BravePicks 2017 - The Scribes Speak! Greg Pratt
January 4, 2018, a year ago
BravePicks 2017 - The Scribes Speak!
Top 20 of 2017
1) PROPAGANDHI - Victory Lap (Epitaph)
2) INCANTATION - Profane Nexus (Relapse)
3) JOHN FRUM - A Stirring In the Noos (Relapse)
4) PYRRHON - What Passes for Survival (Willowtip)
5) VALLENFYRE - For Those Who Fear Him (Century Media)
6) IMMOLATION - Atonement (Nuclear Blast)
7) KREATOR - Gods Of Violence (Nuclear Blast)
8) THE OMINOUS CIRCLE - Appalling Ascension (20 Buck Spin/Osmose)
9) PARADISE LOST - Medusa (Nuclear Blast)
10) EXHUMED - Death Revenge (Relapse)
11) BLACKFINGER - When Colors Fade Away (M-Theory)
12) EXPULSION - Nightmare Future (Relapse)
13) ORIGIN - Unparalleled Universe (Nuclear Blast)
14) CANNIBAL CORPSE - Red Before Black (Metal Blade)
15) FATHER BEFOULED - Desolate Gods (Dark Descent)
16) WITH THE DEAD - Love From With The Dead (Rise Above)
17) LOCK UP - Demonization (Listenable)
18) ACCEPT - The Rise of Chaos (Nuclear Blast)
19) TAU CROSS - Pillar Of Fire (Relapse)
20) BISON - You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient (Pelagic)
Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
DECAPITATED - Anticult (Nuclear Blast)
This band's slow descent into sports-bar, no-fun groove metal is just unbearable, and this album didn't help matters any. Sounds like the local Pantera cover band discovering Meshuggah, which, just, argh... remember Decapitated's early albums?
QUIET RIOT - Road Rage (Frontiers)
There's potential for old-dog bands like QR, but good god can someone please give all these guys the memo that “dark and serious” does NOT make for a good rock album?
ANNIHILATOR - For The Demented (Neverland Music)
I want to love this band. I do love this band! But there's always so much to not love about a new album, this time around the clashing mixture of sounds and the childish lyrics making me feel icy cold toward it.
SEPULTURA - Machine Messiah (Nuclear Blast)
Something's gotta give with these modern Sep albums. Great band, and I've been defending them longer into their career than anyone. But these releases are starting to come and go and just leaving no impact. I can't even really remember this one, even though I know I enjoyed it as it played. And that's what's gotta give.
BURN - Do Or Die (Deathwish)
Man, legendary hardcore band here. Forgettable groove/near-nu comeback album here. Still doesn't tarnish the legacy of the 7” to me, but I'll just strike this one from the record.
What/Who Needs To Stop In 2018
I said this last year, but it hasn't stopped yet, so, please: bands splintering and forming into two camps with very similar names, ugh, just stop. Any band that takes away from our life's work of trying to convince the world that metal rules by basically being a joke and somehow making it big, stop. Guys in legacy metal acts referring to their band as a “brand”: stop. Guys from bands like that going on head-shaking entrepreneurial ventures. Stop.
Thoughts On 2017
I know, I've got what is more or less a hardcore band sitting in the number one slot above, but Propagandhi have enough thrash riffs in them (and a love of metal burning through their veins) for it to make sense. Between that album and the rest of my top five, man, I look at that list of albums and get goosebumps (but fucking metal goosebumps, okay?) just thinking about the music, all of those records full of evocative, moving, forward momentum. Really, 2017 was an amazing year not just for metal but for metal that really has some heart and soul behind it, every album on my top 20 being one that really took me places, each one played with tons of heart and soul. Also, gotta say, Venom Inc. was #21 with a bullet; great album, just too much stiff competition. Aside from all the great new releases this year, Martin Eric Ain passing away made us all realize just what a huge impact the man had on extreme music; RIP, Martin, and RIP to all our other metal soldiers who passed away in 2017.
Metal Predictions For 2018
People keep yelling in my ear about synthwave or hip doom or something, but I dunno, I just shrug and let the music do the talking, and what seems to be happening right now is a ton of legacy death metal bands leading the way, a handful of metal of murky-DM bands pulling up the backend with admirable tenacity, a couple smart doom bands standing out from the pack by adding in some near-'70s sounds and feelings, and, well, Kreator being Kreator. Which is awesome. Bands like Megadeth and Metallica release albums that make me talk, but bands like The Ominous Circle release albums that actually make me feel. I don't look forward to bands being influenced by Pallbearer and Khemmis, because I just see that resulting in a lot of dull albums with songs that are too long, but those two bands are definitely doing interesting things in doom and are going to keep making provocative music in '18. And, the new Corrosion Of Conformity rules (not a prediction, I've heard it and it rules).
Check out the thoughts of our other scribes:
Check out our BravePicks 2017 countdown where Overkill took the top spot here.