BravePicks 2012: The Scribes Speak Day 3 - Carl Begai

January 5, 2013, 4 years ago

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BravePicks 2012 is behind us and it's time for the scribes to speak. For the next few days we will share individual lists from each devout metalhead here at BraveWords including their Top Ten Albums, Top 3 Brave Embarrassments (always a fan fave!), Top 3 Concerts, Metal Prediction For 2012, What/Who Needs To Stop In 2013 and a short overview of the year. Here we go...

Carl Begai Top 10 Of 2012:

1) ADRENALINE MOB – Omertá (Century Media)

2) STONE SOUR – House Of Gold & Bones Part 1 (Roadrunner)

3) OVERKILL – The Electric Age (Nuclear Blast)

4) DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT – Epicloud (InsideOut)

5) KOBRA AND THE LOTUS – Kobra And The Lotus (Spinefarm)

6) HALESTORM – The Strange Case Of... (Roadrunner)

7) MPIRE OF EVIL – Hell To The Holy (Spiritual Beast)

8) OBSESSION - Order Of Chaos (Spiritual Beast)

9) UNISONIC – Unisonic (Edel)

10) ARJEN LUCASSEN – Lost In The New Real (InsideOut)

Top 3 Brave Embarrassments:

1) AEROSMITH – Music From Another Dimension! (Sony)

A prime example of how being (needlessly) desperate for a radio hit can kill an album. One ballad would have been more than enough.

2) DORO – Raise Your Fist (Nuclear Blast)

Still in-your-face metal live on stage after all these years, but the spark is missing in the studio… again. Damn.

3) FEAR FACTORY – The Industrialist (AFM Records)

Brutally aggressive, wicked production, and completely devoid of originality. The innovators are now the imitators.

Top 3 Concerts:

1) Heavy T.O. 2012 – Downsview Park, Toronto, Ontario

2) INTO ETERNITY/SINGLE BULLET THEORY – Hard Luck Bar, Toronto, Ontario

3) NIGHTWISH – Arena, Nuremberg, Germany

Metal Prediction For 2012:

SEBASTIAN BACH reunites with SKID ROW for select shows and no egos are harmed over the course of the experiment. Rumours of a new album with Bach up front begin to circulate....

What/Who Needs To Stop In 2012:

The "fans" need to stop blaming everyone but themselves for their illegal downloading practices.

Thoughts on 2012...

It was a rollercoaster of a year, as they all are in the music biz.

From being blindsided by HALESTORM’s new album The Strange Case Of… and becoming a fan against my will, to dealing with a fuckwit promo rep at Roadrunner Records who decided to change my questions in an email interview because she felt they were “too harsh” for her artist (um, shouldn’t that be for the artist to decide?), to bucket list interviews with BRIGHTON ROCK’s Gerry McGhee and the lovely Lita Ford, to witnessing some amazing shows on both sides of the pond, 2012 has been quite the adventure.

See the list above for the Hot and Not albums of my year, then pick apart my sanity at your leisure.

Gotta say that I was surprised at not being disappointed by any of the shows I was able to attend this year. The third annual European run of ROCK MEETS CLASSIC featuring Ian Gillan (DEEP PURPLE), Steve Lukather (TOTO), Chris Thompson (MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND), three-fifths of PRIMAL FEAR’s roster and TRILLIUM vocalist Amanda Somerville was positively brilliant, with PF singer Ralf Scheepers going above and beyond lending his voice to the Toto hit ‘Rosanna’ (!). Watching DEVIN TOWNSEND successfully manipulate a MOTÖRHEAD crowd into doing his bidding was a gut-buster, seeing former HELLOWEEN members Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen on stage together with UNISONIC belting out classics ‘I Want Out’ and ‘Future World’ was ’87 surreal, and the LEAVES’ EYES / FIREWIND tour that looked so weird on paper turned out to be one of the best gigs of the past 12 months.

NIGHTWISH gets a scrapbook all its own due to a brilliant show in Nuremberg – featuring more pyro than the sun – and a day and night hanging with some of the finest people in the metal business.

Back home for my annual visit in August, it seemed to be all about the music this time. Heavy T.O. proved to be a hell of a lot better than expected given what I’d originally dismissed as a weak line-up, FRAZE GANG rocked harder than anyone was willing to give them credit for at the beginning, and vocalist Amanda Kiernan proved beyond a doubt that she is in fact worthy of fronting INTO ETERNITY (mind officially blasted to dust half way into the gig…). Being invited to attend the video shoot for KOBRA AND THE LOTUS’ new song ’50 Shades Of Evil’ was an awesome surprise, and then there was the preview of FAMOUS UNDERGROUND’s new album, due out in 2013. Never thought I’d be hearing MERCYFUL FATE in a band with its roots in SLIK TOXIK…

No shortage of drama, either, what with QUEENSRŸCHE falling apart and Nightwish singer Anette Olzon getting fired mid-tour.

With regards to the ‘Rÿche split, it’s a crying shame on the one hand for those of us that grew up with the band through the ‘80s, but it may be a blessing in disguise given the new old school-flavoured material featuring CRIMSON GLORY singer Todd La Torre (if the demo clips are anything to go by). And for those on Tate’s side of the fence, his new solo album Kings & Thieves features some of his best songwriting in almost two decades. Seems they’re better off apart, but it’s a safe bet that no matter how the 2013 court battle over the rights to the Queensrÿche name ends, it’s going to stay ugly between both parties.

As for Olzon, she exhibited some of the most appalling behaviour a performer can be accused of by dissing her bandmates – and ultimately the fans – in an online blog following their September show in Denver, CO. Having fallen ill prior to the gig, the band – with the blessing of the audience – opted to go ahead with the show using tourmates KAMELOT backing vocalists Alissa White-Gluz (THE AGONIST) and in particular Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE) in Olzon’s place. Rumour has it Olzon was already on her way out due to other behind-the-scenes issues, but she pulled a dumb-ass disrespectful diva move by claiming the band was wrong to go ahead without her. That cry of “me me me!” outed her a self-centered brat, and thus we say good riddance to a shit attitude.

Finally, we said goodbye to another pioneer of this movement we call metal, Mr. Jon Lord of DEEP PURPLE fame. Gone but not forgotten thanks to the thousands of musicians he influenced in his lifetime.

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DYING FETUS - "Panic Amongst The Herd" (Relapse)

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EMPYREAN THRONE - "And None Shall Rise"

EMPYREAN THRONE - "And None Shall Rise"

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