I was such a fool.
Even though we've been through this exact contest before, the outcome from where I'm sitting now couldn't be more different. And to be perfectly frank, it's not even a close contest this time around.
To show what's changed in our perspective over the last four years, it's helpful to bring back the scorecard, and apply our more modern methodology to the judging. Not only does TesseracT's Altered State age far better than DEP's One Of Us Is The Killer in terms of production value, but the emotionality doesn't stand up on the DEP as potently. Add in the timelessly flawless vocal stylings of Ashe O'Hara, and you have more than enough to put TesseracT over the top. Both albums of course are perfect, but years later it's clear which one stands the test of time.
Our contacts within DEP inform us that the original Gilded Arse awarded to Ben Weinman had, in fact, been broken in half by a crazed Tech N9ne fan at Rock On The Range in 2015. In lieu of that, TesseracT will be awarded a battery-powered string winder.