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
5) STRYPER - No More Hell To Pay (Frontiers)
Long-running Christian hard rockers STRYPER shocked many with their new comeback album, No More Hell To Pay, and it startled us here at BraveWords with many writers adding it to their prestigious year-end top ten lists, hence it's strong showing on our BravePicks!
Frontman Michael Sweet commented in August: "No More Hell To Pay marks our 30 year anniversary and what a journey it has been! It's our eleventh studio release since our first album in 1984 (The Yellow & Black Attack) and it's quite possibly our best record to date. Why? It's everything you might expect from a Stryper record - high octane vocals, layered vocal harmonies, guitar solos galore, driving drums and bass and an energy that hasn't been achieved since our glory days. The message is equally as powerful as it offers hope and inspiration to anyone listening. If you're a Stryper fan, it'll make you proud to be one. If you're not, listen with caution as you may actually become one. This record will surprise even the toughest critic, and it will not disappoint! This album will be life changing for all of us and we're excited to make history with all of you!"
In his review, scribe Carl Begai wrote: " After two glorified cover albums – everyone else, then themselves – and the over-the-top tease of ‘God’ that closed out The Covering, it’s nice to see that Stryper are still capable of delivering the original goods, especially considering the strength of the reunion album Reborn (2005) and Murder By Pride (2009). They’ve had a good run since reuniting; here’s hoping for several more records in the vein of No More Hell To Pay.
Oh yeah, congrats on FINALLY having some kick-ass artwork gracing the cover. Just waiting for the religious groups to get their God-blessed briefs in a bunch and move to have it banned like they did with To Hell With The Devil’s original look."
Read more 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)