Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Happy Headbanger's Predictions for Heavy Metal Madness 2012.

Post #176
With the bonus round underway, it's time for me to pontificate about the Heavy Metal Madness 2012 tournament. This contest will be the subject for my reader's polls throughout 2012, where you can vote for your favorite bands in multiple match-ups each month. Brackets are available to fill out by emailing me at: Entries will be accepted until January 5th, 2012.

After a thorough opinion weighing and debating process among myself and the members of the HMM Selection Committee, we determined the final seeding of the 68 bands included in this tournament. Looking over the different match-ups I see a lot of tough choices. But debating the fine points of what I consider would make one band better than another, I went through and made my choices. My result for the Final Four came out to be: SLAYER, BLACK SABBATH, TOOL, and GREEN DAY. The bands I had to eliminate to get down to those four were often difficult to pick against. Still I found it to be a fun process, and now my curiosity is peaked to see how this will play out with voting open to the vast population on the internet!

Considering the infinite ways this tournament can play out, I'm going to venture some guesses of other bands I find likely to win this tournament. I'll start in the green bracket, with what could be one of the toughest picks in my opinion: Ramones vs. Misfits. Provided they both advance to the second round, this is one decision any punk rock fan would dread. How do you make the call between these two legendary bands for this genre? In my own prediction, I picked Ramones, but in all honesty, I can see either of these bands making the Final Four.

In the blue bracket, though I picked Slayer to emerge in the Final Four, I cannot rule out the possibility of several other bands in this group that I rank among my personal favorites: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth and, of course, Metallica. Part of me is hoping to see a Megadeth vs. Metallica match in the Elite Eight. A tough choice that would be, indeed! Time will tell if we get that opportunity. Not to be overlooked, I might look at Ronnnie James Dio as a dark horse to come out of this group. His passing away from stomach cancer in May of 2010 has elevated him in the subconscious minds of many fans of metal. His contributions over the years through the several bands he sang in are being dusted off and played again by many people who hadn't listened to them in years. Will this nostalgia be enough to tip some scales in his favor in this tournament? We shall see!

For the purple bracket, it's almost not fair to see how some of the bands matched up even as early as the 1st round! How do you choose between KISS and Alice Cooper, or Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix?!? Match-ups like these were simply inevitable when you're trying to design a tournament for the best rock/metal band of all time. As a result, this bracket is one that, in my eyes, is totally up for grabs. I foresee many of the match-ups in this bracket coming down to the last day of voting, and being decided by small margins. It would take a band beyond the #10 seed winning this block before I will be surprised!

Lastly, looking at the black bracket, where some of the more extreme bands are found, I can again see many different ways this tournament might play out. In the end it may simply depend on which fan base has more followers of this blog: metalcore, death metal, or modern power and prog? These sub-genres are pretty diverse when you think about it. When you think of mainstream success, the bands with more melodic elements are clear favorites. When you think of devoted, cult-followings, then maybe the death metal bands will have the unseen advantage. A couple telling match-ups, should they happen to meet, could be System of a Down vs. Tool, and Avenged Sevenfold vs Disturbed. Those are the four bands I view as favorites to come out of the black bracket. But in the end, it will be up to the readers to decide!

No comments: