Battle of the Bands Tournament: Round 1 – Extreme Metal Region (Part 2)

Battle of the Bands Tournament, Music

A little late posting today (hey, it’s my weekend, and I’m a busy lad). So without further ado, let the games continue.

The Match: #5-Testament (6) VS #12-Pantera (2)
Testament sample song: “The Legacy”
Pantera sample song: “Hollow”
The Winner: Testament

Postgame: Pantera featured one of music’s best guitarists ever in the late, great Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott. His razor-sharp riffs, blistering tone and soaring melodies helped revolutionalize metal in the 90s when things were getting equally watered-down and more extreme at the same time. Pantera held the middle ground down and carried the torch well in the 90s when mainstrem tastes all but abandoned the genre altogether (I won’t dare give positive recognition to the nu-metal that emerged in the mid-90s). I only hold two Pantera albums in high regard: Cowboys from Hell and Vulgar Display of Power. As great as those albums are, with stellar jams like “Cemetary Gates”, “Cowboys from Hell”, “This Love”, “Mouth for War” and “Walk”, it’s just not nearly enough to knock off the mighty Testament, which we’ll see more of in this tourney.

The Match: #6-Anthrax (4) VS #11-Overkill (2)
Anthrax sample song: “Who Cares Wins”
Overkill sample song: “Horrorscope”
The Winner: Anthrax

Postgame: A battle of New York vs New Jersey, two of East Coast Thrash’s best representatives. Like most of the fathers of thrash metal, Overkill has been around since the dawn of the 80s. They have two great albums in what’s probably the largest discography in the genre because events like multiple lineup changes never slowed them down. Those albums, The Years of Decay and Horrorscope contain great tunes such as: “Elimination”, “Skullkrusher”, “Time to Kill”, “Blood Money”, “Thanx for Nothin’”, and “I Hate”. Anthrax just has two more albums and a handful of more great songs over them.

The Match: #7-Lamb of God (4) VS #10-Carcass (3)
Lamb of God sample song: “Laid to Rest”
Carcass sample song: “Incarnate Solvent Abuse”
The Winner: Lamb of God

Postgame: Carcass is one of the best bands to come out of Liverpool, England. And probably one of the most dynamic if you trace from their beginnings as a gore-grindcore outfit (a term they hate), to their middle years as a progressive death metal act, to their end as melodic metal masters. I give them a 3-album-win with: Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious, Tools of the Trade (EP), and Heartwork. Standout songs include: “Coporeal Jigsore Quandary”, “Carneous Cacoffiny”, “Tools of the Trade”, “Heartwork” and “No Love Lost”. However, against Lamb of God, arguably the new millennium’s best metal band, they are completely overmatched. I can guarantee plenty more to come from Lamb of God in this tourney.

The Match: #8-God Forbid (4) VS #9-Nuclear Assault (3)
God Forbid sample song: “War of Attrition”
Nuclear Assault sample song: “Trail of Tears”
The Winner: God Forbid

Postgame: Nuclear Assault is the other 80s East Coast Thrash Metal representative from the New York/New Jersey area. God Forbid is also from New Jersey (I honestly didn’t rig these matchups to work out his way). Nuke Assault shares history with Anthrax, as bassist/co-founder Danny Lilker was a founding member of Anthrax, and even guitarist/vocalist/co-founder John Connelly spent a little time in Anthrax. I love their first three LPs from the 80s: Game Over, Survive and Handle with Care. High points include: “Brain Death”, “Sin”, “Fight to Be Free”, “Search & Seizure” and “Critical Mass”. Scrappy fight, but God Forbid proves to be too formidable, and emerge as Jersey’s kings.
Again, no upsets this round. All top 8 seeds move on to the Second Round, coming next week. Stay tuned, kids.

Next up: Round 1 for the Indie Rock & Post-punk Region tomorrow, where there should be at least one upset…

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