Sometimes, the pseudo-haphazard selection process here at Arsies HQ yields a matchup that is perfectly balanced. And then you have days like today.
On one side of the skirmish, you've got Australian cookie-monster nihilists Thy Art Is Murder. Their second album, Hate, is a dark, detuned runaway train. (Once again, I have to mourn for the album I wanted from The Acacia Strain but did not exactly get.) Fans of simple consistency will love that every track sounds equivalent to the next: bleak, savage, uncompromising. And of course that virtue is also Hate's biggest weakness: its homogeneity borders on predictability, or at least of forgetability. But the feral nature of Thy Art Is Murder takes them far indeed.
Which somehow leads us to Norwegian Christian metalheads Extol and their eponymous fifth album. You know you're in for a very different ride, from the first track onward. Theirs is a more relaxed, more interesting approach to metal, at times progressive, at times soulful, but almost always interesting. The last album that comes to mind with this kind of atypical soundsmithing was Leprous's Bilateral (but don't get me started on the followup bridge-too-far, Coal). As an added bonus, the band hits the Bad Company Memorial Naming Trifecta (song name = album name = band name). Sure, Thy Art Is Murder are far more ruthless, but I'd sooner have a musical landscape without them than without Extol. Let's see how they stand up against another dark juggernaut in two weeks.
Until tomorrow, friends, when we end the week with the very interesting matchup of TesseracT and Norma Jean.