Metal Storm Awards 2014

Last year we celebrated the 10th edition of the Metal Storm Awards, and earlier this year we observed the Awards' 10th anniversary with its own special competition. Now, finally, the 2014 Awards have come to a close. Countless bands and users alike have come and gone in those years, but the spirit of the Awards has remained the same; as we like to say, it's not about who wins and loses, but about discovering new bands. While this year's Awards had a smaller voter turnout than the previous couple, 2014 still had its fair share of friendly competition.

It was a good year for overturning the dynastic dominance of the Big Band Beat-Downs. Bands like Behemoth, Arch Enemy, and Opeth failed to secure not only nominations, but significant numbers of write-in votes. This was also the first year in Metal Storm Awards history without a release from Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquillity, or Be'lakor, meaning that for once the Melodeath category was open to some fresh, healthy, and legitimate competition. In other words, Insomnium swept it by an absurd margin.

Of course, no edition of the Awards is ever safe; for example, Agalloch dominated Meloblack with upwards of six (!) times more votes than the runner-up. You'll see plenty of other familiar faces as well. We also had the usual spate of poor, misguided sods - from whichever band of vagrants nominated Arch Enemy in half a dozen categories, to the gentleman who wrote in Metallica for Best Cover with their own song.

The Biggest Letdown debate turned very few heads, as is usually the case. Some would argue that "Biggest Letdown" implies at least some expectation of reasonable quality, but In Flames "won" anyway for the third time (a new record!). Somebody (we suspect Marcel) wrote in for Best Debut, "None - All new bands suck and have sucked since 1989." By an astonishing coincidence, nearly every winner this year formed after 1989, with only four exceptions. Biggest Surprise, surprisingly, went to an actual surprise (worthy in itself of Biggest Surprise in next year's Awards, perhaps). Though Behemoth's thoroughly predictable new album came in second, first place ultimately went to the wholly inexplicable Babymetal, who are, if nothing else, unexpected (you know, like a surprise).

And it just wouldn't be the Metal Storm Awards without Wintersun getting slapped with their perennial nomination for well, something terrible. This year it was Biggest Drama, but after four successive nominations and two wins in Biggest Letdown (2013 Awards excepted), it seems that nipping at Jari's heels is a true homespun tradition.

Well, go on. We know you've been too busy devouring the results to bother reading this much outroductory text, so we won't attempt to hold your attention any longer - but we hope you enjoyed yourselves, and, most importantly, discovered a load of great, new bands.

The Annual Metal Storm Awards Committee, a.k.a.

(Make sure you discuss the results on the news thread, here.)

Metal Storm Staff

Best albums by genre

Alternative Metal
Soen - Tellurian

Ambient / Drone
Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestite

Avantgarde / Experimental Metal
Lux Occulta - Kołysanki

Black Metal
Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare

Death Metal
Vader - Tibi Et Igni

Djent / Math Metal
Animals As Leaders - The Joy Of Motion

Doom Metal
Pallbearer - Foundations Of Burden

Extreme Doom Metal
Mourning Dawn - Les Sacrifiés

Extreme Progressive Metal
Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel

Folk / Pagan / Viking Metal
Eluveitie - Origins

Gothic Metal
Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

Gridlink - Longhena

Hard Rock
Nightingale - Retribution

Hardcore / Metalcore / Deathcore
Architects - Lost Forever // Lost Together

Heavy / Melodic Metal
Accept - Blind Rage

Industrial / Cyber / Electronic Metal
Anaal Nathrakh - Desideratum

Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal
Insomnium - Shadows Of The Dying Sun

Melodic Black Metal
Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere

Alcest - Shelter

Sólstafir - Ótta

Power Metal
Sabaton - Heroes

Progressive Metal
Devin Townsend - Z²

Sludge / Stoner Metal
Mastodon - Once More 'Round The Sun

Symphonic Metal
Epica - The Quantum Enigma

Thrash Metal
Overkill - White Devil Armory

Other awards

Clandestine Cut Of The Year
Chronus - Lost At Sea

The Best Cover Song
Opeth - Solitude (Black Sabbath cover)
Edguy - Rock Me Amadeus (Falco cover)

The Best Debut Album
Blues Pills - Blues Pills

The Best DVD
Katatonia - Last Fair Day Gone Night

The Best Video
Sólstafir - Lágnætti

The Biggest Letdown
In Flames - Siren Charms

The Biggest Surprise
Babymetal - Babymetal

Special awards