Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s contributors take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.

This week, the nominations for the 4th annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards were announced. And as usual, the announcement has garnered a mix response. While the award show does a better job than the Grammys in regards to recognizing metal, there are still many unimpressed by some of the nominees. Regardless, though, Golden Gods still remains as one of the few U.S. award shows to honor metal.

With that in mind, Melissa, Zach and Kodi decided to share their predictions on who will win each Golden Gods category this year in Headbangers’ Brawl. Check out who was nominated for a Golden God, and then check out their predictions after the jump.


Best Guitarists, presented by Epiphone:

Melissa:   I’m voting for Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel! Those dudes fucking rock so hardcore. Listening to Unto The Locust there is no way that they are going home empty handed.

Zach: This category could go in any way. However, I too am going with Robb Flynn and Phill Demmel. Their guitar work complements each other so well, especially on Unto The Locust. And seeing them live recently reminded me how awesome Flynn and Demmel truly are.

Kodi: It’s got to be Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel.  They’re freakishly in sync with each other live, and they were disgustingly on it through all of Unto the Locust.  I don’t know how anyone else in this category is close in terms of equal parts technicality and lasting impact from what they did together over the past year.


Best Drummer, presented by Drum Workshop:

M: I really respect Taylor Hawkins. I think Wasting Light was a solid piece of work and is completely worthy of putting him up for Best Drummer. However, Charlie Benante cannot lose. Worship Music is just over the top with the drum work.  His playing is tight and aggressive and just in your face. These are two amazing drummers, but I’m pulling for Benante!

Z: This might be one of the hardest categories for me to pick a winner in. All six drummers are phenomenal and worthy of winning. As much as I’d like to see Benante win this one, I think it might end up going Brann Dailor since this is the only nomination Mastodon has received (the greatest travesty of this year’s Golden Gods).

K: Tomas Haake didn’t even put out an album last year, and he’s the clear favorite for me on this list.  With that said, this category is super-competitive.  Brann Dailor would be my reflexive second choice, and like Zach said, it’s criminal that Mastodon isn’t up for anything else.  I’d also have to go with Melissa and say that Charlie Benante’s drumming on Worship Music is probably the most complete effort of his already phenomenal career.  If any of those three win, I’d be happy.


Best Vocalist, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink:

M: I don’t know about this one.  I’m going to throw a dart and where ever it lands…. Umm… I’ll go with Ivan Mood. Who knows. Next question.

Z: Out of all 11 categories, this is the one that makes me scratch my head in confusion. Can anyone explain why Randy Blythe is NOT nominated? Out of the six nominated, though, I’d say (knowing Revolver’s readership) Jonathan Davis or Jeremy Spencer has the best shot at winning. Who out of the six should win, though? How about our favorite singer Sebastian Bach?

K: Apparently, my choices are Sebastian Bach, a row of vocalists I’d rather knock down and poop on than listen to, and an American Idol contestant.  Choose your own adventure?


Album of the Year, presented by Marshall Amplification:

M: Holy fuck. I hope to god it’s Anthrax. The office is dead tired of listening to it so much. Well, I should rephrase that. The office is tired of hearing me replay that album so much. How is Korn even nominated for this category?! They should be fired. Why? One word: Skrillex.  Womp womp wompwompwompwomp.

Z: I really hope “album of the year” is given to either Anthrax’s Worship Music or Lamb Of God’ Resolution. With that said, though, I sadly expect Korn’s The Path Of Totality to win. I agree that it should not even be nominated (especially in place of Mastodon’s The Hunter…seriously, how did that not get nominated?!). However, all of the reasons why it shouldn’t win can be applied to why it shouldn’t have been named “album of the year” by Revolver Magazine last December. But guess what…that’s exactly what happened!

K: Worship Music.  But Zach’s right about Mastodon; not having The Hunter on here is like disqualifying Usain Bolt before an Olympic track event.


Best Live Band, presented by Samson/Zoom:

 M: Another tough call. I just saw Axl and Friends the other night and they were pretty entertaining. Of course, if Slash and the actual Guns were there instead of hired guns, then we’ve got a best live band. I’m going to say that Foo Fighters may slide by with this win.

Z: I think this will be a good way to recognize Foo Fighters. It’s no secret that I love Foo Fighters, and Dave Grohl will always get metal cred. Plus, Wasting Light is arguably their heaviest album to date. With that said, I still find it kind of awkward for them to possibly win “album of the year” at a metal/hard rock award show. Seeing how fantastic they are live, I think this award would be the most fitting. At the same time, though, it would be a little uneasy for me to see anyone besides Tool win the award.

K: This category is TOUGH!  Judas Priest vs. Tool is a straight-up brain-bender.  I’m giving the hallucinogenic arena-prog edge to Tool, but I can’t help thinking that Rob Halford’s going to come tearing in on his motorcycle and run me over if I’m too enthusiastic about that.  Foo Fighters would be a good pick, but I’d rather see something a little more metal take the crown.


Most Metal Athlete:

M: You have GOT to be kidding me, right? I don’t know any of these dudes.  NEXT!

Z: Wait, why is Dirk Nowitzki nominated for the “most metal athlete” award? Seriously, why?! I guess I’ll go with CM Punk, but if any pro wrestling legend should’ve been nominated, it’s the Ultimate Warrior. What other wrestler has been willing to whoop Asking Alexandia’s asses in boot camp? Maybe he didn’t get nominated cause of his attempt at roasting Zakk Wylde?

K: I feel like Bloodclot from Cro-Mags could kick every ass on this list.  Pass!


Comeback of the Year, presented by Eagle Rock Entertainment:

M: Anthrax is high on my holy wow list, and I do Worship Music. However, I think this one should go to Ministry. DUDE. I’m turning down Metallica’s Fest in Atlantic City to see Ministry!

Z: I’ve said it so many times already, but I’ll say it again. Anthrax hands down had the best comeback of the year thanks to an amazing album and the Big 4 shows. With that said, I have a hunch that Slipknot are going to win. Even though their first U.S. tour since the passing of bassist Paul Gray isn’t happening till this Summer, Slipknot’s loyal fans are probably going to come out and vote big for this one.

K: The jury’s out on Ministry until we hear Relapse in full.  But even if it’s one of their best, Anthrax kills everyone in this category by a mile.  I’d consider Van Halen if not for the fact that A Different Kind of Truth, while surprisingly awesome, is made by-and-large of old material fleshed out and made new.  That Anthrax record is fresh, sounds completely modern and outclasses 90 percent of the thrash revival bands they once inspired, standing comfortably alongside their classic 80s material.


Riff Lord:

M: The chalice that will be presented to the Lord of Riffs shall be Sir Scott Ian.  The obvious picks would be Slash or Eddie. But I think it’s going to go to Scott. I have seen him play so many times and I am always amazed. His badassery is just an unstoppable driving force.

Z: Seeing Scott Ian get the award would definitely be killer. However, I have a feeling it’s going to go to Slash. I’d like to say that he’ll get it because he’s still a legend and influential guitarist, but I think it helps his chances that he’s performing at the award show.

K: Scott Ian.  I’m not trying to fanboy on Worship Music here, and I love Dave Grohl, but they’re in completely different categories as rhythm guitarists.  Also, I honestly hate Zakk Wylde.  I’d be OK with Slash winning, though his riff writing is kind of shrug-worthy these days.


Paul Gray Best Bassist, presented by Dean Markley:

M: Wait, isn’t there a rule that you have to be at least 16 to be nominated for an award or 21 to marry a groupie? Sorry Wolfie, you’ve got years ahead of you. I think David Ellefson will take home this prize. His bass work is the glue that just holds the album together.

Z: Finally the bassists get some love! I’m going to bet on Frank Bello winning. He is one of the unsung heroes in Anthrax, and it’s about time he gets some recognition for it! With that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Anthony or Nikki Sixx get it. Anthony winning over Wolfgang would be a big middle finger to Van Halen, and Sixx is after all performing that night as well.

K: Frank Bello is honestly my favorite member of Anthrax, and I’m a guitarist.  If he doesn’t get the nod though, I’d be perfectly fine with Michael Anthony winning just to spite the Van Halens for not making it a full reunion, though I have to admit that Wolfgang tears up on the new album.  That said, Wolfie shouldn’t win this, as he hasn’t fully stepped out of his famous family’s shadow just yet.  David Ellefson, however, can still squint at everyone, play the intro to “Peace Sells” and laugh in amazement at his own badassery.  I’m picking Bello, but it’s a trickier call than anticipated.


Best International Band, presented by Musicians Institute:

M: RAMMSTEIN! Seriously!? What did you think I was going to say? I didn’t travel all the way to Germany to see Pussy play. (See what I did there… Bram Joke.) These guys are so fucking insane. Till must clock in at 300lbs of solid muscle and he breaths fire. FIRE! These guys are MONSTERS! FIRE Breathing MONSTERS! They will win for sure. MONSTERS!

Z: Rammstein definitely have this award in the bag. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Revolver created this category just so they could give them some award. With that said, I sure would love to see Sepultura win.

K: Melissa’s going to vote for Rammstein at least 100 times from separate computers and IP addresses.  Your vote doesn’t matter, and everyone else can go home.


Most Dedicated Fans:

M: This may go to Avenged or the Brides. I saw the Black Veil Brides last summer and man, are those fans dedicate! To dress up like them in 100 degree heat while the show is in a parking lot festival in the middle of NJ? Yup. Dedication.

Z: If last year’s Golden Gods proved anything, it’s that Avenged Sevenfold’s fans are not only loyal but also regularly read Revolver Magazine. Black Veil Brides or Slipknot’s fanbase might come through and snatch the award, but I’d bet money on A7X winning this one.

K: Avenged Sevenfold’s fans are relentless and have been for their whole career.  If this were 2003 though, I’d probably vote for HIM here.