I don't know if this was the closest battle of the tournament, but it was definitely the most conflicting. On the one hand, As I Lay Dying delivered the more metal of the two albums. On the other hand, Every Time I Die had the more experimental, out-there effort. So Ex Lives is more interesting. But Awakened is more traditionally fulfilling. Is it as memorable? Not quite. But it also feels less like it's trying hard to make a mark. When it comes down to it, nothing says "metal" to me more than a bunch of young hopefuls playing along to some sweet shredding. And on that score, AILD outshines ETID. And so, with a pang of regret, we say goodbye to Ex Lives, an intriguing album to be sure... but not quite metal enough to go all the way.
Next week (the last full week of the Arsies) starts with Danza against The Faceless. Weird.