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.
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!
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)
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.
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
Time for a Monday Feel Bad... long time MS favorites, Mar De Grises announced via Facebook that they have come to an end. They had a bit to say on the matter, which is good, as I'm pretty speechless right now.
Dear friends and fans,
It is with deep emotion that we must announce that Mar de Grises has come to an ending.
Several reasons have led us to make this decision. Our spirits have changed and we collectively chose to end this beautiful cycle. Our musical paths have parted. You will know about our new projects soon.
Being part of this project during all these years has been amazing and magical, and sharing our feelings through music with great friends for so long has filled us with joy and satisfaction.
So February has come and gone, as did, undoubtedly, several of our voters.
Alt Metal, Death, Folk/Pagan, Gothic, Melodeath, Melodic Black, Power, Prog, and Thrash all exceeded 1,000 votes.
We had our share of the usual Big Band Beat Downs where the winner was a foregone conclusion about six minutes into voting… Saturnus, Be'lakor, and Enslaved pummeled the opposition, Meshuggah received almost 60% of the vote in Djent with over 500 while no one else came close to cracking the century mark, and Gojira racked up almost as many votes as the entire Stoner/Sludge field…
We also had perhaps our tightest race yet, with Neurosis and Atoma changing pole position repeatedly, and only a two vote gap between 'em as I started typing this a couple hours before votes close.
It's February 1st, which means it's the moment you've all been waiting for… The 9th Annual Metal Storm Awards are upon us. We've done a lot of work in setting this whole thing up and now it's your turn to bust your voting nut 30 seconds in to the month then spend the next 28 days whining because we didn't include your favorite album or put it under the wrong genre.
Seriously though, take your time and check out our nominees. We've got LOTS of first timers that made the cut and are worth taking a listen to before casting your vote. And for any questions regarding what category a band belongs in please ask HERE.
Looks like the biggest reason to go the 2012 Rockstar Energy Drink and Tooth Paste Mayhem Fest had to bail out... From an official press release posted up on their Facebook page:
Oakland, CA metal band HIGH ON FIRE has announced that it will be forced to miss this summer's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival as front man and guitarist Matt Pike enters treatment for alcohol rehabilitation. The award winning power trio (also featuring drummer Des Kensel and bassist Jeff Matz) will put its scheduled touring plans on hold indefinitely as Pike takes the necessary steps towards regaining his health.
High On Fire would like to thank everyone involved with the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival for the opportunity to be a part of this year's tour," said the band in a statement. "We regretfully will have to bow out as our friend and bandmate begins his recovery, but very much appreciate having been asked to be a part of this summer's festival run."
Holy fuck balls! We know Slayer's Jeff Hanneman went through some serious shit when a spider bit him last year and he had to battle through the Slayer song-title sounding Necrotizing Fasciitis. Seems it was far worse than the band let on.
Slayer fans everywhere - it's time to let you know what is going on with our brother Jeff Hanneman.
As you know, Jeff was bitten by a spider more than a year ago, but what you may not have known was that for a couple of days after he went to the ER, things were touch-and-go. There was talk that he might have to have his arm amputated, and we didn't know if he was going to pull through at all. He was in a medically-induced coma for a few days and had several operations to remove the dead and dying tissue from his arm. So, understand, he was in really, really bad shape. It's been about a year since he got out of the hospital, and since then, he had to learn to walk again, he's had several painful skin grafts, he's been in rehab doing exercises to regain the strength in his arm; but best of all, he's been playing guitar. We were all excited when he joined us onstage for the encore a year ago at The Big Four show at Coachella. Since then, we've given him all the time and support he's needed to continue his rehab so he can come back to the band fully recovered and able to deliver the kind of shows we all want him to. While Jeff's been doing some writing and has been coming to rehearsal over the past several weeks, he has decided he needs to take more time to continue his rehab. While we want him back onstage with the band, all of us support his decision. So, we're very grateful that Gary Holt will continue to fill in for Jeff, and will tour with us until Jeff completes his rehab and is ready to return. How long will that be? The best and most honest answer we can give you is 'as long as it takes.' We also wanted you to know that we've been doing some writing and recording for the next Slayer album - we've tracked a few songs, and will finish the album when we're off the road later this year. Gary will join us on tour in Europe and the UK in May and June, and then we'll all see you on this Summer's Mayhem Festival.
We interrupt our silence these last months to let you know that today we are back Europe! On track from 9th to 18th of December 2011 for our 4th trip to Europe, this time on a mini tour including some festivals such as Madrid is the Dark in Spain, Bracara Extreme Fest in Portugal, Eindhoven Metal meeting in The Netherlands and an exclusive show in Moscow, Russia.
We are glad to announce that we will have the participation of our former vocalist Marcelo Rodriguez for these shows and would like to thank our fans over the world, the Chilean Government and Ministerio de la Cultura and all partners/companies for their recognition and endless support.
Solitude Productions proudly presents the legendary Norwegian band Funeral's album To Mourn Is A Virtue. This release is the missing link between the classic albums Tragedies (1995) and In Fields Of Pestilent Grief (2002). This album is based on unreleased demo-recordings, and contains nine previously unreleased tracks that were recorded between 1996 and 2004, sent into orbit in the International Space Station, later jettisoned and crashed in the middle of the Indian Ocean, recovered, and, finally, remastered in 2010, almost 15 years (and several hundred orbits of Earth) after they were initially recorded.
The CD comes in an awesome looking digibook package limited to 999 copies.
For those of us Metalstormers who love the truly awesome, amazing, crushing wall of sound which is Minsk, it is time for a Saturday Feel Bad. The band is now on indefinite hiatus. Woe is us. From their facebook page:
Dysfunction, Sad News, Indefinite Hiatus...
by Minsk on Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 9:56am
We regret to have to say that for the immediate and indefinite future, Minsk will be on a continued hiatus. In the recent months, it's been increasingly difficult to answer the question "what is up with Minsk?" Truthfully, I don't think anyone has a definitive answer. It doesn't feel like we've done everything that we intended to do or exhausted the creative space that Minsk occupied. But times and people change.