Tis the season of giving and 2013 was certainly the year the hard and heavy metal scene gave back! There was an exhausting parade of new releases and tours to boot! Be careful what you wish cuz you just might get it, and this year it came at us from all angles. And these days it seems that the output is tenfold, as bands of all shapes and sizes can easily Protools or GarageBand it-up in their bedroom and release to the masses in numerous forms, mostly digital. But is it quality stuff? Here come the BraveWords scribes to the rescue, who tear their way through the glut and the grit and come up the finest slabs of music the year had to offer. Just one rule: studio recordings only. No compilations, covers, live albums etc…
So after days of compiling, we bring you BravePicks 2013: The 12 Days Of Metal, our nice n' tidy summary of the year that was. Of course we will start with the countdown until New Year's and then the scribes step up with their always popular Brave Embarrassments, Concerts, Thoughts On 2013, Predictions For 2014 and What / Who Needs To Stop In 2014!
So jump in, strap in and grab a cold one!!!
2013 … The 12 Days Of Metal
3) BLACK SABBATH - 13 (Vertigo/Universal)
This could be dubbed one of the greatest reunion comebacks in the history of hard rock and heavy metal, despite the fact that Bill Ward wasn't along for the ride. Mind you this was no Paranoid or Sabotage, fans and critics were mostly pleased with the results, mainly cuz (thank Satan) it didn't sound like an Ozzy record. So kudos to producer-guru Rick Rubin for that.
And the band's first album with Ozzy in 35 years saw remarkable success around the globe topping the charts for the first time in Canada, the US and even their homeland the UK where they set a new UK chart record for the longest gap between number one albums (Paranoid hit #1 in 1970)!
And Sabbath's reaction was over-the-top:
Osbourne: "There have been so many amazing highlights in our long career. Thank you to all of our fans for their support and loyalty.”
Iommi: "I thought making #1 in the UK was amazing, now we've had our first US #1 as well! Not only that, but it's made #1 in a stack of other countries, Canada, Germany and so on, again thank you so much."
Butler: "I’m absolutely stunned. Thank you all world wide for being the best, and most patient, fans ever."
As mentioned, 13 was a decent comeback, our own Martin Popoff giving it a fair 7.5/10 rating. With plenty of Bill Ward-isms in his commentary, Popoff wrote:
"Recapping, it was always going to be a challenge for the Sabs not to be compared to the band from an impossibly earlier time—think about how THE STOOGES must feel, or even THE ROLLING STONES, living with those legacies. In any event, 13 is the type of record that sounds built by committee to get favourable reviews, to not offend. Personally, I would have rather had the pinch of Krautrock that the band—out of their minds—threw into Sabotage, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Never Say Die, or (not the band, but its secret weapon) Ward One: Along The Way and When The Bough Breaks. But by the same token, I’m pleased it doesn’t sound like a Zakk/Ozzy album or Iommi solo, both of which are too modern. At this point, I’m really curious to see what everyone else says, but down this end of town, yeah, a little bit of a missed opportunity to be brave."
Read the entire review here
2013 … The 12 Days Of Metal
ANVIL - Hope In Hell (The End)
MEGADETH – Super Collider (Tradecraft/Universal)
WATAIN - The Wild Hunt (Century Media)
VOIVOD – Target Earth (Century Media)
GHOST BC - Infestissumam (Loma Vista Recordings)
CHILDREN OF BODOM - Halo Of Blood (Nuclear Blast)
EXHUMED – Necrocracy (Relapse)
STRYPER - No More Hell To Pay (Frontiers)
QUEENSRŸCHE - Queensrÿche (Century Media)
BLACK SABBATH - 13 (Vertigo/Universal)