BravePicks 2019 - OPETH's In Cauda Venenum #3
December 29, 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!
3) OPETH – In Caudad Venenum (Nuclear Blast)
A new dawn arose for Opeth with 2011’s Heritage. In the blink of an eye, the Swedes went from venerable death metal to full-on progressive rock. Polarizing to say the least, mainman Mikael Åkerfeldt abandoned the growling vocals and now the troupe is four albums into this new era. With each release enjoying various degrees of memorability, the blood, sweat, and tears has culminated in the most profound and monstrous offering of their modern recordings. The band even tried something new, as In Cauda Venenum is available in two versions, English and Swedish vocals! Steeped in ‘70s type guitars and vocals, the music is determined to leave a burning impression with rich and humming riffs and Åkerfeldt’s best clean vocal performance.
In a BraveWords feature, Åkerfeldt explained the decision to record the album in Swedish: "I was taking my kids to school one morning, and I started thinking that maybe I should write the lyrics in Swedish. It's by no means a groundbreaking idea - it's been done before - but the more I thought about it the more I liked it. And it didn't have so much to do with what the lyrical content would be; it opened up the music for me and I had a plan. That's necessary for me, and whether I stick to that plan is irrelevant, but I need a plan to get going. I'm a very impulsive writer in terms of lyrics and music, I don't linger too much on an idea and I made quick decisions, and when I started singing the stuff it didn't sound weird. We've done one cover in Swedish ('Den Ständiga Resan' by Marie Fredriksson of Roxette fame), but I've never done my own songs with lyrics in Swedish, and it clicked."
BravePicks 2019 Top 30
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)