BravePicks 2019 - The Scribes Speak! Sephora Henderson
January 14, 2020, 7 months ago
BravePicks 2019 - The Scribes Speak!
Top 20 of 2019
1) POSSESSED - Revelations of Oblivion (Nuclear Blast)
2) MAYHEM - Daemon (Century Media)
3) ENTOMBED A.D. - Bowels of Earth (Century Media)
4) OPETH - In Cauda Venenum (Nuclear Blast)
5) AMON AMARTH - Berserker (Metal Blade)
6) FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - The End of Chaos (AFM)
7) NECRONOMICON - Unus (Season of Mist)
8) BORKNAGAR - True North (Century Media)
9) MORTIFERUM - Disgorged From Psychotic Depths
10) SOEN - Lotus (Silver Lining)
11) CANDLEMASS - The Door To Doom (Napalm)
12) GRAND MAGUS - Wolf God (Nuclear Blast)
13) DARKTHRONE - Old Star (Peaceville)
14) GATECREEPER - Deserted (Relapse)
15) DEATH ANGEL - Humanicide (Nuclear Blast)
16) DEVIL MASTER - Satan Spits on Children (Relapse)
17) COMBICHRIST - One Fire (Out Of Line)
18) LACUNA COIL - Black Anima (Century Media)
19) NILE - Vile Nilotic Rites
20) LINDSAY SCHOOLCRAFT - Martyr (Self)
Top Concerts of 2019
SLAYER - Heavy Montreal, Quebec, Canada
CORONER - 70000 Tons of Metal
HYPOCRISY - The Opera House, Toronto, Canada
Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
SLIPKNOT - We Are Not Your Kind (Roadrunner)
I’ve never been a fan from day one - just not impressed by the whole schtick. It’s not shocking or intriguing - or musical. This album sounds like everything else I’ve ever heard from them.
KORN - The Nothing (Roadrunner)
Again, I think this sounds like more of the same old, same old. I didn’t like it then, and don’t like it now.
VOLBEAT - Rewind, Replay, Rebound (Vertigo Berlin)
Very confusing mixing and matching of eras and styles - too many influences in this musical blender.
STEEL PANTHER - Heavy Metal Rules (Steel Panther Inc.)
Ridiculous. The lyrics, the getup, the whole thing. As the album titles states, I believe firmly that heavy metal rules - but this ain’t heavy metal.
BABYMETAL - Metal Galaxy (Toy’s Factory)
I hate this on principle. I don’t want this anywhere near my galaxy.
Thoughts On 2019
It was a good year especially for black metal - the world needs more Satan. And corpse paint. Growling vocals are the icing on my heavy metal cake, but I also appreciate beautiful melodies so long as the vocalist doesn’t sound like a member of a syrupy boy-band (or girl-band - I’m an equal opportunity critic). There's something eerily special about Scandinavia - their bands keep producing melodic, epic masterpieces and I can’t get enough.
I accompanied “Metal” Tim when he presented Slayer with their personalized BraveWords jerseys and also got to meet them - on my actual freakin birthday! Tom Araya introduced himself to me - he said, “Hi, I’m Tom” - as though he could possibly need an introduction!!! It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Slayer, and watching them live for what I knew was going to be the last time for me was a very heavy experience - and I’m not just talking about the music. Their music helped me through a lot of difficult times in my life, allowing me a healthy way to channel my rage, and honestly it kept me from punching people in the face.
Another epic jersey presentation was to members of Dimmu Borgir in Germany at the Summer Breeze fest. Not only did we get to see Silenoz, Galder, and Shagrath receive their jerseys, but we were invited to watch their performance from the stage. This is how close I was standing to Galder in between songs at one point:
Speaking of metal gods, meeting Rob Halford for the second time was indescribable. We travelled to Albany, New York to present them with their jerseys. My favourite moment was watching him hug “Metal” Tim, thanking him for all the support over the years.
I want to mention two bands who don’t get nearly as much love as they should, who I also had the pleasure to see in my hometown of Toronto this year. The first is Flotsam and Jetsam who played at the Garrison. Eric A.K. and Michael Gilbert in particular are not just extraordinary artists, but exceptionally cool people. They appreciate their fans, give their all on stage, and every performance is their 100% best. The second band is Immolation - I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to their latest album throughout the year, and meeting them was truly a special moment. Robert Vigna was super gracious and welcoming, and all of the band members took the time to engage with the fans at the merch table, and after the concert.
Metal Predictions For 2020
KATATONIA will make a powerful comeback and achieve the status and recognition they richly deserve.
MERCYFUL FATE expecting great things, and hoping for a return to their first wave roots
DISMEMBER - membered again! Hoping for something epic from one of Sweden's Big Four.
EXCITER - anticipating something great from these Canadian legends
WATAIN - new music, please!!!
So many beloved bands have been around for a long time - if they keep making comebacks - or better yet new music - that is a gift for all of us fans. I’m a fan of anniversary tours - so many great albums are celebrating milestones and it’s a real treat to hear them live, end-to-end.
What/Who Needs To Stop In 2020
KISS - be gone! It's called a FINAL farewell for a reason
OZZY - Please. Just. Stop.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE - I get it, the collaboration that is Prophets Of Rage had its resurgence, so now all the contributing parts want a piece of the action - don't stay too long, please. Also, I personally refuse to call this metal.
Check out our BravePicks 2019 countdown where Entombed A.D. took the top spot here.