Drama Of The Year - Metal Storm Awards 2015

In years past we've seen some fantastic drama - Stratovarius and the chick who loved smearing jelly on her forearms, Sharon Osbourne pelting Iron Maiden with eggs, Gorgoroth vs. Gaahlgoroth... Some years we've had none, and others we've had so much we let you decide.

This year was far more feast than famine. So dig in.
1.  Immortal - Members Fighting Over Name Credits, Abbath Going Solo [Gorgoroth II: The Gorgoroth-ing] 268
2.  Sólstafir - Whole Ótta Shakin' Goin' On 96
3.  Black Sabbath - Ozzy vs. Bill Continuing 70
4.  Motörhead - Death Of Lemmy (write-in vote) 64
5.  Morbid Angel's Maze Of Torment 28
6.  Eagles Of Death Metal - Terrorist Attacks In Paris (write-in vote) 18
7.  Cynic - Facebook breakup, internal conflicts (write-in vote) 13
8.  Bethlehem - Jürgen "Bartsches" Out His Bandmates 5
Total votes:

Bethlehem - Jürgen "Bartsches" Out His Bandmates

Last May, Jürgen Bartsch, founder and bassist of the legendary German "dark metal" band Bethlehem, released a rambling river of frustrations on the band's official Facebook page. In statements since edited from the original post, but preserved in our report, Bartsch accused the other members of being "wannabe rockstar suckers," blaming them for the band's declining quality and alluding vaguely to some kind of copyright dispute. He also revealed that his own worsening struggles with tendinitis would make it impossible for Bethlehem to continue at present. While the band reactivated a few months later, evidently with a new line-up and new material, Bartsch's unexpected fireworks came as quite an unpleasant surprise.

Black Sabbath - Ozzy vs. Bill Continuing

The last few years have been a cavalcade of controversy for Black Sabbath. In the midst of Sabbath's future plans changing every few weeks ("final show" scheduled in Japan, then canceled; new album rumors shot down, then confirmed, then abandoned, etc.; retirement from stage announced, followed by world tour), Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward have continued their back-and-forth regarding Bill's place in the band. Bill continues to protest his exclusion from the band's reunion, as well as getting the Soviet treatment, blaming "unsignable" contracts and allegedly false claims on the part of Ozzy for his absence and strained relationship with the band. Meanwhile, Ozzy (Sharon?) continues to push Bill's supposed lack of fitness and obstinately avoid settling. It's disappointing for everybody in the metal community to see our founders squabbling like this, but hey, as long as it's done via social media, it's bound to get resolved!

Immortal - Members Fighting Over Name Credits, Abbath Going Solo [Gorgoroth II: The Gorgoroth-ing]

It seems that legal disputes are replacing church burnings as the de rigueur controversy of black metal. Back in 2014, Immortal began to slowly disintegrate due to infighting over the rights to the name ("Legal Battles in the North" was the favored description). In 2015, these issues finally came to a head, with frontman Abbath claiming to have officially broken up the band and moving on with his eponymous solo project. Shortly after, remaining members Demonaz, Horgh, and Apollyon, apparently not informed that they were no longer in the band, decided to live up to the "Immortal" name and keep the band going, later later citing Abbath's personal issues as the reason for the collapse. Meanwhile, both parties are moving forward with new line-ups and albums in 2016 (although Abbath seems to be falling apart one member at a time).

Morbid Angel's Maze Of Torment

It seems that Morbid Angel still have a long way to go before they can redeem themselves after the "Fall From Grace" that was Illud Divinum Insanus (and by "Morbid Angel," we now apparently mean only Trey Azagthoth and Steve Tucker). Back in June, Azagthoth announced that former vocalist/bassist Tucker would be rejoining the band, which was evidently news to David Vincent as much as it was to us. No sooner had Azagthoth piqued the metal community's curiosity than drummer Tim "The Missile" Yeung revealed his departure from the band (himself having replaced Pete "The Feet" Sandoval only a few years prior, in a capacity and for reasons that remain uncertain). Mere days after, guitarist Thor Anders Myhren, known as Destructhor, left as well, ostensibly to focus on his other band, Myrkskog. Steve Tucker fired back at fan comments over the shifting line-up, assured of his own position in Morbid Angel and David Vincent's lack thereof. Eventually, Vincent decided to give up the ship, leaving Azagthoth and Tucker as the only members of Morbid Angel. ...and now, David Vincent is a country singer.

Sólstafir - Whole Ótta Shakin' Goin' On

It all started last January with drummer Guðmundur "Gummi" Óli Pálmason getting replaced on Sólstafir's European tour. What seemed unremarkable at first soon spiraled into an increasingly tragic dispute, illustrated by the band's official statement and followed by Guðmundur's side of the story and his subsequent legal actions. It all reads like a Masterpiece Of Bitterness. Guðmundur has since moved on with his own project, but this is certainly one of the most cutthroat conflicts we've seen in a long time.