A unique concept came into pass in 2003, a Heavy Metal award show. We all know of the Grammys, who do actually honour the hard rock community albeit way down the pecking order. Secondly, over in this blessed land we call the UK; we unfortunately have `The Brits’, which quite frankly showcases so of the many issues that circulate within the UK music industry. It only congratulates what’s on the charts, whether that’s good music or just recycled manufactured pop music. Rarely does it dive into the underground scenes.
So what does that mean? Underground music genres need a voice and certainly for Hard Rock and Metal that began truly with Metal Hammer Golden Gods, with similar music mags following the formula. Now, this writer has been truly blessed by being able to attend for almost a decade now, not only as a fan but as part of the crew that sets the show up and fully appreciates just how much effort and hard work goes into the award ceremony.
On this particular edition, the 2018 Golden Gods, which you can view the full list of winners below; the playing bands weren’t particularly well known to me, well with the exception of Meshuggah. However, the other bands on the bill which included Parkway Drive and Myrkur were far more mysterious in their musical exploits than I would care to have liked, anyway that’s enough about being slightly out of touch with today’s youth for me.
Carrying on from the past paragraph and it’s precisely what Metal Hammer do extremely well and that is showcasing the new blood. To show off to us oldies just who to stand up and take note of and certainly Parkway Drive are one that are on the up and up, having just decimated the Download crowd mere hours before bringing fire and brimstone to the far more intimate Indigo room at nestled in the heart of The 02.
Yet, for all Hammer’s amazing jewels and sheer tenacity for putting on this show each and every year, it did seem as though the show has perhaps ran its course, which is extremely unfortunate and that’s said with a heavy heart.
Having previously mentioned that I’ve seen firsthand what happens behind the scenes and the incredible hard work that goes into the show, it’s not an easy thing to say that it seemed a little lacklustre. The crowds seemed less than up for it, the numbers were not swelling as they have been in years gone past and perhaps that was down to the lack of a couple of real heavy hitters playing the event, which it has in years gone by.
The show itself seemed to lack that same punch that it has in the past, it seemed to have no real urgency of getting people off and on stage, getting awards blasted through and bands on stage that for example Parkway Drive were on stage half an hour later than planned, which saw this writers award show cut shorter than planned, unfortunately, we are all kept to that annoying concept of time and train schedules.
Overall then the questions remains `Does the Golden Gods still remain important, should they continue in the same vain’?
My personal belief is regrettably no, it should have some time out. With similarities bearing to TV shows or film franchises, the more you have of something the less special it becomes. Look at this way, if you keep churning out the same TV series for years and years, the numbers will eventually dwindle, even those devious reality TV shows have seen numbers dramatically fall since their inception.
As much as what Hammer do is incredible, especially how less than 2 years previous the magazine was in dire straits and needed a seismic miracle to keep afloat, which thankfully became a Christmas miracle for the company and to keep the awards show still intact certainly shows that sheer will and determination, yet looking on 2018’s edition, it needs a break.
The full list of winners:
Best New Band sponsored by Röad Crew - Lovebites
Best Underground Band sponsored by Relapse Records - Wolves In The Throne Room
Best British Band sponsored by Nuclear Blast - Judas Priest
Best Live Band sponsored by Monster Energy - Lacuna Coil
Best International Band - Arch Enemy
Best Independent Label - Sumerian Records
Best Event sponsored by Spinefarm Records - Download Festival
Breakthrough sponsored by Sumerian Records - Code Orange
Riff Lord sponsored by Chapman Guitars - Wes Borland
Global Metal sponsored by Century Media - Kaoteon
Inspiration sponsored by uDiscover - Meshuggah
Best Album sponsored by Roadrunner Records - Myrkur 'Mareridt'
Spirit Of Hammer sponsored by Sliptrick Records - Jessica Pimentel
Icon sponsored by Zippo Encore - Maynard James Keenan
Golden God sponsored by LouderSound.com - Ozzy Osbourne