The most important night in the world of metal and rock has to be the prestigious Metal Hammer Golden Godsawards. For nearly 30 years Metal Hammer magazine has been the metal-heads bible, encompassing everything from hard rock to Norwegian death metal. Every band on the scene who is worth a listen has at some point crossed paths with the mighty Hammer! The awards are voted for by the public and MH reflecting the best artists and music from the last year in metal.
There are also some of the hottest bands on the scene performing tonight. The first band to hit the stage and entrusted to warm up the audience are Suicidal Tendencies. ST as they are affectionately known go down a storm, considering many of the audience weren't even born when the band formed back in 1981. ST are a highly energetic thrash band led by the awesome Mike Muir, who is the only original band member. Later in the show he would pick up the Icon Award and show the softer side of metal when he went all EastEnders and talked about Family! No, seriously it was pretty moving stuff and when Mike talked about his four year old son it brought a tear to his eye. Respect! ST have some great riffs, runs and rhythms and lets not forget this is the band who invented crossover. As host Scott Ian would later remind us, without them there would be no SOD (System Of A Down).
The second band of the night to pitch up are We Are Harlot. Danny Worsnop's new band is pretty amazing. For Danny, WAH is a total shift in direction from his last band Asking Alexandria and are a hard rock group comprised of some great musicians including Jeff George on guitar. It's little wonder with that they came away with the Best New Band award.
Despite Scott Ian's grumblings over the award for Best UK Band "why can't it be Iron Maiden every year?" Bring Me The Horizon take the gold. (Although we do agree with you Scott!)
For the publicly voted Best International Band award Hammer readers pitted the likes of The Scorpions, Mastodon, Meshuggah and Slipknot against each other. Scott Ian declared the winner as Slipknot adding:"this band won by fucking miles"
The award for Best Breakthrough Artist was everyone's favourite kawaii metal group BabyMetal– Japan's answer to the Spice Girls. They play two songs later in the show backed by DragonForce who upstaged the main act – if only in terms of musicianship.
Defender of the Faith award went to Tommy Thayelfor his charity work and just being a member of KISS. Fellow band mate Gene Simmonstakes home the Legend Award and takes the opportunity to appeal to fans to stop downloading music for free, as it kills the bands you love. His statements were met with mixed feelings from the crowd, although the majority did seem to support him. To be honest, it's Gene Simmons – I wouldn't argue with him if I were you!
Tonight's recipient of the Spirit of Hammer Award was presented to Dr Matt Taylor by Dr Brian May(who also won the Riff Lord Award.) Apart from being a metalhead, Dr Matt is also among the team responsible for the 10 year Rosetta project which successfully landed the robot lander Philae on a comet. Shortly after it completed it's landing Philae went silent. A few weeks ago Philae woke up, just in time hear about Matt's win – it's a double celebration!
During the interval a video tribute was made to Sir Christopher Lee who recently passed away aged 93. Not only was he an icon of modern cinema, he also received The spirit Of Hammer Award in 2010. A fitting tribute to a man who not only played Dracula more times than anybody, but also released a symphonic metal album too!
Winners of the Inspiration Award, Swedish band At The Gatesalso treated us to some Death Metal music and top growls from front man Tomas Lindberg. He says. "We don't like Death metal, we LOVE Death Metal.” They are as heavy as fuck, fast and furious with enough growling to wake the dead.
The Dimebag Darrel - Shredder award goes to Richie Faulknerfrom Judas Priest. Usually as the winner enters the stage there is a video of them doing their thing, however, Ritchie ditched a clip of him playing and had it replaced with a video of Pantera playing Hell Bent For Leather. Nice one!
This years top prize the Golden God Award was announced early because the folks at MH couldn't contain their excitement any longer. I'm sure nobody would disagree that the award deservingly belongs to the King of Thrash, Dave Mustaine! All Hail! And Killing Joke round off a perfect metal night. Here's to next year.