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Sunday, 5 February 2012

My Review of Metal Hammer Awards 2011



This is said to be the most prestigious award ceremony of Metal! And this is not the first time I have been lucky enough to attend the Metal Hammer Awards, as I won also back in 2004 (you can only attend if you win tickets), with Finnish band, HIM headlining, with support from Killswitch Engage and Akercoke. So 7 years later here I am again...


I arrived at the O2 arena around an hour before the doors were due to open. In amongst the queue were the odd few zombies (as that was this year’s metal hammer awards theme!) So that certainly made the waiting a lot more interesting spotting all the gory and weird costumes!

A little after 6pm the doors open and I enter the IndigO part of the 02 where the awards are taking place. A nice little section of the venue, that feels quite intimate without being too small, and is probably the most organised and tidy venue I have been to and for tonight’s occasion the lights set around the room were green, giving everyone a green tinge perhaps in keeping with the zombie theme! On the stage is a motor bike, a strange centre piece, but we later find some lucky metal hammer magazine reader has won!

So the first band to perform came all the way from LA..hard rockers, Buckcherry, who admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of, not that I dislike them, but I must say they put on a great show and lead singer, Josh Todd showed off his impressive array of chest tattoos, making for some great photography and live shots! Their song, “Crazy Bitch” was the highlight of their set, and got the crowd singing and dancing along!

There were two hosts for the evening; the first to appear was comedian and MC, Andrew O’neill. This guy was a good choice, and appeared to be liked by the audience and the second, was none other than the legendary, Alice Cooper! Who for the theme tonight was splashed with blood.

The next band differed dramatically from Buckcherry, as they were a young modern metal act from Reading, UK named, Sylosis. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform last year at MammothFest in Brighton, so I was particularly looking forward to seeing them again, as I instantly loved their sound and they stole the show for me back then and I knew they were going to make a name for themselves, and here they are playing alongside all these massive acts! They certainly lived up to my expectations and beyond, the sound was flawless, note perfect with blazing tapping and shred riffs! This band will keep rising to the top!

Devin Townsend Project were on next, Devin Townsend is a very talented individual and an interesting one also. The performance was accompanied by short little funny intro videos, telling you to, “Eat Shit” amongst other things..Very bizarre! It was a great and wacky performance; he has really created a very unusual sound! It’s just a shame he couldn’t have played longer, as with the other acts, but they had to cram a lot in and Devin Townsend used his time wisely to impress the crowd! Very memorable!

The next band up are one I have been highly anticipating, especially as they earlier were presented with the award for, “Best Live Band”, so it seemed very appropriate that they should be performing tonight, and they proved they were worthy of such an accolade with their high energy and engaging set! This band is unique in every form, I mean take for example lead singer, Benji Webbe’s, attire for this evening, a red hat and a shiny silver jacket, making them stand out even more, not that they need it! They made the audience participate in the old, ‘helicopter’ move in the mosh pit, which made for a great live moment with things spinning round in the room! Out of all the bands, I think Skindred definitely got the crowd going the most with their infectious Reggae Metal sound!

As ‘insane’ as it may sound, I unfortunately had to miss the headlining act, Twisted Sister, as well I had to catch the tube and the train home. That’s just the way it is! But fear not, if you want to know about their performance you can look on Youtube, watch out for the Metal Hammer Magazine feature, or even better watch the show for yourself on Scuzz TV, as it will be airing on the 7th of July!!

Some particular highlights of the awards ceremony were Judas Priest being there to accept the ‘Icon’ award from Alice Cooper! Rob Zombie taking away the main award of the night, the ‘Golden God’ award, in front of a crowd dressed as Zombies, to honour him. The very influential Diamond Head winning ‘Spirit Of Hammer’. The Big Four winning ‘Event of the year’ and Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke, speech for winning, ‘Best Album’, as it went on for quite some time, you began to wonder whether it was a ‘joke’, but his long winded acceptance prompted someone to shout out, “Kill him, Alice!” which was rather amusing moment! Best international winners, Avenged Sevenfold were not there in person to accept the award and neither were, Iron Maiden who won, ‘Best Band’.

Full list of winners below:

Golden God – Rob ZombieIcons – Judas PriestBest International Band – Avenged SevenfoldBest UK Band – Iron MaidenBest Live Band – SkindredBest New Band – The Damned ThingsBest Underground – PrimordialBreakthrough Artist – SabatonBest Album – “Absolute Dissent” by Killing JokeInspiration Award – Twisted SisterSpirit of Hammer – Diamond HeadMetal As F*ck – Nergal (Behemoth)Dimebag Darrell Shredder(s) – Gus G. (Firewind, Ozzy Osbourne)Riff Lord(s) – Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein (Down)Event of the Year – “Big 4″ coming together for first time ever in the U.K.
The Metal Hammer Awards 2011 will be airing on the 7th of July on SCUZZ TV.



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