Metal Storm Awards 2019


Metal Storm Awards 2019

It's customary to open by reflecting on the time we've left behind us since the last Metal Storm Awards, but this year's Awards are somewhat bittersweet for us. After 16 editions in 15 years (counting our 10th-anniversary special), the 2019 Metal Storm Awards will be the very first celebrated without Marcel Hubregtse. The MSAs attract a lot of new users each year, and not everyone reading this may have been familiar with Marcel, but if you are new to our community, you need only a few minutes of exploring our site to find out just how ubiquitous he was (and how opinionated he was, too). Marcel meant a lot to a lot of people, and so we will be offering the 2019 Awards in his memory. We'll be spending some extra time hanging around the Doom Metal category as our way of paying tribute.

As always, we in Metal Storm Towers have spent months compiling our favorite releases from the last year and pitting them against each other to win the privilege of parading the best in front of the world. It's never an easy task, because in this vast world of metal (and certain metal-adjacent genres), there are countless albums worth listening to, and cutting every style down to five or ten nominees means setting aside an awful lot of other music we wish we could share - but we're confident that the nominees we have chosen are all representative of the finest qualities in their respective categories. Take your time, smell the roses, and investigate some bands you've never heard of; maybe try out a genre you're not that keen on. The Metal Storm Awards are not really about giving out trophies, despite the name; they're all about discovering and supporting great music.

To that end, this will be the first year in which the Symphonic category is not objectively the worst category by a wide margin, in large part because it is no longer dominated by Nightwish clones. Thanks, death metal and black metal, for lending us some of your artists. You'll also notice that, after years of squishing together artists who only had some elements in common instead of sounding exactly alike, we have finally decided to split the Sludge/Stoner category into two separate divisions, creatively entitled "Sludge" and "Stoner." Our next project will be figuring out how to justify nominating 20 albums in the Black Metal category instead of 10 and determining how to get ourselves nominated for something that isn't drama-related.

We always talk about the possibility of an underdog winning the Melodeath category; you know, it's bound to happen sooner or later. It sure as hell won't be this year, because you can see that Amon Amarth vote count from a mile away even before the tallying actually begins, and we threw in Children Of Bodom and Insomnium just to make sure the lesser-knowns never see the light of day. Still, you know, that's no reason not to check out the other stuff we thoroughly vetted for your consideration from a whole 2019's worth of standout releases. Likewise, we encourage you to choose your favorite band that isn't Ulver for the Ambient/Drone/Noise category (you guys already pulled that once before), but before we get tangled into another rant, let's move over to Metalgaze for now; it's hard to believe we ever let that category lapse, because after welcoming it back to the ranks in 2018 it is absolutely flourishing.

With one extra category, it will be that much more difficult to finish all of your MSA listening within the month of February, but thanks to the ineffable quirks of the Gregorian calendar, you have been granted one extra day to spend on this most important pursuit. Let's have that again: you have 29 whole days this year to do your voting, so there's even less need than usual to spend all your votes in the first 15 seconds of the month (pardon this old man while he yells at clouds again). But that's enough of that; welcome to our new voters, welcome back to our old ones, and here's to a good, clean fight.

Check out all that we have to offer and then go here to discuss it.

Metal Storm Staff