There is a special place reserved for bands that sound like metal but really aren't (let's call it Nickelbackistan). He Is Legend, who won today's coin toss, now find themselves representing the polar opposite: a band who don't sound like metal but really are. Sure, elements on Few sound straight out of Alice In Chains or Creed, but they spring out of the cracks between the truly meatydjent and metalcore riffs. Tracks often start one way and end another, which is a fun and rewarding experience. The second half of the album goes on a song or two too long (12 tracks, 43 minutes), so that could be a liability. Otherwise, this is one easy, concise, and satisfying listen.
This is the trap that Ne Obliviscaris walk into with Urn, a decidedly unconcise slab of prog metal... emphasis on the prog. We've got a former bassist from Cynic laying down the fretless low end on the album, which leaves plenty of room for lots of... violin solos. All teasing aside, this really is an excellent take on prog metal, and in places even feels like an evolution of the genre. Which makes Ne Obvs' defeat all the more cruel; for all their virtuosity and ambition, they don't have quite enough replayability or venom to ward off the relative onslaught from their competitors.
He Is Legend's slim victory will pit them against All Pigs Must Die in three weeks. Meanwhile, tomorrow ends our first week with an epic, once-in-a-lifetime death metal grudgematch: Cannibal Corpse against Cannabis Corpse!