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Well, The Big Four Song Challenge Series Update has drawn to a close, and here we are in the aftermath.  Metallica edged out Megadeth on the strength of bonus material, Anthrax did okay and Slayer should have broken up when Jeff Hanneman died.  For real, all coming back with another album did for them was...well, make them money and allow them to keep touring and making more money, so there's that.  But more importantly, by releasing "Repentless", they dropped from two to three on my completely arbitrary opinion based blog series status ranking system!  Surely, that can't have been worth a couple million bucks?

Anyhow, I'm getting the feeling that rock music in general is going to need to evolve into something completely different or call it quits altogether.  Rock has had its 60 year run just like jazz did before it, and if it doesn't come up with something soon, it will fade away from the public consciousness, only to return in Gap commercials in the 2040's.

Point is, to expect that future to come from these four bands is a fool's errand.

Metallica barely know what they want to do anymore.  This album, more than any other in their discography, felt like "just another album".  And considering "Reload" was a thing, that takes some doing.

Megadeth, by Dave Mustaine's own admission, have two more albums in them at best.  The last time they made an album that tired to change up what they do, we got "Supercollider", so that's not happening.

Anthrax has a little more room to change because they've had a bit of a wider palate over the years, but "For All Kings" felt pretty tired.  And this is the band I felt had the most left in the tank going in to this experiment.

And Slayer?  Never rock to me or my son ever again.  (There.  I just did something as unnecessary as "Repentless".)

I did not expect this to be a bitter revocation of a genre I once loved.  But given that a) I'm not really much into listening to music these days, b) All four bands put forth less than stellar efforts, and c) I'm not in a good place right now emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually, it's probably not even a good idea to take what I say at face value.  Go listen to the albums for yourself.  Form your own opinions.  This is not fact and For Entertainment Purposes Only.

So, here's some stats to chew on from this update series:

Word count (including this blog entry): 7,480
All Time Word Count: 76,606

Longest Entry:          171 (643)
Longest All Time:    058 (799)

Shortest Entry:         180 (297)
Shortest All Time:   019 (131)

Avg. Words per entry:      436
Avg. Words All time:       405

Update Lead Changes: 5

There was only one position move during the update.  Here were the totals going in:

Anthrax: 438
Slayer: 431
Metallica: 426
Megadeth: 387

And here's where we ended up:

Anthrax: 476
Metallica: 465
Slayer: 460
Megadeth: 425

Metallica and Slayer switched places.  They're still close, so if by some miracle Slayer puts out the album of their career with Gary Holt (no offense to Gary) and they catch Metallica slippin' doing some bullshit like "Lulu" again they might have a chance.  And really with a barrier of a mere five points, the difference wouldn't have to be that drastic.

The same can't be said for Megadeth.  "Dystopia" is one of their strongest new millennium albums, and they're still 35 points out of 3rd.  Technically, they weren't mathematically eliminated from 3rd place before the update started: if they'd gotten all 4's and Metallica had gotten all 1's, Megadeth would have pulled into 3rd place by five points.  Overall, they're only four points closer to 3rd place than when they started.  That doesn't say much for "Dystopia" given how dull "Repentless" was.  (And "Dystopia" made my top ten albums for 2016.  SPOILERS!!!)

The gap between first and second is larger than when we went in, which means Anthrax at least acquitted themselves decently.  For all the shit I gave it, "For All Kings" isn't a bad album, believe it or not.  A different way to look at it is to see how the bands ranked in relation to each other.  Slayer started only 7 points back of Anthrax, but finished 16 behind.  Metallica were 12 points behind them, and finished 11 back (but five ahead of Slayer).  Megadeth were 39 points behind Metallica, and wound up 38 behind after all was said and done.  Crazily enough, their relation to Anthrax is unchanged at 51 points.

Thank you for reading The Big Four Song Challenge Series Update.  I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to hear what I have to say.  I don't think I say that enough.  I appreciate you for putting time aside to read the things I write.  You didn't have to, but you did.  Hope it wasn't too boring or dour, but I only have the material at hand to work with, and an honest review is what I sought to do.  And really, the albums are decent slices of rock.  If you forget the legacies involved and the baggage and the climate of music in general and the world at large, these four albums and their bonus tracks have something to offer in the way of a good time.  I may not have gotten that across, I may have been a little too hard on them, but eh.  It's rock & roll.  As long as it's loud and you're having fun, why the fuck not?

Indeed.  Why the fuck not?


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