The 2017 Arsies: January 3, 2017

January 3, 2017 arse

Listen to today's competitors on Spotify

Emotion●●○●●○
Memorability●●○●●○
Replayability●●○●●●
Innovation●●●●●○
Pace●●●●●○
Shredding●●○●●●
Vocals●●●●●○
Production●●○●●●

We've got a tough matchup today, with two very different approaches on display. ETID win the cointoss, so we start with them.
Low Teens gives you everything that you'd expect from an album from Every Time I Die: hectic energy, reckless aggression, and a clever self-awareness. They've traded some of their angst for more emotional authenticity... a gambit with mixed results. But their playing and energy really make this an enjoyable album. Nothing here really sticks out as a must-listen, though, so if the album has a fatal flaw, it's its lack of memorability, which is a weird thing to say about an album coming from a band that has somewhat defined themselves as iconoclastic.
Testament return fire with arguably their most enjoyable album in many years, Brotherhood Of The Snake. This neoclassical thrash album is every bit as aggressive and tight as Low Teens. And songs like the opening title track are every bit as vital and landmark as anything the band has previously done in their long and storied career. Where the band trip themselves up, however, is in the final third of the album... a classic case of album filler, if ever I heard one.
The scorecard alone cannot settle the dispute, as the numbers tell two slightly different but similarly weighted stories. Ultimately, it comes down to which album's weakness is less forgiveable. In this case, three very weak tracks are easier to deal with (or skip altogether) than an album's worth of missing the mark ever-so-slightly.
ETID are defeated by the mighty Testament, who will return in three weeks to face Textures! Tune in tomorrow, when we watch Entheos and Abbath square off.

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