After discovering his insanely well written reviews on his Instagram account, we had to enlist KJ Draven to join the Wall of Sound team where he’s fit in well and flourished as an aspiring writer with valid opinions of the metal world!
Take a look at what he frothed this year with his 2020 Year In Review and how he coped in Melbourne during lockdowns…
TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2020?
Honourable mentions: Deftones, Devildriver, Sharptooth, Descend, Body Count, Testament, Sylosis, Sepultura, In Malice’s Wake, Wartooth
10 – Heathen – Empire of the Blind
9 – Havok – V
8 – Make Them Suffer – How to Survive a Funeral
7 – Mr Bungle – The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo
6 – Polaris – The Death of Me
5 – Trivium – What the Dead Man Say
4 – Lamb of God – Lamb of God
3 – Greg Puciato – Child Soldier: Creator of God
2 – Killer Be Killed – Reluctant Hero
1 – Code Orange – Underneath
TOP 10 SONGS OF 2020
10 – Fever 333 ‘BITE BACK’
9 – Felix Reibl ‘Black Room’
8 – Deftones ‘Genesis’
7 – Kvelertak feat. Troy Sanders ‘Crack of Doom’
6 – Body Count ‘Bum-Rush’
5 – Devildriver ‘Vengeance is Clear’
4 – Bring Me The Horizon feat. Babymetal ‘Kingslayer’
3 – Gojira ‘Another World’
2 – Sylosis ‘I Sever’
1 – Thy Art is Murder ‘Killing Season’
BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2020
Lamb of God – ‘Memento Mori’
LAST GIG YOU CAUGHT BEFORE COVID
Elton John at AAMI Park, Melbourne. Saturday night was alright for fighting but most people went home and had a cup of tea. Tool was on across the road too.
Really looking forward to Faith No More, Parkway Drive and Guns n Roses next year.
HOW DID COVID/LOCKDOWNS AFFECT YOU IN 2020?
What a strange year. My day job meant I was working from home from March until the end of the year. There were perks obviously, I was at home for most of my daughter’s first year, but I missed a lot too. And I am sick of Zoom. There was good time to reflect, read, write and listen to some killer tunes. We found ourselves in a difficult political climate in Australia, from the ranging bushfires in summer, with barely a week off until COVID hit the point we all had to stay home for six weeks that became 9 months. But we had Paul Kelly, who wrote a lullaby addressing climate denial, while Briggs and Tim Mincin went after the PM. George Floyd was murdered stateside and Machine Head and Fever333 responded with quick EPs, while Bring Me The Horizon’s EP tackled the COVID world.
Quick EPs and singles were flavour of the year – Metallica re-recorded Blackended unplugged, Tom Morello, Carcass, System of a Down, The Troops of Doom all dropped what are hopefully stopgaps for albums in 2021. Then out of nowhere, Mr Bungle and Killer Be Killer both returned! Thrash made a massive comeback too: Testament, Havok, Bungle, Heathen, In Malice’s Wake all dropped killer variations. But Code Orange dominated my streaming and record player this year. A perfect album for a strange year, but musically seriously furious.
— KJ Draven (@KjDraven) July 22, 2020
BIGGEST THING YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF THIS YEAR?
Self control and expression. I took June off from social media and it was a deep cleanse that I needed, a break in the storm that 2020 has been. My day job places a lot of demands on me, and getting the chance to express myself by writing about bands on Instagram and Twitter has been a great outlet, one that led to a viral tweet, a minor disagreement with Static X and the chance to write for WOS! Love being part of this team and sharing great albums with people.
There r respected journalists who r qualified 2 write reviews & discuss the art / work of professional artists. others disguise themselves as journalists, but have no credibility, & simply do reviews 2 feed their own self important egos, while nobody actually values their opinion
— Static-X (@OfficialStaticX) July 20, 2020
FAV NEW BAND/MUSICIAN DISCOVERED IN 2020
Wartooth. Classic sounding thrash, straight out of Queensland.
NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACT TO WATCH IN 2021?
Polaris. Their time has come.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2021?
Gigs! Gimme gimme bloodshed! Hell yeah.