It’s that time again. Below you’ll find my list of Hots and Nots of 2014 compiled for the ever faithful BraveWords readership (originally published here) to chew on and swallow or spit in my face as they see fit. Enjoy.
And if you’re offended or otherwise put off by anything scrawled below, please take it up with the Complaint Department here.
Top 20 Albums Of 2014
1) SANCTUARY – The Year The Sun Died (Century Media)
2) ARCH ENEMY – War Eternal (Century Media)
3) DEVILMENT – The Great And Secret Show (Nuclear Blast)
4) KOBRA AND THE LOTUS – High Priestess (Titan Music)
5) OVERKILL – White Devil Armory (Nuclear Blast)
6) ACCEPT – Blind Rage (Nuclear Blast)
7) GAMMA RAY – Empire Of The Undead (earMusic)
8) AMARANTHE – Massive Addictive (Spinefarm)
9) HURTSMILE – Retrogrenade (Slipkid Records)
10) SEASON OF GHOSTS – The Human Paradox (Coroner Records)
11) EXODUS – Blood In, Blood Out (Nuclear Blast)
12) RED DRAGON CARTEL – Red Dragon Cartel (Frontiers)
13) THE PRETTY RECKLESS – Going To Hell (Razor & Tie)
14) METSATÖLL – Karjajuht (Napalm)
15) JUDAS PRIEST – Redeemer Of Souls (Epic)
16) HDK – Serenades Of The Netherworld (The Rock Station)
17) UNISONIC – Light Of Dawn (earMusic)
18) DELAIN – The Human Contradiction (Napalm Records)
19) SEBASTIAN BACH – Give ‘Em Hell (Frontiers)
20) SLIPKNOT – .5: The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner) Continue Reading
A couple months ago Jim McCormick out of London, Ontario launched a website dedicated to garnering attention for shows scheduled to take place in and around his home town. A musician himself, McCormick is all about the live experience. And let’s face it, if you call yourself a musician you sure as hell better be able to deliver them studio goods to the stage and impress the hell out of the folks buying your music. This is a call to arms.
I was recently asked to contribute to the site, and agreeable sort that I am – not to mention a shameless Canadian flag-waver – I decided to add my two cents to the AllStage site where required. Thus, along with whatever news bits we deem worthy for the site’s format I’ll be posting a monthly editorial on whatever tickles my fancy or irritates the hell out of me at that moment in time. Continue Reading
So, me and my extended BW&BK family have issued our individual Best Of 2012 lists because that’s the sort of thing you do in this biz as the new year kicks off. I’ve decided to post my long-winded overview of the last 12 months here, with a link provided leading to my Top 10 Albums list along with other honourable (and dishonourable) mentions…
It was a rollercoaster of a year, as they all are in the music biz.
From being blindsided by Halestorm’s new album The Strange Case Of… and becoming a fan against my will, to dealing with a fuckwit promo rep at Roadrunner Records who decided to change my questions in an email interview because she felt they were “too harsh” for her artist (um, shouldn’t that be for the artist to decide?), to bucket list interviews with Brighton Rock’s Gerry McGhee and the lovely Lita Ford, to witnessing some amazing shows on both sides of the pond, 2012 has been quite the adventure.
See the list here for the Hot and Not albums of my year, then pick apart my sanity at your leisure.
Gotta say that I was surprised at not being disappointed by any of the shows I was able to attend this year. The third annual European run of Rock Meets Classic featuring Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Steve Lukather (Toto), Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band), three-fifths of Primal Fear’s roster and Trillium vocalist Amanda Somerville was positively brilliant, with PF singer Ralf Scheepers going above and beyond lending his voice to the Toto hit ‘Rosanna’ (!). Watching Devin Townsend successfully manipulate a Motörhead crowd into doing his bidding was a gut-buster, seeing former Helloween members Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen on stage together with Unisonic belting out classics ‘I Want Out’ and ‘Future World’ was ’87 surreal, and the Leaves’ Eyes / Firewind tour that looked so weird on paper turned out to be one of the best gigs of the past 12 months.
Nightwish gets a scrapbook all its own due to a brilliant show in Nuremberg – featuring more pyro than the sun – and a day and night hanging with some of the finest people in the metal business. Continue Reading
By Carl Begai
So, about a year-and-a-half ago I started using whatever downtime I had to write a story. It’s a work of fiction, and it’s not about the music biz even though the industry does turn up along the way. Some of you who visit this site regularly may have noticed the small “grim” link at the top of the page, but I’ve now decided to let folks know about it officially… beyond the few souls that were silly enough to subject themselves to my creative streak a while back.
A link to the prologue of the book is below, available for your amusement. With luck, a great deal of perseverance, and saved-up funds I hope to release it independently early next year. Sure, an agent and roads leading to a publisher would make my life so much easier – and the search is indeed on – but I have no intention of waiting for the right combination of timing, business people and luck to get the go-ahead to publish if I have the resources to do things the hard(er) way.
Some of you may be amused by what you read, others may be offended (which means you really don’t want to read the whole book), and some of you may decide I should stick to writing formula rock star showcases because GRIM is a pile of crap. Fair enough, so long as it makes you smile in spite of yourself.
And for the record, the graphic isn’t the final cover. Just something I threw together so the words you’re reading look more attractive.
Check out the prologue for GRIM here.
– flames courtesy of shaedsofgrey at DeviantArt.com. Touch-ups and pimping to suit his purposes by Carl Begai.