Golden Jokes: The Golden God Awards (and why Metal has Officially left the Mainstream)

As I write this response to the latest results of the “Golden Gods” award show, I'm tired having just worked a 12 hour shift but inspired to point out how laughable this list truly is, and I don't mean laughing because it's funny, I'm laughing to prevent myself make a head-shaped hole in the wall. Let's be honest with this, I never really expected a huge amount from a mainstream magazine promoting their 'best of year' and I think anyone would be foolish to think a popularity contest about an inherently unpopular genre of music is going to turn up a decent result, but this is just incredible. Lets ignore the fact that it's arriving almost half way through the following year for a moment and take a closer look at the actual results. The first thing that leaped out at me is the fact not a single metal band won an award. For an awards show celebrating a years worth of great metal, the fact that there is no metal band holding an award just screams 'metal sucks,' which is something of a kick in the teeth to anyone who actually enjoys the genre. Couple this with the fact the largest UK music festival has an electronic dance music band headlining, and the second largest music festival announced it's failure to get anyone interested at all, I think it's safe to say Metal in the mainstream is officially pushing daisies. But enough yabbering, let's look at the worst offenders:

Best Guitarist:
Jinxx and Jake Pitts (Black Veil Brides) WINNER*
Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch)
Willie Adler and Mark Morton (Lamb Of God)
Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel (Machine Head)
Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick (Megadeth)
Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu (Trivium)

Here we have a screamo band who spend more time on their hair than their music, a couple of generic metalcore bands, a band pretending to be Metallica and the one Metal band in the list. I'm not sure the winners know how to actually play anything more than a few power chords which makes their nomination almost as bizarre as the fact they won. Mustaine's personal dickery aside, at least he knows how to write a god-damn solo. At least the other bands can be said to contain 'metal influences,' even if it doesn't form the core of their sound. At this point I'm already wondering if the writers over at Metal Hammer didn't have huge trollface grins on their faces and we haven't even gotten to the worst bits yet.

Who Should Have Actually Won: Tosin Abasi

Jokes about his guitar playing have seen no shortage amongst fans, but the reason they emerged is because they're based on truth. He plays an 8-string guitar but it's not for show, he actually uses all those damn strings; he's playing too many notes not to use both hands half the time, doubling up as a guitarist and a bassist, and he even has a knack for creating melodies. I'm not the biggest “Animals as Leaders” fan but I'm not gonna argue the dude doesn't have some pretty damn major chops.

Album Of The Year:
Anthrax, "Worship Music"
Evanescence, "Evanescence"
Five Finger Death Punch, "American Capitalist"
Foo Fighters, "Wasting Light"
Korn, "The Path Of Totality" WINNER*
Lamb Of God, "Resolution"

I'm not going to confess to having listened to half of these albums, I have better uses of my time, but I can see that nominated are two rock bands, two metalcore bands, a band from what I've heard still play some form of Thrash – if as always their unconventional brand of it – which being the only metal band on the list should have won, but what actually got to take home the prize? A Dubstep album. Not a metal album, not one of the rock albums on the list, a genre that makes a living going 'wub wub wub.' The best metal album of the year is... dubstep. I'm sorry, I still don't quite follow. I think you just admitted you should stop and liquidate any company responsible for even considering nominating this album as you don't think any good metal happened last year, or at the very least rename your publication “Wubvolver” or something.

Who Should Have Won: Mastodon (Leprous)

I've already ranted about Leprous producing my album of 2011 previously, they're unique and brilliant at it, but also far too readily inaccessible for the 13 year old's who still seem to concoct these lists. Taking a more plausible approach, taking a gander towards the questionably-metal and well-known artists, Mastodon succeeded in revitalising their sound and producing an album even most long-time fans were applauding despite being drastically different, which something of a feat in itself. And you know what? Mastodon have garnered enough long-term die hard fans over their career that they would have voted in bulk had they been y'know, actually nominated. And seeing as they were nominated for other categories it certainly wasn't exactly impossible for someone to actually have noticed they released an album last year.

Comeback Of The Year:
Dream Theater
Slipknot WINNER*
Van Halen

Ooh boy what a corker this one is. Ministry disappeared for three years, hardly long enough for anyone to notice – and I hadn't even realised they reformed if I'm honest – and three just replaced members, so of all the options only two can be said to have 'come back' at all (Anthrax and Van Halen)! Taking out Halen for playing Hard Rock leaves us with... Slipknot? Really? A band with so many members half of them could die and you wouldn't notice? That haven't actually done much of anything yet, except tour with a session guy to plod along to the root notes and spend three years finding someone actually willing to don a silly Halloween mask on stage. Are we applauding the fact that he managed to finish his last album before taking a drug overdose? That they finally have an excuse to replace a member with one with talent? Or are we getting ahead of ourselves in assuming that their future release will not be quite as bad as their last one?

Who Should Have Won: Just About Anybody Else

The list of bands that could take this prize is immense, particularly seeing as a band doesn't appear to need to go anywhere to 'come back' and the last few years have hardly seen a shortage of old bands coming back into the fray; perhaps “Accept” would make the best candidate being actually metal, actually having gone away somewhere, having replaced a man previously thought irreplaceable and having been received by fans pretty darn well. Cynic are another that returned last year with “Carbon Based Anatomy” which many fans loved. If we're talking about tragic bassist deaths, Versailles' loss of bassist “Jasmine You” came out of the dark being in perfect health three days earlier and requiring the band to rapidly record his parts for the album due for release in a few months time, whilst trying to find a replacement so they could keep their end of the contract in doing an international tour, which for a Japanese band don't exactly come cheap, and then STILL managed to release a follow-up last year, which seems to me to show a rather greater ability to return from a setback. Atheist made a return too with a solid, if not an instant classic like their earlier material. That's already four better options right there.

Best International Band:
Lacuna Coil

If you were expecting me to applaud a Japanese band winning this award, expect to be wrong. X-Japan are a bunch of dicks. Go back to their origins; a speed/thrash band with a penchant for melodies releasing two solid albums in the late 80s/early 90s. Then they went all 'Black Album' on us and started playing hard rock, gradually taking preference for ballads over even their original harder tinge. After their fifth album they then 'disappeared,' except they didn't really, they just became lazy releasing a grand total of ten fucking compilation albums. They started drip feeding DVD's of random clips they'd done for TV shows and performances that someone happened to record (9 DVD's in total), four different box sets; to say they were milking their fans is putting it mildly. And then after ten years of all this shit, we finally get the first single of original material in all that time – apparently what we're basing this award on – and you know what? Once you get past the occasional instrumental which suggest they might ironically fit well in the 'comeback' category, and it's a god damn power ballad!

Who Should Have Won: Meshuggah

Ok, I'll go on record in saying they might have actually got one nomination right. Lord knows I'm not much of a fan, but there can be little disputing the fact that they actually play metal, and the fact that so many bands have started to employ their trademark 'djent' tone; the likes of Periphery, Tesseract, Animals as Leaders, Vildhartja, Monuments, Chimp Spanner and countless others that have emerged in the past year; to say they've been pretty god damn influential on the genre this past year sounds like a ridiculously obvious statement, and you don't get to be influential unless a fair few people actually like the shit you're doing.

That's it, I'm done ranting. If all this has taught you anything let's hope it's that awards shows are full of shit. I'm gonna get some sleep before I get carried away any further.


BreadGod said…
The Golden God Awards are a fucking joke. The sad thing is, people are eating this shit up.