All Photos by Tom Wallace Alice in Chains gives the international symbol

Devil-signs on the black carpet in front of the Nokia Live concert hall April 7 were all over as fans and heavy metal music media scrambled to shoot top metal musicians as they made their way into the Epiphone Revolver Golden Gods Awards, presented by Honda Fury. It was an all-out dark night, with real thunder and rain, for the inaugural event featuring the best of metal. “Revolver” girls with spiked hair, tatts, and other “attributes” were on-hand to escort bands such as Slayer, Suicide Silence, Alice in Chains, Korn, Hatebreed, and others into the show which took off at a fast pace thanks to the night’s host, comedian Brian Posehn (from “The Sarah Silverman Program”).


At one point, I thought that the most surreal moment had to be when Slipknot (in face masks) were standing behind me at the bar waiting to get a drink in the VIP lounge pre-show, while pro skater/snowboarder Shaun White, there to pick up his Most Metal Athlete award, sauntered by. But it got even better, when fans started moshing to Hatebreed’s performance, and a group of Japanese music agents seated next to me started rambling fast and snapping undercover pics when the newbie metal band, Suicide Silence plunged into their new-school metal/punk riffs. Just then, Jonathan Davis from Korn popped out on stage and thanked Revolver, Epiphone, Nokia Live, and Honda Fury for hosting the first-ever American metal awards show. As he put it, “It’s nice to not have to go to Europe for these things anymore.”

As any fan of metal knows, our brethren in Europe often hold metal musicians in the highest circles of fandom compared with the USA. Perhaps it’s a reflection of the economy, the bitter after taste of lies and deceit, but the Golden Gods popularity in Los Angeles that night, matched by the hype surrounding the upcoming Rockstar Metal Mayhem Tour, indicate that metal is fully back, pushing new trends among an entirely new generation. Suicide Silence, All That Remains, and Protest the Hero probably best represent such a crossover.

Hatebreed played live at the Golden Gods and simply ruled

Other obvious highlights of the Golden Gods Awards were Jonathan Davis’ exceptional introduction to Ozzy Osbourne, who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award. Coming out on stage, Ozzy received a standing ovation as he launched into what metal meant to him and how much he appreciated the fact that an American audience was honoring his genre.

The show ended with a mind-blowing performance from Megadeath, which had all of the metal bands out of the VIP room and into the stands watching to see their ear-splitting performance. Late late at night, the party kept on going with another super VIP after-party on the Nokia Live terrace where we saw top old-school metal bands like Anthrax mingling with the new guys like Protest the Hero and Killswitch Engage, and Marta Peterson (Bleeding Through) lounging as she admired her award for Hottest Chick in Metal (fully deserved).

Overall, it was a night that would not easily be forgotten, and not just because our ears were ringing, but because finally metal had an awards show that was greatly appreciated, marking a new step in an old-school genre for a new generation of music fans.


Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead

Tom Araya and Kerry King from Slayer were at the awards with Kerry King, along with Jeff Hanneman winning the awards for Most Mind-blowing Guitarists. Slayer will be headlining with Marilyn Manson on this summer’s Rockstar Mayhem Fest Tour.

Protest the Hero won the Most Viral Video Award

Other winners included:
Most Awesomely Good Drummer: Vinnie Paul (Hellyeah/Pantera)
Best Underground Band: Isis
Metal Industry Award: The Rainbow Bar & Grills
Honorary Headbanger: Kat Von D
Golden God: Dave Mustaine (Megadeath)
Monster Riff of the Year: Slipknot
Best Live Band: Slipknot
Best International Band: Dethklok
Reader’s Choice Award: Acacia Strain