After making their debut at the House of Vans in 2017, the Heavy Music Awards quickly gained traction and has become widely known and respected by people in the scene. This year it was held at the O2 Forum Kentish Town in London and featured a respectable roster of guests to present the nominees and reveal the winners while being hosted by Laura Jane Grace.
The event aims to recognise and promote not only bands, but also other people and things that are part of the heavy music scene, such as photographers, album artwork creators, festivals, producers, etc. A panel of around 600 people put together a list of their three favourites per category which in turn resulted in the seven nominees per category for which the public alone was able to vote.
These were the winners of each category:
Best album artwork
Ghost – Prequelle, by Zbigniew M. Bielak
Best live band
Best international breakthrough band
Bloodstock Open Air
Best international band
Best UK breakthrough band
Best UK band
Bring Me The Horizon
Architects – Holy Hell
The H award
Congratulations to all the winners, and in particular to Architects who managed to bag two awards. Some were obvious winners even before they were announced, others I must say caught me completely by surprise, in particular Bring Me The Horizon as the best UK band, given they put out a very divisive album and were running up against some very big names such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
There were very few dead moments in the evening, with each category being presented faster than a Napalm Death song, and in between there were full set performances by Delaire The Liar, Nova Twins, Loathe and Cancer Bats. My highlights for the performances were Nova Twins who packed quite a lot of groove and didn’t spare it on attitude and audience interaction, as well as Cancer Bats who manage to put on a great performance each time I see them. The other acts, I must say, were not my cup of tea but were certainly enjoyed by the younger audience.