BravePicks 2019 - AMON AMARTH's Berserker #2
December 30, 2019, 2 months ago
As Dark Angel famously said, “Time Does Not Heal”, but it certainly moves fast and here we are again, staring at our annual BravePicks countdown where the devout scribes at BraveWords get to stand up and shout! 2019, yet another banner year for extreme music, whether you call it heavy metal or not. We do, cuz we wear it on our sleeves! So the votes are in and the compiling is complete! It's time to crown the winners and put the noose around the bands that truly let us down.
So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2019 each day in December!
Everybody has an opinion and it’s time for ours! And stay tuned in January for the writers’ individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), Top 3 Concerts, What/Who Needs To Stop In 2019? and Metal Predictions For 2020. All will be showcased come the New Year!
So let’s commence the good, bad and ugly of 2019! First up, the Top 30 releases of 2019!
2) AMON AMARTH – Berserker (Metal Blade)
Flying high again! The Swedish Viking metal crusade Amon Amarth has firmly established themselves as one of the prominent names in the metal scene and of course with more popularity, there comes increased scrutiny upon new releases. In 2019 came the Berserker and it is easily their best output since the mid-‘00s. Bersersker is a testament to the strength of the warrior mentality AA embodies. Johan Hegg brings forth an inspired and strengthened vocal performance and the band don’t repeat the same formulas and instead opt for some surprises that can lead to more interesting endeavors down the line. Berserker is destined (if not already) to be one of the band’s best pillages yet!
As scribe Mark Gromen proclaimed in his review: “The Swedes continue the pattern of the last decade, issuing a great album after a so-so effort. Jomsviking pales in the light of its Deceiver Of the Gods predecessor and now comes Berserker, to once again put the viKINGS back on their pedestal. Some might balk at the accompanying literature avoiding any allusions to ‘melodic black metal’, even going to far as to proclaim this Amon Amarth 2.0, allowing them to ‘give ourselves the space to explore other parts of our musicality.’ Fear not! Although it begins with lone acoustic guitar, ‘Fafner's Gold’ is a full blown, aggro song, not just an intro. Utilizing a Norse myth (Fafnir), as well as classical composer Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen opera (Fafner), it recounts a tale of greed (depicted as a dragon).”
BravePicks 2019 Top 30
2) AMON AMARTH - Berserker (Metal Blade)
3) OPETH - In Cauda Venenum (Nuclear Blast)
4) POSSESSED - Revelations Of Oblivion (Nuclear Blast)
5) MAYHEM - Daemon (Century Media)
6) HAUNT - If Icarus Could Fly (Shadow Kingdom)
7) CHILDREN OF BODOM - Hexed (Nuclear Blast)
8) FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - The End Of Chaos (AFM)
9) RIOT CITY - Burn The Night
10) THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG - New Organon (Cruz Del Sur)
11) WEDNESDAY 13 - Necrophaze (Nuclear Blast)
12) NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE DEAD THINK - No One Knows What The Dead Think (Willowtip)
13) OVERKILL - The Wings Of War (Nuclear Blast)
14) CANDLEMASS - The Door To Doom (Napalm)
15) MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST - Revelation (Nuclear Blast)
16) QUEENSRŸCHE - The Verdict (Century Media)
17) SABATON - The Great War (Nuclear Blast)
18) WHITESNAKE - Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)
19) GATECREEPER - Deserted (Relapse)
20) GRAND MAGUS - Wolf God (Nuclear Blast)
21) DESTRUCTION - Born To Perish (Nuclear Blast)
22) TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION - High In The Saddle (eOne)
23) EXHUMED - Horror (Relapse)
24) DEATH ANGEL - Humanicide (Nuclear Blast)
25) BEAST IN BLACK - From Hell With Love (Nuclear Blast)
26) D-A-D - A Prayer For The Loud (AFM)
27) IDLE HANDS - Mana (Eisenwald)
28) HELL FIRE - Mania (Riding Easy)
29) SOILWORK - Verkligheten (Nuclear Blast)
30) MEMORIAM – Requiem For Mankind (Nuclear Blast)