BravePicks 2022 - EVIL INVADERS' Shattering Reflection #14
December 18, 2022, 12 months ago
Where does the time go? 2022 can be called the comeback year of all time, with virtually every band on the planet getting back on track post-COVID. So it was one helluva year for heavy metal as the releases started to pour in and the bands started to hit your town after nearly three years of madness. It is time to unveil our annual BravePicks countdown, where the devout scribes at BraveWords cast their votes at the hits and misses of the year! So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2022 each day in December!
Everybody has an opinion and it’s time for ours! And stay tuned in January for the writers’ individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), What/Who Needs To Stop In 2022? and Metal Predictions For 2022. All will be showcased come the New Year!
First up, the best of the best for 2022 begins NOW! And we begin with the six releases bubbling under our top 30.
14) EVIL INVADERS - Shattering Reflection (Napalm)
Belgian brigade Evil Invaders raged again with screeching guitars, manic vocals, and pulsating rhythms with Shattering Reflection. Speed has the been the name of the game, however the leather-clad lads showed some evolution with dark ballads ala Sanctuary with “In Deepest Black” and the stunning mood change of “Eternal Darkness”. There’s a great energy surrounding the band and it radiates from the speakers.
The mirror cuts deep as Shattering Reflection breaks to #14.
Scribe Mark Gromen said in his review:
The Belgian thrashers are precisely the type of band that was most hurt by the multi-year pandemic layoff. After a summer of high-profile European festival appearances, the band was poised to support the Surge Of Insanity live CD/DVD with their own headlining tour. Then Covid-19 hit and canceled everything. Now the Invaders will hope to make up for lost time and re-establish themselves, albeit under the tsunami of reactivated metal acts, established and (like themselves) relatively new. At least they got out of the starting gate a bit early, with this first quarter 2022 release.
"Hissing Crescendo" leaps from the speakers as a modern day update to the Halford solo material, circa Resurrection (especially said titular cut). However, no one will mistake Joe's shrieks and squeals for the Metal God. Energetic start though! Follow-up "Die For Me" begins more restrained, but settles into a traditional metal beat, with singable chorus. Speaking of restrained, video single "In Deepest Black", could be classified an Invaders' ballad, as Joe's tortured throat smoothes over the lyrics (apart from the odd histrionics). It belies their thrash/speed metal roots. Same can't be said of the blazing pounder "Sledgehammer Justice", the vocalist wailing away as if two pairs of hands are attempting to strangle him. Gritty, stop-start guitar riffing, come the mid-section there's a lilting gallop, before the tempo accelerates back to frenetic.
BravePicks 2022 Top 30
15) AMORPHIS - Halo (Atomic Fire)
16) ARCH ENEMY - Deceivers (Century Media)
17) WEDNESDAY 13 - Horrifier (Napalm)
18) WHITESPADE - Whitespade (Independent)
19) MISERY INDEX - Complete Control (Century Media)
20) KRISIUN - Mortem Solis (Century Media)
21) RAZOR - Cycle Of Contempt (Relapse)
22) MEGADETH - The Sick, The Dying...And The Dead! (Universal Music Group)
23) TONY MARTIN - Thorns (Dark Star)
24) UGLY KID JOE - Rad Wings Of Destiny (Metalville / UKJ)
25) TRIAL (SWE) - Feed The Fire (Metal Blade)
26) SABATON - The War To End All Wars (Nuclear Blast)
27) SCORPIONS - Rock Believer (Vertigo)
28) CORPSEGRINDER - Corpsegrinder (Perseverance)
29) SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS - 4 (Gibson / BMG)
30) NORDJEVEL - Gnavhòl (Indie)
31) WITCHERY – Nightside (Century Media)
32) ABBATH - Dread Reaver (Season of Mist)
33) AMON AMARTH - The Great Heathen Army (Metal Blade)
34) RECKLESS LOVE – Turbo Rider (AFM)
35) GOATWHORE – Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven (Metal Blade)
36) CAVE IN – Heavy Pendulum (Relapse)