Metal Insider’s 10 most shocking moments of 2016

Posted by on December 30, 2016


7) Prophets Of Rage: the second best thing to a Rage Against The Machine Reunion (or is it?)


In May 2016, cryptic messages online made many believe that Rage Against The Machine had big plans. Many speculated that those plans even involved Public Enemy somehow. Were Rage Against The Machine reuniting for a tour with Public Enemey?! Well… nope.

It quickly turned out that said cryptic messages were teasing a new project featuring everyone but Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against The Machine, Chuck D of Public Enemy, and B-Real of Cypress Hill. Just in time for the Presidential elections, the band branded themselves Prophets Of Rage and embarked on a summer amphitheater tour (with a few guerilla style shows thrown in). While the band did record a new song for an EP of covers and live recordings, Prophets Of Rage’s set list consisted mostly of songs from Rage Against The Machine’s catalogue, with a few additional Public Enemy, Cypress Hill and other cover songs thrown into the mix.

Prophets Of Rage have plans for more shows and new music next year. And while the reviews of Prophets Of Rage have been pretty favorable, the low attendance at shows like the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, gives off the impression that most fans would still prefer a proper Rage Against The Machine reunion.


6) Brian Johnson sings his last AC/DC show; band get seasoned replacement
In 1980, Brian Johnson saved AC/DC after the unfortunate death of Bon Scott. The gravel-lunged singer powered the Australian band through Back in Black, one of the most successful albums in rock history, and was the voice of the band until earlier this year, when the band was in the midst of a U.S. tour. They abruptly postponed the tour, stating that Brian Johnson risked total hearing loss if he was to continue playing with them.
That’s one hell of a loss, especially for a band that lost a founding member, Malcolm Young, to dementia the previous year. As rumors of his possible replacement began to swirl, one unlikely one bubbled to the top – Axl Rose. Initially, it seemed way too far-fetched of a rumor to be true. Axl had his hands full with Guns N’ Roses, not to mention the reputation he’d earned as a strange recluse that was notoriously late to GN’R shows. However, the rumors turned out to be true, and not only did the last batch of AC/DC dates go off without a hitch, but Axl actually did an admirable job pulling off both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson. Who knew that 2016’s MVP would turn out to be a guy that used to cancel show because his traveling psychic said a show had a bad aura about it?

5) Former Morbid Angel members form tribute band, Trey Azagthoth’s mom not psyched

It’s certainly not shocking when former members of a band form a separate version of that band to tour. Look at the Cavalera brothers and Sepultura, or the different versions of L.A. Guns or Queensryche. Or if you really want to draw a family tree with a bunch of branches and roots all over the place, examine Ratt. So the fact that former Morbid Angel members David Vincent and Tim Yueng formed I Am Morbid to play some classic Vincent-era albums isn’t all that surprising. What is, however, is the primary person to talk shit about it – guitarist Trey Azagthoth’s mom.
Janell Fulghum Emmanuel left a comment on the Facebook page of the festival the band is playing in Spring, which is kind of funny. It’s even funnier when she takes the band to task for writing in Spanish (the festival is in Spain). Behold Azagthoth Emmanuel’s mom defending her son and his band on Facebook.


4) Guns N’ Roses reunion tour actually turns out good (and still going strong)

Photo: Katarina Benzova

Photo: Katarina Benzova

In January 2016, after months of speculation reached a peak, Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan finally confirmed that they would be reuniting after decades a part, starting at Coachella. It would take a few more months for Guns N’ Roses to announce a full fledge tour and confirm who else was actually in the band (aka, Izzy Stradlin opted to have no involvement, while Steven Adler was essentially demoted to a few special appearances). By the end of 2016, though, Guns N’ Roses had completed one of the most successful tours of the year, and are preparing for more shows in 2017.

The fact that Axl and Slash were even seen in the same room together could qualify as one of 2016’s most shocking moments. However, what’s even more shocking that the Guns N’ Roses tour… was actually awesome. The truth is that this tour could’ve easily been a disaster. Axl has never been very reliable in regards to concerts (in more ways than one), and the chances of him getting along with Slash seemed very unlikely. But low and behold, Axl sounded great (and even showed up at reasonable hours), he and Slash looked like they actually got along on stage (or at least like they could tolerate each other), and the band as a whole sounded really tight, doing justice to the hits and even making a few Chinese Democracy tunes sound pretty good.

Sure, many may still be disappointed by the lack of Stradlin and Adler’s presence, but the current incarnation of GN’R is giving us hope that more good things could be on the way from them…which is something no one really expected ever actually say. 

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Categorised in: Best Of 2016, Columns, Top 10