BravePicks 2022 - WHITESPADE's Whitespade #18

December 14, 2022, a year ago

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BravePicks 2022 - WHITESPADE's Whitespade #18

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. 

BravePicks 2022

18) WHITESPADE - Whitespade (Independent)


Motörhead isn’t dead; they were reborn under the guise of Whitespade. An under the radar release, Whitespade is the brainchild of Midnight leader Athenar along with other Cleveland musicians Vanik (Vandallus) and SS (Vandallus). Branded a Motörhead tribute record, a press release describes it as the album “Bronze Records rejected in between Bomber and Ace Of Spades.” That description is spot on as Whitespade captures that time period flawlessly that retains an identity while unabashedly writing in the vein Lemmy and co. were in that period.

It is a brilliant record that should be receiving much more recognition. The record is indeed aces and deals a rich hand. Whitespade’s self-titled debut rocks to the #18 spot on our list.  

Scribe Mark Gromen praised the album in his review:

There's a mix of revved up ‘50s rock 'n' roll, as well as thunderous (and much to Lemmy's consternation at being classified as) fledgling speed metal/thrash. As the title implies, "Thundercharge" ignites the album with a telltale sense of urgency. The shuffle drum beat is right on target too. Over-modulated, rumbling bass run greets "Below The Line", as the guitar takes off. Feels like a Motörhead gem you've listened to a thousand times before, even though it's the first time through. Eddie Clarke inspired guitar run only caps the comparison. Remember the old cassette tape ads: "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" Apart from the fact they're unfortunately all deceased, even the most devout Motörheadbanger would be hard pressed to prove none of the original musicians lent a hand to this product. Stunning. For authenticity, Walters cops one of Kilmister's favorite euphemisms, "born to lose" within the lyrics to "Spit In Your Eye" (and elsewhere), which rides a sudden, out-of-nowhere, injection of wild guitar.

The lyricist also adds 'another perfect day" in the course of "Wired And Red", which kicks off with a deliberate drum beat that morphs into chugging "Highway Star" (Deep Purple) inspired intro. Downshifting to more of a "No Class" or "Capricorn" tempo, "Fast Lane To Nowhere" meanders and lets Commandor Vanik engage in some six-string indulgence. Like-minded "On The Loose" continues the mid-album respite, before "The Strangler" re-energizes the proceedings, with a bit of punk fueled fun. Standard 4/4 "I'm The One To Blame" is in the "Iron Horse" wheelhouse. The oddball "No Limits" could be one of those posthumously issued, alternate takes that have surfaced on the 40th anniversary editions of the 'Head catalog: think "I'll Be Your Sister", complete with long, winding guitar interlude. The disc closes, much as it began, with a shot of adrenaline: "Leatherbound Glory", this collection's "Ace Of Spades".

BravePicks 2022 Top 30

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)
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)

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