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Metal Storm Awards - Voting Is Closed

All that build-up, all that preparation, and once again the month of February seemed to fly right by (being the shortest month, it's probably entitled to do that). We hate to see the Awards go after such a fleeting adventure, but this is what the whole shebang leads up to: determining the champions of the year's metal offering.

It's quite common that we get one album nominated for everything (by the way, uh, don't do that). Last year, it was Death Grips's Bottomless Pit (first of all, she doesn't even go here); this year, it was Igorrr's Savage Sinusoid, an album that, if nothing else, is actually featured on Metal Storm. Now, Savage Sinusoid is a great album - some would say an exceptional album - some would say a wicked pissah album, but they all live in Boston - but no album can be the best in EVERY category, and if it were, we'd put it in Avant-Garde and call it a day. Our other contender for "Unseemly MSA Perpetrator of the Year" goes to the knobhead who wrote in a trap album for every category. Please learn to read.

Moving right along, as always, y'all could have predicted the winners in most categories within the first five minutes. Gothic was pretty close, Ex Prog was neck-and-neck for a while, and Power had enough big names to make pretend competition, but Alternative, Death, Heavy, and others fell to comfortable leads. Thrash got annihilated, as expected, and poor Extreme Doom never stood a chance, even with the success of last year's #AddSpectralVoice2017 campaign. You guys can be viciously decisive sometimes. One of these days, we're just going to give Septicflesh the "Permanent Victors of Symphonic Metal Forever" award and move along. Biggest Letdown was almost interesting: we had Ensiferum, Arch Enemy, and Anathema, three titanic presences of sadly dwindling report, all vying for the lead - or second place, rather. You'll remember why once you see who won. They might be nothing more than a big inside joke at this point, but… we'll have to let you guys have it this time. It's a genuine homespun tradition.

Speaking of Arch Enemy… color us shocked, because our prediction turned out to be embarrassingly incorrect. What was seemingly the unquestioned biggest contender in Melodeath (a category that gets brutally swept up every year) has, in fact, been overtaken. At the end of the day, it's still Mors Principium Est - it's not as though a serious underdog like Duskmourn or Noumena came up to swipe the gold - but, hey, an upset's an upset, no matter how small.

Posted: 01.03.2018 by BitterCOld | Comments (65)

2017 Metal Storm Awards Open For Voting

The 2017 Edition of the Metal Storm Awards are now open and ready for voting. You can do so here. Of course, in the time I took in between launching the awards and typing up this message and linking it up, half of you have already shot your respective voting wads.

Get to it, tell us what we did right, what we missed.

And be sure to check everything out.

Posted: 01.02.2018 by BitterCOld | Comments (136)

Altar Of Betelegeuze - Streaming New Tracks

Hey! It's Friday! Robert Smith of the Cure is in love… but I'm drunk. And in an ornery mood, so time for a Friday Feel Bad for all you peoples visiting Metal Storm. How 'bout a kick in the junk from Altar Of Betelgeuze?

When last we left AOB they were "one of those pentagram shaped pegs that refuse to be easily pounded into a round hole", tossing some stoner, some doom, some death into their riff factory and exporting some awesome tunes.

Now they are back again, only with a little more in the Arsenal Of Betelgeuze adding a little Alice In Chains vibe into the concoction. Their newest, Among The Ruins is due out April 15th, 2017, giving us Americanos something to look forward to on Tax Day. Hooray.

But why wait?

You can check out the title track/closer/thesis, "Among The Ruins" right here on MS courtesy of their Bandcamp page.

Check it out, for a big Friday Downer, party peoples. And if you dig it, you can pre-order on their Bandcamp page… whether bare-bones digital files up to a schwagtastic Fan Pack option.


Band profile: Altar Of Betelgeuze
Posted: 10.02.2017 by BitterCOld | Comments (1)

Regarde Les Hommes Tomber - Set To Infest England

Good news for all our British fans of Regarde Les Hommes Tomber… brace yourselves as they and their post-blackened sludge stylings prepare to ravage your isle!

For only four dates, the French post-black metal band, joined by Conjurer, will invade the United Kingdom with their brutal riffs in order to promote their latest record Exile, the follow-up of their self-titled debut album.

o Thursday 15th December - London, The Boston Music Room
o Friday 16th December - Coventry, The Phoenix
o Saturday 17th December - Leeds, Eiger Studio
o Sunday 18th December - The Junction, Plymouth


Band profile: Regarde Les Hommes Tomber
Posted: 13.10.2016 by BitterCOld | Comments (5)

Way To End - Streaming New Song

Here's some good news from Way To End, whose last release, Various Shades Of Black was described 'round these parts as "sounding like the soundtrack to the Mad Hattvr's (note kvlt spelling) Tea Party":

French Avantgarde Black metal band Way To End is streaming a song, "Le Chat Qui Fume" from their upcoming album Senestre. You can check it out by following this link on over to Bandcamp.


Band profile: Way To End
Posted: 08.10.2016 by BitterCOld | Comments (0)

Megadeth - Cancel Gig In Paraguay

Due to a massive rowdy crowd, failures in security and some stupid decisions (selling beer in glass bottles at a gig? What is this? Bob's Country Bunker?) the system had failed and the threat was real. Megadeth were sweating bullets when a "stampede" broke through a security barrier, crushing numerous people and leaving a Paraguayan woman injured. Several of their crew were injured due to thrown bottles. MegadavE opted to disconnect and pulled the plug several songs into the show.

Dave, not known for holding back his opinions, was not silent with his scorn. He took to Twitter to announce the cancellation:

Dave Mustaine ‏@DaveMustaine 22h22 hours ago
Dear Paraguay, after all three barricades broke and hundreds of fans crushed three security guards, almost killing one female fan, we (1/2)

Dave Mustaine ‏@DaveMustaine
Regretfully had to cancel the show. Please understand that your safety is just as important as ours and after all the security went in (2/3)

Dave Mustaine ‏@DaveMustaine
The pit someone ran onto the stage, a bottle was thrown, and we'll let you know as soon as we can reschedule and come back. Lo siento (3/4)

Dave Mustaine ‏@DaveMustaine
This is out of our hands and we will make sure when we return to use a different venue, security, and promoter. Again, Lo siento mucho.

So here's what we know:
1 - I know what you are thinking and, no, I had nothing to do with this. Honest!
2 - MegadavE's Spanish is possibly better than mine. He was here for a couple hours.
3 - They will return to play a new venue with a different promoter in the future. They had played here before without incident.
4 - Symphony of Construction - while here Dave took time to catch the premier of LandfillHarmonic with the Recycled Orchestra. IF you don't know what that's about, check it out. It's awesome. It really is worth your time.


Band profile: Megadeth
Event: Megadeth: Dystopia South American Tour 2016
Posted: 22.08.2016 by BitterCOld | Comments (13)

Stangala - New Album, "Klanv" Due Out Soon

For those who did traditional Celtic influences in their stoner doom, rejoice! Masters of Avant garde Celtic doom, Stangala's will be releasing a new album entitled "Klanv" on March 24th via Finisterian Dead End / Season of Mist / Code 7 Distribution. How do you say "Drop out of life, bong in hand" in French*?

You can already preorder it here. The 50 first pre-orders will received a copy of the album signed by the band, so don't delay, act today!

* Merely hypothetical and not a call for another French grammar discussion.


Band profile: Stangala
Posted: 26.02.2016 by BitterCOld | Comments (0)

Solitude Productions 10th Anniversary Contest Winners!

Happy Tenth Anniversary to Solitude Productions. They've put out 200 albums and a lot of good doom. They've also helped sibling label, BadMoodMan, put out a lot of great tunes as well. I ought to know, as I reviewed about 70 of their releases over the last few years and with a good chunk of them the review process was time well spent.

And now on to the contest winners.

For starters, damn, the next time an opportunity like this comes around I need to make it more challenging. I submitted the contest news and hadn't finished my lomito and Pilsen dinner before I received the first correct submission.

We had about 20 people respond with correct, er, responses. So kudos to you all and thanks for participating. But fortune favors the bold, be quick or be doomed, the early bird captures the doom or <insert another cheeky saying here>.

So kudos to our winners:

Czerny Reiter

All, let's give a round of applause for the victorious.

Please message me with your contact info - name, address, email, major credit card numbers along with CVC codes, and I'll put you in contact with the good folks at Solitude Productions.

If for some reason a winner doesn't respond in a week I'll start bumping runner-ups based upon time of submission.

In the meantime, feel free to check out some of their releases via Bandcamp.

Posted: 17.07.2015 by BitterCOld | Comments (4)

Solitude Productions 10th Anniversary - And Doom Giveaway Contest!

Only July 16th, our droogs at Solitude Productions will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary. 3,650 days and plenty of doom albums later they want to share their wealth with you, oh discerning doomster.

We've paired with them to celebrate.

On turning 10, quoth Solitude Productions, "During this time we've made over 200 releases! We decided to make a competition for our friends and doom-metal lovers. It's an opportunity to win three CDs, produced especially for the celebration date: two new releases in digipack and exclusive compilation with previously unreleased on CD tracks from bands signed to the label."

SO here is what is going to happen. Below there are snippets of 5 album covers released by Solitude Productions. First five people to chime in (message) to BitterCOld with each album correctly named will be judged to be almost as DoomCool as Marcel, and will thus receive the prize. Post answers on the thread below, well, you lose and will be nuked.

Winners to be announced on July 16.

We will add clues in a couple days if you lot can't sort this out.

And off we go!

Doom away.

Posted: 13.07.2015 by BitterCOld | Comments (3)

Metal Storm Awards - Voting Closed

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.

Posted: 01.03.2015 by BitterCOld | Comments (52)

Desert Age - Documentary On Desert Rock

So as some of you astute MSers might have noticed I've (temporarily) abandoned the desert of southern Arizona to go into hiding in the lush jungles of Paraguay. Thrown in to a land where virtually no one speaks English, the beer is watery lager, and there is no hot sauce? (WTF?!) Though the peeps are swell and the meat is PLENTIFUL, I've grown a tad homesick for the scorching, oven-like dry heat of the Southwest.

And suddenly I get an email in my inbox... lo! behold! A reminder of home. Well, at least close to home. A work in progress documentary on the California Desert Rock phenomenon. Kyuss! Queens Of The Stone Age! Fu Manchu! Eagles Of Death Metal! Deaths Of Eagle Metal Queens Of The Kyuss Manchu!

If you like any of those bands, check it out. Watch the vid below. Hell, give 'em the support if so inclined.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - The origins of bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Kyuss and Fu Manchu are just a few names in a seemingly infinite list of "Desert" bands that a new documentary on the subject seeks to explore. "Desert Age" attempts to decipher the rich and often complex musical history of a very specific type of music genre known as desert or stoner rock which the filmmakers trace back to the late 1970s. To date, no feature film has ever documented this history until now.

For over eight months, Director Jason Pine has been accumulating interviews and archival materials relevant to what many desert rock fans have been wanting for years, an in-depth, exciting, honest and historically relevant documentary about the origins of their favorite bands. Using never before seen interviews and music, "Desert Age" exposes the interesting characters and places that formed a music genre akin to the punk scene in New York or the grunge scene in Seattle.

The filmmakers are raising funds via IndieGoGo to complete the post-production for the film later this year and is slated to be released Summer 2015. A fiscal partnership with the UK based label Dissension, who represents Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal fame, has boosted the campaign effort and profile of the film significantly. Director Jason Pine will be co-hosting a desert rock themed radio show on "A Pint of Cacophany" via the LA based Skidrow Studios next Monday, July 28th in an effort to promote the film and pledge campaign. The show will feature an exclusive interview with desert legend and Eagles of Death Metal guitarist, Dave Catching.


Band profile: Kyuss
Posted: 26.07.2014 by BitterCOld | Comments (12)

Metal Storm 10th Anniversary Anthology Awards

As has been mentioned, 2014 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Metal Storm Awards. A decade of us - staff and users alike - crowning kings for their efforts. Over 10 years we've had the privilege and pleasure of checking out a LOT of awesome albums.

As part of our celebration we decided to acknowledge the best albums we've heard in the past decade.

Much blood was shed as staff put on the foil and went to battle with one another to represent, pimp, and promote their personal favorites.
Now we need your help in voting for what you consider the landmark albums. The best of the best. The Legends.

So check out our nominees and cast your ballot. (link removed since the prank is done)

Metal Storm Staff
Posted: 01.04.2014 by BitterCOld | Comments (117)

Awards Voting Now Closed

So this, the 10th Annual Metal Storm Awards, have come to pass.

The awards have continued to grow, with numerous categories surpassing 1000 votes cast, despite a lack of big name clout. For point of comparison, Therion was the biggest vote getter in our first ever awards, racking up 191 for Lemuria. In 2014 they barely would have cracked the Top 25. And that is only if Kvelertak doesn't score two more votes as I type this during the waning hours of the month. That is some growth.

While in general this lack of big names in many genres lead to some closer contests, as with each of the prior 9 editions, we also had the typical big name beat downs. Carcass racked up nearly 600 votes, nearly half cast in the Death Metal field. Tesseract also pulled nearly half the votes in Djent, thumping their competitors. Ever popular Amorphis exorcised Ghost B.C. by over 200 votes, and garnering a third of the vote in a busy Heavy/Melodic metal.

Conversely Orphaned Land won a relatively tight 20 vote victory over Finntroll in a strong Folk / Pagan / Viking cast, and Amaranthe for eeking out a "count the difference on your fingers" victory over Shining in Industrial/Cyber Metal. Congrats and hails to Gloryhammer for winning Best Debut.

Best Clandestine Cut was the newest, bestest, tightest race ever. How tight? Try a tie. Our first tie ever. Deception was winning by a paltry two votes over Pin-Up Went Down as I wrote this up with about an hour before voting closed and went down to the wire as a tie with 20 minutes to go. This has left me furiously typing and updating this piece so it's accurate. Maybe we can find the brick who voted for My Dying Bride to break the tie…

Earlier this year your humble narrator didn't have great things to say about the latest Megadeth… Looks like the Metal Storm masses found it equally limp, Burn!ing it with Biggest Letdown, with more than double the write-ins of second place "winner" Turisas.

And much to my surprise, Carcass Black Sabbath took Biggest Surprise for making an album that wasn't even remotely surprising. Not sure what y'all were expecting from them? Grind Zydeco? Death Doom Himalayan Throat Singing?

Check out all our winners here.

So 10 up, 10 down. Congratulations to our winners. But more importantly, congratulations to those fans who found new bands, and those bands who found new fans.

Posted: 01.03.2014 by BitterCOld | Comments (128)

10th Annual Metal Storm Awards Open For Voting

The 10th Annual Metal Storm Awards are now open for voting. Polling will last through the end of February, so take your time and check out our nominees.

Feel free to tell us how awesome our picks are/how much we blow goats because we don't like your favorite band below.


Or don't.

Team MS.


Posted: 01.02.2014 by BitterCOld | Comments (175)

Narrow House - In The Studio

Last year Narrow House released their initial offering, A Key To Panngrieb, a strong enough release to make the cut as a nominee in the extreme doom field. The band are hard at work in the studio composing the follow up, Thanathonaut. Yegor "Bewitched" Ostapenko recently emailed yours truly as the band is posting tidbits of the recording process up on youtube.

Chapter I: Prologue

Chapter II: The Backbone Of Sound

The band is shifting from Funeral Doom into Tradition (and Stoner) Doom. So if it's the kind of thing that floats your boat, check 'em out


Band profile: Narrow House
Posted: 03.08.2013 by BitterCOld | Comments (0)