This battle was the most anticipated grudgematch of the entire opening bracket: two established, veteran, and equally-matched powerhouses going head-to-head at last. For this match, truly there could be no favorites, no obvious winner, and no real loser (least of all among the judges). It was definitely a pleasure to listen to both the eponymous 5th album from KSE and Lamb Of God's "Wrath" (their 6th album) all day long. Both albums are mature offerings, featuring possibly some of the strongest material of each band's careers. Both bands show an expansive growth in their sounds, Lamb Of God sounding a bit more progressive at moments, and KSE going for an even more melodic, epic sound.
When the dust settled, "Wrath" edged out "Killswitch Engage" in terms of freshness, progress, repeated listenability, and power. Lamb Of God earns the win, but really it could have gone either way. A hearty "well done" to both bands!
Lamb Of God moves on to challenge Converge at the end of the month. That's likely to be another hard-fought battle. Can't wait!