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411 Music March Mayhem Tournament: Final 4

April 7, 2009 | Posted by Mitch Michaels

Our namesake wrapped up last night with a blowout, but the 411 Music March Mayhem tournament has been a nail biter since the opening round. Only two more rounds remain before we crown the champion of champions – who will you name king?

It’s the Final 4 and the 411 kingdom has let its voices be heard with a record number of votes. Only four contenders are left – two from the land of Metal, two from the pits of Rock. Who will represent each genre in the ultimate Clash of the Titans? You vote. You decide.


If you missed the Round 4 matchups, just click on the bracket above to see the full line-up.

On the Rock side, Bruce Springsteen proved no match for Guns N’ Roses, with GN’R pulling nearly 2/3rds of your vote. Springsteen had escaped by the skin of his teeth in several rounds, but it was Axl and the gang that finally took him down. Meanwhile, The Offspring went down to the wire with Incubus, pulling out the win in the last second by only 2 votes.

Meanwhile in Metal, Metallica continued to dominate by putting Disturbed down. In fact, Metallica hasn’t won a match in the tournament without less than 75% of the vote. Metal also had its close call, though, as Heaven & Hell very narrowly defeated Faith No More, winning with 52% of your votes.


The rules for each round of March Mayhem are simple: two bands place two albums against each other. Fans vote which album is better. The loser walks. The winning band advances and places a different album into competition in the next round. Bands must use a different studio album in each round until they have exhausted their catalog.

But enough about the rules, let’s get to it. Check out the match-ups. Make your vote in the comments below or by emailing [email protected] with the subject “Round 5 Vote”.

It’s time to make your decision. Who rocks? Who sucks? Who brings the MAYHEM? You vote. You decide.


The Offspring – Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
Chris Crowing: Let’s be honest, this isn’t the best Offspring album – but it IS a damned fine and entertaining slice of power punk, with some pop fries on the side. It does exactly what it says on the tin, and I can’t imagine anyone who bought this album would have been disappointed by it. The same can’t be said of this week’s opposition. Chinese Democracy is a bloated monster, the twisted and ugly child of an arrogant and neglectful father, unworthy of being placed in the same rack as its older and more worthy brothers. Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace stands up FAR better to Smash than Chinese Democracy does to Appetite For Destruction. This album does the job it sets out to do, whereas Axl’s pet was supposed to be the definitive statement of rock awesomeness worth waiting more than a decade for. It wasn’t – it was a total mess, and so you gotta go with the band who actually achieved something. Rise And Fall is not the worst Offpsring album, but Chinese Democracy IS the worst G’NR album, and probably the most disappointing of all time. Vote for doing the job you set out to do, and vote for The OFFSPRING!


Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
Dan Marsicano: After a decade and a half-plus wait, Axl Rose finally released the long-awaited Chinese Democracy. The album was surprisingly solid, considering the revolving door of musicians and producers Rose had on hand. Sure, there isn’t anything on here that would rival Appetite For Destruction or Use Your Illusion, but Axl proved everybody wrong by releasing Chinese Democracy on his own terms. Sure, it lost a lot of money and the sales were disappointing, but at least we got some free Dr. Pepper’s out of it.

Metallica – Metallica
Dan Marsicano: So here we are, at the semifinals, and it’s Metallica vs. Black Sabbath. This will be a close one to call, but the Black Album is the more influential album than Heaven & Hell. While the quality of both is about equal, the Black Album transformed Metallica into the top band in metal, and was one of few metal albums that made a dent in the charts, as grunge began its quick ascent as the top genre of the 90’s. From “Enter Sandman” to “Nothing Else Matters,” “The Unforgiven” to “The God That Failed,” Metallica was at their creative peak with the Black Album.


Black Sabbath – Heaven & Hell
Chris Crowing: This album reinvigorated both Black Sabbath and Dio as creative forces, and is one of the most influential metal records ever. Listen to “Sad But True” and “My Friend of Misery” back to back with “Neon Knight” and “Heaven & Hell” and tell me that Metallica weren’t mightily influenced by the groovesome Sabbath sound – and then went and ripped the heart out of it in the name of popularity. Heaven & Hell shows the development in Sabbath’s approach, while retaining the core and character of their music. The Black Album on the other hand shows Metallica selling their soul to grunge and MTV and turning their back on Heavy Metal in favor of getting radio play. Dio also owns Hetfield as a vocalist, hands down! Vote for the innovators and the originals, not for the imitators and the sell-outs. Vote for passion, ingenuity and a landmark record for glorious creative, not odious commercial reasons – VOTE HEAVEN & HELL!

There you have it. The match-ups for Round 5. Now it’s time for your voice to be heard. Use the comments below (or send an email to [email protected] with the subject “Round 5 Vote”) and pick your winner for each of the eight matchups.

Just to refresh, here they are again:

1. The Offspring, Rise & Fall, Rage & Grace or Guns N’ Roses, Chinese Democracy
2. Metallica, Metallica or Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Heaven & Hell

Who rocks? Who shreds? And who just plain sucks? Tell us now. The results and the Championship round will be up next week. The end is near, but who stands tall is up to you.


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Mitch Michaels
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