Metal Hammer – Golden Gods Awards 2009

Flying Asian girl...
Jason Rouse
Five Finger Death Punch was The best new band in 2009
Nergal accepting "The best underground" Award
Machine Head accepting "The best label" on behalf of Roadrunner Records
Saxon receiving "The spirit of metal"
Rita Haney to hand over "The Dimebag Darrel shredder award"...
...and Herman Li & Sam Totman receiving it
Download Festival winning "The event of the year"
Amon Amarth's well-deserved "Breakthrough award"
Anvil are "Metal as Fuck"
Ishahn & Emperor gets a long overdue "Inspiration award"
Steve Vai is the Riff Lord 2009
Iron Maiden was honoured with both the award for "Best UK band"...
...and the Golden God award
(for concert reviews, find the band on the main site)

For some very lucky few, the evening started off with a sail-cruise down the river Thames accompanied by live shows by Anthrax, Trigger The Bloodshed, Clutch and Malefice.
As we were (only) lucky enough to get in and see the main show performed in the IndigO₂ of The O₂ arena, our evening started out by standing in a LONG line outside the venue, listening to how cool the cruise had been from some guys who had actually been on the boat. Nice guys, but not quite what we wanted to hear at the time.
The long line proved not to be a problem however, as it moved faster than any line I have ever been before and soon we stood with our first beer in hand and awaited the show in the excited crowd.

A theme had been picked for the night, called Urban Yakuza Samurai, and even though only a handful of the guests had stuck to the dress-code, the production was very nicely executed from Metal Hammers side. Stylish neon signs adorned the stage, the dragon/katana logo was shown in a large size together with Matrix style raining Asian letters on a large backdrop screen, and a pair of Asian girls performed some air acrobatics, as well as showing the award winner around the stage.
But let’s take the show one step at a time…

The first man to enter the stage was the promoter (at least I believe it was, correct me if I’m wrong) who laid down some ground-rules, like don’t throw beer at the £25000 video camera taping the show. After this it was time to introduce the actual compere of the night; Canadian stand-up comedian Jason Rouse.
Let me start by saying that I sincerely hope that none of you will ever live to see this atrocity to humour; I myself will regret to the day I die that I did not run for cover at the bar or the bathroom in between bands and award hand-outs more than I did. Or in the short version, he was God-awful!

Luckily that pain was short-lived for this time and soon enough the stage was cleared for the first band of the evening.
Saxon got the honour of opening up the musical part of the night, and what a way to do so! A damn-near perfect gig; it was the best I have seen of Saxon!
This meant the next band had some large shoes to fill, and I wasn’t sure that America’s DevilDriver (who I had never heard before) was up for the job. Boy was I wrong! The energy was turned to the max, and the audience was wild!

After this excellent musical intermission it was time for the first awards of the night to be handed out and the first one to go was the Best New Band award, This was presented by DevilDriver’s frontman Dez Fafara and the Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas, and the lucky winner was the California band Five Finger Death Punch.
Next up was the award for Best Underground Band and it was handed out by Hatebreed’s vocalist Jamey Jasta. The winner was none other than the evil from Poland; Behemoth, and accepting the award was their leading man Nergal (a.k.a. Adam Darski) with the comment “Underground? What the fuck?!”
Now it was time for the more business oriented award Best Label and though the competition was hard the winner was Roadrunner Records. Accepting the reward on account of the label was one of their main bands, Machine Head, and as they entered the stage there was a deafening chant of their name rising from the audience. It was not hard to see that the band was more liked than the label, and a short comment from the band about how dumb they had been as they dropped the band after their first album only to re-sign them before the second one brought laughter from the crowd.
Now it was time for the prestigious award called the Spirit Of Metal sponsored by Jägermeister, and the winner was none other than Britain’s own Saxon, who had proven their worth earlier this very evening.
Next award was probably every guitarist’s wet dream; the Dimebag Darrel Shredder Award. This was presented by Darrel’s widow Rita Haney and the winners were Herman Li and Sam Totman of Dragonforce.
After this the award was called Event Of The Year, and the winner was called Download Festival. Accepting this award was the guy in charge, and for some unknown reason a vulgar glam/sleaze band calling themselves Steel Panther.
Last of the awards to be handed out this time around was one sponsored by Guitar Hero, and it was called something as prestigious as the Legends Award. Winner of this fine award was another pride of Britain, namely Def Leppard who was sending us thanks via the big screen.

Now it was time for another well deserved musical intermission, and the band was none other than our house-favourites Amon Amarth, the thanks of which we were able to attend this very show. They laid down the house with their Viking themed death metal, and made it pretty hard for the following band to pick up the pieces.
The next band was compere Jason Rouse’s countrymen Anvil, and as I predicted with the last band, they did struggled a losing battle to pick up the pieces after the Viking horde. They were, for me at least, the musical low-point of the evening.

Back to the award hand-outs we had now reached the Best Breakthrough Act, and finally it was time for Amon Amarth to collect. Well deserved after their (so far) 17 years and 7 albums long career.
After this it was time for another prestigious award, this time called Best Album and this statuette went to Lamb Of God for their release “Wrath”. As Def Leppard, they also appeared on the large screen to say thanks.
Next award was amusingly entitled Metal As Fuck, and somehow Anvil got to take this one home.
Next one up was an award I think any musician would be extremely proud to be the owner of. Presented by Venom’s Conrad ‘Cronos’ Lant, the winner of the Inspiration Award was the former Norwegian black metal band Emperor. Accepting this award was Ishahn (a.k.a. Vegard Sverre Teitan) of said band.
The Riff Lord was presented by Herman Li, who had earlier this evening won the Shredder award. This time he was handing over however and the man on the receiving end was none other than Steve Vai, who had met up in person to accept his award.
Then it was time for Best International Band and Best Live Act. I name these two together because they were actually bagged by the same artist; Slipknot. Congratulations on being the only band this evening to achieve two awards.
Well, almost. See, the last two awards to be handed out also went to one band. The awards were Best U.K. Band and the one and only Golden Gods Award. It was no surprise to hear the name chanted by the audience as it was called out by Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Matt Heafy (Trivium); IRON MAIDEN. On came Nicko McBrain, Janick Gers and Bruce Dickinson. While McBrain was snogging the Asian dancing girl, Dickinson held a short speech basically thanking everyone for the honour.

As all the awards were handed out, there was really only one thing left on the agenda, and that was Trivium’s live performance. As the main act, they were handed about 25 minutes of stage time, compared to the other bands which had about 15 minutes each, and they used it well.
Afterwards, we were quickly shoved out of the arena, and with no apparent possibility of an after-party, the night ended in the foyer with a beer from the bar across the hall.

As a show I must say I was fairly impressed with the way things played out.
It ran on a tight schedule, but there was no one lagging behind. If I would change one thing, it would probably be to split the awards more up, handing some out between every live performance instead of bulking them together between every second.
And of course never letting Jason Rouse into the country again. If for no other reason, then for his own personal safety; already at his second or third entrance, people were beginning to throw their beer cups after him, and not everyone waited until they had emptied their contents…
But as I said, apart from that small thing I was entertained throughout the night, and impressed with the way things played out.

Text: Tobias Nilsson
Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

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