The Semifinals are here! The top four albums of 2016 have already been determined scientificishally, but only one can be the true champion. Let's get to work.
Now, I'll bet you were thinking, "Of course I already know how today is going down. What else would you expect from an old-school djent fanboy?!" And there's no denying that Meshuggah brings the ferocity with The Violent Sleep Of Reason. But, if we're being honest, it's about a song or two too long, and it's hard to imagine that any of the tracks on here will eventually rise to the level of Bleed or New Millenium Cyanide Christ in the eyes of the band's many fans. The musicianship is mindbendingly awesome, of course, and this album is certainly a culmination of what's come before it.
Not only does Voice Of The Void not wear out its welcome (a staggering feat, considering that it's stonier and eight minutes longer than the Meshuggah), but by easing off the throttle a bit, Anciients manage to give you something extra that Meshuggah never seem to get around to offering: actual emotion. Voice Of The Void is music with depth and gravitas and real thrills. And they have perfected the descent from humble tranquility to blighted havoc, as demonstrated on the instant classic Ibex Eye. When I sit through 68 minutes of Voice Of The Void, my first thought is that I can't wait to hear it again. I simply cannot say the same of The Violent Sleep Of Reason, as much as I fucking love Meshuggah (and y'all know that I do). Bravo to Anciients!
Tomorrow, we close out the Arsies' final week with our penultimate contest: the second Semifinal, between Ihsahn and Anthrax. The winner of that bout will take on Anciients on Monday for all the marbles. You think you know how that will go? Let's find out together.