The Best Debut Album - Metal Storm Awards 2017


1.  Wormwood - Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth 108
2.  Hallatar - No Stars Upon The Bridge 63
3.  Sun Of The Sleepless - To The Elements 41
4.  Au-Dessus - End Of Chapter 33
5.  Venenum - Trance Of Death 25
6.  Tchornobog - Tchornobog 23
7.  Beast In Black - Berserker (write-in vote) 22
8.  Spectral Voice - Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing 20
  Katla. - Móðurástin 20
10.  Gloson - Grimen 9
11.  The Dark Element - The Dark Element (write-in vote) 7
  Cellar Darling - This Is The Sound (write-in vote) 7
  Sons Of Apollo - Psychotic Symphony (write-in vote) 7
14.  VUUR - In This Moment We Are Free - Cities (write-in vote) 6
  Time Lurker - Time Lurker 6
Total votes:
478



A post-metal engine with some black metal fuel injection, End Of Chapter features ominous riffing, tension-building riffs employed within slowly developing songs as the basic framework of song and album flow. Now inject with some full-on thundering blasturabation to energize everything. While these elements are found in all sorts of acts these days, with Au-Dessus they are particularly well-executed and arranged, which keeps the release intriguing from start to finish. If this is the end of the chapter, bring on the rest of the book.

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The range of Grimen captures elements from alienated, darkened landscape post-metal sounds, with a fair share of dirty "sludginess" and sovereignty of slowly paced doom at some point, covered with a massive dose of relentless vocals on top of it. With this exquisite, and somehow unique, release, the band is showing a high standard of quality no less than well-established groups within their subgenre.

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With the tragic passing of Aleah Stanbridge in 2016, the posthumous release of the Trees Of Eternity debut seemed to be her final performance on record. Her long-time partner and former bandmate, Juha Raivio, also of Swallow The Sun, gathered poems and recordings of her and wrote all the music for this harrowing and heart-wrenching piece of doom in but one week and asked Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis and Mika Karppinen of HIM to help him record it. Filled with interludes of Aleah reciting poems and her final performance, No Stars Upon The Bridge could very well be the metal world's A Crow Looked At Me.

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Móðurástin is an album that starts revealing itself slowly especially since the longer songs only come in the second half, and there is black metal involved. Móðurástin manages to strike a balance of both the catchy and the interesting. As far as the latter is concerned, the soundscapes on this album are amazing on most tracks. As far as the former is concerned, one listen to "Nátthagi" should leave you with an earworm.

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Many present doom metal acts try to pass death/doom as merely distorted, slower doom metal with growls. Spectral Voice, on the other hand, presents us with an eerie and forgotten fusion of true and fierce old-school death metal properly merged with the colossal and desperate heaviness of doom metal. The ambient and noise touches elevate this album to the point where words can't possibly describe how crushing and unnerving this hellhole of an album is.

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Ulf Theodor Schwadorf of Empyrium and The Vision Bleak fame reveals the debut of a project that was formed almost 20 years ago. To The Elements is a poetic work of black metal art, inspired by taiga forests, wildlife, moss, fire, and ice. It is a modern release that keeps perfect balance between warm melody and grim fury, telling dark and introspective stories about picturesque environs in the most captivating way.

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Almost seven years in the making, Tchornobog is the creation of Markov Soroka. And while this isn't his first album, Soroka having released more under different projects, you can feel that Tchornobog is what he wanted to create all along. Inspired by a vision of the Slavic god of evil vomiting blackness, this album is crafted by throwing every form of extreme music into your soul. Cavernous and oppressive, this is an hour-long journey through the abyssal, the archaic, and the apocalyptic.

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Time waits for no man, but Time Lurker is lurking in your nightmare space. Their s/t debut is 7 tracks of post-infused black metal with some great tremolo riffing, harmonies offset against posty-moments, tikatikatika drums and howling-into-the-vortex vocals buried a bit in the mix to make everything sound even better.

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Trance Of Death easily would have made the cut just on the basis of the of the ripping riffs and top-notch death metal. You know, before breaking the chains of formulaic DM and including all sorts of evocative interludes and sections, the kind perhaps more fitting in some bastard black-meets-prog metal outfit. The end result is a stunning album that towers over 2017's worthy and inferior DM releases both.

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Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth is influenced by classic Swedish black metal, Viking metal and Scandinavian folk. Brutal male growls are combined with the ethereal female voice of Alexandra Moqvist and crushingly heavy guitars turn into heavenly melodic leads. Add the mellowness of synths and violin and lose yourself in stunning atmosphere, while experiencing a vast range of emotions. Wormwood's debut is a gem from start to finish.

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