BravePicks 2018 - The Scribes Speak! "Metal" Tim Henderson

January 23, 2019, 6 months ago

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BravePicks 2018 - The Scribes Speak! "Metal" Tim Henderson

BravePicks 2018 - The Scribes Speak!
"Metal" Tim Henderson

Top 20 of 2018
1) WARREL DANE - Shadowwork (Century Media)
2) BEHEMOTH – I Loved You At Your Darkest (Metal Blade)
3) IMMORTAL - Northern Chaos Gods (Nuclear Blast)
4) MELIAH RAGE - Idol Hands (Metal On Metal)
5) AT THE GATES – To Drink From The Night Itself (Century Media)
6) JUDAS PRIEST - Firepower (Sony)
7) MONSTROSITY – The Passage Of Existence (Metal Blade)
8) UNLEASHED - The Hunt For White Christ (Napalm)
9) METAL CHURCH – Damned If You Do (Nuclear Blast / Rat Pak)
10) BLOODBATH - The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn (Peaceville)
11) DEICIDE - Overtures Of Blasphemy (Century Media)
12) VOIVOD - The Wake (Century Media)
13) ALICE IN CHAINS - Rainier Fog (BMG)
14) IHSAHN - Amr (Candlelight)
15) AMORPHIS - Queen Of Time (Nuclear Blast)
16) HATE ETERNAL - Upon Desolate Sands (Season Of Mist)
17) NECROPHOBIC - The Mark Of The Necrogram (Century Media)
18) SKINLESS - Savagery (Relapse)
19) CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - No Cross No Crown (Nuclear Blast)
20) ANVIL – Pounding The Pavement (Steamhammer)

Top 3 Concerts
SLAYER – Budweiser Stage – Toronto, ON
70000 Tons Of Metal 2018
VENOM INC. - Coalition - Toronto, ON

Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
GHOST – Prequelle (Loma Vista)
Never got the hype or will get the allure. And they won a FN Grammy? This band should disappear.

STEPHEN PEARCY - View To A Thrill (Frontiers)
Nothing worse than when you smell a Ratt. 

VENOM - Storm The Gates (Spinefarm)
As stated, Venom Inc. was clearly the club show of the year, in the pit and all in support of the glorious Avé, which is light years ahead of where Cronos’ black metal heart is at. 

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES – Still Cyco Punk After All These Years (Suicidal Records)
I realize I’m in the minority here, but all I can say is give me Art Of Rebellion part II. Clean, dark, depressing and wrist-slittingly divine!

DON AIREY - One Of A Kind (earMUSIC) 
With a resume including Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Deep Purple and Gary Moore, one must echo the famous Who lyric: “I hope I die before I get old.”

Thoughts On 2018
When you find out the main reason why you do what you do is retiring, it numbs you. It’s no secret that if it wasn’t for Slayer, you probably wouldn’t be reading this. That’s the ultimate power they hold. Fuckin’ Slayer. And Slayer Saves. Pretty tough to watch Tom Araya wave good-bye to the city of Toronto last summer. It was their biggest show ever in Southern Ontario. And sure, we are already seeing a Scorpions-styled goodbye and with Slayer headlining Heavy Montréal this year, here's hoping it is au revoir and not goodbye.

We did say goodbye to treasured Motörhead/Fastway guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke, which means the most-revered era of the famed trio (Lemmy and Philthy) are back together again. Sad. But we still "live to win" with their unmatched legacy! The deaths of Pantera/Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul and Malevolent Creation singer Bret Hoffmann also hit hard. And famed producer Chris Tsangarides, whose handiwork shone on Judas Priest’s Painkiller, Thin Lizzy’s Thunder And Lightning and Anvil’s triumphant two-punch of Metal On Metal and Forged In Fire. Pure genius.

One thing that makes my stomach turn is when supposed rockers tell me that there is nothing worthy of their ears and meanwhile 2018 is yet another banner year for heavy metal. The sad reality in this era is that you have to work hard to find it and if you aren’t in circles with those in the know, the albums just come and go. So it was easy to build a top 20 this year, although my number one pick is marred with pain and melancholy, from a man who I revere so high and mighty. The loss of Warrel Dane still pains me, but one final treasure was unearthed called Shadowwork, an album that echoed a bit of Nevermore’s past, a touch of his brilliant debut Praises To The War Machine, and his future visions. Yes, I woulda laid money on a Nevermore reunion. Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy) knew it was in the cards. 

And I was quite proud of the BraveWords team who saw the light and darkness by collectively choosing Behemoth’s I Loved You At Your Darkest as our BravePick of 2018! With Dimmu Borgir’s shocking fumble, Nergal and company have easily slipped into the black metal throne and their latest masterwork is such a journey into those dark places we all yearn to dwell in! 

Abbath who? Immortal’s Northern Chaos Gods was easily the year’s most gloriously painful musical experiences that breathed fire from start to finish. Now where are those live dates?

And At The Gates’ To Drink From The Night Itself is akin to The Clash’s London Calling, as odd as that sounds. Whereas the Brits decided to release the moment as one double-LP at the time, the Swedish master lords chose to separate them, hence To Drink From The Night Itself is the logical continuation of At War With Reality, without suffering from repetition. And to think the band thought Slaughter Of The Soul was the end of the road. 

Judas Priest are without a doubt the greatest band in heavy metal history and their catalog will never be surpassed. Firepower may not have been the Painkiller part two I’ve been craving, but the Metal Gods are still firing on all cylinders with musicianship that artists decades younger only wish they had in them.

The most criminally underrated entity continues to be this gem from Boston, that features some of the most accomplished performers in the scene, despite many physical and mental hurdles Meliah Rage had to overcome. Idol Hands is power metal at its finest; pounding rhythms, soaring chorus lines and riffs that only the devil himself could conjure!    

What/Who Needs To Stop In 2019
A sense of entitlement. Artists that crowd-fund. Bands that feel they can put their hands in my wallet before creating any art. That’s not how it works. Get a fucking job and pay for the studio time. Shop or sell it yourself on your own terms. How often to you see painters, authors doing the same thing? The entire work ethic is lost. So show some ethics. And show me the finished product. If it’s worthy, then you’ve earned your keep. 

And BraveWords gets pounded daily from bands around the globe, most have no business or marketing savvy. Hence my previous point of just leaning on “donations”. It is called the music business for a reason. And if you are running a business, you require a business plan. How are you going to stick out from the dozens upon dozens of other bands that are releasing new material every week. Think about it. You’ve put your sweat and blood into this finished art form and you are waiting for people to come to you? Pull your head out of your ass. 

Metal Predictions For 2019
Well, BraveWords turns 25 officially in March! It’s been a helluva ride and well beyond all of our expectations, moving from a print magazine from (1994-2008) to one of the worlds most-viewed music websites on the planet. So expect a major celebration in the coming months. And eternal thanks to every metalhead around the planet that has supported us since day one!

And yes, you will see K.K. Downing return to Priest. Kiss will implode on the road. And Greta Van Fleet? Really, these are the saviours of “new” rock for the future? And don’t get me started on a possible Dio Hologram tour of North America. Ronnie, please rest in peace. Literally. 

And be sure to watch us at 70000 Tons Of Metal, Heavy Montréal and Summer Breeze this year, three of the most ultimate fan experiences you can dream (evil) of!

Oh, and if you are an Iron Maiden fan and love guzzling beer, you’ll want to stay tuned!

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

More Scribes Speak:
Mark Gromen
Aaron Small
Gregg Pratt
Carl Begai
Nick Balazs
Rich Catino

Featured Audio

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SABATON – “Great War” (Nuclear Blast)

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