Hey there! How have you been? It’s been quite a while since I’ve touched base with you grubby little headbangers. I hope everyone is doing well.
I had to step away from this thing for a bit simply because it was starting to feel a bit more of a chore than a fun side activity. I’m not getting paid for this gig and am simply doing it because I love sharing and discussing metal. After doing this non-stop for a few years, it started to feel like the whole thing was getting a bit stale and I felt like I had started repeating myself on the reviews and such. Hell, there are really only so many different ways you can describe a guitar riff. Plus, earlier in the year I busted my arm up and ended up getting the covid. Both of those events kind of knocked the first half of my year off kilter.
Anyway, I’ve still been listening to all of the new shit that has come out this year and am still dragging my weary old ass out to shows. So, I’m basically back to share with you a doozy of a year end list. During the next year, I’m going to try and get back into a regular posting schedule on here. I’m probably not going to be as prolific with the posts as I was in the past just to try and stave off any burnout.
Anyway, metal had a fairly eventful year in 2022. Lots of solid releases from both big established bands and, as always, a whole slew of new bands making noise. Big news was seeing Judas Priest inducted into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. Yeah, I know. Who cares, right? One of the reasons we listen to metal is its anti-establishment bent and its underground nature. But, I’m not gonna lie. It was fucking awesome seeing Halford and crew up there on stage. It’s nice to see our little bunch of hooligans get acknowledged for their contributions to the rock world at large. It was also fucking cool seeing KK on stage with them again. Maybe this will lead to him rejoining the band. We also got to see the return of one of my all-time favorite bands in King’s X with their first studio release in 14 years. There was also the Pantera reunion/celebration shows which were kind of divisive. Honestly, I think it’s kind of cool the surviving members are getting together to play those songs live again.
On the live front, I got to see quite a few shows. Highlights were Iron Maiden, Pain of Salvation, Rivers of Nihil, Elder, Carcass, Katatonia/The Ocean and the Bay Strikes Back Tour with Testament, Exodus and Death Angel. I got to see two bands that I wasn’t sure I would ever get to see perform live again in King’s X and Porcupine Tree. I’m hoping both of these bands just keep it going into the future. I got to finally see Roger Waters and Meshuggah live. I never got to see Pink Floyd live, so it was cool to see Roger before he hangs it up. And lastly, I got to witness the whole Rammstein experience live. What a goddamn ridiculous spectacle that thing is. If you’ve never seen them, add it to your bucket list. To put it in perspective, I saw Iron Maiden the same week I saw Rammstein. The Rammstein stage show and inferno display was so gigantic and impressive that it truly made Maiden’s show look like a high school talent show. It was just staggering at how over-the-top their show is.
And finally, we lost another slew of our heroes over the past year. Cheers to Burke Shelley (Budgie), Jon Zazula (Megaforce Records), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), Steven Grimmett (Grim Reaper/Onslaught) and David Andersson (Soilwork) for all the awesome music and memories. There were more than listed here, but these were the big ones for me in the past year.
Anyway, let’s fucking rock. First entry in the Top 20 Best of Metal for 2022 drops on Monday. I hope you come back for the ride to finish out the end of the year.