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.