BravePicks 2012: The 12 Days Of Metal - #10

December 22, 2012, 2 years ago

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Here we go again! But where does the time go? It's seems like yesterday that we were ringing in 2012! Like last year, we're doing the same holiday-themed countdown of the finest slabs of metal this past year had to offer, voted by the devout scribes here at BraveWords.com! Hence the name The 12 Days Of Metal. What does "slab" actually mean? We're talking studio albums. No compilations, rerecordings, live albums etc… Just pure metal, all killer no filler! These are the 12 albums (yeah, we still use that old school term!) that you must have in your collection! Let's rock!
2012 … The 12 Days Of Metal
10) RUSH – Clockwork Angels (Anthem)
We're not joking here … Martin Popoff's review of Rush's latest "masterpiece" has been read by tens of thousands! By far the most read review at BraveWords.com ever. Yes, EVER! Of course we have YOU the readers to thank. But it starts somewhere and the recent Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees certainly delivered again. Here's a snippet of Martin's review: Hard to believe, but this is the first full concept album for the Willy Wonkas of prog metal, Clockwork Angels being a complicated, oblique, angled tale involving less steampunk than rumour had it and much more about the march of time, all wrapped up in the meaninglessness for the non-believer, except for some sort of inner temple-building, or a garden as it were, Candide-style. If Vapor Trails was in the spirit (but not the sound) of red, yellow and blue Crimson (frantic, textured, high on the shelf), Clockwork Angels is in the glorious yet dour (an apt result of ascribing to Neil’s belief system) spirit of Wetton-era Crimson mixed with Van Der Graaf Generator, with all the Victorian weight lead-lined in a box of the two institutions. And therein lies one of a few steampunk nods, as there’s no one more “watchmaker” than Peter Hammill. A singular Rush triumph results, and yes, before we even get to the music, there really is so much to ponder here, as there’s lyrics, light narration, visuals, and then an exo-story by Kevin J. Anderson. And like the best concept albums, the lyrics alone are mostly abstraction, with further abstraction caused by demarcation into their necessary chapters, welcome, so that these hugely ambitious and exclusively dark songs can stand on their own as Rush songs, soon to be mouthed by crowds in the wrongness for this of hockey barns. But the concept nature is not the least of why this feels like the most unified and purposeful Rush album since Vapor Trails and before that, Signals and its pastels – it’s the baffling music, an almost new invention, or new is old, or “the future as it’s meant to be” in steampunk parlance. Gone is Alex’s trinket of layering in acoustic to accompany the riff (I always thought this sounded like a tear in the woofer), and also gone, then, logically, is any of the tinkle in Rush production, the brightness, which started with Grace and then reared its head to varying degrees and with often enrageable persona throughout, on every album, save I suppose for Vapor Trails. Read the lengthy overview here.
2012 … The 12 Days Of Metal
12) DYING FETUS – Reign Supreme (Relapse Records) 11) SLASH – Apocalyptic Love (Dik Hayd) 10) RUSH – Clockwork Angels (Anthem) 9) 8) 7) 6) 5) 4) 3) 2) 1)
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VARGA - "Three Section Staff" Video Premiere

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