The 2012 Arsies: January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012

At last, we come to the end of Round 1, and what a matchup we've got! Two classic metal mainstays, each an icon of their respective generations, who actually toured together last year. It's Megadeth versus Machine Head!
Megadeth's thirteenth album is evocatively titled, “TH1RT3EN” (pronounced THWON-ert-three-en), and it's a solid recording that harkens back to the band's earlier golden age. Maybe it's the return of bassist Dave “Junior” Ellefson, or else the band having just finished a nostalgia tour, but every time I listen to “TH1RT3EN”, I can't help but think of “Rust In Peace” or “Countdown To Extinction”. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Dave Mustaine's hysterical jingoistic lyrics, on the other hand, are a bit embarrassing. But for all that, this album is catchy as all get-out, and there's endless guitar tastiness to go with the earworms. All in all, Megadeth turns in one of their most pleasing and familiar albums of recent years. Good stuff!
With “Unto The Locust”, Machine Head also revisits some of the band's classic tropes, but in a darkly original way. The almost-title track offers perhaps the most obvious demonstration of an evolution of “Burn My Eyes”, but it's “Darkness Within” that really showcases the breadth of Machine Head's scope. This album chronicles the band giving vent to their power in a number of experimental ways, and as a result it's one of the band's strongest albums ever, and that's saying a lot after two decades of metal excellence. And so, they take the round, and go up against BTBAM next week.
Tomorrow, we step up to the Final 16. (I tried to come up with a clever name with it, but the closest I got involved Nikki Sixx, so I stopped.) Anyway, tomorrow Ghoul goes up against Textures.

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