Our competition today features two bands from opposite ends of the accessibility spectrum. As luck would have it, we start out with the more subtle of the two: Inter Arma.
With Sky Burial, Inter Arma has given us a dirge, as much reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Pink Floyd as it is of black metal. With rare exception, the songs on this album are dark and slow burning journeys. (The title track itself clocks in at 13 minutes.) The good news is that the journies are all interesting, compelling slabs of aggression. What you're left with is a energy-sapping commitment of an experience that still somehow makes you want to listen to it again. Masterfully subtle.
On the other hand, Revocation's eponymous fourth album is an straightforward an affair as Sky Burial is subtle. The methodical intro to the first track The Hive gives you just enough time to turn up the volume and buckle in, and you're quickly rewarded with a rich banquet of technical thrashsmithing. I defy you to listen to Revocation without finding yourself nodding your head and gleefully grimacing. Each track gives a nod to a slightly different flavor or subgenre, but nothing here so much as hints at a post-metal pretension. It's clear that these boys just love The Metal, from their exceptional virtuousic performances to the energy and clever songwriting heard from end to end. If there is a weakness to the album, it's the banjo on Invidious. And that's about it. Even the gratuitous Metallica cover is good. Bravo, Revocation: you handily defeat Inter Arma, and move on the the next round.
Brace yourself: tomorrow, we'll end the week by dealing with deeeez... Death Ray Vision and Darkane!