MS Awards

Every year around February we organize the Metal Storm Awards, where we nominate the best albums from the previous year and let our users vote for them. The categories include almost every metal sub-genre, Best Cover Song, Best Debut Album, Best DVD, Best Video, Biggest Letdown, Biggest Surprise and the very special Best Drama, which we award to the most pathetic metal-related event of the year.

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Metal Storm Awards 2016


Metal Storm Awards 2016

Like all good things must, the Metal Storm Awards 2016 have come to a close. Set your pencils down and prepare to cry about the results; thanks for playing, and we hope you'll join us again next year. When we opened this edition of the Awards, we promised you more metal than ever before, and you threw it right back at us; 2016 may not have been the most colossal MSAs in terms of voter participation, but we certainly blew 2015 out of the water, and that sure feels good. That's not to say that the competitions were any fairer than usual; most categories had only one real contender, or came down to two or three obvious choices. Nonetheless, we gave a lot of bands a lot of attention, and that's why we're here. Let's count off the big kahunas.

Alcest picked up Metalgaze and ran with it, leaving the next-biggest draw in the dust 300 votes behind. Ulver swamped Ambient/Drone/Noise, and Apothecary is pissed. Transcendevin Profoundsend transcended his prog compatriots, Moonsorrow completely folked over the rest of its category, and Anaal Nathrakh CTRL+ALT+DELeted all competition in Industrial. Trees Of Eternity crushed Gothic just as badly as their music crushes our souls, and Vektor thoroughly thrashed Thrash. Alternative very nearly fell to The SLoT, an unknown contender, in a stunning upset, but when all was said and done, Gojira stuck to the roof like a ceiling. Believe it or not, for the first time in Metal Storm Awards history, the Melodeath category played host to a serious competition. 2016 was truly a banner year for melodeath, with a great deal of the genre heavyweights and all the past winners throwing down a massive metal gauntlet. No doubt some of us placed bets on who would come out victorious among names like Be'lakor, Dark Tranquillity, Amon Amarth, Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, and those other guys. Apologies to Death Grips, who did not win any of the categories they were written in for (all of them) with the name of their new album misspelled. Brilliant.

Speaking of spelling errors, let's discuss Metallica's new album. Hardwired... To Self-Destruct (note the format carefully) was written into Thrash, Biggest Surprise, and Biggest Letdown with so many variations that BitterCOld's head exploded. This symphony of self-destruction received recognition in Biggest Surprise as "Metallica - The Number Of Different Spellings Submitted For Hardwired etc." Ultimately, the album itself did take home Biggest Surprise, despite being the most boring and predictable Metallica album in forever (come on guys - Zeal And Ardor? Avenged Sevenfold? Babymetal? Schammasch? Hell, even Megadeth? Finsterforst released an EP called #‎YØLØ‬. Not surprising enough for you?).

Best Cover saw a write-in vote for Oceans Of Slumber's version of The Moody Blues' classic "Knights In White Satin." It's, uh, "Nights," folks. The Knights In White Satin are Rhapsody Of Fire. Now, the Cover cat would have gone to Disturbed for their electrifying version of "The Sound Of Silence"... if they had not already won last year. Because that came out in 2015. At least it was more recent than Death's version of "Painkiller," which received a few votes, and, yes, should definitely win Best Cover Song of 1998. You guys. Please. Ultimately, Anaal Nathrakh's slaughterrific rampage through Iron Maiden's classic "Powerslave" took the cake (and our souls).

Moving on to Biggest Letdown, it's clear that we need to have a serious talk. In Flames have already won Biggest Letdown THREE TIMES, the first of those being in 2004 (at our very first Metal Storm Awards 12 years ago), and even when they didn't win, their albums still received heaps of votes. They aren't coming back. Deal with it. Stop writing them in for Biggest Letdown. Thank goodness you guys apparently hate Opeth now, too, or else we'd look like idiots for handing out another award to In Flames as if we didn't expect them to release something mediocre (which very much negates the point of the category). Metal Storm's venerable staff itself received a nomination, apparently for our choice of nominees. Hey, it's not OUR fault that Babymetal got in. Actually, maybe it is. The best entry, though, definitely has to be "The Place Where I Work - My Shit Job." That's rough, buddy. Best Drama... Man, we're just falling apart here. Rhapsody Of Fire's eight separate nominations were a sight to behold (especially "stop stop its already dead"), but not as much as Wintersun's 12. Yes, 12 different varieties of write-in vote. Still not enough to unseat Agalloch's impressive ego-plosion, but that's one nomination for every year that Wintersun has been insufferable.

Well, that's enough rating, berating, commentating, and exacerbating for now. Go on and take a gander at the results, if you haven't already, and be sure to tell us what you think (in a civilized manner). We had a lot of fun putting this together and reaping the rewards; let's hope next year's ceremony can be just as grand. We'll see you all then.

Now go and comment right HERE

Metal Storm Staff


Best albums by genre

Alternative Metal
Gojira - Magma

Ambient / Drone / Noise

Avantgarde / Experimental Metal
Thy Catafalque - Meta

Black Metal
Inquisition - Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith

Death Metal
Fallujah - Dreamless

Djent / Math Metal
Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep Of Reason

Doom Metal
Khemmis - Hunted

Extreme Doom Metal
Eye Of Solitude - Cenotaph

Extreme Progressive Metal
Ihsahn - Arktis.

Folk / Pagan / Viking Metal
Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika

Gothic Metal
Trees Of Eternity - Hour Of The Nightingale

Brujeria - Pocho Aztlan

Hard Rock
Volbeat - Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie

Hardcore / Metalcore / Deathcore
Nails - You Will Never Be One Of Us

Heavy / Melodic Metal
Anthrax - For All Kings

Industrial / Cyber / Electronic Metal
Anaal Nathrakh - The Whole Of The Law

Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal
Insomnium - Winter's Gate

Melodic Black Metal
Rotting Christ - Rituals

Alcest - Kodama

Cult Of Luna - Mariner [Collaboration]

Power Metal
Avantasia - Ghostlights

Progressive Metal
Devin Townsend - Transcendence

Sludge / Stoner Metal
Inter Arma - Paradise Gallows

Symphonic Metal
Epica - The Holographic Principle

Thrash Metal
Vektor - Terminal Redux

Other awards

Clandestine Cut Of The Year
Mesarthim - Pillars [EP]

The Best Album Artwork
Opeth - Sorceress

The Best Cover Song
Anaal Nathrakh - Powerslave (Iron Maiden cover)

The Best Debut Album
Astronoid - Air

The Best DVD
Leprous - Live At Rockfeller Music Hall

The Best Video
Gojira - Silvera

The Biggest Letdown
Opeth - Sorceress

The Biggest Surprise
Metallica - Hardwired...To Self-Destruct

Special awards

Drama Of The Year
Agalloch - Ashes Against All Common Decency