BravePicks 2016 - The Scribes Speak! Jason Deaville
January 6, 2017, a year ago
BravePicks 2016 - The Scribes Speak!
Top 20 of 2016
1) METALLICA - Hardwired... To Self-Destruct (Blackened)
2) DARKTHRONE - Artic Thunder (Peaceville)
3) IHSAHN - Arktis (Candlelight)
4) DARK FUNERAL - Where Shadows Forever Reign (Century Media)
5) VEKTOR - Terminak Redux (Earache)
6) GUTTER INSTINCT - Age Of The Fanatics (Prosthetic)
7) CHTHE'ILIST - Le Dernier Crépuscule (Profound Lore)
8) INQUISITION - Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith (Season Of Mist)
9) PRONG - X (No Absolutes) (Steamhammer)
10) WORMED - Krighsu (Season Of Mist)
11) DESPISED ICON - Beast (Nuclear Blast)
12) ANTHRAX - For All Kings (Nuclear Blast)
13) TESTAMENT - Brotherhood Of The Snake (Nuclear Blast)
14) SUMERLANDS - S/T (Relapse)
15) ETERNAL CHAMPIOM - The Armor Of Ire (No Remorse)
16) TOMBS - ALL EMPIRES FALL (Relapse)
17) NAILS - You Will Never Be One Of Us (Nuclear Blast)
18) DEHUMANIZED - Beyond The Mind (Comatose)
19) ABBATH - S/T (Season Of Mist)
20) BORKNAGAR - Winter Thrice (Century Media)
Top 3 Concerts
CANNIBAL CORPSE, OBITUARY, CRYPTOPSY – Opera House; Toronto, ON
ANNIHILATOR, RAZOR - Maxwells; Waterloo, ON
HEAVY MONTRÉAL 2016 - parc Jean-Drapeau; Montreal, QC
Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – King (Nuclear Blast)
A once mighty death metal legion, this Italian quintuplet has fallen harder than the Roman Empire. Following-up the incredible twosome of Agony and Labyrinth was certainly no easy feat, and it seems the guys might have succumbed to the inherent creative pressure. King lacks the depth and beauty that endeared its predecessors to these ears.
OBSCURA - AKROASIS (Relapse)
Man, I was incredibly excited for this album after hearing the teaser for the album's title-track way back in the fall of '15. That song, coming across as a proggier early Emperor, promised new adventures into long-forgotten territories. In the end, the album falls flat, a dull and uninspiring listen. Gone is the ingenuity, replaced with directionless diversity.
ANAAL NATHRAKH - The Whole Of The Law (Century Media)
I get it. They have a recipe, one that has worked for them for many years. But, like grandma's famous Christmas fruitcake, that shit starts to become stale and gross year after unchanging year. Soon, what you are left with is akin to a lump of shit speckled with chewy, flavorless pieces of uninspired filler; filler disguised as introspection. This is most apparent in the neo-classical meets baroque vibe scattered throughout. Now, I've got nothing against classical in my extremity, but this does not work here, as any semblance of melody becomes lost in the wall of nonsensical industrial noise that is - and always has been - the Anaal Nathrakh experience. Funny that it took this album to finally realize that I've never actually really enjoyed these guys, apart from a song or two over their fifteen year existence.
BORKNAGAR - Winter Thrice (Century Media)
I know, how can one album make the best-of and an embarrassment list at the same time? Well, let the latest Borknagar album, Winter Thrice, be the first to do so! So, this album contains two of the year's best songs in "The Rhymes Of The Mountain" and "Winter Thrice" (the album's two lead off tracks). The rest of the album? Yeah, not so much. Sure, I can appreciate the effort of the songwriting, which is certainly extensive and ambitious. That being said, and more often than not, this penchant for the grandiose works against them, with killer riffs and ideas meandering off into the blinding blizzard. Perhaps I just lack the patience required to truly unlock the secrets found within. If the genius of the first two tracks is any indication, simplicity in song-writing works best for these guys... keep it simple stupid!
IN FLAMES - Battles (Eleven Seven Music/Nuclear Blast)
Not sure why I even bother putting them on here. At this point, isn't it just a given? No matter, if you like your metal sounding like it was created for pre-schoolers, enjoy! Drivel.
What/Who Needs To Stop In 2017
SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) in metal. There is no place for this shit. Let metal be metal - no matter how fucking ugly it gets. If you can't handle it, get the fuck out! Seriously. Goodbye.
Thoughts On 2016
Like these things always do, let's start with paying our respects to those we lost in '16. Some notable deaths include: Jimmy Bain (Rainbow, Dio), John Thomas (Budgie), and Nick Menza (Megadeth). It's never easy waking up to find that a hero has passed, but such is the curse of time. Still with us on earthly plains, though, lost to those who love him, is Enslaved's Herbrand Larsen, who recently announced his departure from the Nordic legends. Herbrand has become an integral part of the band's sound over the last thirteen years, and it's going to be hard to imagine Enslaved without those beautiful, soaring clean vocals - the perfect accompaniment to the extremity. Earlier in the year, the metal world was left in shock when long-time British death metallers Bolt Thrower called it quits, nearly a year after the passing of their drummer Martin Kearns. It could be argued that they weren't very active in the first place. No matter, their departure leaves a palpable sense of emptiness in the hallowed halls of metal.
Metal Predictions For 2017
Social Justice Warriors will be outed for their falseness, with the revelation that they never actually liked metal - they just wanted to ruin something for everyone else in their ongoing effort to project their own miserable existence onto others. Nice try, fuckers. Anyway, this might work on other genres of music, but metal has more balls than that. With the exit of these pretentious assholes, metal just keeps on being metal - as it has for decades - unencumbered, brutal, sexist, intolerant - whatever the fuck it wants to be. Beyond that, some brutal death metal heavyweights are expected to drop some earthquakes, this includes Devourment, Dying Fetus, Analepsy, and Abominable Putridity.
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Check out our BravePicks 2016 countdown where Metallica reigned supreme here.