The Best Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2019





The whole idea behind melodic death metal was, as the name suggests, to introduce some semblance of familiar musical order to a harsh, inaccessible form of music, but Aephanemer have gone much further and turned the style into something totally addictive. Prokopton is made up of hooks grafted to hooks grafted to hooks, not so much melodic death metal as deathly melodic metal; Aephanemer's ability to write catchy motifs is as inexhaustible as their production is clean and their performances are tight. While indebted to their Finnish forebears in the scene, Aephanemer are clearly aiming to take melodeath into the realms of modernity - and when it comes to grandiloquence and catchiness, they've eaten from the same tree as power metal.

Bandcamp / Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify / YouTube Music / YouTube

›› Full review...
Amon Amarth is now one of the biggest metal brand names and they have achieved this by delivering an almost completely unchanged Viking-themed melodic death metal product for more than twenty years. Critics argue that if you've listened to one album by them, it's like you've listened to their whole discography. Berserker shuffles the cards ever so slightly without of course catching you off-guard or anything, but you will notice the beard on your speakers (or headphones) grow longer while playing this.

Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify / YouTube Music / YouTube

›› Full review...
Bloodred Hourglass is the band disgruntled fans of Children Of Bodom and Norther have since turned over the keys to their metal hearts to, and for good reason. Combining the punchy chugging and emotionally charged melodies that were once synonymous with this style of melodeath, Godsend takes to task the goal of carrying the torch of the genre's flickering flame, setting the world around it ablaze in a firestorm of rage and sorrow.

Bandcamp / Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify / YouTube Music
Brymir's third album is an epic exercise in and overtaxing of the extreme power metal style endemic to Finland since Ensiferum broke big: dazzling, melodic riffs loosely derived from folk, choirs chanting dramatic choruses, and an almost disproportionately heavy framework that threatens to burst through the cracks from time to time. If you're curious as to what guitarist Joona Björkroth gets up to when he isn't making cheesy pop tunes with Battle Beast, it's riding the skies in chariots of fiery, near-symphonic melodeath.

Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify / YouTube Music

›› Full review...
If we could ever insert a crying emoji into a Metal Storm Awards blurb, now would be the time. After more than a decade of mixed reception, the boys of Bodom return with an album that hits hard and takes no prisoners - and they break up immediately after. Of course, everyone will keep on making music, but the band as we know it, and the band that's kicking ass like in the good old days on Hexed, is no more. It is fitting that the Hate Crew went out on a swan song as defiant and energetic as this, and the bitter edge of the breakup is lifted with every spin of instant classics such as "Platitudes And Barren Words" and "Soon Departed".

Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify / YouTube Music
Quite falsely advertised as "Death Metal" on the label's Bandcamp page, Come The Tide does defy its misleading tag with some of the most moving melodeath one can imagine in 2019. It could also fool you as coming from Finland instead of Spain with its gloomy and melancholic sound. Though something of a debut album, Come The Tide finds Eternal Storm with a few years under their belt, and this definitely shows in the maturity of the songwriting on this and in how damn great it sounds - plus there's a saxophone somewhere too, so it hits that checkbox, too.

Bandcamp / Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify

›› Full review...
After the relatively lukewarm reception Afterglow received, In Mourning are back with the bang-on Garden Of Storms. Their proggy brand of melodeath is revealed to be as vital as ever right from the first moments of the emphatic opener, "Black Storm", and remains consistently compelling throughout, whilst the use of clean vocals has come on leaps and bounds from previous efforts. In Mourning sound equally comfortable summoning the melancholy doom of "Yields Of Sand" and the pounding aggression of "Huntress Moon", and have demonstrated that they're capable of making the transition from exciting newcomers to an established force in the melodeath genre.

Bandcamp / Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify / YouTube Music / YouTube

›› Full review...
Some of us wish we'd stop nominating big names to give up-and-coming acts or lesser-known names a shot, since obviously more than half of you will see this one, Children Of Bodom, and Amon Amarth and instantly vote for one of these. But for that to happen, bands like Insomnium would really need to stop putting out albums that sound this amazing. Everything from the production to the songwriting could make this out to actually be the best Insomnium album ever, so much so that it makes us wish that every album we listened to had production this good. It probably wouldn't have worked as well with more direct songwriting, but it complements so well everything that is Insomnium about this that it sounds more monumental than they ever have before.

Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify / YouTube Music

›› Full review...
Lahmia got some well-deserved hype back in 2012 for their debut album, and we have missed them and their quirky, progressive ways in the melodic death metal category ever since. Fortunately, they have returned with Resilience, a beautiful love letter to melodeath's evolution and tradition. The meat of the album pays respect to scene greats such as Arch Enemy and In Flames with its snappy choruses and frantic riffs. The Italians' progressive leanings are mostly contained to "The Age of Treason", an epic track that deserves all 11 minutes of your time.

Bandcamp / Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify / YouTube Music
Nailed To Obscurity keeps patiently chugging along on the road to metal greatness, and their newest offering will resonate strongly with fans of Opethian, meandering melodic death metal. A truckload of bands move through these soundscapes nowadays, so you need to be extra sharp to get the attention of a true genre connoisseur, and Nailed To Obscurity reached the very high bar in front of them. Being haunted by the gothic ghost of Black Frost has been one of the most pleasant melodeath experiences of 2019.

Bandcamp / Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play Music / Spotify / YouTube Music