BravePicks 2016 - The Scribes Speak! David Perri
January 8, 2017, 10 days ago
BravePicks 2016 - The Scribes Speak!
Top 20 of 2016
1) DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN - Dissociation (Party Smasher Inc.)
2) TOMBS - All Empires Fall (Relapse)
3) GOJIRA - Magma (Roadrunner)
4) TREES OF ETERNITY - Hour Of The Nightingale (Svart)
5) NAILS - You Will Never Be One Of Us (Nuclear Blast)
6) TESTAMENT - Brotherhood Of The Snake (Nuclear Blast)
7) YOUTH CODE - Commitment To Complications (Dais)
8) SOL SISTERE - Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum (Hammerheart)
9) VOIVOD - Post Society (Century Media)
10 MESHUGGAH - The Violent Sleep Of Reason (Nuclear Blast)
11) ARCHITECTS - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (Epitaph)
12) DARK TRANQUILLITY - Atoma (Century Media)
13) IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC - All Through The Night (Psychout)
14) CULT OF LUNA - Mariner (Indie)
15) ENTOMBED A.D. - Dead Dawn (Century Media)
16) KATATONIA - The Fall Of Hearts (Peaceville)
17) DEATH ANGEL - The Evil Divide (Nuclear Blast)
18) DENNER SHERMANN - Masters Of Evil (Metal Blade)
19) AFTER THE BURIAL - Dig Deep (Sumerian)
20) CANDIRIA - While They Were Sleeping (Metal Blade)
Top 3 Concerts
KALMAH/VESPERIA – Mavericks, Ottawa
DIAMOND HEAD – Brass Monkey, Ottawa
HATEBREED – Mavericks, Ottawa
Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
KVELERTAK - Nattesferd (Roadrunner)
The energy-on-energy of the perfect, 2011 debut disappointingly nose-dives (and how) with each new release.
IN FLAMES – Battles (Eleven Seven)
Yeah, I know, what’s the point of even kicking this dead horse anymore when the last good record - a fluke, it seems - was ten years ago. Battles might be the best pop album of the year, an award the band would probably accept non-ironically and with much appreciation?
IHSAHN – Arktis. (Candlelight)
Ihsahn’s post-Emperor solo work always reminds me of Devin Townsend’s post-Strapping Young Lad records; these guys are talented musicians whose abilities are much more effectively used in the bands that brought them acclaim in the first place.
MEGADETH – Dystopia (Tradecraft/Universal)
A serviceable album - these songs are inoffensive and even mildly interesting - but not much more.
EPICA – The Holographic Principle (Nuclear Blast)
Honest to God, I think about Abba more than anything else while listening to this.
What/Who Needs To Stop In 2017
Absurdly expensive vinyl re-issues. I’m not talking about cool, commemorative box-sets or that sort of thing… I mean $40 to $50, single-LP re-issues of records you could buy for under $10 not that long ago. I understand that the economic reality of the music industry makes it a very tough business, but these artificially high prices can’t possibly be sustained over the long-term. They’ll just drive fans away.
Thoughts On 2016
If there’s one thing this scribe thought a lot about in 2016, it’s how quickly time is passing. When records like Left Hand Path, Demanufacture and Reign In Blood are all 20 to 30 years old, you realize there’s a real generational shift happening -- and it's happening shockingly suddenly. In 1986, when Reign In Blood was released, a 30 year old album would have been something from 1956, a huge shift indeed. When albums you grew up with have become “classics” to a fan at a Rings Of Saturn show, the parts in the ol’ (old?) brain really start turning and thinking about the nature of time. If even “newer” albums that were once considered metal’s great hopes – Nevermore’s Dead Heart In A Dead World (2000), Arch Enemy’s Wages Of Sin (2001), Meshuggah’s Nothing (2002) - are almost as old as someone with a driver’s license… man, talk about feeling like the sands of time are trickling down too fast. It’s weird: fans at that above-mentioned Rings Of Saturn show might feel deference to Napalm Death and Carcass in the same way someone growing up in the ‘90s understood the legacy and place of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. And when that Rings Of Saturn fan is excited to see Dillinger Escape Plan for the first time on its current farewell tour, even though Dillinger’s been touring since the late-‘90s and you’ve seen them 11 times… time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future.
On a different topic, at this point I want to make mention of two albums that weren’t on my Top 20 of 2016 list because I discovered them quite late in the year: Vredehammer’s Violator and Vektor’s Terminal Redux. Vredehammer’s fast as a shark black-thrash culminates in a record that is this-LP-goes-to-11 energy, while Vektor is, very literally and very eerily, the next coming of Voivod’s Killing Technology and Dimension Hatross. Both Vredehammer and Vektor are huge listens.
To come full circle, then: the passing of time also means sad, sad milestones, as it’s been almost a decade since metal omnipresence Adrian Bromley left us, and five years since Woods Of Ypres’ David Gold ventured to the other side’s version of his beloved Ontario. Let’s also give the horns to - and never forget - Rob Cranny (Northern Storm Records), Steeve Hurdle (Negativa/Gorguts), Rob Doherty (Final Darkness/Into Eternity), Danko Todorov (L’Ulcere De Vos Nuits metal radio host), Nick Babeu (Trigger Effect) and Adam Sagan (Circle II Circle/Into Eternity).
Metal Predictions For 2017
Like the vinyl and cassette resurgences of the last several years, CDs come back as a retro-cool item.
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Check out our BravePicks 2016 countdown where Metallica reigned supreme here.