The Greatest Metal Concept Album Ever Tournament: Part 2

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It’s March Madness, and we here at ToH have bracket fever. However, most of us metalheads are far more familiar with 20-sided dice than barbells, so rather than going ape over B-ball, we’re throwing down on some mental mathletics. We’ve scoured the hallowed halls of Valhalla to find the best and brightest concept albums in all of metaldom, but we can’t decide this alone. We need you to choose the greatest metal concept album ever. Today, the second half of the 32-competitor bracket squares off. Who will be left standing?

Remember, your goal is to not just choose the album you like the most, but to try to pick the album whose concept best fits the music. Y’all did pretty well with the first 16, so let’s see how strong your resolve is in the right side of the bracket. Be judicious as you cast your stones below.

The full bracket (stab to embiggen)


Devin Townsend’s Ziltoid the Omniscient vs. Queensryche‘s Operation: Mindcrime

Overcaffeinated Space Invader vs. Disillusioned Junkie Turned Revolutionary

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 27-03-2017 09:00:00
end_date 01-04-2017 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which concept is better?

Ahab’s Call of the Wretched Sea vs. Edge of Sanity’s Crimson

Moby Dick vs. Children of Men, kinda

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 27-03-2017 09:00:00
end_date 01-04-2017 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which concept is better?

Christopher Lee’s Charlemagne vs. Iced Earth’s Night of the Stormrider

Count Dooku’s Glorious French King Ancestor vs. Pagan Earth’s Revenge

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 27-03-2017 09:00:00
end_date 01-04-2017 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which concept is better?

Meshuggah’s Catch Thirtythree vs. Sepultura’s Dante XXI

Psychological Paradoxes vs. Dante’s Inferno

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 27-03-2017 09:00:00
end_date 01-04-2017 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which concept is better?

Opeth’s Still Life vs. Bathory’s Blood on Ice

Oppressive Religion vs. Viking Vengeance

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 27-03-2017 09:00:00
end_date 01-04-2017 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which concept is better?

Vektor’s Terminal Redux vs. Insomnium’s Winter’s Gate

Finding Immortality…in Space vs. Vikings Looking for St. Patrick

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 27-03-2017 09:00:00
end_date 01-04-2017 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which concept is better?

Hail of Bullet’s III: The Rommel Chronicles vs. Blind Guardian’s Nightfall in Middle-Earth

The Desert Fox’s Adventures in Africa vs. How Melkor Lost All His Friends

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 27-03-2017 09:00:00
end_date 01-04-2017 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which concept is better?

Ulver’s Nattens Madrigal vs. Between the Buried and Me’s Parallax II: Future Sequence

Wolves and Other Spooky Night Stuff in the Dark Side of Man vs. One Consciousness Shared Across Two Realities

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 14-03-2017 09:00:00
end_date 01-04-2017 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which concept is better?
  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    This round wasn’t too bad. Next one is gonna rip me apart inside.

    • Rain Poncho W.

      Why? Manowar was already eliminated.

      • Señor Jefe El Rossover

        The fact that this side has Blood On Ice, Crimson and Nightfall.

      • Burnage!

  • Jom Pootersan

    Making me choose between Still Life or Blood on Ice <<<<

    • Pentagram Sam

      I voted the emotional choice, Blood On Ice haha

      • Jom Pootersan

        Same, it was the toughest decision of them all

        • Señor Jefe El Rossover

          Blood On Ice >>>>>>>>>> most other things

          • Grvm Spectre ov Derth

            And it’s losing to dad rock band Opeth.

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            GOTDANGIT!!!

            QUORTHON GAZES DOWN ON US WITH DISPLEASURE!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I’d rather see Opeth win. Im not a Bathory fan.

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            STOP SPEAKING TO ME

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Never!

          • Óðinn
          • Trve metal warrior

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Even less of a fan of his than Bathory.

    • Grvm Spectre ov Derth

      Mikael betrayed you. Vote Blood On Ice.

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        I chose Opeth. I never liked Bathory.

        • Señor Jefe El Rossover

          LEAVE THE HALL!!!!
          GET OUT RIGHT NOW!!!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I never did have popular opinions. Also how can I leave a hall I was never in?

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            HOW CAN YOU DISLIKE BATHORY?!?!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I just can. It’s just my opinion man

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            HAVE YOU EVER LISTENED TO BLOOD ON ICE?!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Yes. I did not enjoy it. I prefer to listen to Watching From A Distance by Warning when I feel like crying.

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            CRYING?! BATHORY RAISES YOU INTO ETERNAL GLORY!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Bathory isnt my kind of music. It’s just too icy and cold for me.

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            YOU DISGUST ME!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            The only one I enjoy of theirs is Octagon. It’s different from their other work so I can enjoy it.

          • Scrimm

            OH MY GOD

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Still Life > Blut am Eis

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            We once stood together, that time has now passed.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            I am sorry that it has come to this, but to this it has come.

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            Brothers once united, now no longer united.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            One will stand, one will fall.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Well at least I like Manowar and Manilla Road and Blind Guardian.

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            SPEAK NOT OF THE GODS!

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I will speak of the gods. Bathory isn’t among them. Theyre among something better than gods.

          • Óðinn
          • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ
  • Pentagram Sam

    Had to pick Ziltoid over Mindcrime. I dig Mindcrime but holy shit, every goddamn concept album list has this thing at the top. It’s almost as predictable as “best guitarist” list where Jimi is always number one

    ‘Sides, Aliens n coffee brah

    • Sid Vicious Promos

      Mindcrime may be an astoundingly great album but the best concept album is The Wall.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Yeah, no.

        • Señor Jefe El Rossover

          With you here.

        • Sid Vicious Promos

          What’s your favorite then? The Wall is a universally beloved album and Mindcrime is also universally beloved.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            The Wall is a good many things, some of which are positive, some less so.
            I dunno what my absolute favourite concept album would be, but the last half of this bracket featured Abigail, Vertikal and the Key – all of which are not only great musically, also feature a perfect blend of the conceptual aspect into their songwriting – and as such would be good choices.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Abigail is so good. I wish that Them by King Diamond was also on here.

          • Joaquin Stick

            I hate listening to a bunch of children singing. Makes me cringe every time.

          • Doom Scientist

            Animals is a far better album.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I do love that album.

          • Depechemodeisgangsta

            I think a lot of people like Rush 2112, i never being a fan of Rush, but is always mentioned on all the list and stuff like that.

      • Depechemodeisgangsta

        Is it possible that the best concept album is The wall, followed by Dark side of the moon? because for me it is.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    Was listening toTerminal Redux the other day and reading the lyrics at the same time. Feel like the story is really close to just one or two sci fi novels in particular, but wrack my brains as I may I just can’t work out which.

  • Jom Pootersan

    Still the only one who voted for Winter’s gate over Terminal Redux, whoops.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Most were easy, but Ahab vs. Edge of Sanity? Fuckity fuck fuck that one was tough.

    • I voted for EoS with my eyes closed in that one 😛

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Oh I voted EoS, except with my eyes squinted and filled with tears.

        • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

          That Ahab album is a crusher, but when it comes to concepts, Dan Swano has them beat.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Well it IS Dan Swano after all…

  • Grvm Spectre ov Derth

    Whoever voted Dante XXI over Meshuggah reveal yourselves.

    • Sid Vicious Promos

      I did.

      • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

        Ditto.

        • Sid Vicious Promos

          It’s the best of the Sepultura concept albums.

          • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

            Fo sho.

      • Grvm Spectre ov Derth

        Yeah but you don’t count since you always vote for the oddball choice.

        • Sid Vicious Promos

          I do count because I’m the voice of controversy here.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      I did.

    • Howard Dean

      I did. Out of apathy, to be honest.

    • Scrimm

      Right here

      • Grvm Spectre ov Derth

        Go NOPE yourself.

        • Scrimm

          Never!

    • I did. Jajaja.

  • Doom Scientist

    Leviathan is already gone? Feh.

  • Scrimm

    If this doesn’t end up as a battle between Abigail and Crimson it will be a travesty. Also why pick the worst(still really good) Hail of Bullets?

    • Rain Poncho W.

      It was what the people wanted.

    • Señor Jefe El Rossover

      But who would you choose?!

      • Scrimm

        Abigail.

    • Howard Dean

      Scrimm knows. Abigail vs. Crimson in the championship, and one helluva tough choice. Many tears will be shed that day.

      • Scrimm

        Hope so. Yeah a tough decision to vote down either one.

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        I want it to be Abigail vs Mindcrime. That would be a hard choice

        • Scrimm

          No it wouldn’t

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            For me it would be. They’re both amazing albums. Even as a Geoff Tate fanboy i would be unable to decide.

          • Doom Scientist

            Mindcrime, easily.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I love both Abigail and Mindcrime. It’s hard to decide.

          • Scrimm

            Dammit now we have to be enemies

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I love Mindcrime and Geoff Tate but not even he can beat Abigail.

          • Scrimm

            I like Queensryche too make no mistake, but Mindcrime is not their best. First EP forever.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Mindcrime is my favorite of theirs. After that is Empire and Q2K.

          • Doom Scientist

            Over Rage For Order and The Warning? Must be an age thing.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            It is. Rage and Warning follow those two.

          • Doom Scientist

            Leave the hall.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            DS plz! I was never in the hall!

          • Doom Scientist

            There are many halls in the Metal Mansion.

          • Óðinn

            Those are their better albums.

          • Óðinn

            Meh. I used to listen to Queensrÿche EP, The Warning, Rage For Order back in the day. But If I’m honest, I don’t really care that much about Queensrÿche. But they did their best stuff very early on.

            https://youtu.be/i0_THrxYs1w

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I love all Queensryche.

          • Sir Ukkometso The Based

            Queensryche sucks dingalingdongs
            8===============D~~~~~

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            Aw Dimmadarn, guess I’ll stop listening to them. I’m just kidding.

          • Doom Scientist

            Oh, it’s not their best, but it’s better than Abigail imo.

          • Óðinn

            Unpopular opinion, but I’ve never liked King Diamond’s voice. I have a big enough problem liking clean vocals in general, never mind operatic falsetto. I like early Fates Warning and Iron Maiden, and that’s about as squealy as I can go with that kind of stuff. Clean vocals in Doom/Stoner are okay because they don’t exaggerate the and try to be quasi-operatic.

          • Doom Scientist

            I’m the opposite. I have a hard time with anything but clean vocals. I still find it hard to take most Black or Death Metal vocals seriously.

          • Doom Scientist

            Alas…

    • Hail of Bullets album is a concept art about Star Fox.

      • Scrimm

        HAH!

  • tigeraid

    omfg.

    Blind Guardian vs Hail of Bullets? Y U DO DIS TO ME!?

    My life-long adoration of Iced Earth beats out Christopher Lee. But only JUST.

    Some tough choices here.

    • Señor Jefe El Rossover

      BG >>>>>>>> most other things

      • tigeraid

        Oh I voted for it, worry not. But goddamn The Rommel Chronicles is good. I think I’m the one that suggested it, actually.

      • Scrimm

        Except MVD

        • Señor Jefe El Rossover

          “most” 😉

        • Señor Jefe El Rossover

          Not in this case.

      • The Mighty Thorange

        Damn fucking straight! I am hoping NIME will this whole thing. I don’t think it will because of a lack of appreciation for power metal, BUT A MAN CAN DREAM CAN’T HE???

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Most of these were really easy choices, even if voting Ahab might have a hint of spite in it, since I am loathe to see the lesser Moby Dick concept album win this whole ordeal (and I wouldn’t be surprised if it did).
    The only realistic challenger for it from this half would be Terminal Redux, which seems to be owning Winter’s Gate much too hard for my tastes.

    • I liked Terminal Redux, but I had to vote Winter’s Gate.

  • krisdaschwab912

    How is Operation Mind time even close? Fetid.

    • Sid Vicious Promos

      It’s just that good

    • Because devin townsend is hipster prog

    • Shakes 999

      I love DTP but Ziltoid 1 and 2 are awful. I abstained from voting cause both choices are losers.

      • krisdaschwab912

        I do agree that Z2 is weak, especially in comparison to, say, Transcendence or Addicted. But ZTO is simply a blast to listen to.

  • GL

    DEVIN!!! TOWNSEND!!!
    DEVIN!!! TOWNSEND!!!
    DEVIN!!! TOWNSEND!!!
    DEVIN!!! TOWNSEND!!!

    • Sid Vicious Promos

      I’m sorry buddy. I voted Mindcrime.

      • GL

        IT IS OK, JDD. NOT EVERYONE CAN BE PERFECT.
        🙂

        • Sid Vicious Promos

          Yay!

          • GL

            IN THIS INSTANCE YOU ARE NOT THE PERFECT ONE. I AM SORRY. /NOTSORRY

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I know.

          • GL

            Ok. Now I am sorry

        • Doom Scientist

          But I’m practically perfect in every way much like Mary Poppins.

    • Scrimm

      SUCKS!

      • GL

        THERE’S MY BOY

        • Scrimm

          I aim to please

  • Rain Poncho W.

    I’m kinda surprised Charlemagne and Night of the Stormrider are so close. Interesting development.

    • I was surprised to find out there are people who legitimately enjoy Charlemagne

      • Rain Poncho W.

        Exactly. Christopher Lee is great and all, but I never really saw his metal stuff as anything more than a novelty. Apparently the people feel differently. >insert Scrimm people suck comment

        • yeah it’s fun to hear christopher lee shouting about slaying saxons, but musically there’s NOTHING of value there

          • Rain Poncho W.

            Now, if it was a concept album about the formation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems…

          • Maybe we could throw in discussions on trade agreements??

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            Aaaaaaaaaaand, poser.

  • Joaquin Stick

    A few years ago I spent way too much time trying to figure out what Parallax was all about. It’s really damn ambitious and one of the coolest concepts ever, but you know, the lowest quality thing ever recorded is going to win because cvlt status. SAD!

  • This contest is infested with Elfic magic, jejejeje.

    • GL

      LINK>>>>>>

  • Dark Spirit of Cold Ural Mount

    Why no Bolt Thrower or Master of Puppets?

    • Rain Poncho W.

      They were excluded specifically to spite you.

      • Dark Spirit of Cold Ural Mount

        thEY ArE aLwAyS WatcHIng

  • I am on the losing side of almost all of these.
    …although I honestly shouldn’t have been surprised at my shit taste in music.

  • GoatForest

    I would have loved to see Damnation and a Day or Paracletus…

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    Was rhapsody no where on these first two rounds? Or am I dumb?

    Edit: it can be both

  • Waynecro

    Some of these here choices are mighty difficult to make.

  • Chaosgrid

    Abigail really should be removed from this and this should simply be about finding out who’s 2nd place.

  • Shakes 999

    Vektor already destroying posers.

  • krisdaschwab912

    Ziltoid lost by five votes? I don’t understand why Queensryche gets so much love. Is it because they’re old?