The Best Heavy / Melodic Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2017

1.  Accept - The Rise Of Chaos 182
2.  Battle Beast - Bringer Of Pain 122
3.  Rage - Seasons Of The Black 72
4.  Venom Inc. - Avé 62
5.  Argus - From Fields Of Fire 39
6.  Portrait - Burn The World 37
7.  Manilla Road - To Kill A King 27
8.  Trivium - The Sin And The Sentence (write-in vote) 17
  Axxis - Retrolution 17
10.  Iced Earth - Incorruptible (write-in vote) 12
11.  Satan's Hallow - Satan's Hallow (write-in vote) 8
12.  Beast in black - Berserker (write-in vote) 6
  Sinner - Tequila Suicide 6
  Attic - Sanctimonious (write-in vote) 6
15.  Beast In Black - Berseker (write-in vote) 5
  Doll$Boxx - high $pec [EP] 5
Total votes:

Indomitable riffs. Throat-rending shrieks. Classical music turned stone-cold and heavy. Normally, being this heavy in your 50s is a sign of poor physical fitness, but Accept is as tough and trim as ever. As long as Accept is around to give us a hearty chorus, a blazing solo, and a stiff punch to the gut, heavy metal is doing just fine; The Rise Of Chaos is a titanic band doing titanic stuff.

Accept Metal.

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Galloping riffs, dueling twin-guitar harmonies, doom-tinged sounds and Brian Balich's powerful vocals constitute From Fields Of Fire. The fourth full-length of Pennsylvania's Argus is effectively balanced, while at the same time firing on all cylinders and, without starting any revolution, it is purely epic and as weighty as you'd expect from this band.

Whether Axxis went "retro" or wanted to start a "revolution" might be in the eye of the beholder, but one thing is for sure: Retrolution incorporated almost all the elements of their old-school sound. Awesome rock'n'roll riffs, super nice choruses, and songs that just entice you to sing along. The guys don't show any sign of slowing down and will take you on a journey through time; just give it a try.

Stomping grooves lousy with synthesizers, classic-sounding riffs dusted off and electrified, slick and anthemic choruses - it's starting to get all '80s pop nostalgic up in this beast. Bringer Of Pain finally embraces to the fullest extent Battle Beast's fascination with how to make heavy metal sound like a chart-topper, and the result is the band's strongest release to date, the album they had always wanted to make. But while there's a lot of dance-worthy rock to be found, Bringer Of Pain still lives up to that distinctly metallic name, dropping Judas Priest- and Dio-style tracks alongside some purely modern heaviness. "Beyond The Burning Skies" is the vivid, eternal hero song that you and all of heavy metal have been waiting for.
Vocals: an honest-to-goodness power metal vocalist backed by bursts of growling, rapping, and competitive cleans.
Drums: all the bass you want and all the speed you need.
Guitars: blazing leads, metallic riffs, and perfect versatility.
Keyboards: more than just that one chord in the background, always lighting up this EP with distinct effects.
Bass: *slap slap slap*

A product of the Japanese popular music tradition, wherein every instrument is the lead instrument and melody is prized above all else. High $$$$$pecs indeed.

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It takes a special combination of creative skill, ignorance of convention, and "damn it, we know we're this good" chutzpah to kick off an album with a 10-minute metalized retelling of Hamlet. Manilla Road is a special kind of band. Now into his fifth decade of service to bearded, bandanna-d, back-breaking bouts of bardic bombast, Mark "The Shark" Shelton is still playing the crusty old Dungeon Master; Manilla Road created and immediately cornered the market on this brand of nasal-voiced versifying set to progressive, lo-fi heavy/power, and while the band is sounding older and huskier, that only furthers the sense of classical mysticism that surrounds it.

Portrait's latest album features all the ingredients they are known for: some NWOBHM, plenty of Mercyful Fate/King Diamond worship, and strong influences from the Walls Of Jericho era of Helloween attack you with nothing less than sheer heavy metal rage. Burn The World is probably the band's fiercest release to date, holding the familiar aspects of Portrait within it, yet in an even more dynamic, empowered, and elevated form than its predecessors.

Rage 2.0 wouldn't be so far off. With their 2017 release, it feels like Peavy and his new members found their way back to the band's well-established, old rough sound of years past. Not to dismiss anything Rage produced with Smolski, but the return to the roots sure makes for an awesome listening experience.


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How does one of the hardest-working men in the German music scene still have time for his own band? Seriously, anything involving Mat Sinner is bound for the road to success. Be it Primal Fear, Voodoo Circle, or the yearly All-Star-Project Rock Meets Classic. It is no surprise, therefore, that Sinner's Tequila Suicide will check all boxes for the heavy metal enthusiast where massive guitar solos and riffs determine the sound. Fans of Thin Lizzy will appreciate the album as well.

Mantas, Abbadon and Demolition Man formed Venom Inc. and released a debut characterised by intensity, honesty and aggression. The revitalized 1989-1992 Venom line-up shaped Avé so that it comes at you dark, then it gets bright and heavy and just keeps growing into some kind of monster.

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