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Metal Storm Awards 2017

All that build-up, all that preparation, and once again the month of February seemed to fly right by (being the shortest month, it's probably entitled to do that). We hate to see the Awards go after such a fleeting adventure, but this is what the whole shebang leads up to: determining the champions of the year's metal offering.

It's quite common that we get one album nominated for everything (by the way, uh, don't do that). Last year, it was Death Grips's Bottomless Pit (first of all, she doesn't even go here); this year, it was Igorrr's Savage Sinusoid, an album that, if nothing else, is actually featured on Metal Storm. Now, Savage Sinusoid is a great album - some would say an exceptional album - some would say a wicked pissah album, but they all live in Boston - but no album can be the best in EVERY category, and if it were, we'd put it in Avant-Garde and call it a day. Our other contender for "Unseemly MSA Perpetrator of the Year" goes to the knobhead who wrote in a trap album for every category. Please learn to read.

Moving right along, as always, y'all could have predicted the winners in most categories within the first five minutes. Gothic was pretty close, Ex Prog was neck-and-neck for a while, and Power had enough big names to make pretend competition, but Alternative, Death, Heavy, and others fell to comfortable leads. Thrash got annihilated, as expected, and poor Extreme Doom never stood a chance, even with the success of last year's #AddSpectralVoice2017 campaign. You guys can be viciously decisive sometimes. One of these days, we're just going to give Septicflesh the "Permanent Victors of Symphonic Metal Forever" award and move along. Biggest Letdown was almost interesting: we had Ensiferum, Arch Enemy, and Anathema, three titanic presences of sadly dwindling report, all vying for the lead - or second place, rather. You'll remember why once you see who won. They might be nothing more than a big inside joke at this point, but? we'll have to let you guys have it this time. It's a genuine homespun tradition.

Speaking of Arch Enemy? color us shocked, because our prediction turned out to be embarrassingly incorrect. What was seemingly the unquestioned biggest contender in Melodeath (a category that gets brutally swept up every year) has, in fact, been overtaken. At the end of the day, it's still Mors Principium Est - it's not as though a serious underdog like Duskmourn or Noumena came up to swipe the gold - but, hey, an upset's an upset, no matter how small.

Equally unanticipated was Dream Theater's fifth-place run in Biggest Letdown, with their (read carefully) 2016 album The Astonishing. Come on, guys. It was two years ago. Get over it. Biggest Surprise, meanwhile, fell to Trivium. Fair play, we suppose; The Sin And The Sentence ain't exactly Shogun, but it was admittedly unexpected of a declining metalcore-turned-hard rock band to put out something actually pretty okay. The real Biggest Surprise, though, was, as one sagacious write-in put it, "Wintersun - Releasing something other than a statement about why they haven't released anything."

We've given away some of the exciting bits, but there are more categories than we care to mention all at once here, so by all means continue your foray into the MSA results and start complaining about who got robbed and who's overrated. Remember: it's not about who won or lost; it's about discovering new music. Just because the voting is closed doesn't mean you can't keep listening.

Feel free to chime in here.

The Best Alternative Metal Album

The Best Ambient / Drone / Noise 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

The Best Hardcore / Metalcore / Deathcore

The Best Heavy / Melodic Metal Album

The Best Industrial / Cyber / Electronic Metal Album

1. Samael - Hegemony 185
2. Igorrr - Savage Sinusoid 162
3. Godflesh - Post Self 74
4. Marilyn Manson - Heaven Upside Down 54
5. Nine Inch Nails - Add Violence [EP] 33
6. Netra - Ingrats 26
7. The Algorithm - Brute Force: Source Code DLC [EP] 22
8. Eisbrecher - Sturmfahrt 20
9. Ulver - The Assassination Of Julius Caesar 12
10. Iperyt - The Patchwork Gehinnom 10

The Best Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal Album

The Best Melodic Black Metal 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

The Best Album Artwork

The Best Cover Song

1. Cradle Of Filth - Alison Hell (Annihilator cover) 41
2. Enslaved - What Else Is There (Röyksopp cover) 33
3. Moonspell - Lanterna Dos Afogados (Paralamas Do Sucesso cover) 18
  Anthrax - Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas cover) 18
5. The Faceless - Shake The Disease (Depeche Mode cover) 16

The Best Debut Album

The Best DVD

The Best Video

1. Septicflesh - Portrait Of A Headless Man 26
2. Orden Ogan - Gunman 16
3. Mastodon - Show Yourself 14
  Igorrr - ieuD 14
5. Iced Earth - Black Flag 11

The Biggest Letdown

The Biggest Surprise

Drama Of The Year

1. Decapitated - Hoo Boy, Where To Even Begin 338
2. Wintersun - Are Still Wintersun 99
3. Ghost - Deteriora 63
4. Dio - "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll" Mindset Encounters The Limits Of Propriety 44
5. Ne Obliviscaris - Movement IV: Cygnus (Away From The Band) 20
6. Leaves' Eyes - Liv leaves 10