BravePicks 2015 - The Scribes Speak: Aaron Small
January 10, 2016, 5 years ago
Now that we have completed the BravePicks Of 2015 countdown - which Slayer ruled supreme (see the entire list here) - it is time now to shine the spotlight on the people that actually built our mountain of metal! It is a massive task, as BraveWords gets flooded with hundreds and hundreds of releases, showcasing the fact that the scene is as vibrant as ever! Each day, the BraveWords scribes will chat about the good, bad and ugly for 2015 and thoughts on this year! So check out our individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments, Top 3 Concerts, What/Who Needs To Stop In 2016? and Metal Predictions For 2016.
1) SLAYER – Repentless (Nuclear Blast)
2) IRON MAIDEN – The Book Of Souls (Parlophone)
3) WEDNESDAY 13 – Monsters Of The Universe (DevCo)
4) THE DEAD DAISIES – Revolucion (Spitfire)
5) FEAR FACTORY – Genexus (Nuclear Blast)
6) CRADLE OF FILTH – Hammer Of The Witches (Nuclear Blast)
7) MOTÖRHEAD – Bad Magic (UDR)
8) ARMORED SAINT – Win Hands Down (Metal Blade)
9) THE WINERY DOGS – Hot Streak (Loud & Proud)
10) AMORPHIS – Under The Red Cloud (Nuclear Blast)
11) CHILDREN OF BODOM – I Worship Chaos (Nuclear Blast)
12) SONS OF TEXAS – Baptized In The Rio Grande (Razor & Tie)
13) BOURBON CROW – Off The Wagon On The Rocks (Bourbon Crow)
14) PARADISE LOST – The Plague Within (Century Media)
15) REVOLUTION SAINTS – Revolution Saints (Frontiers)
16) SIX FEET UNDER – Crypt Of The Devil (Metal Blade)
17) JOE SATRIANI – Shockwave Supernova (Legacy)
18) BUCKCHERRY – Rock N Roll (F Bomb)
19) DEVIL CITY ANGELS – Devil City Angels (Century Media)
20) MOTOR SISTER – Ride (Metal Blade)
Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
1) CHRIS HOLMES – Shitting Bricks (M&O Music)
Directionless drivel from the former W.A.S.P. mean man.
2) GLORYHAMMER – Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards (Napalm)
Ridiculous in every sense of the word.
3) DOG FASHION DISCO – Ad Nauseam (Rotten)
It’ll make you nauseous alright.
4) P.O.D. – The Awakening (T-Boy / UMe)
A vague, uninteresting concept album littered with pointless dialogue and spoken interludes.
5) NEKROGOBLIKON – Heavy Meta (Mystery Box / Razor & Tie)
“We Need A Gimmick” – really, seriously? Burn the mask and go flip burgers someplace.
Top 3 Concerts
1) MÖTLEY CRÜE, ALICE COOPER – Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
2) KINGS OF CHAOS – Orillia, ON – Casino Rama
3) WEDNESDAY 13 – Toronto, ON – The Rockpile
Thoughts on 2015
First and foremost, massive thanks to each and every single person reading this - without you - there would be no us. Your daily visits to BraveWords keep our flame burning bright with the unending quest to be the best hard rock and heavy metal news site ever. Cheers!
As 2015 began, I was anxiously anticipating the comeback album from Faith No More – their first new music in 18 years. I still love The Real Thing (1989), Angel Dust (1992), and King For A Day (1995); all three are brilliant musical endeavors. Album Of The Year (1997) didn’t match its predecessors, and sadly the long-awaited Sol Invictus (released in May) also came up short. The title is Latin for Unconquered Sun; while FNM conquered concert halls with a string of sold out shows, their studio output left this fan feeling unsatisfied. Numerous listens later, and I continue to believe they are capable of writing a better, more invigorating batch of songs.
The past twelve months also saw Mötley Crüe bid farewell, putting an end to their incredible 34-year career. While bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, vocalist Vince Neil, and guitarist Mick Mars will continue to make music as solo artists and in other bands, they will never, ever perform on stage together again. As a fitting tribute, fellow BraveWords scribe Martin Popoff published Kickstart My Heart: A Mötley Crüe Day By Day via Backbeat Books. Furthermore, Martin was kind enough to include some of my interviews and reviews; truly honored to be part of such a beautiful piece of history.
Mortality was unfortunately at the forefront this past year. Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson battled throat cancer, while Poison drummer Rikki Rockett fought oral cancer; thankfully both men are still with us. The same can’t be said of Stone Temple Pilots / Velvet Revolver vocalist Scott Weiland, who succumbed to a drug overdose at age 48; or Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero, who died of a heart attack at age 55. Not to belittle the passing of Motörhead drummer Philthy Animal Taylor, who passed away as a result of liver failure at age 61, but when cancer took iconic vocalist and bassist Lemmy Kilmister from us just days after his 70th birthday… the world would never be the same again. He was one of kind, rightfully respected and unequivocally loved. RIP.
What / Who Needs To Stop In 2016?
It pains me to say this… but, maybe Skid Row. Sebastian Bach was the voice of the band! After his departure in 1996, Skid Row broke up, only to reform in 1999 with vocalist Johnny Solinger. That lasted until 2015 when Solinger split, to be promptly replaced by TNT singer Tony Harnell – who held rank for a mere eight months. Van Halen with third singer Gary Cherone was a failure, and now rumour has it Skid Row is looking to enlist a fourth singer… Snake and Rachel need to either bury the hatchet and reunite with Bach, or call it quits.
Predictions For 2016
With Pepper Keenan rejoining Corrosion Of Conformity, an enormous new album surely lurks on the horizon. Expect great new music from Black Stone Cherry, Anthrax, Megadeth, Sin City Sinners, and Steel Panther as well.
The highlight of 2016 is bound to be the Guns N’ Roses reunion – of sorts. While it’s been confirmed that Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan will share the stage together – for the first time since 1993 – at Coachella in April, the rest of this year’s GN’R lineup is still a mystery. Insider reports indicate that Appetite-era guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Steven Adler will both be absent from the festivities; same goes for Illusion-era guitarist Gilby Clarke and drummer Matt Sorum. Not exactly what the fans – including myself – were hoping for, but we wait with baited breath to see how the pieces will fall into place.