This is it, the final contest! All of our jawclenched listening and excruciating self-torment has led to this moment. Fleshkiller win the last coin toss of normal tournament play, and thus begin their own undoing by going first. See, the thing about Awaken is that, even though it is truly excellent in oh so many ways, it really hits you everywhere except for the feels. That's not necessarily (or even usually) a fatal flaw, but it does leave Fleshkiller vulnerable to an album that features both inventiveness and emotional heft. Enter Material Control: a masterclass of an album, one that was released without fanfare just days before the cutoff for consideration, and my choice for the greatest metal album of 2017. Congratulations, at long last, to Glassjaw!
Normally, the Arsies would conclude with the ceremonial presentation of the Gilded Arse. This year, however, there's been a huge development. It's better if I just show you; click here for the shocking news!