Trolls, Booze and Videotapes – Golden Gods Awards 2012 Review
Words by Nicholas Holmes
Photos by Tess Donohoe www.tessdonohoe.com
After the mud-bath that was 10th Download Festival 2012, hundreds of crazy metal-heads made the annual pilgrimage down the M1 to top off the weekend at Metal Hammer magazine’s infamous Golden Gods Awards, which also celebrated its 10th event. Held once more at London O2’s Indigo2 venue, the ceremony included incredible live performances, occasionally ludicrous acceptance speeches, and lots and lots of booze.
The England v France Euro 2012 game meant the O2’s bars and pubs were rammed with general public. There were surprised and bemused looks as a contingent of long-haired, tattooed and in some cases already inebriated folk lurched along the red carpet unfurled in one of the building’s main corridors. “Who is that?” asked some as they moved hurriedly on. Then someone they recognised. “It’s Bill Bailey! What’s he doing here?!” Good question.
As arrivals including Bloodstock headliners Machine (fuckin’) Head and recently re-united Ugly Kid Joe stopped to pose for pictures and take questions from waiting press, Swedish satanic mob Watain kicked things off in fiery fashion for those already inside. Vegetarians were pleased that their infamous butcher’s shop-worth of animal parts were absent, but they still put on a pyro-fuelled performance to celebrate being crowned Best Underground Band. There were also short but storming sets by combat-fatigued Swedish metallers Sabaton, New York hardcore heavyweights Biohazard, fantastically blasphemous and theatrical Ghost, and US thrash legends Anthrax, who claimed the Breakthrough Artist and Metal As Fuck gongs respectively.
Some awards acceptances were equally dramatic and increasingly deranged, with thoroughly blootered Bill Bailey screaming that he has “evil in his eyes” as he received Spirit of Metal, and steaming drunk Robb Flynn accepting the Riff Lord award with Phil Demmel, caused much hilarity by declaring himself “Lord Browneye!!!”, and then dismantling parts of Anthrax’s stage set. Just to clarify, “Lord Browneye” is apparently a drink comprising vodka and cola. He claimed said title was bestowed originally by Metallica. Stop sniggering at the back!
A brief moment of sober-ish thought occurred when Roadrunner Records UK team accepted the Inspiration award, in the week that its British office closes. There were genuine tears and heartfelt hugs onstage. The night’s host, Fozzy’s Chris Jerico then made an impassioned plea to the audience, to not let such things happen again by paying for the music that they love. The response was overwhelmingly supportive, with the already vocal crowd chanting the label’s name noisily as the RR team saluted and left the stage.
Another poignant moment came at the end, when Manowar’s Joey DeMaio accepted The Golden God Award. He spoke of his first visit to Britain with his late friend Ronnie James Dio and meeting his idols Black Sabbath, wishing Tony Iommi good luck in his battle with cancer. There was an obvious awkwardness as, knowing how his band polarise opinion, he thanked their fans and left briskly without stopping to pose for photographers.
Possibly the best and briefest acceptance speech of the night came from Papa Emeritus of Ghost who declared, “If it was not for me, I would not be here today!”
Full list of winners:
Best Underground Band: Watain
Best New Band: The Defiled
Dimebag Darrell “Shredder” Award: Devin Townsend
Best UK Band: Saxon
Best Live Band: Rammstein
Best Event: Iron Maiden Conquer The UK (Again)
Best International Band: Lamb of God
Metal As Fuck: Anthrax
Breakthrough Artist: Ghost
Spirit of Hammer: Bill Bailey
Best Album: Mastodon “The Hunter”
Best Drummer: Vinnie Paul
Inspiration: Roadrunner Records
Icons: Fear Factory
Riff Lord: Robb Flynn & Phil Demmel – Machine Head
The Golden God: Joey DeMaio – Manowar
Video of the Year: Trivium “In Waves”
A special presentation was also made to Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor at Download Festival on Saturday 9th June. His set was interrupted by Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas and festival organiser Andy Copping to give the singer an award for Best Download Festival Moment, after a poll via the event’s website. The voters chose the Iowa band’s 2009 headlining performance at Donington Park, which turned out to be the last UK festival show with late bass player Paul Gray.
Check out the big moment here:
London lunatics The Defiled demonstrated their drunken delight at being voted Best New Band.
Thinking man’s guitar hero Devin Townsend pondered the meaning of being the Dimebag Darrell “Shredder”.
Saxon’s Biff Byford celebrated winning Best UK Band by gatecrashing Chris Jerico’s moment with the Golden Gods girls!
Fetish model Masuimi Max showed off the award for Best Live Act, deservedly won by Rammstein. She presented and then accepted the gong on behalf of the reclusive Germans. They might be sorry they did not attend after all!
Lamb of God won Best International Band and were clearly chuffed. They actually smile sometimes. Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone.
The Papa and his ghouls gave out blessings from Beelzebub to celebrate their Breakthrough Artist award. Amen.
The troll escaped from under his bridge, got stupendously smashed and made off with the Spirit of Hammer gong. Bill Bailey rocks, yesssshhhhh shirrrr!!!
Dimebag’s brother and fellow Pantera leg-end Vinnie Paul raised yet another glass with event host Chris Jerico. Best drummer? Hell yeah!
Dino and Burton from Fear Factory put their drinks down long enough to collect the Icon trophy.
Working with Ozzy Osbourne, Gus G should be well used to crazy antics. Machine (fuckin’!) Head’s Phil Demmel shared the Riff Lord honour with his erstwhile and equally booze-sodden colleague Robb “Lord Browneye” Flynn.
For more gory details about this year’s Golden Gods and lots more besides, visit: