Who are the most underrated artists in the world, and which deserve more coverage on Ultimate Guitar?
That's what we asked you on Wednesday, and we were really impressed with your nominations.
We're keen to introduce more artists to the news_backupfeed in 2013, and the bands on this list have been put firmly on our radar for potential news_backup stories.
Before we start, a few bands deserve a nod for almost making it to the top 10 - that's Porcupine Tree, Alter Bridge and Between The Buried And Me. They all earned a tonne of votes, but since they already receive coverage on UG whenever possible (we announced a new Porcupine Tree album on the very day of this poll), we decided to make room for other acts that really are underrated.
Let's plug in those headphones or pump up the speakers, and listen to this awesome range of bands that deserve more attention.
10. Portugal. The Man
Kicking off with something you might not expect, Portugal. The Man (full stop intended) started out in Alaska in 2004. It might sound a little too hipster for some UG readers, but for something so melodic it's a refreshing sound with plenty of smart production.
9. Sacred Mother Tongue
Super-tight metal from Northampton, England. Guitarist Andy James is recognised as one of the best breakthrough artists in the UK according to their Wikipedia page, but with four solo albums under his belt, there's no reason to disbelieve it. He sounds pretty rad to us.
Clutch have been one of the most respected touring bands in the world for well over a decade, but get less attention than they deserve because they're too busy rocking to play the press game. This track from their forthcoming album perfectly demonstrates how they sound like no-one else while sticking tightly to the to the classic ethics of real rock. Make sure you see them live.
Authentic thrash metal from the best selling metal band in Canadian history. If they're that big, why did they make it to this list? Because they haven't appeared on the UG news_backup agenda for years, and because this shred-tastic video is worth sharing.
6. Tremonti Project
Guitarist Mark Tremonti is well known for his role in Creed and Alter Bridge, but his solo project got a lot of love in the vote this week. Wolfgang Van Halen even joined as a touring bassist last year, and apparently wants to stay in the lineup permanently.
5. Maximum The Hormone
We had no idea where to start with this lot. YouTube is awash with barmy Japanese pop videos, but there's also this quirky rock video. Basically, we have no idea what is going on. Maybe that's the intention.
4. Red Fang
That's more like it; ballsy head-banging rock from Portland, Oregon. Some people say they're stoner rock, but judging from this song it's more like being pelted with actual rocks than a sly cannabis reference.
3. John Butler Trio
John Butler leads this folk-driven trio. Critics love them, but all we need to say it: hit play on this. We were caught in a trance right until he started tapping. Beautiful stuff.
Progressive metal with pin-sharp production from Reading, England. This is their 10th year together, and the trailer for their new "Perspective" EP sounds very promising - and not just because it includes a cover of one of the best songs ever, "Dream Brother" by Jeff Buckley.
1. Protest The Hero
Your winner is another progressive metal band. Actually, as a genre title, that sounds too tame - some of their songs take a massive black metal influence, and the vocal acrobatics are more energetic than a Russian gymnast. Awesome stuff.
That's your top 10 most underrated acts. It's a shame there's only room for 10 acts, because there were some really good tips in there. Ones that we completely agree with: Converge, Baroness, Explosions In The Sky, Neurosis, Mono, Cult Of Luna, Tortoise... the list goes on. Check them all out.
Keep those tips coming in the comments, and try to add a YouTube video or Soundcloud link so we can check them out. We'll be listening to everything you share.