BravePicks 2018 - The Scribes Speak! Greg Pratt

January 12, 2019, 10 months ago

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BravePicks 2018 - The Scribes Speak! Greg Pratt

BravePicks 2018 - The Scribes Speak!
Greg Pratt

Top 20 of 2018
1) VOIVOD - The Wake (Century Media)
2) MAMMOTH GRINDER - Cosmic Crypt (Relapse)
3) CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - No Cross No Crown (Nuclear Blast)
4) BEHEMOTH - I Loved You at Your Darkest (Metal Blade)
5) AXIS OF DESPAIR - Contempt For Man (Southern Lord Records)
6) THE SKULL - The Endless Road Turns Dark (Tee Pee Records)
7) YOB - Our Raw Heart (Relapse)
8) PORTAL - Ion (Profound Lore)
9) SIEGE OF POWER - Warning Blast (Metal Blade Records)
10) MEMORIAM - The Silent Vigil (Nuclear Blast)
11) DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN - ...And You Will Obey Me (Transcending Obscurity)
12) TERRORIZER - Caustic Attack (The End Records)
13) PULVERIZED - Monuments Of Misanthropy (Krucyator Productions)
14) PIG DESTROYER - Head Cage (Relapse Records)
15) TRAPPIST - Ancient Brewing Techniques (Relapse Records)
16) KRISIUN - Scourge Of The Enthroned (Century Media Records)
17) CORPSESSED - Impetus of Death (Dark Descent)
18) ZIGGURAT - Ritual Miasma (Blood Harvest)
19) HOODED MENACE - Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed (Season of Mist)
20) MOURNFUL CONGREGATION - The Incubus of Karma (20 Buck Spin)

Top 3 Concerts
SOULFLY / TODAY IS THE DAY – Upstairs Cabaret, Victoria, BC
STRUNG OUT – Capital Ballroom, Victoria, BC
ANCIIENTS – Centennial Square, Victoria, BC

 Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
TRIBULATION – Down Below (Century Media)
I just don't get it, but maybe because I'm not a 14-year-old goth kid.

AT THE GATES – To Drink From The Night Itself (Century Media)
God damn it. I love this band. Why do I never love their new albums? Not an embarrassment exactly, just so forgettable, which is not what I want from At The Gates.

ABORTED – TerrorVision (Century Media)
Somehow, somewhere, at some point, Aborted's gurgling gore-grind turned into sterile groove metal without actually sounding like sterile groove metal, and it's killing me.

NEONDERTHAL DEATH – Neonderthal (Nightmare Begins) (Ektro)
I dunno, part of me actually likes the idea of combining old-school Swedish death with synthwave. Yet, here we are.

BLASPHEMY – Blood Upon The Soundspace (Nuclear War Now! Productions)
I love Blasphemy, I love archival releases, I even liked this record. But there came a point this year where I actually said, in a disparaging tone, “Ugh, another new Blasphemy release?” Nuclear War Now!'s reissue campaign was cool but was seriously threatening overkill by the time it got to this point.

What / Who Needs To Stop In 2019
I roll my eyes and ignore the joke bands out there; I mean, maybe Anal Trump are great (I love grindcore, so I'd probably love them), and maybe the bluegrass metal stuff is fantastic, but I just can't, you know? My feeling for what needs to stop is a sort of general exhaustion with anything that prevents metal from being taken seriously by the world at large, from that joke crap that clogs up my Facebook to battle of the bands competitions that just make me want to weep to old dogs with horrible cover art and cliche album titles... I'm not even thinking of anyone in particular, let's just make sure our art is good art.

Thoughts On 2018
Maybe it's just a numbers game with the sheer quantity of new metal I listen to annually, but I feel like there's just a decent amount of good releases almost every damn year, and 2018 was certainly no exception. The fact that albums from bands as great as KEN mode (their new one is excellent), Mantar, Hate Eternal, Cripple Bastards, Cult Leader, and Gorod weren't able to crack the top 20 (!) shows just how solid this year was. Mammoth Grinder's Cosmic Crypt was a serious contender for number one here, beating out only by Voivod's majesty, because how can you compete with a Voivod on top of their game? COC with Pepper is always a winning combo, and holy crap did Behemoth ever finally win me over this year with a monster of an album, their Master Of Puppets. Axis Of Despair grind out the top five in what is a extremely healthy, diverse, vital year for metal. Napalm Death's compilation release was better than most bands' best full-length, it just isn't included on my year-end list because no comps are allowed. Of course, lots of deaths this year, a trend that will only continue as the years go on; it's not so tragic when someone who has lived a good long life fighting the metal fight passes, but when someone like Caleb Scofield of Cave In dies at 39, ugh, it's just brutal.

Metal Predictions For 2019
Extreme death metal like Noctambulist—whose Atmospheres Of Desolation release, slated for a January release, totally kills it—are going to continue to increase their foothold in the underground despite some grumblings of cavernous DM running its course; Noctambulist take to the caves but also add in dissonant Pyrrhon-esque sounds, creating a new form of extreme metal well worth keeping an eye on. We'll probably see more final tours from some of the legacy bands, and for a lot of them, I think, good, go out while they're still kind of on top, let's not stretch things out. I mean, remember how Dillinger Escape Plan went out while they were still basically on top of their game? That's how it's done. I look forward to extreme bands doing things traditional and also pushing limits, as the past five years has certainly shown there's room for both trains of thought out there. And can we just make it happen and see BW&BK returning to its print glory please and thanks?

Check out our BravePicks 2018 countdown where Behemoth took the top spot here.

More Scribes Speak:
Mark Gromen
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