Review By Nathan Daniel
It’s Monday night at London’s world famous O2 Arena and The Eagles are playing one of their string of sold out shows to 20,000 people. Downstairs in the Indig02, however, is an evening just as important for dedicated Rock and Metal fans around the country – it’s the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award Ceremony. The line up tonight is a mixed one, with BEHEMOTH opening, followed by WHILE SHE SLEEPS, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, BLACK STONE CHERRY and hosts STEEL PANTHER.
BEHEMOTH take to the stage with a demonic presence as Nergal screams “Hail Satan” in typical Black Metal fashion. Albeit only a 15 minute set, Behemoth charge through it at pace and singe the eyebrows of those in the front few rows with pyrotechnics that are a little large for the room. All in good spirit, though.
Second of the evening are Sheffield Metallers, WHILE SHE SLEEPS. They’re fresh from a good few months off the road, due to the vocal surgery frontman Loz had to undergo at the beginning of the year. They look all the better for it too and it’s clear that they’re hungry for more shows as they tear up the stage with fan favourites ‘Death Toll’, ‘This Is The Six’ and ‘Our Courage, Our Cancer’. With the status they have developed in the past couple of years, their imminent new album may well put them back on this stage next year, but for an award of their own.
Next up are THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, who are nominated for best live band and it doesn’t take long to see why. Moments from Greg Puciato taking the stage, he goes straight for the crowd and incites the biggest amount of chaos of the night. Most of which is directly caused by him, like when he decides to climb a stack of speakers and fling himself into the crowd. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE might have won best band, but these can’t have been far off.
The last band, for me at least, since the last train meant that I had to miss STEEL PANTHER, was BLACK STONE CHERRY. Chris and co are hot off their surprise Download show and his huge bellowing voice would comfortably fill the 02’s main room, let alone this one. Typical of what has come to have been expected of them, they deliver a sterling performance that is bouncy and enjoyable all round. Next stop for this lot in the UK is Wembley Arena, which certainly won’t be one to miss.
One of the highlights of the evening, for sure, is when David Prowse (aka Darth Vader of Star Wars) appears on stage to collect his award, accompanied by a few Stormtroopers. He comfortably leads the crowd into a song he calls the ‘Star Wars anthem’: “Star Wars made me a fortune, paid off the mortgage, bought me a car”. Top bloke.
Check out a few award winners below:
Amongst the bands playing are of course are the rest of the awards, which are hosted by the wonderful and gracious STEEL PANTHER. They panned out as follows:
Best New Band – Devil You Know
Best Underground – Wardruna
Breakthrough – Of Mice & Men
Dimebag Darrell Shredder – Misha Mansoor of Periphery
Best UK Band – Iron Maiden
Best Live Band – Killswitch Engage
Best International Band – Avenged Sevenfold
Global Metal Act – Orphaned Land & Khalas
Riff Lord – Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge
King Of The Internet – Devin Townsend
Inspiration Award – Hanoi Rocks
Album Of The Year – The Satanist by Behemoth
Icon Award – Michael Schenker
Spirit Of Hammer – Dave Prowse (Darth Vader)
The Golden God Award – Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth
Game Of The Year – Grand Theft Auto V
Video Of The Year – Party Like It’s The End Of The World by Steel Panther