2015: Year In Review

This is a ‘thing’ I do every year amongst my friends. As www.seberrow.com went live for the first time this year, I thought it only appropriate to share it with you here as well!

1. Album that surpassed all others:

Haven by Kamelot

Haven

An amazing follow-up to the compariatively mediocre Silverthorn, Haven is Kamelot’s second album featuring their new singer Tommy Karevik after Roy Khan (one of the greatest ever symphonic metal vocalists) was sadly forced to depart in 2011 due to mental health issues. Making full use of Tommy’s capacity for vocal acrobatics, Haven is a masterclass in songwriting that quickly rose to become one of my favourite albums ever, let alone the year.

Favourite tracks: ‘Insomnia’, ‘Citizen Zero’, ‘Veil of Elysium’, ‘Here’s To The Fall’

2. Most missed artists:

Emilie Autumn… come back to the music world, please, my love! Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival was not a thing that happened in my country, sadly.

Emilie Autumn The Devil's Carnival

3. Album that really surprised me:

Unknown by Rasputina, because it appeared out of frikkin’ nowhere and also deals with some extremely heavy personal stuff, which Rasputina never do. Also, for some reason, Melora sent me a second copy that I didn’t order, so it really did quite literally surprise me.

Unknown Rasputina

Favourite tracks: ‘Unicorn Horn Mounted’, ‘Sensed’, ‘Unknown’

4. Person I would most like to have tea with:

This ugly mug ♥

Mark

5. The things I’ve completely had enough of:

Being so Goddamned housepoor. I hope 2016 will be a bit easier in this respect as I’ve really struggled this year.

6. The thing I wish I had bought myself but didn’t:

It’s been a really expensive year this year buying things like vacuum cleaners, washing machines, fridges and whatnot, so there hasn’t really been anything I haven’t bought that I wanted or needed. I guess I wish I hadn’t bought quite so much chocolate for myself!

7. Page-turner:

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.

The Miniaturist cover

Brilliant book. Click here to read my 5/5 star review.

8. Album that stirred my soul:

Technically this album was released late last year (2014) but I only started listening to it in the first week of January 2015.

Black Widow by In This Moment

Black Widow In This Moment

The album just has such a huge, massive sound and Maria Brink’s entirely unique screaming-in-pitch vocal style hits such a primal core within me. It’s such a cathartic album about empowerment and standing up for and being yourself.

Favourite tracks: ‘Sex Metal Barbie’,’Big Bad Wolf’, ‘Sick Like Me’, ‘Bloody Creature Poster Girl’

9. Album that made me smile:

King of Kings by Leaves’ Eyes

King of Kings

It made me smile because it’s so frikkin’ good. Click here to read my review.

Favourite tracks: ‘King of Kings’, ‘Vengeance Venom’, ‘Blazing Waters’ (the latter has grown on me so much since I wrote that review, as I suspected it would!)

10. Most stylish person:

Emilie Autumn has got to be my winner this year for the uncharacteristically simple and positively gorgeous outfit she wore on the red carpet for the Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival premiere. I mean… look. Just look.

Emilie Autumn red carpet

Gorgeous.

11. Best ‘thing’:

My flat – which I moved into at the very beginning of the year – even if it has made me so very very poor (see above).

12. Favourite visual feast:

Starz’ TV series of Outlander!

Outlander Starz

13. Best fictional character since Sirius Black:

Jamie Fraser, brought to life by the incredible Sam Heughan in the TV series of Outlander. He was totally snubbed for a Golden Globe nomination this year after his powerful performance alongside Tobias Menzies and Caitriona Balfe (both nominated and rightfully so) in the heartbreaking Season finale, ‘To Ransom A Man’s Soul’.

Jamie Fraser

14. Coolest rock star:

Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy fame (previously The Agonist) wins for the second year in a row for me. She absolutely smashed it at the Nightwish concert the other week (Arch Enemy were their support… I still need to write a review on this!). She is so unbelievably athletic on stage, plus she featured twice on Kamelot’s Haven as well (see above); it was good to hear her clean vocals again. Raise your horns for Alissa White-Gluz!

Alissa White-Gluz

15. Best gig:

Kamelot at the O2 Academy, Islington (14 March).

Kamelot O2 Academy

So. SO. GOOD.

16. Most special moment:

Moving into my new flat, and also being invited to my friends Rachel and Greg’s wedding. It meant a lot to be invited and to have such a lovely time, after everything we’ve been through over the last decade. Thank you so much, Guys ♥ You’re beautiful together!

Rachel and Greg

17. Song of the year:

‘Insomnia’ by Kamelot

“When the night begins to fall, I hear a thousand voices call, chasing my insanity like a fly on the wall.”

18. Biggest achievement

Winning first place in a clay-pigeon shooting contest amongst seasoned shooters despite never before having shot a gun in my life!

19. Biggest regret

Je ne regrette rien.

20. New Year’s Resolutions

1. Lose a stone in weight (damn you, Christmas!)
2. Sort out finances so I’m not so incredibly housepoor every month
3. Successfully partake in Christmas 2016 i.e. actually send people Christmas cards and buy proper gifts for everyone to say thank you for their kindness and generosity in the Christmas just gone
4. Decorate my flat

Bonus! Instagram’s #2015Best Nine:

Instagram Best Nine

Happy New Year!

 

S.E. Berrow


 

For more information on items or people mentioned in this post, please click the below links.

Music:

http://www.kamelot.com/
http://www.emilieautumn.com/
http://meloracreager.space/
http://www.inthismomentofficial.com/
http://www.leaveseyes.de/

Books:

http://www.jessieburton.co.uk/
http://www.dianagabaldon.com/

Film & TV:

http://thedevilscarnival.com/
http://www.starz.com/originals/outlander/


 

Note: The original ‘Year In Review’ structure and the vast majority of my questions were shamelessly stolen from a MySpace blog post written by the inimitable Darren Hayes many years ago. So old is it that I’m not even sure the post exists anymore (I can’t find it regardless)! You can find out more about Darren Hayes and his wonderful effervescent self here:

http://darrenhayes.com/

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