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Metal Storm Awards 2015

Friends, Romans, countrymen: pencils down. You came, you saw, you voted, and now the die is cast - behold them, the conquerors of the [ed: wait, what? We're still doing the Star Wars theme? Hang on.] Gands, Devaronians, Calamarians: turn off your datapads. Another edition of the Metal Storm Awards has come and gone, like only so many nomadic Alwari. Observe the results; have your prophecies been fulfilled?

While 2014's Awards shook up the competition with some fresh and unexpected victors, in the case of 2015, like any good Death Star, you could sense the results from lightyears away - as if millions of voices suddenly cried out and immediately voted only for the bands they recognized. In many of these categories, the winner was the only nominee to break a hundred votes, and then often by a margin more expansive than the Rakatan Infinite Empire. The only category with a reasonably close competition was Power, in which Blind Guardian and Symphony X traded places more times than Darth Vader has had to replace his right hand; otherwise, nobody managed to bring balance to the votes. Enslaved, Paradise Lost, Ghost, Ensiferum, Lamb Of God - just about every field got swept. It might be about time to present Amorphis with a Lifetime Achievement Award and excuse them from future competitions.

Nightwish ran through the Symphonic category like a fleet of World Devastators, snatching victory from the jaws of... well, completely foreseeable victory, as they pulled away with more than ten times as many votes as the runner-up. Interestingly, Nightwish also comfortably secured the dubious distinction of Biggest Letdown, crushing other reputable acts like Iron Maiden, Slayer, and The Avengers II: Age of Ultron (whose nomination we're pretty sure was Joss Whedon's first-ever on this or any metal site). While two of our users seem to have declared ar'krai against that film, another took it upon themselves to defend Robert Downey, Jr.'s honor by nominating him for Best Power Metal Album.

Biggest Surprise went to Swallow The Sun and their three-disc, multi-genre epic Songs From The North I, II & III (and not to Michael Kiske on account of "how much he looks like a potato now"). Metal Storm itself received four separate nominations for Biggest Drama. It means a lot to us, guys, but we have to hand it to Immortal - not since the Max Rebo Band nearly became sarlacc food has a band died such an undignified death, only to be resurrected after some faffing about technicalities. The Blizzard Beasts even topped Wintersun (nominated again; might be Time II give up on that one, folks). On a lighter note, we at Metal Storm Towers heeded your requests, and this year we reintroduced the Best Album Artwork category, which generated a lot of attention.

Win or lose, we maintain our philosophy that the Metal Storm Awards are about the music, and not about who gets our lovely, prestigious trophies. If you're feeling disenfranchised about the results (which were more thoroughly predictable than The Force Awakens), just remember that the nominees are all still down there, still available to be uncovered by potential fans. But enough talk; go check out the results!

(Make sure you discuss the results on the news thread, here.)

The Best Alternative Metal Album

The Best Ambient / Drone Album

The Best Avantgarde / Experimental Metal

The Best Black Metal Album

The Best Death Metal Album

The Best Djent / Math Metal

The Best Doom Metal Album

The Best Extreme Doom Metal Album

The Best Extreme Progressive Metal Album

The Best Folk / Pagan / Viking Metal Album

The Best Gothic Metal Album

The Best Grindcore Album

The Best Hard Rock Album

1. Ghost - Meliora 450
2. Clutch - Psychic Warfare 108
3. Europe - War Of Kings 74
4. Royal Thunder - Crooked Doors 66
5. Jess And The Ancient Ones - Psychedelic Second Coming: The Aquarius Tapes 50

The Best Hardcore / Metalcore / Deathcore

The Best Heavy / Melodic Metal Album

The Best Industrial / Cyber / Electronic Metal Album

The Best Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal Album

The Best Melodic Black Metal Album

The Best Metalgaze Album

The Best Post-Metal Album

The Best Power Metal Album

The Best Progressive Metal Album

The Best Sludge / Stoner Metal Album

The Best Symphonic Metal Album

The Best Thrash Metal Album

Clandestine Cut Of The Year

1. Exgenesis - Aphotic Veil 53
2. Astral Blood - Astral Blood 47
3. Triste L'Hiver - Faire Un Geste 17
4. Infinity² - INF2EP1 [EP] 16
5. High Fighter - The Goat Ritual 15
6. Extinction Level Event - The Catalyst [EP] 14
7. Neck Of The Woods - Neck Of The Woods 12
8. Schematics For Gravity - Absence Of Weight 10

The Best Album Artwork

The Best Cover Song

1. Disturbed - The Sound Of Silence [Simon And Garfunkel cover] 41
2. Motörhead - Sympathy For The Devil [The Rolling Stones cover] 37
3. Tribulation - One Hundred Years [The Cure Cover] 21
4. Amorphis - Everytime I Die [Children Of Bodom cover] 20
5. Children Of Bodom - Black Winter Day [Amorphis cover] 16
6. Xandria - Don't Say A Word [Sonata Arctica cover] 14

The Best Debut Album

The Best DVD

The Best Video

1. Slayer - Repentless 25
2. Iron Maiden - Speed Of Light 19
3. Gloryhammer - Rise Of The Chaos Wizards 16
4. Ghost - Cirice 14
  Kamelot - Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy) 14
  Behemoth - The Satanist 14
  Motörhead - When The Sky Comes Looking For You 14
8. Steven Wilson - Routine 12
9. Lindemann - Praise Abort 10

The Biggest Letdown

The Biggest Surprise

Drama Of The Year

1. Immortal - Members Fighting Over Name Credits, Abbath Going Solo [Gorgoroth II: The Gorgoroth-ing] 268
2. Sólstafir - Whole Ótta Shakin' Goin' On 96
3. Black Sabbath - Ozzy vs. Bill Continuing 70
4. Motörhead - Death Of Lemmy 64
5. Morbid Angel - Maze Of Torment 28
6. Eagles Of Death Metal - Terrorist Attacks In Paris 18
7. Cynic - Facebook breakup, internal conflicts 13