February is upon us, which means we're getting closer to the ultimate battle! Defending champions Revocation win the cointoss, so we start off with Great Is Our Sin. It's a fine album. A fine album. It's got all the impossibly deft shredding we've come to expect from this band, plus the mid-album instrumental, plus the tasty closing cover tune ("Hail Satan")... Revocationism from top to bottom. Do I really need them to break new ground with every album? Generally, no. But that lack of surprise can be a liability, when facing off against an innovative challenger.
Obscura's Akróasis is such a challenger. This album is every bit as blazingly virtuosic and deathy as Great Is Our Sin. But it's also innovative and surprising, in a way that the Revocation isn't. Not every gamble pays off, but as I've said before many times, I always have to give props for a band or artist that aims high.
What an upset! Obscura moves on to the Quarterfinals! Tomorrow, we find out who their opponents will be, as we finish off the Round Of 16. Will it be Anthrax or Giraffe Tongue Orchestra?