Drum roll please … or maybe a hearty dose of blast-beats! Tis the season to commence the good, bad and ugly of 2014! Of course we’re talking about BravePicks 2014, where all the staff put their collective metal minds together to build the ultimate lists including individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments, Top 3 Concerts, What/Who Needs To Stop In 2015? and Metal Predictions For 2015.
11) ARCH ENEMY - War Eternal (Century Media)The metal world sat dumbfounded with the shocking news that Arch Enemy was splitting with Angela Gossow after 14 years. But the shocking meter went ballistic when Alissa White-Gluz, former vocalist for The Agonist, was her replacement! Onward and upward. Leader Michae Amott explained the switch to BraveWords scribe Carl Begai in June: "We ended the Khaos Legions world tour in December 2012 with a South American leg, and the last show was in Mexico City. A few weeks after that we had a band meeting and decoded we were going to take 2013 almost completely off from band activity, definitely from shows. That opened the schedule up in a way we've never experienced in the last 12 years, because as you know it's been pretty relentless doing the album-tour-album-tour cycle. It was pretty much a case of ending a tour on the Friday and going into pre-production on a new album on a Monday. That happened twice in 10 years, and it was very intense. People change, and Angela got to a point in her life where she wanted to make some changes. Not everybody is in this for life because it's a very demanding lifestyle. It can be very tough on you if you're not 100% into it."
"I feel very fortunate," Alissa White-Gluz remarked. "One of the most appealing things about taking this on is that it was a unique situation in which I would be joining a band and all parties would be benefitting from it. It wasn't a situation where I'd have to screw someone over; Angela wants this, I want this, the rest of the band wants this, and the creative chemistry works really well so it's a good thing. Angela's statement, my statement and Michael's were all very clear and the people that actually read them got the same positive feeling that we did. It's a scary thing to do but I think we did it in the right way. Making sure we had music ready to go when we announced this was really important because we wanted the music to do a lot of the talking." And that wasn't the only change for Arch Enemy in 2014, the band enlisting guitar legend Jeff Loomis (Nevermore) for their current European tour as well as all future tours in 2015. Read more at BraveWords. (Arch Enemy live photo courtesy of Facebook.
BravePicks 2014 Top 30
11) ARCH ENEMY - War Eternal (Century Media)
12) 1349 - Massive Cauldron Of Chaos (Season Of Mist)
13) SANCTUARY - The Year The Sun Died (Century Media)
14) OBITUARY - Inked In Blood (Relapse)
15) GRAVE DIGGER – Return Of The Reaper (Napalm)
16) ACE FREHLEY - Space Invader (eOne)
17) MASTODON — Once More ’Round The Sun (Reprise)
18) EDGUY – Space Police: Defenders Of The Crown (Nuclear Blast)
19) THE DAGGER – The Dagger (Century Media)
20) PRIMORDIAL – Where Greater Men Have Fallen (Metal Blade)
21) UNISONIC - Light Of Dawn (earMusic)
22) PRIMAL FEAR – Delivering The Black (Frontiers)
23) DEVILMENT – The Great And Secret Show (Nuclear Blast)
24) MR. BIG - ...The Stories We Could Tell (Frontiers)
25) EYEHATEGOD – Eyehategod (Housecore)
26) STEEL PANTHER – All You Can Eat (Open E)
27) CALIFORNIA BREED – California Breed (Frontiers)
28) TESLA – Simplicity (Tesla Electric Co.)
29) PRONG – Ruining Lives (SPV/Steamhammer)
30) GAMMA RAY – Empire Of The Undead (EarMusic)