So February has come and gone, as did, undoubtedly, several of our voters.

Alt Metal, Death, Folk/Pagan, Gothic, Melodeath, Melodic Black, Power, Prog, and Thrash all exceeded 1,000 votes.

We had our share of the usual Big Band Beat Downs where the winner was a foregone conclusion about six minutes into voting… Saturnus, Be'lakor, and Enslaved pummeled the opposition, Meshuggah received almost 60% of the vote in Djent with over 500 while no one else came close to cracking the century mark, and Gojira racked up almost as many votes as the entire Stoner/Sludge field…

We also had perhaps our tightest race yet, with Neurosis and Atoma changing pole position repeatedly, and only a two vote gap between 'em as I started typing this a couple hours before votes close.

Wintersun almost pulled the dubious double, winning "Biggest Surprise" (most likely because the album was actually released… certainly not what the album sounded like), and were spared another win in the "Biggest Letdown" category only because the unsung heroes of Ensiferum managed to disappoint more of their fans.

Congrats to Atoma and Immensity, best debut and best Clandestine Cut, respectively, for leading a promising pack of bands. Metal's future is bright indeed. And congrats to all of the bands that were nominated, whether by MS staff or written in, as well as the fans who took the time to check out the lesser-known acts to see what the excitement was about.

After all the fans finding new bands and bands gaining new fans are the real winners.

\m/
Best albums by genre

Alternative Metal
Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage


Avantgarde / Experimental Metal
Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pandora's Piñata


Black Metal
A Forest Of Stars - A Shadowplay For Yesterdays


Death Metal
The Faceless - Autotheism


Djent / Math Metal
Meshuggah - Koloss


Doom Metal
Saturnus - Saturn In Ascension


Extreme Doom Metal
Ahab - The Giant


Folk / Pagan / Viking Metal
Eluveitie - Helvetios


Gothic Metal
Katatonia - Dead End Kings


Grindcore
Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas


Hard Rock
Graveyard - Lights Out


Hardcore / Metalcore / Deathcore
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind


Heavy / Melodic Metal
Accept - Stalingrad


Industrial / Cyber / Electronic Metal
Blut Aus Nord - 777 - Cosmosophy


Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal
Be'lakor - Of Breath And Bone


Melodic Black Metal / Metalgaze
Alcest - Les Voyages De L'Âme


Post-Metal
Atoma - Skylight


Power Metal
Kamelot - Silverthorn


Progressive Metal
Enslaved - RIITIIR


Sludge / Stoner Metal
High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis


Symphonic Metal
Xandria - Neverworld's End


Thrash Metal
Kreator - Phantom Antichrist


Other awards




Special award






The Best Alternative Metal Album


1. Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage 606
2. Deftones - Koi No Yokan 229
3. Serj Tankian - Harakiri 118
4. Aluk Todolo - Occult Rock 57
5. Anathema - Weather Systems 49
6. Klone - The Dreamer's Hideaway 46
7. Therapy? - A Brief Crack Of Light 38
8. Kells - Anachromie 22
9. 69 Chambers - Torque 19
10. Serenity Broken - Commercial Suicide 17




The Best Avantgarde / Experimental Metal


1. Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pandora's Piñata 428
2. Sigh - In Somniphobia 219
3. Obsidian Kingdom - Mantiis 69
4. Cloak Of Altering - Ancient Paths Through Timeless Voids 35
5. Quadrivium - Methocha 32
6. Yakuza - Beyul 31
7. Panzerballett - Tank Goodness 30
8. Stolen Babies - Naught 27
9. Vaura - Selenelion 24
10. Metallic Taste Of Blood - Metallic Taste Of Blood 21




The Best Black Metal Album


1. A Forest Of Stars - A Shadowplay For Yesterdays 185
2. Blut Aus Nord - What Once Was... Liber II 168
3. The Great Old Ones - Al Azif 47
4. Reverence - The Asthenic Ascension 44
  Ash Borer - Cold Of Ages 44
6. Wilds Forlorn - We, The Damned 40
  Darkspace - -1 40
8. Verdunkeln - Weder Licht Noch Schatten 28
  Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine 28
10. Merrimack - The Acausal Mass 24
11. Gnaw Their Tongues - Eschatological Scatology 23
12. Shining - Redefining Darkness 21
13. Mgła - With Hearts Toward None 19
14. Marduk - Serpent Sermon 18
15. Wodensthrone - Curse 11
16. Hail Spirit Noir - Pneuma 10




The Best Death Metal Album


1. The Faceless - Autotheism 238
2. Asphyx - Deathhammer 184
3. Dying Fetus - Reign Supreme 175
4. Gorod - A Perfect Absolution 112
5. Goatwhore - Blood For The Master 82
6. Hour Of Penance - Sedition 53
7. Black Breath - Sentenced For Life 51
8. Agruss - Morok 50
9. Ævangelist - De Masticatione Mortuorum In Tumulis 38
10. Abnormality - Contaminating The Hive Mind 36
11. Cannibal Corpse - Torture 29
12. Nile - At the Gate of Sethu 17
13. Ex Deo - Caligvla 14
14. Spawn Of Possession - Incurso 10




The Best Djent / Math Metal


1. Meshuggah - Koloss 514
2. Bend The Sky - Origins 69
3. Hypno5e - Acid Mist Tomorrow 51
4. Skyharbor - Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos 50
5. Chimp Spanner - All Roads Lead Here 33
6. Hacktivist - Hacktivist 22
7. Glass Cloud - The Royal Thousand 20
8. Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal 19
9. Mindplotter - Event Horizon 18
10. The Safety Fire - Grind The Ocean 17




The Best Doom Metal Album


1. Saturnus - Saturn In Ascension 351
2. Pallbearer - Sorrow And Extinction 157
3. The 11th Hour - Lacrima Mortis 79
4. Swallow the Sun - Emerald Forest And The Blackbird 59
5. Hooded Menace - Effigies Of Evil 48
6. Witchsorrow - God Curse Us 38
7. My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures 30
8. The Howling Void - The Womb Beyond The World 28
9. Pale Divine - Painted Windows Black 26
10. Poema Arcanus - Transient Chronicles 25
11. Hour Of 13 - 333 22
12. Candlemass - Psalms For The Dead 21
13. Abske Fides - Abske Fides 19
14. Daylight Dies - A Frail Becoming 17
15. Anguish - Through The Archdemon's Head 14




The Best Extreme Doom Metal Album


1. Ahab - The Giant 221
2. Evoken - Atra Mors 177
3. Narrow House - A Key To Panngrieb 82
4. Elysian Blaze - Blood Geometry 74
5. Monolithe - Monolithe III 57
6. Faal - The Clouds Are Burning 32
7. Indesinence - Vessels Of Light And Decay 27
8. Alkerdeel - Morinde 24
9. Bong - Mana-Yod-Sushai 20
10. Monolithe - Interlude Second 18




The Best Folk / Pagan / Viking Metal Album


1. Eluveitie - Helvetios 414
2. Dordeduh - Dar De Duh 187
3. Finsterforst - Rastlos 123
4. Vintersorg - Orkan 122
5. Wilderun - Olden Tales & Deathly Trails 94
6. Dalriada - Napisten Hava 42
7. Ensiferum - Unsung Heroes 25
8. Ereb Altor - Gastrike 24
9. Arbor - The Plutonian Shore 21
10. Árstíðir Lífsins - Vápna Lækjar Eldr 17
11. Hel - Das Atmen Der Erde 11




The Best Gothic Metal Album


1. Katatonia - Dead End Kings 336
2. Moonspell - Alpha Noir / Omega White 322
3. Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol 225
4. Woods Of Ypres - Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light 189
5. The Foreshadowing - Second World 78
6. The 69 Eyes - X 21
7. Vagrant God - Vagrant God 12
8. Tiamat - The Scarred People 11
9. The Chant - A Healing Place 10
  The Eden House - Timeflows 10




The Best Grindcore Album


1. Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas 271
2. Napalm Death - Utilitarian 232
3. Cattle Decapitation - Monolith Of Inhumanity 160
4. Liberteer - Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees 32
5. Gaza - No Absolutes In Human Suffering 24
  A Million Dead Birds Laughing - Xen 24
7. Murder Construct - Results 23
8. The Secret - Agnus Dei 21
9. Pig Destroyer - Book Burner 14
10. Phobia - Remnants Of Filth 10




The Best Hard Rock Album


1. Graveyard - Lights Out 165
2. Slash - Apocalyptic Love 155
3. Halestorm - The Strange Case Of... 127
4. Jess And The Ancient Ones - Jess And The Ancient Ones 65
5. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards The Daylight 45
6. El Caco - Hatred, Love & Diagrams 38
7. Rush - Clockwork Angels 31
8. Demon - Unbroken 25
9. Triggerman - Hail To The River Gods 20
  Arrow Haze - Music Factory 20
11. Unisonic - Unisonic 16
12. Van Halen - A Different Kind of Truth 13




The Best Hardcore / Metalcore / Deathcore


1. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind 196
2. Whitechapel - Whitechapel 130
3. Veil Of Maya - Eclipse 80
4. Cancer Bats - Dead Set On Living 77
5. Architects - Daybreaker 43
6. Make Them Suffer - Neverbloom 39
7. Primate - Draw Back A Stump 23
8. Martyrdöd - Paranoia 20
9. Wolfbrigade - Damned 19
10. As I Lay Dying - Awakened 15
  Everything Went Black - Cycles Of Light 15
12. The Agonist - Prisoners 13
13. Lamb Of God - Resolution 11




The Best Heavy / Melodic Metal Album


1. Accept - Stalingrad 370
2. 3 Inches Of Blood - Long Live Heavy Metal 155
3. Dawnbringer - Into The Lair Of The Sun God 77
4. Rage - 21 75
5. Christian Mistress - Possession 48
6. Nightmare - The Burden of God 37
  Steelwing - Zone Of Alienation 37
8. Striker - Armed To The Teeth 32
9. Castle - Blacklands 23
10. Primal Rock Rebellion - Awoken Broken 16
11. Grand Magus - The Hunt 13
12. Adrenaline Mob - Omertá 10




The Best Industrial / Cyber / Electronic Metal Album


1. Blut Aus Nord - 777 - Cosmosophy 224
2. Igorrr - Hallelujah 98
3. Killing Joke - MMXII 88
4. The Algorithm - Polymorphic Code 80
5. Prong - Carved Into Stone 78
6. Fear Factory - The Industrialist 39
7. Minority Sound - The Explorer 31
8. Sybreed - God Is An Automaton 16
9. CSSABA - Underground Lo-Fi Songs 13
10. A.I.(d) - Disorder 12
11. Vortech - Devoid Of Life 10




The Best Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal Album


1. Be'lakor - Of Breath And Bone 587
2. In Mourning - The Weight Of Oceans 182
3. Unleashed - Odalheim 104
4. Barren Earth - The Devil's Resolve 94
5. Wintersun - Time I 79
6. Words Of Farewell - Immersion 49
7. Bloodshot Dawn - Bloodshot Dawn 39
8. Psilocybe Larvae - The Labyrinth Of Penumbra 31
9. Kälter - Ubuntu 26
10. Elysian - Wires Of Creation 22
11. Karybdis - From The Depths 15
12. Mors Principium Est - ...And Death Said Live 14




The Best Melodic Black Metal / Metalgaze


1. Alcest - Les Voyages De L'Âme 415
2. Borknagar - Urd 224
3. Xanthochroid - Blessed He With Boils 89
4. Les Discrets - Ariettes Oubliées 77
5. Devilish Impressions - Simulacra 44
6. An Autumn For Crippled Children - Only The Ocean Knows 33
  Taranis - Kingdom 33
  Eternal Deformity - The Beauty Of Chaos 33
9. Sleeping Peonies - S L O W L Y D I S A P P E A R I N G [EP] 22
10. Mondstille - Seelenwund 12
11. Verwüstung - I First Saw You On That Snowy Night And Couldn't Shake An Overwhelming Feeling Of Sadness 10




The Best Post-Metal Album


1. Atoma - Skylight 259
2. Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay 257
3. Process Of Guilt - Fæmin 48
4. Cloudkicker - Fade 38
  Sunpocrisy - Samaroid Dioramas 38
6. Whales And Aurora - The Shipwreck 36
7. Kontinuum - Earth Blood Magic 26
8. Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster - Exegesis 25
9. Aoria - The Constant 23
10. Jambinai - Différance 11




The Best Power Metal Album


1. Kamelot - Silverthorn 517
2. Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name 112
3. Orden Ogan - To The End 90
4. Pharaoh - Bury The Light 53
5. Seven Kingdoms - The Fire Is Mine 48
6. Dark Empire - From Refuge to Ruin 45
7. Sabaton - Carolus Rex 43
8. Iron Fire - Voyage Of The Damned 42
9. ReinXeed - Welcome To The Theater 27
10. Dragonforce - The Power Within 17
11. Lanfear - This Harmonic Consonance 13
12. Shear - Breaking The Stillness 11




The Best Progressive Metal Album


1. Enslaved - RIITIIR 491
2. Ne Obliviscaris - Portal Of I 273
3. Between The Buried And Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence 159
4. Threshold - March Of Progress 108
5. In The Silence - A Fair Dream Gone Mad 96
6. To-Mera - Exile 65
7. OSI - Fire Make Thunder 28
8. Ørkenkjøtt - Ønskediktet 26
9. Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud 25
10. Circus Maximus - Nine 24
11. Dissona - Dissona 23
12. Ihsahn - Eremita 12
13. Enochian Theory - Life... And All It Entails 10




The Best Sludge / Stoner Metal Album


1. High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis 215
2. Orange Goblin - A Eulogy For The Damned 108
3. Royal Thunder - CVI 96
4. Ancestors - In Dreams And Time 53
5. Ufomammut - Oro: Opus Alter 52
6. Torche - Harmonicraft 38
7. Lord Mantis - Pervertor 33
8. Lurk - Lurk 27
9. Black Space Riders - Light Is The New Black 25
10. Baroness - Yellow & Green 21
11. The Sword - Apocryphon 12
  Om - Advaitic Songs 12
13. Tort - Tort 11




The Best Symphonic Metal Album


1. Xandria - Neverworld's End 309
2. Saturnian - Dimensions 63
  Diabulus In Musica - The Wanderer 63
4. Pythia - The Serpent's Curse 51
5. Lumus - Bacchus' Curse 49
6. Epica - Requiem For The Indifferent 47
7. Dol Ammad - Cosmic Gods: Episode I - Hyperspeed 38
8. Inner Fear - First Born Fear 29
9. Whyzdom - Blind? 28
10. Luca Turilli's Rhapsody - Ascending to Infinity 22
  Therion - Les Fleurs Du Mal 22
12. Leah - Of Earth & Angels 20
13. Aberrant Vascular - Aegisthus 17
14. Delain - We Are The Others 13




The Best Thrash Metal Album


1. Kreator - Phantom Antichrist 467
2. Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth 393
3. Overkill - The Electric Age 129
4. Sylosis - Monolith 119
5. Aura Noir - Out To Die 43
6. Paradox - Tales Of The Weird 36
7. Deathhammer - Onward To The Pits 18
8. Angelus Apatrida - The Call 12
  Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - Ghostmaker 12
  Exumer - Fire & Damnation 12




Clandestine Cut Of The Year


1. Immensity - The Lonely Aquarelle 46
2. Fever Sea - The Deluge 40
3. Spelljammer - Vol. II 33
4. Autolatry - Of The Land 31
5. Yama - Seaquake 27
  Schematics For Gravity - Schematics For Gravity 27
7. Morito Ergo Sum - Moonchild 18
8. Morality Crisis - North 15
9. Unbodied - Unbodied 14
10. Defecto - Defecto 13




The Best Cover Song


1. Sabaton - Twilight Of The Thunder God (Amon Amarth cover) 38
2. Testament - Powerslave (Iron Maiden cover) 34
3. Ensiferum - Bamboleo 24
4. Xanthochroid - Land of Snow and Sorrow (Wintersun cover) 19
5. Kreator - Number Of The Beast (Iron Maiden cover) 14
6. Luca Turilli's Rhapsody - March Of Time 13
  Enslaved - Immigrant Song 13
8. Lacuna Coil - Losing My Religion (R.E.M. cover) 12
  Dordeduh - Ruun 12
  Metallica - When A Blind Man Cries (Deep Purple Cover) 12




The Best Debut Album


1. Atoma - Skylight 149
2. In The Silence - A Fair Dream Gone Mad 139
3. Wilderun - Olden Tales & Deathly Trails 86
4. Royal Thunder - CVI 71
5. Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I 59
6. Ørkenkjøtt - Ønskediktet 41
7. Skyharbor - Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos 40
8. Dissona - Dissona 28
9. Sunpocrisy - Samaroid Dioramas 20
10. Lurk - Lurk 15
11. Xanthochroid - Blessed He With Boils 13
12. Agruss - Morok 12
  Hail Spirit Noir - Pneuma 12
14. Unisonic - Unisonic 11




The Best DVD


1. Devin Townsend Project - By A Thread - Live in London 2011 55
2. Iron Maiden - En Vivo! 40
  Gojira - The Flesh Alive 40
4. Watain - Opus Diaboli 28
5. Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day 23
  Metallica - Quebec Magnetic 23
7. Steven Wilson - Get All You Deserve 22
8. Stratovarius - Under Flaming Winter Skies - Live In Tampere 14
9. Tarja - Act I 12
10. Hypocrisy - Hell Over Sofia 11




The Best Video


1. Kamelot - Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife) 54
2. Swallow The Sun - Cathedral Walls 31
3. Carach Angren - The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist 29
4. Sólstafir - Fjara 28
5. A Forest Of Stars - Gatherer Of The Pure 26
6. Devin Townsend Project - Lucky Animals 25
7. Storm Corrosion - Drag Ropes 21
8. Nekrogoblikon - No One Survives 18
9. Cattle Decapitation - Forced Gender Reassignment 16
  Testament - Native Blood 16




The Biggest Letdown


1. Ensiferum - Unsung Heroes 62
2. Wintersun - Time I 47
3. Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name 44
4. Manowar - The Lord Of Steel 27
5. Nile - At The Gates Of Sethu 23
6. Burzum - Umskiptar 21
7. Epica - Requiem for the Indifferent 18
  Therion - Les Fleurs Du Mal 18
9. Adrenaline Mob - Omertá 14
  Steve Harris - British Lion 14




The Biggest Surprise


1. Wintersun - Time I 54
2. Ne Obliviscaris - Portal Of I 36
3. Kamelot - Silverthorn 32
4. Xandria - Neverworld's End 29
5. Atoma - Skylight 19
6. Dragonforce - The Power Within 18
7. In The Silence - A Fair Dream Gone Mad 17
8. Dordeduh - Dar De Duh 15
9. Anathema - Weather Systems 14
10. Soen - Cognitive 12




Drama Of The Year


1. Lamb Of God - Randy Blythe charged with manslaughter 102
2. Nightwish - Vocalist issues again 59
3. Black Sabbath - Failed Reunion 43
4. Wintersun - About f***in' 'Time' 30
5. Queensrÿche - The tale of the two Queensrÿches 27
6. Suicide Silence - Mitch Lucker's sudden death 14