2019 Award Nominations: Best Collaboration ft. A&P Reacts

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Welcome to the 2019 Musicalypse Award Nominations! It is our second year after having changed our Award system over to the staff vote, and to shake things up, this year we’ve invited A&P Reacts to join us in the nominating and voting for the best of 2019. Each year more band members step outside of their own bands to do a special feature with another band, and here are our choices for the Best Collaboration of 2019!

This year our nominations will be in their own separate playlists! You can follow them on Spotify:

1. Hevisaurus – “100” ft. everyone
2. Avantasia – “Moonglow” ft. Candice Night [Blackmore’s Night]
3. Brymir – “Anew” ft. Noora Louhimo [Battle Beast]

Okay, this is like picking an Ayreon song to win an award; it feels a bit unfair, but really, how could you possibly compete with a song like “100” by Hevisaurus that has, just to name a few, Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius), Daniel Freyberg (Children of Bodom), Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth), Iivo Kaipainen (Arion), Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun), and just… so many others. So many. And the song is epic AF. In all objectivity, I’m not sure this song really has any competitors.

Candice Night w/ Rainbow @ RockFest 2019

One of the songs that came out so early in the year that I almost forgot about it was none other than the title track off Avantasia‘s new album, Moonglow. Candice Night hasn’t been in a compilation that we know of since 2004 with Helloween for “Light the Universe.” She’s a hidden gem in the music world and we’d love to see more of her out in the metal scene.

I left my third choice until the last minute because it was really tough to decide, but I think I’ll have to go with “Anew” by Brymir featuring Noora Louhimo. The song is pretty epic and powerful on its own, but Louhimo’s vocals add a little something extra into the mix to step it up to the next level.

Honorary mention(s): selected songs by De Lirium’s Order ft. Mikael Salo; “wonderful life” by Bring Me the Horizon ft. Dani Filth; “nihilist blues” by Bring Me the Horizon ft Grimes; “Raise Your Banners” by Within Temptation ft. Anders Fridén; “Goodbye Stranger” by Tarja ft. Cristina Scabbia

1. Alcest – “L’île des morts” ft. Kathrine Shepard [Sylvaine]
2. The Mute Gods – “One Day” ft. Alex Lifeson [Rush]
3. TheNightTimeProject – “Signals in the Sky” ft. Heike Langhans [Draconian, :LOR3L3I:]

Alcest’s “L’île des morts” is my favorite song from Spiritual Instinct, and adding to its greatness are the ethereal vocals by Kathrine Shepard of Sylvaine that elevate the atmospheric quality of the song up another notch.

The Mute Gods managed to get my biggest guitar hero, Alex Lifeson of Rush, to play acoustic guitar on “One Day,” and while his contribution may not be as distinct as, say, his guest solo on Porcupine Tree’s “Anesthetize,” he makes his mark on the track with his signature strumming.

TheNightTimeProject, the Swedish collective led by October Tide/ex-Katatonia guitarist Fredrik Norrman, brought in Heike Langhans of Draconian to sing on “Signals in the Sky,” and her voice really complements the music and suits the ghostly atmosphere.

1. Blind Channel – “Snake” ft. GG6 [Henrik Wilhelmsson, Amaranthe]

1. Avantasia – “Lavender” ft. Bob Catley [Magnum]
2. Avantasia – “Raven Child” ft. Hansi Kursch [Blind Guardian] & Jorn Lande [ex-Masterplan]
3. Avantasia – “Moonglow” ft. Candice Night [Blackmore’s Night]

Some might not consider Avantasia to be valid for collaborations, but if everyone else gets to do it, so do I! I admit that I am really into the new album, so it only makes sense that these were my favorite collaborations of 2019. First, “Lavender” is a fantastic upbeat song and Bob Catley‘s vocals really elevated it in the powerful singalong chorus and harmonize wonderfully with Tobias Sammet creating a song that is pure joy and happiness.

Next, “Raven Child” has not one, but two of the best vocalists in all of heavy metal, Hansi Kursch and Jorn Lande who should need no introduction and who (as far as I know) haven’t sang together since 01011001 by Ayreon. The song is pure epic and

Last there is “Moonglow,” which I’ve already nominated many times as it was one of my favorite songs this year. I love Avantasia and I love Candice Night, and thus the combination of the two turned out to be nothing less than pure gold.

Honorary mention(s): Everfrost – “Above the Treeline” ft. Asim Searah

1. Hevisaurus – “100”
2. Brymir – “Anew” ft. Noora Louhimo [Battle Beast]
3. Soilwork – “Needles and Kin” ft. Tomi Joutsen [Amorphis]

… [the songs echo through the valleys]

A&P Reacts:

Tommy Johansson w/ Sabaton @ Hartwall Arena 2019

1. Tarja – “Dead Promises” ft. Bjorn Strid [Soilwork, The Night Flight Orchestra]
One of the coolest collaborations with two of the best voices in the business. This song is a vocal match made in metal heaven.

2. Meadows End – “Devilution” ft. Tommy Johansson [Sabaton]
Adding Tommy elevated this track to a complete new level. His solo gives this song energy, melody, power, and strength. Tommy gives power to the metal of this melodic metal track.