And just like that, the 6th Annual Revolver Magazine Golden Gods Awards are in the books. And yeah, it almost seems like they’re engineered just to troll metal fans and appeal to the lowest common denominator of metal fan. However, they’re good for debating, so with the winners announced, we thought it might be appropriate to give our post-mortem on this year’s ceremony winners, and not just because Slayer played. Here we go:
Bram: Let’s run everything down. I’m ok with the first two awards. The last time Black Sabbath put an album out with Ozzy, Revolver wasn’t publishing, and there wasn’t a Circus awards show. As lackluster as 13 might have ultimately been, it was still a Black Sabbath album with Ozzy singing. And as far as actual singers, Josh Homme is the best crooner, and as fun as it might have been if Papa Emeritus II won, Queens put out a great album and there’s something kind of almost soothing bout Homme’s voice. It’d be hard to call QOTSA remotely metal at this point, however, as they’ve moved far beyond their stoner rock beginnings when they formed out of the ashes of Kyuss.
I’m not sure why the Avenged guys won best guitarists in a year where an architect of metal (Iommi) and one of the best purely technical axemen (Petrucci) were nominated, but Avenged are a massive metal band, so that makes a degree of sense. Same with Arin Ilejy winning best drummer. As far as Geezer not winning for “best bassist,” his bass lines were one of the high points of the Sabbath album, and he’s one of the few bassists that people know by name. Zombie best live act? He puts on a great show as far as a spectacle, but he’s had about a one octave vocal range since the beginning of his career, and he only winds up singing about half of his songs. Oh well.
I’m pretty ‘meh’ on the Song of the Year. I suppose the FFDP song is ok if you take out the fact that the verse is the same as Ozzy Osbourne’s “The Ultimate Sin,” and I can’t say it’s any better or worse than the other songs nominated. The film and video award is a weird mashup of videos and theatrical releases, with no rhyme or reason to it. Guess I’ll have to watch the Pierce the Veil video, which will require listening to Pierce the Veil.
I’m pretty happy with Twelve Foot Ninja winning best new talent, but I would have been just as happy if Crosses or Deafheaven picked it up. As far as Comeback, as much as I love Deep Purple, I wasn’t aware they came back, and Carcass and Sabbath got robbed. I have no comment on Most Metal Athlete, and the Most Dedicated Fans award is borne out by the guitarists and drummer awards. Next?
Anthony: For Album of the Year, I was actually pulling for Volbeat. Maybe it’s because I like to see an underdog win. I think their latest release was an outstanding album, and a great addition to a great catalog. Maybe a bit too novelty to win album of the year, though. I’m not unhappy that Sabbath won it at all. 13 was a big album. It might not have been my favorite, but it was their time to be in the sun. When it came to vocalist, I honestly don’t think any of the guys nominated are the pinnacle of vocal perfection. They’re all great in their own way, and have their own appeal, but I don’t quite think any deserve the title of ‘best vocalist.’ If I had to choose, I would have liked to see Papa win.
Bram summed up my thoughts on best guitarist. Iommi created metal with his riffs, and John Petrucci is one of the most technical guitarists bar none. I really don’t think Petrucci gets the credit he deserves. One of those two should have won. No question. For bassist, Geezer Butler was really the only choice, for me. And I feel bad saying that, because I wouldn’t have wanted the awards to be a Sabbath worship ceremony, but he was easily the best choice. Once again, I was puzzled by the best drummer award. I would have loved to see Vinny Appice win it. I’m a huge fan of Vinny’s work, and since Vinny always said the guys in Heaven & Hell didn’t let him play to his full potential on The Devil You Know, I think his work with Kill Devil Hill was a great way to show the skills he still absolutely has. Mike Portnoy is also a very obvious choice for this spot, considering how technical he is too.
When it came to best live performance, I think Rob Zombie, Slayer, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Gojira all would have been great choices. I wouldn’t have been unhappy if any of those four won. I thought Avenged Sevenfold would have been a good choice for song of the year. “Hail to the King” was a song that was pretty metal from a band that is often called a ‘gateway’ band for other metal acts. I wanted to see Behemoth win best film or video, simply for the fact that I always enjoy seeing black metal bands winning more mainstream contests like this. It was cool to see Twelve Foot Ninja win best new talent. I think Heaven’s Basement could have won it too.
Deep Purple really kept their comeback on the down low, like Bram also mentioned, so…I’m not sure how they won. Sabbath is, again, the obvious choice for this award, but I’m okay with Purple winning it. I don’t really see the point of most metal athlete, so I have no comment on it either. When it comes to dedicated fanbase, I think it’s laughable for any of those bands to beat out Slayer, considering fans carve their logo into their arms and then set the wound on fire. The only metal fans that rival Slayer fans may be Manowar fans, but that’s a whole different boat. Overall, there were so many confusing and questionable choices, but there were also a few deserved victories in the mix too. We have to take the awards for what they are, I guess.
Chris: Remember five years ago, when the metal world rejoiced at the announcement that Revolver was creating a metal awards show? Seems like quite a long time ago, honestly. The past five years of Golden Gods have only served to reinforce my view that all awards shows are only designed to cater to the masses, and not judge actual talent or deserved recognition. The fact that Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Black Sabbath, and Korn were the only bands to appear in more than two categories backs up that claim. But enough ranting.
Like Bram, I am fine with the first two awards. Black Sabbath with Ozzy’s vocals deserves Album of the Year from the standpoint of paying tribute to the elders of metal, and Josh Homme is the most talented pure singer of the vocalists presented in the group. While I would have loved to see Jesse Leach from Killswitch Engage get some recognition in that group for his monster performance on Disarm the Descent, I’ll take what I can get. The A7X guys winning best guitarists is lip service to A7X fans, but I’ve come to expect that from the Golden Gods over time, even though I’d give that award to Iommi or Cantrell in a heartbeat. Best bassist is the same situation – Geezer was the best in the group, but the 5FDP fans needed to get something (even though they got another winner further down the list). Repeat that for best drummer, although in reality, that award could have gone to either Chris Adler, Matt Halpern, or Vinny Appice – they all gave amazing performances on their respective albums.
Rob Zombie winning best live band makes sense as far as a live spectacle goes, because he goes all the way to make his live show interesting. But the best live performance, without the aid of visual effects and stage props, belongs to either Lamb of God or Gojira. There were no good choices for Song of the Year, so I’ll accept the 5FDP song since it also features Rob Halford. I don’t understand the logic behind the Best Video and Film choice, so I’m ignoring it as a lapse in logic. Best New Talent was the correct choice with Twelve Foot Ninja, although Deafheaven and Crosses would have also been great selections. Carcass was the CLEAR winner for best comeback, and the fact that they weren’t selected is a crime against metal. I have no opinion on the Most Metal Athlete, and as for Most Dedicated Fans, all I will say is this: have A7X’s fans ever booed an opening band off stage through sheer chanting of the band’s name? I don’t think so. SLAY-ER! SLAY-ER!
In short, the Golden Gods are turning into a bit of a yawn. I hope that the organizers start realizing their mistakes and instead decide to recognize unique and talented bands in the future, instead of just the biggest commercial successes.
Matt: I was pretty set on Sabbath winning album of the year, so no surprise there. I was hoping Papa Emeritus II would take home “Best Vocalist” but Josh Homme taking the award is still solid.