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Drama Of The Year - Metal Storm Awards 2020


The "Drama of the Year" award has been a fixture of the Metal Storm Awards since the beginning, as metalheads, like all other people, delight in the sensation of schadenfreude, but sometimes "drama" ceases to be a sporting label that we can append to the Gorgoroth and Immortal legal scandals, the never-ending vicissitudes of one Jari Mäenpää, and the timeless soap opera of Batushka vs. Batushka vs. Batushka. The Drama category touches on some very controversial topics, sometimes tragedy, sometimes objects of pure disgust, and that's what it's there for, but we don't always feel up to making merry when the drama has been substantial enough. In the 2010 MSAs, the then-reigning MS Towers crew decided that offering this award in the usual course would be in bad taste; in spite of the fact that 2010 had seen Mike Portnoy's cataclysmic split from Dream Theater, a stunning exit that could have stolen the crown with Stratovarius-like ease, we were feeling a little burnt out by a year that had seen the deaths of Ronnie James Dio, Peter Steele, and Paul Gray, among others. It was decided that a "No Drama" decree would be in order, simply acknowledging the toll the year had taken without any of the typically concomitant fanfare and levity.

We made the same decision for the 2020 Metal Storm Awards. Oh, sure, there were things that happened in 2020. Agonia Records took a lot of flak for signing Inquisition following Dagon's child pornography scandal last year, then dug themselves deeper by suggesting that child pornography is a victimless crime. Arsames became the latest band to be arrested in Iran for the crime of playing "satanic music." Machine Head released a couple of new singles. Yes, human nature continues to provide, and we could have filled a category and then some like always, but we asked ourselves: whom would we be kidding? Is there not one very substantial, overwhelming, all-consuming piece of drama, the proverbial pachyderm in the palace? Each and every one of us is already well aware of what the "Drama of the Year" was in 2020, thanks very much; for us to skirt that circumstance, to hold a contest for second place, or even to put it in competition as if there were any other choices just didn't seem like a very forthright or necessary venture. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another, and we don't need to pretend as though it hasn't taken the wind out of our sails to some degree. Thus, we agreed that we have no need for a typical Drama of the Year contest for this edition of the MSAs.

You may be thinking that this is kind of a downer, that maybe you needed a little bit of extra comedy in your Drama this year, and, you know, you may be right, but look at it this way: this year, we're not going to focus on all the controversies and the misfortunes, the truncated gigs, the arrest records, the substance abuse, the courtroom cesspools. We've had enough of ill tidings for now (rest assured that there will be plenty to choose from in the 2021 MSAs). As we said in the introductory text, the 2020 Metal Storm Awards are purely about music, more than ever and to the exclusion of all else. This year, we want you to focus on supporting artists, taking care of yourself, and just taking some time out of your hellish nightmare to listen to cool new tunes. Have some fun, try to recover a little speck of hope, and know that all of us on the MS crew are right there with you.
1.  Covid-19 - Covid-19 (write-in vote) 38
2.  Children Of Bodom - Alexi Laiho Passing Away (write-in vote) 26
3.  Covid-19 - No live events, all tours and festivals cancelled/postponed (write-in vote) 25
4.  2020 - everything (write-in vote) 24
5.  2020 - Covid-19 (write-in vote) 15
6.  Iced Earth - Jon Schaffer Rioting the Capitol (write-in vote) 11
  Van Halen - The King / God / Eddie is dead (write-in vote) 11
8.  Trapt - Chris Brown vs everyone / Social Media Dumbassery / Twitter Meltdown / Feud with Power Trip (write-in vote) 10
9.  Inquisition / Agonia Records - Victimless pedophilia (write-in vote) 9
10.  Cynic - Two legends died / Sean Reinert's and Sean Malone's death (write-in vote) 8
Total votes:
231