Arise Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods!


It’s almost that time of year when the mightiest of juggernauts in metal gather for a chance to win an iconic Golden Gods Award.

On Monday 11th of June, Metal Hammer invites metalheads from all over to gather in London at the O2 Indigo to hear the results of the awards. Hosted by Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta, there will be performances from incredible acts including Georgian sludgers Baroness, djent pioneers Messugah, black metal goddess Mykur and many more!

Now for the categories and the nominees that are possibly going to take the gods down and in turn go down in history!

Best British Band

Being the birth place of the metal genre in the form of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple it’s no surprise that there is a golden god available for the Best British band! Bands nominated this year are Scottish swashbuckler’s Alestorm who have been spreading sea shanties all over the seven seas. Arguably the biggest extreme metal band in the UK, Cradle of Filth are haunting the awards with their brand-new album ‘Cryptoriana’ which explores the theme of Victorian gothic horror. Metalcore giants Asking Alexandria are on the list with Danny Worsnop returning to front the band for their new self-titled album. Adding a new mix of experimentation are Rolo Tomassi, who over the last ten years have proven their worth with their chaotic performances. Also nominated are old school legends Judas Priest blasting through with their new album ‘Firepower’ showing that metal never dies!

Best International Band

As sure as there is a Golden God for the Best British band, it’s no surprise that as metal spreads around the world, that there would be bands worthy to carry the mantle from all over. Representing Australia is none other than metalcore outfit Parkway Drive who are building hype around their upcoming album. Also contending is the Antichrist Superstar himself Marilyn Manson with a critically acclaimed new album, not to mention his equally well received live performances. Speaking of superstars, you have Larissa who has fully bonded with Arch Enemy as they strive for world domination. Coming through as well is none other than hard rock Iowans Stone Sour who have been enjoying perhaps their most successful year yet. Then there is Trivium whose international tour has been talked about all year round. Who will rise this year for a chance to be a Golden God?


Now for the nominees who have broken out of their local circles and leaped into the national stage pit; First up is the mysterious French artist Carpenter Brunt who has been changing how we view metal in the last year using synthwave. Also changing metal are Texan thrashers Power Trip who have been called the most exciting thrash metal band of the 21st century. The next nominee is Employed to Serve whose brand of UK hardcore has gotten everyone talking; their record ‘Warmth Of A Dying Sun’ has been named one of the top albums of the year! Now crossing the Atlantic Hardcore Punk Pennsylvanians Code Orange have produced an album of equally high calibre in ‘Forever’. Last, (but not least) are Yorkshire rockers Marmozets, who under Roadrunner Records released an excellent follow up from their debut album which is sure to be heard at this year’s Download Festival!

Best Live Band

Live music is at the heart of any music scene and a good performance can be just as crucial as selling records. Bursting through the front-line are none other than power metal troopers Sabaton who bring tanks (literaly) and history into the 21st century. Also competing is Florida’s Cannibal Corpse who helped put death metal on the map. Another set of pioneers come in the form of metalcore/mathcore progenitors Converge. Back to the heart of the Mediterranean, we have Lacuna Coil whose brand of gothic metal has become heavier and darker since their inception in 1998. Back up north in the cold heart of Iceland, we have Solstafir who despite starting off as a black metal band in the ’90s have become known for their unpredictability when experimenting with other genres.

Best New Band

As every year comes and goes, hundreds of artists are starting to make their mark on the world with brand new music. This Golden God is dedicated to a few of the bands that have done just that. Starting the list of nominees is none other then Conjurer whose debut album ‘Mire’ has sunken in well with all its glorious sludge. Next up from Liverpool is Loathe who often incorporate nu metal and progressive metal, whilst mixing the energy and technicality that comes from metalcore. Bringing back the traditional influences is Visigoth who are keeping the flame of American traditional burning strong. Breaking with tradition is the mysterious mask that is Sleep Token, who have caught all our attention despite being almost anonymous. Power metal also gets a mention in the form of Lovebites who are setting a brand-new standard not just for the metal scene in Japan, but the entire metal genre across East Asia.

Best Underground Band

Whilst many bands love getting the lime light, some prefer to fester in the darkness of the underground to become legendary among those who know their names. Heillung are one of these bands; variously described as avant garde metal, folk metal or neofolk their atmospheric live performances are unforgettable. Hailing from Washington are post black metal act Wolves In The Throne Room who have taken the world by storm with their latest album giving them a firm foothold in North American black metal . Shooting across the plains to northern California is Chelsea Wolfe whose album ‘Hiss Spun’ has received critical acclaim for its mix of experimental and doom metal and just the right amount of sludge. Joining from Sweden is Tribulation whose latest album ‘Down Below’ sees them move away from their death metal origins, now incorporating both occult and supernatural mixed with psychedelic and gothic rock. Last but not least, are none other than Belgian atmospheric spiritualists Amenra whose ever growing library of the ‘Mass’ series has grasped the underground world with both hands, using the artistry of avant grande and the rawness of extreme metal.

Best Independent Label

Its fair to say that Metal is one big happy family and Golden Gods know this, which is why one of these independent record companies are going home with the award as a tribute to all the hard work going on behind the scenes. Starting off in this category is none other then Holy Roar records which house three entries in this year’s golden gods including Employed To Serve, Rolo Tomassi, Conjurer And many others. Next up you have Indie Recordings which has heavy weights such as 1349, Satryricon and Cult Of Luna. Specializing in many underground artists, Southern Lord records first started off looking after Doom bands such as Sleep but have subsequently added more Black metal and Hardcore punk bands such as Wolves In The Throne Room and Wolfbrigade. Another specialist label in this category is Sumerian Records which usually holds many metalcore/Djent artists such as Asking Alexandria and Veil Of Maya to name a few. Last of all is Australian record company UNFD Records which supports breakthrough artists such as Dream State, Architects and Hacktivist.

Click on the images below to visit the label website.

Best Event

We all remember a particular band or performance which will never be forgotten… but it’s the events that put on these shows that help to create these memories. This Golden God is to recognise the events which really do hit the nail on the head! Starting as the iconic Monsters Of Rock in Donnigton, UK is none other then Download Festival with this year’s headliners Ozzy Osbourne, Gun’s N Roses and Avenged Sevenfold promising an epic festival. Along with that comes the UK’s biggest independent Metal music festival, Bloodstock Open Air which has been notorious for winning many awards over recent years, with Gorjira, Nightwish and Judas Priest leading the crusade this year.  Also battling for the Golden God is metal tech/progressive event Techfest, which has grown in traction and evolved into its own force to be reckoned with. The Techfest stage will be graced by the likes of The Acacia Strain and The Contortionist this year. Now heading west to the States in the windy city is Chicago Open Air festival; and whilst the festival has gone on hiatus this year, past headliners include Rammstein, Disturbed and Slipknot; with a promise of 2019 being bigger and better then ever before. Speaking of bigger than ever before, the worlds biggest metal festival Wacken in Germany is also up for the Golden Gods this year with the likes of Judas Priest, Nightwish and Helloween making the trip out to Germany this year.

Click on the logos below to visit the events website.

Winners of the above were decided by a public vote and will be announced at the awards. There will also be some winners chosen by a panel of industry professionals. The industry professional chosen categories are: Album Of The Year, Spirit Of Hammer, Inspiration, Global Metal, Icon, Riff Lord and then finally the Golden God! Make sure to check out Metal Hammer using the links below, and let us know who you think will take the awards home this year, or maybe who you think could be in the running for next year’s awards.

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Written by Dan Manley

Love for all things heavy, Dan is a big fan of the metal scene! Keep an eye out at your local festival, you see a man in a Vocalzone Tee, chances are it's Dan Manley! Endorsements Co-Ordinator at VZ