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Metal Storm Awards 2018

It was actually several full seconds before the votes started flooding in. You folks must be losing your edge. Ya still know how to punch us right in the kidneys with your complete indifference to the effort we put in, though - we need to have a serious talk about that Black Metal category. This is how democracy dies. Next year's Awards will simply be a list of albums that we tell you are superior to whatever you like. Heck, we would've taken write-in votes for Marduk or Behemoth; it's ironic to think that the 21st most popular band on this site of thousands would have constituted an interesting upset, but apparently in 2019 we're still playing this game. This is payback because we didn't nominate Shylmagoghnar in Melodeath, isn't it? Just remember: whatever band wins, it wasn't the one that deserved it.

Newsflash for the rube who wrote in Kanye & Lil Pump's I Love It for every category: you're wrong, but we respect you more than the guy who wrote in Machine Head for Alternative. Another interesting approach was writing in Shining (NOR)'s Animal for Best Djent/Math Album. If that's math, then Ghost is knot polynomials. The best Best Symphonic write-in was for, and we quote, "- - -." Yeah; us, too, pal. If'n'y'all had consulted each other and formally designated one category in which to nominate Dimmu Borgir, they likely could have snatched victory, or at least some significant ranking, but that was not to be. If we're talking about a lack of coordination among write-ins, though, we'll have to hop over to the Best DVD category, where we had seven different variations on Devin Townsend's Ocean Machine release. This one is admittedly tricky since our all-encompassing profile is under the name "Devin Townsend" and this was a Devin Townsend Project release, but we won't take all the blame. One voter gave up and stuck to "DT - Ocean Machine," which suffices, we guess. Opeth came in second with five variations. It ain't that hard to check the database for the proper title (just saying).

Elsewhere, in Biggest Surprise, we found this entry: "Snuck into the staff room at Metal Storm Towers - I saw... things. Things that haunt me". You probably just saw Radu and Che giggling over a Twin Peaks meme. Could've been worse. Now let's get back to that Melodeath category for a minute. So we didn't have anything to say about Shylmagoghnar, and that might have been a mistake, BUT there were still plenty of top-tier underdogs to choose from, BUT that's nothing compared to the awesome might (read: name recognition) of At The Gates and Omnium Gatherum, BUT things were actually still pretty tense, because those two were neck-and-neck for a good while there. Might not be any consolation to equally deserving candidates like The Crown and Deceased, whose only crime is the lack of Facebook likes, but it made for great television. Machine Head, on the other hand, absolutely slaughtered the competition... in the one category where you really don't want to do that. Speaking of slaughtering - in the Heavy/Melodic category, Judas Priest pulled in ten times as many votes as the next-highest draw... and they came in second. That kind of imbalance always crops up in the MSAs, but it seemed to be an important theme this year.

Of course, as much as we like to joke, we start and end each Metal Storm Awards season by reminding our readership - and ourselves - that the purpose of these Awards is not to determine objectively who is the best and who sucks; it's not to rank the 2018 metal crop definitively; it's not merely to pick a winner. We put these together to allow us all the chance to explore some cool releases from the previous year. This is for fun and for research and maybe for challenging yourself a bit, and if you got something out of this experience, then it doesn't matter who won or lost. And, in any case, the Staff Picks article will be up soon with the REAL results. Have yourself a look around, maybe jot down some names you didn't get around to or that stood out... and then start working on this year's harvest.

And, of course, don't forget to tell us what you thought of the whole ordeal here.

The Best Alternative Metal Album

The Best Ambient / Drone / Noise Album

The Best Avantgarde / Experimental Metal Album

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

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. The Ashen Tree - The Ashen Tree 35
2. Meridian Sun - The Curse 34
3. Void Rot - Consumed By Oblivion 17
4. Teleport - The Expansion 16
5. Gaupa - Gaupa 15
6. Apognosis - Cult Of Human Sacrifices 11
7. Disparaître - Disparaître 10
  Dionysiaque - Dionysiaque 10

The Best Album Artwork

The Best Cover Song

1. Ghost - It's A Sin (Pet Shop Boys cover) 29
2. Warrel Dane - The Hanging Garden (The Cure cover) 23
3. Bad Wolves - Zombie (The Cranberries cover) 21
4. Tribulation - One Hundred Years (The Cure cover) 20
5. Leprous - Angel (Massive Attack cover) 14
6. Epica - Crimson Bow & Arrow (Linked Horizon cover) 12
7. 1914 - Beat The Bastards (The Exploited cover) 10

The Best Debut Album

The Best DVD

The Best Video

1. Ghost - Rats 21
  Amorphis - Amongst Stars 21
3. Rivers of Nihil - Where Owls Know My Name 20
4. Behemoth - Bartzabel 18
5. Swallow The Sun - Lumina Aurea 12
  Behemoth - O Father O Satan O Sun! 12
7. Wolfheart - Breakwater 10

The Biggest Letdown

The Biggest Surprise

Drama Of The Year

1. Cannibal Corpse - Infamous "Florida Man" Revealed to be Pat O'Brien 126
2. Arch Enemy - At Last Complete Search for Real Archenemy by Manufacturing One Themselves 114
3. Batushka - The Great Schism II: Batwoshka 74
4. Various Metal Artists - Are Bad People 53
5. Threatin - The Mediocre Rock'n'Roll Swindle 47
6. Rhapsody Of Fire - Rain Of A Thousand Personalities Disorder 45
7. Ævangelist - Both Members Separately Accused Of Rape 23
8. Crematory - Inflammatory, Defamatory Amphigory Proves Inhibitory 20
9. Abbath - King Ov Hell Defends Band-Leaving Championship Title 11
  Taake - Do Something Stupid, Experience Consequences 11