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THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 175

Anthrax "For All Kings" (2016) VS Megadeth "Bullet To The Brain" (2016) VS Metallica "Dream No More" (2016) VS Slayer "Repentless" (2015)

It's at this point that "For All Kings" the album feels like it's decidedly lacking edge.  You're wondering if it'll ever pick up and wondering why these songs that are clearly designed to be thrash metal feel like they're holding back.  "For All Kings" the song, in a vacuum, is a bit better served because it sounds like on any other album it would be the contrast needed in an otherwise chaotic maelstrom.  It's got melody, it's got structure, it's actually not that bad.  But put it in context with the album that bears its name, and you get this feeling of "Is this it?"  This is in context of the song by itself, however, so alone it feels a bit more grand, which is what Anthrax were going for.

It's hard to pull off an unsettling acoustic guitar intro in metal anymore, but "Bullet To The Brain" does it right.  The rest of the song, however, is a bit of a mess.  The pre-chorus and chorus are typical Dave Mustaine trying to write lyrics about relationships and coming out incredibly ham-fisted.  Musically, they just slam right into the verses, which is just as well because the verses are kind of boring, but it's still too jarring to fit properly.

This is the token Drop-D song on the Metallica album (see also : "The Thing That Should Not Be" from "Master Of Puppets", "Sad But True" from "Metallica", "Devil's Dance" from "Reload", "All Nightmare Long" from "Death Magnetic" and ironically "Dirty Window" from "St. Anger" when they tuned up to D for one song).  It takes awhile to get used to the simplicity of the song; there's really not a lot there besides the vocals to grab onto for the first four minutes (and that's how long it takes to get through two verses).  It's got a groove and the longer it goes the more you get into it I suppose (Hetfield's delivery helps a lot; especially that chorus) so by the time you get to the solo, you're on board, but there is one thing that throws me off: The line "Cthulu awakens".  It kind of comes out of nowhere and even if this song was about H.P. Lovecraft, the music does not fit the topic.  It's pretty silly in context.

"Repentless" is the song that got me to stop caring about Slayer.  The first time I heard it, I thought it was the most generic Slayer song I'd ever heard.  It was the third song I'd heard from the album, and I'd liked none of them.  So has my opinion changed now that I've had sixteen to seventeen months to cool off?  Hell no.  There's no distinguishing characteristics about this song when compared to other Slayer songs from the past except how generic it sounds.  (Also, the drum fills on this song sound sloppy as fuck.)

As much as I hate to do it, I gotta give Metallica the win.  Nobody else brought their A game (though to be fair, they only brought their A- game at best):

"Dream No More": 4
"Bullet To The Brain": 3
"For All Kings": 2
"Repentless": 1

UPDATE TOTALS:

Metallica: 19
Megadeth: 15
Anthrax: 11
Slayer: 6

ALL TIME TOTALS:

Anthrax: 449
Metallica: 444
Slayer: 437
Megadeth: 402

Come on back tomorrow for round 176!

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