Metal Storm Awards 2019


Metal Storm Awards 2019

The Wheel of Metal turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legends fade to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when yadda yadda yadda the Metal weaves as the Metal wills. Another edition of the Metal Storm Awards fades into dust.

This year's Awards were marred by various technical difficulties, which unfortunately did not delete all of your votes without your knowledge (we'll have to try that next year), but the chewing gum and toothpicks holding this site together took the strain long enough for these Awards to wheeze to a halt at their normally scheduled time. A round of applause, ladies and gentlemen, for duct tape and divine intervention. Maybe next year we'll avoid that nomination for Biggest Letdown, though we can't say we didn't deserve it this time. On the flip side, this year's Awards boasted the largest number of categories yet and the largest possible number of days in which to vote, and you responded by pouring out many more votes than the last several MSAs pulled in, with four categories topping 1,000 votes. We hope the excess there made up for the shortcomings elsewhere. Good music heals a lot of wounds... and that's why we've given our beloved late Marcel his own Metal Storm Award this year.

On a lighter note, speaking of shortcomings, our own expectations were somewhat misguided, as both of the bands we called out as clear winners in the intro text - Amon Amarth and Ulver - actually failed to win their respective categories. Now, before you start panicking, it's not like the victors were any more imaginative than that - Insomnium and Sunn O))) are hardly newcomers - but this is definitely not the first time this has happened, so we'll have to reconsider making public predictions for next year. The important thing is that no band without an established international presence and a two-decade career under its belt will ever win Melodeath ever again. Of course, it could have been Swallow The Sun, if you all had coordinated and written them in for ONE category instead of EIGHT (plus Biggest Letdown and Best Album Artwork)... If there is one thing that Swallow The Sun is not, it's sludge. And if there's a second thing they are not, it's power metal. And if there's a third thing... well, let's just say that for all the fuss no write-in is going to win a Metal Storm Award any time soon.

Grindcore was a close competition, coming down to Basically Just Grindcore (Exhumed) and Not Basically Just Grindcore (Full Of Hell). Alternative saw some drama, with Tool's long-awaited return taking second place to Soen, a band that began its life as a Tool copycat before evolving into its own sound. Wheel, another Tool clone (and not a bad one, either), slept soundly in the bottom half of the category. Tool did manage to steal Biggest Letdown, though (and thank goodness for that, because if Blind Guardian had "won," there would have been bans handed out left and right); it seems that returning from such a long hiatus will bring mixed feelings no matter what the result. Unless, of course, you are Possessed, who stunningly trounced Thrash with their first album in 33 years - and that category was no pushover. Angel Witch fared similarly; while it had been only seven years since their last studio venture, Angel Of Light brought their first true triumph in decades, and for that, they took the Heavy/Melodic category.

Industrial pitted Till Lindemann against himself, with Rammstein going up against Lindemann; in the end, there was no real competition, as Rammstein swept the stage with a 200-plus-vote lead over Master Boot Record, but Lindemann still managed a third-place finish. Mgła ran away with Black Metal, which was to be expected, and Mayhem took second, which was also to be expected, though they trailed with less than half as many votes; more surprising was the third-place rush of Abigail Williams, who turned a lot of heads last year. Batushka, not without reason, took home Drama of the Year. Thank the grim nasties we have a new perennial favorite in this category. 2020 is still young, so let's see what the 17,000 Batushkas, still multiplying as we speak, can cook up over the next ten months; that ought to save us from thinking too hard about the other nominees for the next MSAs. Metalgaze, a.k.a. the Alcest Award, didn't exactly come to a photo finish, but in Melodic Black, Blut Aus Nord very nearly lost to a cartoon, so that's pretty fun. The lack of Nanowar Of Steel in the Best Video category is very disappointing, but we have to admit that spending the entire GDP of any three European countries combined gives Rammstein a lot of room to breathe.

We hope you had fun with our most expansive MSAs to date. As we always say, it's not about losers and winners, because Accept wasn't nominated this year; it's about discovering some cool new music, challenging your own tastes, and having fun. That's why we put so much work into the MSAs year after year, and we hope that's why you all stick around. It doesn't matter if you didn't pick any champions, as long as you got something positive out of this. Thanks for playing; we'll see you again next year.

Metal Storm Staff


Best albums by genre

Alternative Metal
Soen - Lotus

Ambient / Drone / Noise
Sunn O))) - Life Metal

Avantgarde / Experimental Metal
Öxxö Xööx -

Black Metal
Mgła - Age Of Excuse

Death Metal
Cattle Decapitation - Death Atlas

Djent / Math Metal
Periphery - Periphery IV: Hail Stan

Doom Metal
Candlemass - The Door To Doom

Extreme Doom Metal
Esoteric - A Pyrrhic Existence

Extreme Progressive Metal
Allegaeon - Apoptosis

Folk / Pagan / Viking Metal
Eluveitie - Ategnatos

Gothic Metal
Idle Hands - Mana

Full Of Hell - Weeping Choir

Hard Rock
Rival Sons - Feral Roots

Hardcore / Metalcore / Deathcore
Whitechapel - The Valley

Heavy / Melodic Metal
Angel Witch - Angel Of Light

Industrial / Cyber / Electronic Metal
Rammstein - Rammstein

Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal
Insomnium - Heart Like A Grave

Melodic Black Metal
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen

Alcest - Spiritual Instinct

Cult Of Luna - A Dawn To Fear

Power Metal
Sabaton - The Great War

Progressive Metal
Borknagar - True North

Sludge Metal
Lord Mantis - Universal Death Church

Stoner Metal
Monolord - No Comfort

Symphonic Metal
Wilderun - Veil Of Imagination

Thrash Metal
Possessed - Revelations Of Oblivion

Other awards

Clandestine Cut Of The Year
Boreal Hymn - Tundra (Demo)

The Best Album Artwork
Abigail Williams - Walk Beyond The Dark

The Best Cover Song
Fleshgod Apocalypse - Reise, Reise [Rammstein cover]
Leprous - Angel [Massive Attack cover]

The Best Debut Album
Belzebubs - Pantheon Of The Nightside Gods

The Best DVD
Helloween - United Alive

The Best Video
Rammstein - Deutschland

The Biggest Letdown
Tool - Fear Inoculum

The Biggest Surprise
Wilderun - Veil Of Imagination

Special awards

Drama Of The Year
Batushka - The Great Schism III: Protestant Reformation

The Metal Hero