Metal Storm Awards 2014
Last year we celebrated the 10th edition of the Metal Storm Awards, and earlier this year we observed the Awards' 10th anniversary with its own special competition. Now, finally, the 2014 Awards have come to a close. Countless bands and users alike have come and gone in those years, but the spirit of the Awards has remained the same; as we like to say, it's not about who wins and loses, but about discovering new bands. While this year's Awards had a smaller voter turnout than the previous couple, 2014 still had its fair share of friendly competition.
It was a good year for overturning the dynastic dominance of the Big Band Beat-Downs. Bands like Behemoth, Arch Enemy, and Opeth failed to secure not only nominations, but significant numbers of write-in votes. This was also the first year in Metal Storm Awards history without a release from Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquillity, or Be'lakor, meaning that for once the Melodeath category was open to some fresh, healthy, and legitimate competition. In other words, Insomnium swept it by an absurd margin.
Of course, no edition of the Awards is ever safe; for example, Agalloch dominated Meloblack with upwards of six (!) times more votes than the runner-up. You'll see plenty of other familiar faces as well. We also had the usual spate of poor, misguided sods - from whichever band of vagrants nominated Arch Enemy in half a dozen categories, to the gentleman who wrote in Metallica for Best Cover with their own song.
The Biggest Letdown debate turned very few heads, as is usually the case. Some would argue that "Biggest Letdown" implies at least some expectation of reasonable quality, but In Flames "won" anyway for the third time (a new record!). Somebody (we suspect Marcel) wrote in for Best Debut, "None - All new bands suck and have sucked since 1989." By an astonishing coincidence, nearly every winner this year formed after 1989, with only four exceptions. Biggest Surprise, surprisingly, went to an actual surprise (worthy in itself of Biggest Surprise in next year's Awards, perhaps). Though Behemoth's thoroughly predictable new album came in second, first place ultimately went to the wholly inexplicable Babymetal, who are, if nothing else, unexpected (you know, like a surprise).
And it just wouldn't be the Metal Storm Awards without Wintersun getting slapped with their perennial nomination for… well, something terrible. This year it was Biggest Drama, but after four successive nominations and two wins in Biggest Letdown (2013 Awards excepted), it seems that nipping at Jari's heels is a true homespun tradition.
Well, go on. We know you've been too busy devouring the results to bother reading this much outroductory text, so we won't attempt to hold your attention any longer - but we hope you enjoyed yourselves, and, most importantly, discovered a load of great, new bands.
The Annual Metal Storm Awards Committee, a.k.a.
Metal Storm Staff
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