BravePicks 2017 - The Scribes Speak! Mark Gromen
January 3, 2018, a year ago
BravePicks 2017 - The Scribes Speak!
Top 20 of 2017
1) NIGHT DEMON – Darkness Remains (SPV/Century Media)
2) NIGHT – Raft Of The World (The Sign Records)
3) BLAZING RUST – Armed To Exist (Pure Steel)
4) ATTIC – Sanctimonious (Van)
5) GRAVE DIGGER – Healed By Metal (Napalm)
6) ICED EARTH – Incorruptible (Century Media)
7) JAG PANZER – The Deviant Chord (SPV)
8) MEAN STREAK -Blind Faith (Rock Of Angels Records)
9) ACCEPT – The Rise of Chaos (Nuclear Blast)
10) EVIL INVADERS – Feed Me Violence (Napalm)
11) MIDNIGHT RIDER – Manifestation (Massacre)
12) DEAD LORD – In Ignorance We Trust (Century Media)
13) REVENGE – Spitting Fire (Rata Mutante)
14) RHINO BUCKET - The Last Real Rock n Roll (Acetate Records)
15) THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM – The Doomsday Kingdom (Nuclear Blast)
16) LYZZÄRD – Savage (Fighter)
17) KREATOR – Gods Of Violence (Nuclear Blast)
18) BLAZON STONE - Down In the Dark (Stormspell)
19) JUNKYARD – High Water (Acetate Records)
20) STALKER – Shadow Of the Sword (Napalm)
Top 3 Concerts
SABATON / ACCEPT – Apollo O2 Manchester, UK
JUNKYARD / LITTLE CAESAR – Whiskey Tango, Philly
DEAD LORD/EVIL INVADERS/BULLET – Bang Your Head, Germany
Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
BATTLE BEAST – Bringer Of Pain (Nuclear Blast)
Not sure about pain, but aural and intestinal discomfort, for sure. My review referenced Abba, Heart and Kenny G. Enough said!
CRYONIC TEMPLE – Into The Glorious Battle (Scarlet)
This one pains me, as their sophomore effort Blood, Guts & Glory is a guilty pleasure, although the latest is devoid of those titular qualities. Also minus any heart!
DREAM EVIL – Six (Century Media)
Certainly not worth the 7-plus years wait. Latest (last?) from Swedish power metallers should be deep sixed.
NOCTURNAL RITES – Phoenix (AFM)
More like Last Rites! Waited a decade for this? One song sounds like Bon Jovi, another Ghost. Ugh.
THE UNITY – The Unity (SPV)
On paper, the line-up (moonlighting Gamma Ray members, waiting of Kai Hansen to return from Helloween reunion) sounds promising. While some paper becomes money, with intrinsic values, other paper merely wipes asses!
What/Who Needs To Stop In 2018
Pointless Electronic Publicity. OK, this is a bit of an insider rant, but with everyone connected digitally and it not costing anything to send emails, seems like labels, bands and publicists feel it necessary to clog up my inbox with a barrage of pointless “news” items, announcing singles, compilations and “last chance” at promos, for bands that should never be listened to, in the first place. Once upon a time, they sent a CD, bio and that was it. Now they can build a constantly nagging “publicity campaign”: “CD is coming, here's a single, CD is still coming, here's a lyric video. Want to interview the band? Download the CD. My mistake, here's the proper download code. Singer has hangnail and/or stubbed his toe, wants to talk about it. Last call for downloading promo.” There's a REAL good chance that if I haven't looked into the download (which they can trace) after your first or second message, then I'm not interested! Worse than telemarketers.
Thoughts On 2017
Interesting to reconnect with giant, outdoor Metallica show. Tiamat doing Wildhoney, in its entirety at Summer Breeze, spellbinding! Night Demon live album recording, in Cleveland, alongside original Breaker line-up and old friends Shok Paris, all for charity, was an amazing night. Great to see bands that have headlined Wacken in tiny, intimate settings, Accept at Irving Plaza and Saxon, on back-to-back nights, at BB Kings, both in NYC. Cool four-song EP from Chilean act Lucifer's Hammer, following up on last year's debut. Excited about the re-activation of Heavy Load, complete with expanded re-issues and live dates. With the inactivity (and seeming demise) of underground zines like Iron Fist and Snakepit, nice to get reacquainted with the original early ‘80s Kerrang journos, now turning out the print-only Rock Candy mag. Said it last year, but bears reminding, as nostalgic/cash grabs “reunite” and carve the shrinking pie into even smaller slices, make a resolution to check out at least one new band a month, in the coming year.
Metal Predictions For 2018
BraveWords will once again be a sponsor/supporter of 70000 Tons Of Metal, Summer Breeze, in Dinkelsbuhl, Germany and the glorious return of Heavy Montreal! Hope to see you out at a show!
Check out our BravePicks 2017 countdown where Overkill took the top spot here.