BravePicks 2016 - The Scribes Speak! Greg Pratt
January 3, 2017, a year ago
BravePicks 2016 - The Scribes Speak!
Top 20 of 2016
1) THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN - Dissociation (Sumerian/Party Smasher)
2) ULCERATE - Shrines of Paralysis (Relapse)
3) NEUROSIS - Fires Within Fires (Neurot)
4) TRAP THEM - Crown Feral (Prosthetic)
5) NAILS - You Will Never Be One of Us (Nuclear Blast)
6) ASPHYX - Incoming Death (Century Media)
7) NORMA JEAN - Polar Similar (Solid State)
8) MESHUGGAH - The Violent Sleep of Reason (Nuclear Blast)
9) TESTAMENT - The Brotherhood of the Snake (Nuclear Blast)
10) GORGUTS - Pleiades' Dust (Season of Mist)
11) MAGRUDERGRIND - II (Relapse)
12) PHOBOCOSM - Bringer of Drought (Dark Descent)
13) GADGET - The Great Destroyer (Relapse)
14) WORMED - Krighsu (Season Of Mist)
15) ROTTEN SOUND - Abuse to Suffer (Season Of Mist)
16) AFFLICTION GATE - Dying Alone (Transcending Obscurity)
17) VADER - The Empire (Nuclear Blast)
18) SUMAC - What One Becomes (Thrill Jockey)
19) ENTOMBED A.D. - Dead Dawn (Century Media)
20) GRIEVED - Grieved (Prosthetic)
Top 3 Concerts
PROPAGANDHI - Sugar: Victoria, BC
VOIVOD - Club 9one9: Victoria, BC
BARONESS - The Starlite Room: Edmonton, AB
Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
METALLICA - Hardwired... To Self-Destruct (Blackened)
Hard to get past “ManUNkind” as a reasonable song title idea for grown men in 2016, and any time Ulrich suddenly starts playing at double-time I just wipe the tear away from my eye and think, man, this is just another long album full of songs we're all going to forget soon enough.
BABYMETAL - Metal Resistance (RED)
This band is tied with “novelty banjo cover of extreme metal tunes posted on my Facebook wall” as far as reminders that metal is not a joke to me go. I mean, we're trying hard here to let the world know this music rules, and this music is no joke. Stuff like this constantly puts us back a few notches.
ABBATH – Abbath (Season Of Mist)
Was excited for it, big expectations, and it just flew in one ear and out the other.
ABORTED - Retrogore (Century Media)
I want to love Aborted. I used to love Aborted. Why can I no longer love Aborted? Seriously: send help, fellow gore-grinders.
OBSCURA - Akroasis (Relapse)
Sure, well done, mature, impressive playing, but where's the punch? Am I going to realize how great this album is in 10 years? I'd wager a bet that I am, but I'd also wager a bet that I ain't spinning it until then.
What/Who Needs To Stop In 2017
Brutal death metal with embarrassing cover art: c'mon, guys, we have a hard enough time convincing the world that metal rules as is, don't make it harder for us. Bands splintering and doing the “Entombed/Entombed A.D.” thing: it tarnishes the legacy and is just head-shakingly cringeworthy for all involved. Metal bands playing with symphonies: never works, never once, ever. Song titles like “ManUNkind”: see point one, and let's work a bit harder to prove this music we love has some smarts after all.
Thoughts On 2016
Another killer year for metal; I'm starting to think that if you know where to look, every year is a good one. The Dillinger Escape Plan went out on top, which is no surprise to anyone; RIP, guys. The surprise here is Ulcerate killing it at number two on my list (number one some days), the band's dense, difficult death metal proving to be a truly transcendent experience up there with the likes of Gorguts. Neurosis got concise on their new one but it still packed a huge punch; Trap Them and Nails both laid down aggressive, d-beat-driven hardcore/metal, rounding out an extremely moving top five this year, these albums being the kind that you put on and they totally take you away. Plus, any year that has new ones from Testament and Gorguts is a good one by me. Sure, lots of good metal folks died but cool it with the “2016 was THE WORST” stuff; none of us are getting any younger and the old dogs are going to continue to drop as the years go on; let's celebrate lives well lived, not dwell on the inevitability of hard-partying guys dying too young.
Metal Predictions For 2017
Murky, sewer-grade death metal will continue to kill it as some of the best stuff out there, and Canadian bands will lead the charge. Hopefully some of the old-dog metal bands will take the lead of groups like Testament, Accept, and Saxon and age with grace. Crusted-over death metal-infused grind will be right up there with the aforementioned murky death as some of the coolest sounds in the underground, and traditional '91-style death seems to be making a comeback, with solid, Van Drunenian vibes all over the place.
Check out our BravePicks 2016 countdown where Metallica reigned supreme here.