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2023 Metal Storm Awards Now Open


Look alive, fellas - the 2023 Metal Storm Awards are now open for voting. And you can thank Pope Gregory XIII, because this year, like every year ending in 4, we've got a whole other day in February to spend being atomically super brutal. It's another full roster for you all this year, a total of 272 nominees spread across 26 genre and 2 special categories, and you are required to listen to all of them before voting. Well, it's not like we'll check your homework or anything. But give it a shot - you've got the extra time this year.

We have even more fun for you than we have the last few years, too: please give a hearty welcome to Drama of the Year, which makes a splendiferous return after several years of shame and ignominy. It's been a while; we just couldn't leave Wintersun alone after the year they had. Don't let us down, citizens of Metal Storm.

That's enough jawing; time to start discussing all your picks, what we missed, who's going to win, all the fun stuff that surrounds our favorite time of year.

(Please ignore the fact that not every year ending in the digit 4 is a leap year)
Posted: 01.02.2024 by ScreamingSteelUS


Comments page 4 / 4

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Comments: 113   Visited by: 810 users
16.02.2024 - 17:20
NastyHero



Alright, guys, so the official results are in. I mean, they should be official anyways.
Don't wanna go through each category one by one since nobody's gonna read it anyway. Some categories as always I didn't care about (cores e.g.) while some had strong contenders. My votes could be different in a few months once I get to my backlog yet again but it is what it is. For djent I changed the vote 2 times even though all 3 bands were like 7.5/10 (Night Verses -> Hypno5e -> Herod).

Overall, I've heard 201 out of 272 albums nominated (including everything from Clandestine Cuts). Not 272, cause you need to nominate some better albums sometimes. But seriously, I skipped some albums that didn't look that interesting to me (although I listened -even if for 5 seconds- to at least every one of them) and had no chance of winning. I may have missed some potentially cool albums (like Ritual Fire) but then again - my backlog is still over 1000 items, and most of it is from 2023.
Sorry, I don't make the rules. (oh yeah, I actually do make the rules)

(^and Nanowar is clearly the best in power metal category, that one was voted without hesitations. The entire genre is a parody after all, so at least there's one that's actually funny and catchy)

Biggest discovery was Mephorash - voted this over Panopticon (which is def. the biggest missing band this year) and Wayfarer, although all albums had one listen for me. And them I'm almost sure I would have skipped if it wasn't for the awards, so thanks, guys? I guess?

No, but really, thank you and see you in February 2025.
Unless you do MSA 20 year anniversary. In that case Radu needs to ping me.
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18.02.2024 - 00:16
M C Vice
ex-polydactyl
Since I saw this being discussed in the shout box the other day, with no answer being given, where would Arkona go? Shouts were saying extreme prog, folk and black.
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"Another day, another Doug."
"I'll fight you on one condition. That you lower your nipples."
" 'Tis a lie! Thy backside is whole and ungobbled, thou ungrateful whelp!"
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18.02.2024 - 00:45
NastyHero

Judging by some of the nominations, I'd say Grindcore.


(I'm sorry but I really had to, it was kinda okay this year, even though description of King Gizz where you hesitated between 2 categories and ultimately went with the worse one was so cute)
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18.02.2024 - 01:17
musclassia

Written by M C Vice on 18.02.2024 at 00:16

Since I saw this being discussed in the shout box the other day, with no answer being given, where would Arkona go? Shouts were saying extreme prog, folk and black.


I felt folk, but I think the consensus was ex prog
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18.02.2024 - 13:21
nikarg

Written by M C Vice on 18.02.2024 at 00:16

Since I saw this being discussed in the shout box the other day, with no answer being given, where would Arkona go? Shouts were saying extreme prog, folk and black.

Like musclassia, I also felt folk, but the majority felt ex prog. The album only just didn't make the nomination, it was very close.
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20.02.2024 - 07:23
Gaelv

Fabruary is always my favorite month due to msa and i have listened 70% of the artists so far. it's been fun again but i want to give a suggestion for nominee selection: for the popular genres, nominating secret gems is a really solid idea like you did in black metal category but when you put "cattle decapitation" on death metal it takes the heat out of this category. I'd say "no popular bands for popular categories" to give us a chance to discover and enjoy new stuff. This also raise the competition for the win on that category . On the other hand, putting the best possible albums for the rest of the niche categories to attract people's attention towards that category could lead to break down some prejudices there. also i guess that the ms stuff have probably tried to do that kind of thing for the most part so i wanted to consolidate on the idea to be honest.
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20.02.2024 - 11:13
NastyHero

Written by Gaelv on 20.02.2024 at 07:23

Fabruary is always my favorite month due to msa and i have listened 70% of the artists so far. it's been fun again but i want to give a suggestion for nominee selection: for the popular genres, nominating secret gems is a really solid idea like you did in black metal category but when you put "cattle decapitation" on death metal it takes the heat out of this category. I'd say "no popular bands for popular categories" to give us a chance to discover and enjoy new stuff. This also raise the competition for the win on that category . On the other hand, putting the best possible albums for the rest of the niche categories to attract people's attention towards that category could lead to break down some prejudices there. also i guess that the ms stuff have probably tried to do that kind of thing for the most part so i wanted to consolidate on the idea to be honest.



I feel this is particularly covered by Clandestine Cuts.
I see your point but there's no perfect solution here. The popular nominated albums will win over unpopular nominated albums (unless the latter one is complete shit, but I doubt it'd be nominated then) every single time -- but I feel splitting the categories would be too convoluted in the end. And also there'd have to be a point where you'd have to decide how popular the band is and which category it'd fall into.
As for discovery, the staff always puts some lesser known albums (sometimes I'd say at cost of more popular albums which I feel are better). They're not gonna win but that's because most users don't bother to check out most albums and they just vote for what they know (which is a shame, but understandable)
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20.02.2024 - 17:18
Guib
Thrash Talker
Gorod and The Zenith Passage not making it in Extreme Prog (aka Tech Death) is fucking baffling to me. But hey! I should be used to this by now. Still the nominees are pretty good overall, had to put a couple write-ins but thats part of the game.
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- Headbanging with mostly clogged arteries to that stuff -
Guib's List Of Essential Albums
- Also Thrash Paradise
Thrash Here
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20.02.2024 - 17:44
musclassia

Written by Guib on 20.02.2024 at 17:18

Gorod and The Zenith Passage not making it in Extreme Prog (aka Tech Death) is fucking baffling to me. But hey! I should be used to this by now. Still the nominees are pretty good overall, had to put a couple write-ins but thats part of the game.


Honestly, the strength in depth in this category was absolutely obscene, when you consider also that Lunar Chamber, Entheos, Arkona (which was in consideration for this category, although I'd have had it in folk), Menace and more didn't make it. I personally had The Zenith Passage in my top 10 (along with a couple that weren't really ever in contention, like Caratucay and A Flourishing Scourge), and wouldn't have had any complaints if Gorod made it, but looking at the top 10, I'm not sure what should've been left out (well, apart from Haxprocess, which I was in the minority on in terms of not being that fussed about it). I'd say Fleshvessel, Omnerod, NeO, Enslaved, Horrendous, Tomb Mold, Xoth, and Stortregn were all strong top 10 material, and Alkaloid were also worth being in contention.

Along with meloblack, they were definitely the two strongest categories in terms of the amount of worthy records in competition IMO
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20.02.2024 - 20:04
nikarg

I agree with musclassia, but that Gorod album was indeed very good. Sometimes we have categories that we struggle to find 10 albums to nominate, while there are others that we could easily have 20. Extreme prog and meloblack were too difficult to narrow down to 10 this year.
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21.02.2024 - 14:26
Dinruth

Would be interesting to know which categories were the difficult ones to fill up to 10 this year
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21.02.2024 - 15:46
musclassia

Written by Dinruth on 21.02.2024 at 14:26

Would be interesting to know which categories were the difficult ones to fill up to 10 this year


The hardest was Symphonic - I think we ended up with 10 pretty good options, but it required a bit of digging deep into the year's releases, and there's not really much that missed out that would have added much to the category IMO; the situation was similar for Gothic. Industrial I felt was above-average this year in terms of the albums that made it into the final 10, but again there were only a small handful of releases that missed the cut that I feel would have been positive contributions to the awards.
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22.02.2024 - 07:16
Dinruth

Written by musclassia on 21.02.2024 at 15:46

Written by Dinruth on 21.02.2024 at 14:26

Would be interesting to know which categories were the difficult ones to fill up to 10 this year


The hardest was Symphonic - I think we ended up with 10 pretty good options, but it required a bit of digging deep into the year's releases, and there's not really much that missed out that would have added much to the category IMO; the situation was similar for Gothic. Industrial I felt was above-average this year in terms of the albums that made it into the final 10, but again there were only a small handful of releases that missed the cut that I feel would have been positive contributions to the awards.

thanks for the answer ,.. is it difficult for individuals among the staff to choose "good" options if you have a general issue with a genre?
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22.02.2024 - 07:39
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
I personally found the symphonic category quite underwhelming last year tbh, and I wasn't the only one to think so, so I definitely agree it was a difficult 10 to fill. Although I found meloblack proved to be tricky to pick a penultimate 10 also, as the quality in that category alone was outstanding, so much so that many great contenders failed to make the cut, but I'm still happy with the overall outcome for the final 10.
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22.02.2024 - 08:47
Nejde
CommunityManager
It doesn't really matter which albums are nominated or how stacked or difficult a category is to fill. If you have a big name in there, it's gonna win. It's pretty easy to figure out who will win alternative, ex doom, prog, ex prog and melodeath just by looking at the nominated bands, making those categories completely uninteresting. It's way more interesting to see the outcome and who the winner will be in the smaller categories.
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Bow to the King Hercules!
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22.02.2024 - 13:30
Dinruth

Written by Nejde on 22.02.2024 at 08:47

It doesn't really matter which albums are nominated or how stacked or difficult a category is to fill. If you have a big name in there, it's gonna win. It's pretty easy to figure out who will win alternative, ex doom, prog, ex prog and melodeath just by looking at the nominated bands, making those categories completely uninteresting. It's way more interesting to see the outcome and who the winner will be in the smaller categories.

understandable .. such a pity though that some people do not look past their favorites
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22.02.2024 - 14:15
Gaelv

That is a pity. If I had only wanted to vote for the bands I knew, I wouldn't have had the chance to discover the band of 2023 for me, Moonlight Sorcery.
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22.02.2024 - 23:25
Guib
Thrash Talker
Written by Nejde on 22.02.2024 at 08:47

It doesn't really matter which albums are nominated or how stacked or difficult a category is to fill. If you have a big name in there, it's gonna win. It's pretty easy to figure out who will win alternative, ex doom, prog, ex prog and melodeath just by looking at the nominated bands, making those categories completely uninteresting. It's way more interesting to see the outcome and who the winner will be in the smaller categories.


Surely for Alternative you mean that Mutoid Man will win right?
----
- Headbanging with mostly clogged arteries to that stuff -
Guib's List Of Essential Albums
- Also Thrash Paradise
Thrash Here
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23.02.2024 - 00:07
Nejde
CommunityManager
Written by Guib on 22.02.2024 at 23:25

Surely for Alternative you mean that Mutoid Man will win right?


They got my vote at least. Really enjoyed that album. "Call Of The Void" was probably the best album opener of last year.
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Bow to the King Hercules!
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23.02.2024 - 01:05
Guib
Thrash Talker
Written by Nejde on 23.02.2024 at 00:07

Written by Guib on 22.02.2024 at 23:25

Surely for Alternative you mean that Mutoid Man will win right?


They got my vote at least. Really enjoyed that album. "Call Of The Void" was probably the best album opener of last year.


A person of taste this Nejde!
----
- Headbanging with mostly clogged arteries to that stuff -
Guib's List Of Essential Albums
- Also Thrash Paradise
Thrash Here
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23.02.2024 - 03:17
BetterPlace

When is last day to vote?
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23.02.2024 - 08:37
Nejde
CommunityManager
Written by BetterPlace on 23.02.2024 at 03:17

When is last day to vote?


February 29.
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Bow to the King Hercules!
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23.02.2024 - 10:10
musclassia

Written by Dinruth on 22.02.2024 at 07:16

thanks for the answer ,.. is it difficult for individuals among the staff to choose "good" options if you have a general issue with a genre?


To a degree, yes. Everyone involved in the MSA nominations naturally has their own musical preferences; this is the benefit of having multiple people involved, as it can cover up some blind spots that we each have individually (as I mentioned earlier in this thread, old school death metal bands, by and large, make my eyes glaze over unless it's a modern classic like Acts Of God, so I'm inclined towards more modern and dissonant death metal with what I typically consider to be the strongest/most interesting 10 death metal albums in a year - but other people having an appreciation for OSDM compensates for that). However, for the genres in which we collectively have less of an interest (power and symphonic are probably the big ones on that front), we probably don't do as good a job of selecting a line-up that reflects the opinions of power/symphonic metal fans as we do with categories such as ex prog. But we do our best; I'm not as confident discerning an average trad heavy album from a good one as I am discerning an average post-metal album from a good one, but I go through as many positively received albums as I can in each category to try and find stuff that stands out.
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