First up: Floridian tech metal veterans Atheist's autumn album "Jupiter" is an unholy mess, a chaotic whirlwind of technical bravado from the instant it starts until it abruptly fades away, blown out by its own fury. And yet, it has surprising moments of catchiness. Few would argue that you're going to be humming these tunes, but there's plenty of ear candy for the metal aficionado.
Avenged Sevenfold is a very different band, technically adept for sure (especially with the temporary addition of James Portnoy's drums), and as an album "Nightmare" is an entirely different kind of mess. It starts out epicly, but then, as soon as vocalist M. Shadows opens his mouth, it's as if someone in the studio found the Cheese knob, and cranked it as high as it would go. The result is, frankly, stinky garbage.
Look: I know I should be drawing out the drama in today's Arsies, but making myself listen to this album all the way through was some bitter fucking medicine. The band has got chops, and when they restrain themselves from the poofy posturing, it rocks well enough... but they just can't help themselves. They're a hair metal band without the hair. If you're still curious but don't own the album (and why would you?), here's a lyrics video. You've been warned.
Die in a fire, A7X. Atheist takes the prize! They'll go on to tackle the winner of tomorrow's fight: Bison B.C. versus Black Label Society.