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Metal Storm Awards 2023


Metal Storm Awards 2023

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. Actually, you can (we'd welcome it), but we do have to bid farewell to one more edition of the Metal Storm Awards, so you can stay here, just not here here. The march of time carries us to the March of month, where voting stops and catching up to 2024 begins. We were extra nice this year and negotiated with the solar system to give you a whole extra day to vote, so we hope you made the most of that opportunity; 29 days of MSAs don't come 'round every year, unlike the Earth.

First of all, everyone relax and take a deep breath. You all wisely heeded our advice and gave Cattle Decapitation the victory in Death, thereby prolonging the next apocalypse. Good work, fellow Metal Stormers; we'll reconvene in a few years when we have to avert the next crisis. Now we can talk about the less significant awards.

Avant-Garde was just a two-band showdown between Thy Catafalque and Dødheimsgard, both favorites of the staff, evidently favorites of the rest of the world as well; for a while, it was fairly close between the two of them, not nearly close for anyone else, and in the end DHG took it comfortably. Angra soared to the top of Power, although not without some harrying from Sacred Outcry, whose fantastic sophomore album gave the Brazilian pillars more competition than they might have bargained for. Fires In The Distance squashed Extreme Doom like a bug, as Primordial did Folk, as The Ocean did Post-Metal, so as always you could have predicted certain winners from the moment voting opened, although we found, if not exactly heart-pounding upsets, some interesting tension in other categories like Heavy/Traditional, where the votes were a little more evenly distributed. We did manage a couple of genuine neck-and-neck races for a while: Mental Cruelty and Carnifex in the X-Core category and Kvelertak and Green Lung in Hard Rock slugged it out with each other vote by vote until the very end. Clandestine Cuts also had its own showdown, with Druids Of Eld and Baltum sitting at an even tie for much of the month - a tie that could have been averted a lot earlier had those five votes for Blackbraid been allocated to one or the other. Yes, Blackbraid. You guys do know what the Clandestine Cuts are, right?

Melodeath went to… actually not In Flames, possibly because people have no sense of object permanence (if we don’t nominate the album, it doesn’t exist) and definitely not because there were better contenders, but beyond that we probably don’t have to say who won. You already know. Go ahead, we’ll give you 1,696 guesses. But everyone’s favorite future members of The Halo Effect did still clean up pretty well in Biggest Surprise, where they stomped everyone else back into the '90s, and they even avoided the dreaded double-upset of also seizing Biggest Letdown. Nay, that one went to… Metallica. Huh. You guys did listen to Hardwired, right? Who among you had expectations that 72 Seasons failed to meet? That was as on-brand an album as anyone released last year. Well, speaking of failing to meet, honorable mention goes to the write-in for “My – Dad”. That’s rough, buddy. But don’t forget to consider the possibility that maybe you were the letdown all along.

Of course, one of the most significant elements of the 2023 Metal Storm Awards was the long-sought return of Drama of the Year. It feels nice to have developed a sense of humor about things again, and for Wintersun to have been obnoxious enough to warrant two stuffed paragraphs of intrigue. Thanks, Jari. You can have your bullshit back now, though.

Well, that's all we have time for, so now you can set about finding out who else won what and comparing results. Always keep in mind, though, that our goal is just to help everybody discover some great new music, and that's all that really matters: win or lose, this is about celebrating how much wonderful music there is in the world. And because that will never stop being the case, we'll see you again next year.

Metal Storm Staff

Best albums by genre

Alternative Metal
Katatonia - Sky Void Of Stars

Ambient / Drone / Noise
Fvnerals - Let The Earth Be Silent

Avantgarde / Experimental Metal
Dødheimsgard - Black Medium Current

Black Metal
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium - Nahab

Death Metal
Cattle Decapitation - Terrasite

Djent / Math Metal
TesseracT - War Of Being

Doom Metal
Sorcerer - Reign Of The Reaper

Extreme Doom Metal
Fires In The Distance - Air Not Meant For Us

Extreme Progressive Metal
Ne Obliviscaris - Exul

Folk / Pagan / Viking Metal
Primordial - How It Ends

Gothic Metal
Saturnus - The Storm Within

Rotten Sound - Apocalypse

Hard Rock
Green Lung - This Heathen Land

Hardcore / Metalcore / Deathcore
Mental Cruelty - Zwielicht

Heavy / Traditional Metal
Wings Of Steel - Gates Of Twilight

Industrial / Cyber / Electronic Metal
Godflesh - Purge

Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal
Insomnium - Anno 1696

Melodic Black Metal
Blackbraid - Blackbraid II

Svalbard - The Weight Of The Mask

The Ocean - Holocene

Power Metal
Angra - Cycles Of Pain

Progressive Metal
Riverside - ID.Entity

Sludge Metal
Urne - A Feast On Sorrow

Stoner Metal
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - PetroDragonic Apocalypse; Or, Dawn Of Eternal Night: An Annihilation Of Planet Earth And The Beginning Of Merciless Damnation

Symphonic Metal
Xandria - The Wonders Still Awaiting

Thrash / Speed Metal
Hellripper - Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags

Other awards

Clandestine Cut Of The Year
Druids Of Eld - A Day Of Sorrow
Baltum - Losing Myself

The Best Album Artwork
Haken - Fauna

The Best Cover Song
Blackbraid - A Fine Day To Die [Bathory cover]

The Best Debut Album
Nospūn - Opus

The Best DVD
Amorphis - Queen Of Time - Live At Tavastia 2021

The Best Video
Shylmagoghnar - The Sea

The Biggest Letdown
Metallica - 72 Seasons

The Biggest Surprise
In Flames - Foregone

Special awards

Drama of the Year
Wintersun: The Grift That Keeps On Grifting