BravePicks 2019 - The Scribes Speak! Nick Balazs

January 6, 2020, 2 months ago

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BravePicks 2019 - The Scribes Speak! Nick Balazs

BravePicks 2019 - The Scribes Speak!
Nick Balazs

Top 20 Of 2019
1) HAUNT – If Icarus Could Fly (Shadow Kingdom)
2) EVERFROST – Winterider (Rockshots)
3) TANITH – In Another Time (Metal Blade)
4) IDLE HANDS – Mana (Eisenwald)
5) ELVENKING – Reader Of The Runes – Divination (AFM)
6) CLOAK – The Burning Dawn (Season Of Mist)
7) MOON CHAMBER – Lore Of The Land (No Remorse)
8) GALNERYUS – Into The Purgatory (Warner Music Japan)
9) ENFORCER – Zenith (Nuclear Blast)
10) INSOMNIUM – Heart Like A Grave (Century Media)
11) NOVEMBERS DOOM – Nephilim Grove (Prophecy Productions)
12) STEEL PANTHER – Heavy Metal Rules (Steel Panther Inc)
13) NORTHTALE – Welcome To Paradise (Nuclear Blast)
14) SABATON – The Great War (Nuclear Blast)
15) MIRROR – Pyramid Of Terror (Bad Omen)
16) WHITESNAKE – Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)
17) RAM – The Throne Within (Metal Blade)
18) HAMMERFALL – Dominion (Napalm)
19) LANCE KING – ReProgam (Nightmare)
20) LEAH – Ancient Winter (Ex Cathedra)

Top 3 Concerts
1) IRON MAIDEN – PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh, PA
2) KING DIAMOND – Agora Theatre – Cleveland, OH
3) STEEL PANTHER – House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH

Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
SONATA ARCTICA – Talviyö (Nuclear Blast)
Just a slog to get through after it gets off to a great start. I realize Sonata will never be the band they once were and that’s fine as I’ve enjoyed a good deal of their modern works, but this one misses the mark on so many levels.

AVANTASIA – Moonglow (Nuclear Blast)
My biggest disappointment. Ghostlights was my 2016 album of the year and this isn’t bad per se and contains some really high highs, but the back half of this record meanders and doesn’t have the majesty or fluidity that the previous held. Maybe I set my expectations too high.

THE HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES – Rise (earMUSIC)
It’s a band with amazing talent – Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Johnny Depp – and yet they make the most boring and bland music. Should be so much better.

SANTA CRUZ – Katharsis (M-Theory)
So much potential and could have really been “the next big thing”, but they have turned into such a mess and this album is no different and will further alienate the fan base.

DUFF MCKAGAN – Tenderness (Universal)
Meandering drivel with lyrics a mile wide, but an inch deep.

Thoughts On 2019
This was the year of the new blood takeover. Our countdown featured several newer acts such as Haunt, Riot City, and Idle Hands. These acts are successfully carrying the flag that was built up by the legends of our time such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but when will fans start taking proper notice and giving the support these acts deserve? Whether we like it or not, we can’t live in 1987 forever and unfortunately this next decade will probably see the demise of many legendary bands we hold near and dear to us.

Enforcer’s new record caused quite a commotion and was very polarizing amongst the fan base, but hell it worked for me. The Swedes have always had a commercial side to them and while Zenith leaned heavily in that direction the songs work and down the line I think this will end up being one of the fans’ favorites. Again, these dudes should be much bigger than they currently are.

What/Who Needs To Stop In 2020
Lip-synching, overuse of backing tapes. There is nothing less rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal than faking your way through a live concert. If you’re going to use enhancements than be up front about it and tell the fans what to expect. I’m not a fan of the DIO hologram, but at least fans know what they’re getting when attending that show.

Metal Predictions For 2020
Iron Maiden will roar back with a new album and will be one of their best.

Kerry King will announce a new band and will be a supergroup of sorts with known players joining him.

Helloween’s reunion record will be album of the year contender.

More of a wish than a prediction, but Tony Iommi will work on deluxe reissues of the Tony Martin era of Black Sabbath.

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

More scribes speak:
Mark Gromen
Greg Pratt
Carl Begai
Aaron Small



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