BravePicks 2020 - The Scribes Speak! Aaron Small
January 7, 2021, a year ago
BravePicks 2020 - The Scribes Speak!
Top 20 Of 2020
1) BLACK STONE CHERRY – The Human Condition (Mascot)
2) TESTAMENT – Titans Of Creation (Nuclear Blast)
3) BENEDICTION – Scriptures (Nuclear Blast)
4) PARADISE LOST – Obsidian (Nuclear Blast)
5) ARMORED SAINT – Punching The Sky (Metal Blade)
6) COREY TAYLOR – CMFT (Roadrunner)
7) BAD TOUCH – Kiss The Sky (Marshall)
8) KIRK WINDSTEIN – Dream In Motion (Entertainment One)
9) THE WILD! – Still Believe In Rock And Roll (Entertainment One)
10) COLLATERAL – Collateral (Roulette)
11) RICHIE KOTZEN – 50 For 50 (Headroom-Inc)
12) INSIDIOUS DISEASE – After Death (Nuclear Blast)
13) AC/DC – Pwr/Up (Columbia)
14) NAPALM DEATH – Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism (Century Media)
15) MIKE TRAMP – Second Time Around (Target)
16) SONS OF APOLLO – MMXX (Inside Out)
17) KIKO LOUREIRO – Open Source (Victor)
18) THUNDERMOTHER – Heat Wave (AFM)
19) THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX – Scorpio (Tee Pee)
20) VENOMOUS CONCEPT – Politics Versus The Erection (Season Of Mist)
Top 5 Brave Embarrassments
WITCH TAINT – Sons Of Midwestern Darkness (Tee Pee)
Corpse-painted comedians who aren’t funny, trying to play metal. Not grim, not extreme, just humiliating.
PSYCHOSEXUAL – Torch The Faith (6ex)
Former Five Finger Death Punch drummer dressed up as Devil Daddy, moaning and groaning about sex, overtop of effect-laden industrial sludge, simply cringe-worthy.
MUSHROOMHEAD – A Wonderful Life (Napalm)
Not even the addition of new members could make this outdated and musically undistinguished band worth listening to.
CELEBRITY SEX SCANDAL – The Fundamental (Razor To Wrist)
Dog Fashion Disco alumni fail miserably in their attempt to channel early ‘90s Mr. Bungle. Mike Patton and co. were brilliant, this batch of guys, not so much.
VICTORIOUS – Space Ninjas From Hell (Napalm)
Dragonforce clones with ridiculous lyrics. Impossible to take “Astral Assassin Shark Attack” or “Wasabi Warmachine” seriously.
Thoughts On 2020
In addition to the full-length albums that made my Best of 2020 list, there were several stellar EPs released last year by: Alter Bridge, Carcass, Gallows Circus, The Georgia Thunderbolts, Monster Cock Millionaires, and South Of Eden.
Tragedy unfortunately took center stage with the death of two musical legends, Rush drummer Neil Peart, and Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Other talents who passed away in 2020 include: Divine Heresy bassist Joe Payne, Death drummer Sean Reinert, To/Die/For drummer Santtu Lonka, Corrosion Of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin, Sacred Reich guitarist Jason Rainey, KISS guitarist Bob Kulick, Crowbar drummer Tony Costanza, UFO bassist Pete Way, Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali, Ozzy Osbourne drummer Lee Kerslake, and Junkyard bassist Clay Anthony, to sadly name just a few. R.I.P.
It’s impossible to look back at last year without the COVID-19 Pandemic casting a never-ending cloud of disruption and ruin over everything held near and dear. The coronavirus caused governments worldwide to restrict travel and ban social gatherings, which meant the end of concerts. Didn’t matter if the gig was at a tiny club or massive stadium, live music came to a screeching halt. This resulted in numerous bands offering pay-per-view live stream performances, as well as countless pajama jams filmed at home under quarantine. It wasn’t only the musicians who took a massive hit from not being able to tour. Their crew members, as well as everyone associated with a concert venue; including ticket checkers, security guards, bartenders, concessions workers, and merchandise sellers were all out of a job. Steel Panther said it best with their oh so appropriate song, “Fuck 2020”.
Last but certainly not least, with everyone being stuck at home, more and more metalheads turned to BraveWords as their always reliable source of news, reviews, and exclusive interviews. I cannot express my appreciation enough; because without all of you, there is no us.
What / Who Needs To Stop In 2021
The exorbitant shipping costs charged by labels and bands – both big and small – when mailing merchandise from The United States to Canada. With the number of record stores continuing to dwindle, and the cessation of touring due to COVID, pretty much the only way to get a physical copy of that new album or swag is to order online and have it delivered. But when the shipping is more than the price of one CD, or-t-shirt, neither of which equate to a large package, it certainly is disheartening. Especially when fans are making the effort to buy directly, as opposed to using Amazon.
Metal Predictions For 2021
Even if I had a crystal ball, I wouldn’t trust it. Hopefully all the postponed and rescheduled shows will actually happen, safely. One thing’s for certain, your next concert, whoever and wherever it is, will be damn near orgasmic as we’ve all been deprived for so long! New and very welcome music is expected from: Anthrax, At The Gates, Blacktop Mojo, Bodom After Midnight, Buckcherry, Carcass, Cradle Of Filth, Crowbar, The Crown, The Dead Daisies, Eyehategod, Damon Johnson, Myles Kennedy, Megadeth, Motor Sister, Shinedown, Wednesday 13, and Rob Zombie.
Check out our BravePicks 2020 countdown where Enslaved took the top spot here.