The Dark Side Rules At This Year’s Golden Gods!
Words by Christa Ktorides & Nick Holmes
All photos by Tess Donohoe
Monday night saw the Indigo2 in London host the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards 2014 and predictably it was a combination of ear-splitting shredding, scantily clad hostesses and beer soaked flooring.
The 12th annual event once again elevated itself from the usual industry backslapping of most ceremonies by inviting hundreds of fans to attend. No pretence of glamour and gossip, just plenty of head-banging, live music and shambolic speeches.
After openers Behemoth brought some Polish death metal darkness, not to mention some alarmingly high flames that looked millimetres away from the Indigo2’s curtains, Metal Hammer Editor-in-Chief, Alexander Milas, made a moving tribute to GWAR frontman Dave Brockie, better known as Oderus Urungus, who passed away in March.
Half of Steel Panther, guitarist Satchel and drummer Stix, took to the stage to present the first chunk of awards. Anyone that is familiar with the band will know what to expect. Jokes about shagging hostesses backstage and Scarface levels of cocaine taking. Amongst the showboating some awards were actually given out (full list off winners below) with the more significant gongs saved for later in the show to be presented by Michael Starr and Lexxi Foxx.
The Wildhearts’ Ginger presented the Inspiration award to Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe, crediting the band with inspiring the likes of Guns N’ Roses. The Finnish front-man had his speech shamefully cut short thanks to time constraints but didn’t seem too perturbed. He was later seen leaping and high-kicking backstage for the photographers!
Aerosmith legend Joe Perry made a surprise appearance to present German guitarist Michael Schenker with the Icon award. Schenker seemed genuinely chuffed and thanked his family including his brother, Rudi, of Scorpions fame. There were one or two clueless looking youngsters in the crowd but for the most part he was welcomed with the respect he deserved.
Other winners included absentees Iron Maiden and Fozzy’s Chris Jericho accepted the Best UK Band award on his behalf. Norwegian folk/traditional group Wardruna, who made their highly praised UK live debut last October, won Best Underground Band. Devin Townsend deservedly won “King of the Internet” and took a break from mixing the new Ziltoid album in LA to send a video greeting:
Hammer and Team Rock’s own Dark Lord, Milas, was back to hand out the final award of the night, the Spirit of Hammer. It’s given to someone who’s attitude or career is deemed in similar vein to that of the metal community. Past winners include the likes of Christopher Lee and Brian Blessed and Bill Bailey and this year’s recipient was none-more metal, “more machine than man” even.
Accompanied onstage by a garrison of stormtroopers and bounty hunter Boba Fett, Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse made his way to the podium on crutches after recent knee surgery. The beaming Bristolian could not hide his joy at receiving the honour. He led the crowd in an amusing song to the Star Wars theme about how the films have paid off his mortgage and left the stage to chants of, “Vader!!! Vader!!!” The Dark Side of the Force was strong this night.
With Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt taking home The Golden God it was left to Steel Panther to close the show with a typically juvenile and rousing, showering expletives, boob jokes and confetti. Partied like it’s the end of the world? Yep! Until next year…
Full list of 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: Behemoth – The Satanist
Icon, presented by Kraken Rum: Michael Schenker
Spirit of Hammer, presented by Jagermeister: David Prowse – Darth Vader
The Golden God, presented by Orange Amplification: Mikael Akerfeldt
Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto V
Video of the Year, presented by Scuzz TV: Steel Panther – Party Like It’s The End Of The World
Legendary German guitarist Michael Schenker was all smiles even if some of the younger crowd had no idea who he was! Ask your dads, kiddies!
From conquering cancer to surviving Russian jail, nothing breaks the mighty Behemoth!
Fozzy frontman missed dinner?! Chris Jericho takes a bite of Iron Maiden’s Best UK Band award!
Dave Prowse aka Darth Vader proves he is THE Dark Lord. Best not let him find your lack of faith disturbing!
Strike a pose! Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe was definitely “Up Around The Bend” after receiving his gong!
Periphery’s Misha Mansoor was a very happy chappy to be recognised for his riffing prowess.
Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth and Bloodbath is this year’s Golden God.
The other Dark Lord, Hammer editor and Team Rock DJ Alexander Milas gets to grip with glam minions! The potty-mouthed Panthers even won an award for Best Video? Yes, really.
Pantera’s iconic bassist Rex Brown showed up and looked rather like Iggy Pop. Kind of. Too cool!