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The Vans HMS Hammer pre-party gig boat kicked off proceedings, sailing 200 lucky competition winners and VIPs up the Thames for the 12th annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards held at the 02 Arena. The pre awards show kicked of in fine style, with a storming set from Orange Goblin, Dying Fetus bruised our ears with some punishing metal, before my-band-on-the-day-on-the-boat Hounds delivered a killer set.Kill Devil Hill had the boat rocking with some ballsy hard rock while Thy Art Is Murder ( a last minute replacement for Upon A Burning Body) rounded a great boat party.
Having docked at the O2 Arena, the sea of metal fans made their way into the Indigo lounge to join the other 1000+ metalheads for the main event, the Golden Gods Awards.
What followed was an explosive night of live music. Behemoth, my band of the event nearly burning the building down with their stage pyrotechnics, I’m sure my eyebrows got singed, and I was on the balcony. An incredible performance from the Polish blackened death metallers.
While She Sleeps, who represented the UK in a stellar international line up just about managed to get the crowd on their side after the opening salvo fired by Behemoth. The Dillinger Escape Plan gave an intense performance and were one of two US exports to perform, along with Black Stone Cherry, whose latest album, ‘Magic Mountain’, broke into the UK Top 5 album charts earlier this year
This year’s hosts, the irrepressible Steel Panther, had the entire crowd in stitches with their usual mix of school boy humour and downright insulting behaviour, You either love these guys or hate them, but which ever camp your in, you cant deny they put on one hell of a show, both as hosts and as Steel Panther as they finished off the festivities with a mind blowing live performance.
The 2014 best band awards, as voted for by the readers of Metal Hammer, came in three categories – Best UK, Best International and Global Metal Act – and were won by Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold and Orphaned Land respectively. The latter, arguably the biggest musical export to ever come from Israel, decided to share their award with Palestinian band Khalas. The two bands’ continued show of unity and brotherhood in support of peace in the Middle East is a strong international message that Metal Hammer and the Golden Gods are proud to support.
Other winners on the night included Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor, who picked up the Dimebag Darrell ‘Shredder’ award, Killswitch Engage for Live Band, Grand Theft Auto V for Best Game, Michael Monroe accepted Finland’s Hanoi Rocks for Inspiration Award and Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt was The Golden God.
However the biggest cheer of the night went to screen legend David Prowse. As Stormtroopers packed the stage, the man best known as Darth Vader received the Spirit of Hammer award, to a chant of Vader, Vader, Vader from the cheering crowd.
Alexander Milas, Editor-In-Chief of Metal Hammer, says, “Heavy metal’s been around for over 40 years, and as this year’s winners prove, it remains as vibrant as ever. From world-beating prog metal visionaries Opeth to a genuine guitar hero like Michael Schenker, to absolute legends Hanoi Rocks who first married the words ‘glam’ and ‘metal’ and inspired a movement, to Orphaned Land, whose integrity as artists and spokespeople for the power of metal to unite people genuinely blew us all away tonight, this was a night for the history books. Add to that a genuine screen legend like David Prowse, and you might even say the Force was strong with this one.”
The Award winners:
Best New Band (presented by Vans) Devil You Know
Dimebag Darrell ‘Shredder’ (presented by Olympus) Misha Mansoor of Periphery
Breakthrough Artist (presented by Hobgoblin) Of Mice & Men
Best Underground Band (presented by World of Tanks) Wardruna
Best UK Band (presented by Roadrunner Records) Iron Maiden
Best Live Band (presented by Ticketmaster) Killswitch Engage
Best International Band (presented by Nuclear Blast) Avenged Sevenfold
Global Metal Act (presented by Metal Matters) Orphaned Land and Khalas
Riff Lord (presented by Century Media) Mark Tremonti
King of the Internet (presented by TeamRock Radio) Devin Townsend
Inspiration (presented by Universal Strategic Marketing) Hanoi Rocks
Album of the Year (presented by Spinefarm Records) ‘The Satanist’ – Behemoth
Icon (presented by Kraken Rum) Michael Schenker
Spirit of Hammer (presented by Jägermeister) Darth Vader – Dave Prowse
The Golden God (presented by Orange Amplification) Mikael Åkerfeldt
Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto V
Video of the Year (presented by Scuzz TV) ‘Party Like It’s The End Of The World’ – Steel Panther