BravePicks 2019 - The Scribes Speak! Carl Begai

January 4, 2020, 7 months ago

news heavy metal bravepicks 2019 children of bodom

BravePicks 2019 - The Scribes Speak! Carl Begai

BravePicks 2019 - The Scribes Speak!
Carl Begai

Top 20 of 2019
1) CHILDREN OF BODOM - Hexed (Nuclear Blast)
2) CYHRA - No Halos In Hell (Nuclear Blast)
3) QUEENSRŸCHE - The Verdict (Century Media)
4) M.I.GOD - Specters On Parade (Fastball)
5) SOILWORK - Verkligheten (Nuclear Blast)
6) LINDSAY SCHOOLCRAFT - Martyr (Schoolcraft Music)
7) AMON AMARTH - Berserker (Metal Blade)
8) DANKO JONES - A Rock Supreme (Bad Taste)
9) OPETH - In Cauda Venenum (Nuclear Blast)
10) BLACK STAR RIDERS - Another State Of Grace (Nuclear Blast)
11) DREAM THEATER - Distance Over Time (InsideOut)
12) LACUNA COIL - Black Anima (Century Media)
13) KOBRA AND THE LOTUS - Evolution (Napalm Records)
14) TOTENGEFLÜSTER - The Faceless Divine (Black Lion Records)
15) DESTRUCTION - Born To Perish (Nuclear Blast)
16) THE DARK ELEMENT - Songs The Night Sings (Frontiers)
17) DOUBLE CRUSH SYNDROME - Death To Pop (Arising Empire)
18) NILE - Vile Nilotic Rites (Nuclear Blast)
19) GYZE - Asian Chaos (Victor Entertainment)
20) WHO BROUGHT THE DOG - No World Order (MDD Records)

Top 3 Concerts
1) ANNIHILATOR - Nuremberg, Germany
2) QUEENSRŸCHE - Aschaffenburg, Germany
3) SABATON / HAMMERFALL - Toronto, Ontario

Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
BATTLE BEAST – No More Hollywood Endings (Nuclear Blast)
Sappy commercial "metal" that sounds like it was made from a set of expensive cookie cutters. I love Noora Louhimo's voice, but not at half strength. Where's the rage?

MANOWAR - The Final Battle I (Magic Circle)
Ah.... the sound of Joey DeMaio thinking he's Christopher Lee as he reads a Dr. Seuss fairytale entitled "You Shall Die Before I Die". Samuel L. Jackson narrating "Go The Fuck To Sleep" is award-winning artistic superiority in comparison.

SONATA ARCTICA - Talviyö (Nuclear Blast)
Band / artists grow and change over time, and Sonata Arctica have done just that, but this sounds lazy and uninspired. We don't need the shred from top to bottom, but how about more than one drum tempo?

BABYMETAL - Metal Galaxy (Toy's Factory)
Auto-tuned kiddie metal based on the classic Mortal Kombat theme music, with a questionable Lolita marketing strategy. What would they do without in-studio mega-technology and dirty old men?

LINDEMANN - F & M (Universal)
Musically brilliant given that we're talking about members of Rammstein and Hypocrisy / Pain stepping out of their comfort zones.... only to have Till Lindemann singing in German. Disappointing compared to the daring debut album.

Thoughts On 2019
Where to start? With the multitude of amazing shows taken in? The brilliant conversations with artists from all walks of metal? The number of killer albums that have crossed by desk? My annoyance at slowly but surely becoming used to using Spotify rather than holding fast to my old school CD / vinyl ways? Wanting to kill the postal motherfucker who stole some precious Theatre Of Tragedy vinyl LPs sent my way by the band?

Perhaps the biggest thing I've taken from 2019 is the fact that no matter how absolutely crap a day / week / month was, the music was always there to pick me up and put me back together. Whether it was scathing black metal, cheese-infused '80s hair metal, death metal brutality, or lust-you-in-black goth metal, being able to get lost and escape in the waves of sound was a priceless form of therapy. It always has been, but it was especially true of a very dark year.

Two things will remain embedded in my twisted brain:

- The Scarlet Sins reunion show at the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto, which was huge on a personal level. It truly was a family reunion that I will be eternally grateful for.

- Jeff Waters' tribute to the late Randy Rampage at the Annihilator show in Nuremberg, Germany, which was both touching and hilarious at the same time. Anyone who was fortunate / smart enough to catch a show on the UK / European tour knows what I'm talking about. It was an unexpected tip of the hat to their former vocalist, and I was struck by how the audience hung on Jeff's every word, giving him their full attention. It was probably the quietest an Annihilator show has ever been... until the band broke into the "Burns Like A Buzzsaw Blade" / "W.T.Y.D." / "Alison Hell" Rampage salute to end the night. Brilliant.

What/Who Needs To Stop In 2020
"Farewell" tours. Yes, the old guard(s) are getting to that point where age and / or personal health, family commitments, or straight-up boredom are pushing bands to retire. Makes sense, but if you're gonna leave, close the door behind you, lock it and throw away the key. The scene is losing its collective mind over Mötley Crüe making their big comeback, but as a fan I would be pissed if I'd spent tons of money on going to see them "one last time" on The Final Tour. And what are we in now? The 10th year of The Scorpions' grand farewell jaunt around the world... again and again and again? I'm curious to see how long it takes KISS to leave the rest stop at the end of their End Of The Road tour for another round. Something tells me Slayer will stick to their guns and remain retired; good on them.

Metal Predictions For 2020
- Vinnie Vincent will reveal he has plans to release a solo album.... just as soon as he can convince his fans to donate to a sketchy GoFundMe campaign.
-  Dio fans will push to be allowed to pay for the Ronnie James Dio hologram shows with holographic money.
- People will still want to know what Corey Taylor thinks.

Check out our BravePicks 2019 countdown where Entombed A.D. took the top spot here.

More scribes speak:
Mark Gromen
Greg Pratt

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