The Best Metalgaze Album - Metal Storm Awards 2016


1.  Alcest - Kodama 367
2.  Astronoid - Air 58
3.  Klimt 1918 - Sentimentale Jugend 45
4.  ColdWorld - Autumn 39
5.  Sylvaine - Wistful 33
6.  An Autumn For Crippled Children - Eternal 23
7.  Entropia (POL) - Ufonaut 22
  Show Me A Dinosaur - Show Me A Dinosaur 22
9.  Numenorean - Home 16
10.  Trna - Lose Yourself to Find Peace (write-in vote) 2
  Oathbreaker - Rheia (write-in vote) 2
  Ebsen And The Witch - Old Terrors (write-in vote) 2
  Alter - Embers 2
Total votes:
636



Some people around these parts (we won't name names) seem to be under the impression that Alcest lost its edge after 2014's Shelter, a beautiful but decidedly un-metal album. Kodama will make you change your tune with its positively Alcestuous atmosphere; bloody shrieks and pounding drums contrast with the clean, rich guitar melodies and dreamy environment in a luminescent flurry of rapturous sound. Kodama is a subtle, layered album that will make every Alcest fan want to reacquaint themselves with the band and likely draw in more than a few new faces.

Bandcamp

›› Full review...
Baltimore, Maryland trio Alter offers a gritty, raspy, and, above all, fun contrivance with its release Embers. The tone is a formula consisting of clean vocals cloaked gently by distorted grunge-style guitars and pleasantly surprising dense, impenetrable bass. Every song is catchy and notable while the recording is extremely analog and lo-fi, adding winsome and charming ambiance.

Bandcamp
One of blackgaze's mainstays is at the top of its game with the release Eternal. Adding to an already impressive discography, An Autumn For Crippled Children continue onward with a truly unique sound. Dreampop, post-punk, and noise rock are all tags befitting their style. The reward is discovering beauty and harmony amidst the distortion, screaming vocals, pounding drums and divine electronic backdrop.

Bandcamp
What is this concoction? What has this five-piece band from Boston created? Move over, Deafheaven, a fresh and exhilarating sound has taken the dreampop/hipster genre by storm. Air, the debut album from Astronoid, manifests elements such as blastbeat drums, soaring, multi-layered vocals, and powerful and precise guitar work. The aura surrounding the music is one of romanticism, melancholy and nostalgia. The emotional textures flow gently song-to-song and the creative impact made by Astronoid in the shoegaze culture has generated much-needed talk around the water cooler.

Bandcamp
ColdWorld fans had to wait eight long years for the follow-up to Melancholie² and some of them could end up being really disappointed by Autumn, simply because this new opus brings less gloomy/depressive atmosphere to the table. The melodies are maybe more "happy-sounding" now, but the emotional impact is just as strong as ever. So, if you want to experience a little bit of autumn in the middle of winter - click the play button!

Bandcamp
Three years after their critically acclaimed debut album, Vesper, the Polish Entropia delivered another portion of music in the form of Ufonaut. Prepare for a change of pace, though. The beautiful post-rock passages are almost gone, and now the relentless drum section shines all around with a bit of psychodelia in the riffing. This is blackgaze for those who can't stand this genre.

Bandcamp
Take a trip down memory lane. Klimt 1918 have actualized old feelings, meaningful impressions, and sunnier times via the grandiose anthems of previous decades. Introspection sweeps across oceanic rock tinged songs, eyes wide open with first glimpses of countrified air. Ethereal sound veils to wallow in and to wonder at. Reverie and scintillation courtesy of a little-known Italian band with a gigantic and energetic beating heart. Music for white winters and clear blue skies.

Bandcamp

›› Full review...
Home, by far, has the most controversial album cover in this year's MS awards. Reading Numenorean's bandcamp page explains the meaning and the songs behind the picture. It will all make sense. Whether you agree with the sentiment or not, no one can argue just how emotional, passionate and existential this musical journey is. Shimmering, beautiful guitar textures and uplifting melodies are perfect counterparts to the massive wall of sound created by harsh vocals and profound bass and drums. Ultimately the messages Home sends are incredibly gripping and consequential.

Bandcamp
These Russians have been traversing the post-black/blackgaze metal landscape largely unnoticed the last few years. Not anymore. This self-titled release will extract the attention they deserve. The highlights of Show Me A Dinosaur are the emotional and very attention-demanding song structures showcasing ambient bridges and heavy passages. Meaningful hooks and rhythms pull at the heart strings and only at the end of the album will you realize how harmoniously fit you will feel.

Bandcamp
"Wistful" is the perfect title for Sylvaine's sophomore release, a somber dirge that contains as many light touches and whispered melodies as it does sharp, tinny black metal edges. Airy, delicate vocals float in and out while the reverberating guitars paint dazzling swatches of color against the sky, and even when it crosses into the heavier and bleaker terrains, Wistful remains primarily an album of transcendental beauty and atmosphere.

Bandcamp