridiculously heavy slab of deathcore. Much like Oceano's last album Incisions (or The Acacia Strain's Wormwood, this album is the stuff of Cookie Monster's nightmares. And now more than ever, the band manage to transmute their djent leanings more successfully into pure facemelting. The experience of listening to it is akin to surviving a tornado, and there's a whole lot of heavy metal pleasure to be had. But as soon as the album abruptly ends, it's gone from your memory. You've been erased.
When the dust settles, Byzantine emerge bloodied but victorious! Tomorrow, we learn who they'll go up against in the next round: The Armed or SikTh.