Now that's what I'm talking about: two Scandinavian-ish bands throwing down albums that are well-produced, well-paced, eminently replayable shredfests. The Haunted's Strength In Numbers both recalls and supplants anything else they've done in the last 10+ years. Familiar yet vital, brimming with irrepressible energy. That energy isn't exactly matched by Fleshkiller's Awaken, but what it lacks in pitworthiness it more than makes up with innovation, memorability, and vocal excellence. Fleshkiller match The Haunted in most of the criteria that matter, but their exotic take on technical death metal gives Awaken a comfortable advantage over Strength In Numbers.
The stage is set for the final battle on Monday. Who will take the Gilded Arse? Will it be Glassjaw or Fleshkiller? As soon as I find out, I'll let you know here.