Happening this week: The 2018 Heavy Music Awards

So here’s all the deets on nominations, performances and more.

Following its launch in March 2017, the Heavy Music Awards – the only fully independent, fully democratic programme of its kind – has established itself as one of the most exciting events on the heavy music calendar. Earlier this year, at a packed launch event at Gorilla in Manchester, the nominees for this year’s awards were announced.

This week, on Thursday to be exact, the Heavy Music Awards 2018 will crown the winners of categories such as best album, best live band, best festival, best producer and more. So sit back as we take you through everything you need to know about this year’s awards ceremony.

Tell me more about the award show!

Last year’s inaugural ceremony took place at the House of Vans in London, returning to the capital this week, the 2018 ceremony is moving north to Camden’s iconic KOKO. On 23 August your winners will be crowned with an epic line-up of live entertainment included. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for live updates on the evening.

Who’s playing?

California hardcore punks The Fever 333 will be headlining the Heavy Music Awards with support from Milk Teeth, Black Peaks and Coldbones. The Fever 333 recently made their European debut at Download Festival, packing out the Avalanche stage and putting on one of the most energetic and memorable shows in the festival’s history. With a powerful socio-political message and the music to back it up, the band have rapidly picked up critical acclaim and are set to bring the curtain down on HMA18 in style.

What are the categories?

As far as award categories go, Heavy Music Awards hit the nail on the head, ticking off all the important boxes, including best photographer!

The organizers have also given the categories a little reworking to underline their philosophy of giving exposure to up-and-coming artists alongside the established heavyweights. So they’ve split the Best Breakthrough Band category in two: to create Best UK Breakthrough Band and Best International Breakthrough Band.

In addition, with more and more festival goers travelling abroad, they have opened nominations for Best Festival to the whole world. Take a look at all the categories:

  • Best Album
  • Best UK Band
  • Best International Band
  • Best Live Band
  • Best UK Breakthrough Band
  • Best International Breakthrough Band
  • Best Album Artwork (Presented by The Pit)
  • Best Festival
  • Best Photographer
  • Best Producer

Who’s nominated?

The HMAs shine a spotlight on artists, producers, venues, festivals and designers whose incredible talent deserves the attention of the wider world. To achieve this, they have a judging panel of several hundred key music industry figures nominating the finalists, before the public votes on the winners. So here’s your 2018 nominees:

Best Album
Code Orange – Forever (Roadrunner Records – Produced by Kurt Ballou & Will Yip)
Converge – The Dusk In Us (Epitaph Records / Deathwish Inc – Produced by Kurt
Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms (Roadrunner Records – Produced by Neil D. Kennedy)
Enter Shikari – The Spark (Ambush Reality – Produced by David Kosten & Rou Reynolds)
Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand (Reprise Records – Produced by Brendan O’Brien)
The Menzingers – After The Party (Epitaph Records – Produced by Will Yip)
While She Sleeps – You Are We (Independent – Produced by While She Sleeps)

Best UK Band
Arcane Roots (Easy Life)
Architects (Epitaph Records)
Creeper (Roadrunner Records)
Enter Shikari (Ambush Reality)
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes (International Death Cult)
Marmozets (Roadrunner Records)
While She Sleeps (Independent)

Best International Band
Code Orange (Roadrunner Records)
Converge (Epitaph Records)
Mastodon (Reprise Records)
The Menzingers (Epitaph Records)
Metallica (Blackened Recordings)
Parkway Drive (Epitaph Records)
Trivium (Roadrunner Records)

Best Live Band
Presented by Jackson Guitars
Architects (Epitaph Records)
Enter Shikari (Ambush Reality)
Every Time I Die (Epitaph Records)
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes (International Death Cult)
Ghost (Loma Vista Recordings)
Gojira (Roadrunner Records)
While She Sleeps (Independent)

Best UK Breakthrough Band
Bad Sign (Basick Records)
Conjurer (Holy Roar Records)
Employed To Serve (Holy Roar Records)
Holding Absence (Sharptone Records)
Loathe (Sharptone Records)
Milk Teeth (Roadrunner Records)
Venom Prison (Prosthetic Records)

Best International Breakthrough Band
Brutus (Hassle Records)
Can’t Swim (Pure Noise Records)
Knocked Loose (Pure Noise Records)
Palaye Royale (Sumerian Records)
Sløtface (Propeller Recordings)
Stand Atlantic (Rude Records)
Waterparks (Equal Vision Records)

Best Album Artwork (Presented by The Pit)
Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper (Profound Lore Records – Artwork by Mariusz Lewandowski)
Converge – The Dusk In Us (Epitaph Records / Deathwish Inc – Artwork by Jacob Bannon)
Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms (Roadrunner Records – Artwork by Nicky Barkla)
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin (International Death Cult – Artwork by Dean Richardson / Studio Yuck)
Mastodon – Emperor of Sand (Reprise Records – Artwork by Donny Phillips)
Northlane – Mesmer (UNFD – Artwork by Jacques Duquette / Fvckrender)
Sikth – The Future In Whose Eyes? (Millennium Night – Artwork by Meats Meier)

Best Festival
2000trees Festival (United Kingdom)
Arc Tan Gent (United Kingdom)
Bloodstock Open Air (United Kingdom)
Download Festival (United Kingdom)
Hellfest Open Air (France)
Slam Dunk Festival (United Kingdom)
UK Tech Fest (United Kingdom)

Best Photographer
Corinne Cumming
Ben Gibson
Joshua Halling
Paul Harries
Tina Korhonen
Jennifer McCord
Ed Mason

Best Producer
Kurt Ballou
Romesh Dodangoda
Neil D Kennedy
Dan Lancaster
Brendan O’Brien
Will Putney
Will Yip

Who won last year?

Last year’s inaugural Heavy Music Awards highlighted the scene’s brightest talents and the winners, chosen by industry judges and public vote, are true trailblazers in their categories.

Best Album 
Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (Epitaph / Producers: Fredrik Nordström + Henrik Udd)

The H
Ashley Maile

Best UK Band 
Black Sabbath

Best International Band 
Gojira

Best Live Band
Enter Shikari

Best Breakthrough Band 
I Prevail

Best Album Artwork
Ghost – Popestar (Zbigniew M Bielak)

Best Producer
Fredrik Nordström & Henrik Udd

Best Photographer
Ben Gibson

Best Festival
Download Festival

Best Venue
O2 Academy Brixton

What else do I need to know?

There’s also a pretty sick poster you can buy, with all profits donated to our charity partners Centrepoint, LoveMusic HateRacism, Nordoff Robbins, Safe Gigs for Women and War Child UK (side note: what an amazing selection of charities, all doing invaluable work in their fields!). The posters will be printed on 457mic Kraft card, are hand-numbered and strictly limited to 50 – so be quick, they’re only £20!

Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners as well as full report on the awards show.