It’s that time of the year again when bands, producers, photographers and festivals alike battle it out to take home their very own HMA, but who will be victorious this year? We at VultureHound decided to place our bets on who we think will be the winners.
BEST ALBUM (Presented by EMP)
Parkway Drive – Reverence
It’s been a trying time for the Byron Bay quintet. Plagued by recent losses of life of those close to them, the band took their personal tragedies and channeled them into 10 stunningly valuable tracks. A band that have battled fiercely in their personal lives and managed to turn the pain into an important mark on the world in the form of Reverence make for our top pick for Best Album.
BEST UK BAND (Presented by Spotify)
There aren’t many bands who have had as tough a time as Architects in the last few years. The tragic loss of guitarist and founding member Tom Searle to Cancer was one that shook music fans to the core, the world over. What could have been the end for Architects instead turned them into something stronger and more determined to do what they do, for Tom. The band have steadily come leaps and bounds from where they started back in 2004 and are now a household name in Metalcore; solidly deserving of Best UK Band.
BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND (Presented by The Pit)
Never heard of crab-core? Google it; we promise you won’t be disappointed. Caleb Shomo has come a long way since his days in Attack Attack!, and as much as we’ve sometimes longed for the simpler days of dyed jet-black hair, snakebite piercings, and seemingly everyone in the scene being a member of Attack Attack! at some point, we’re quite happy that he formed Beartooth in 2012. Shomo may have put his crab-core days behind him, but he’s done so in favour of a band that are definitely well-deserving of Best International Band.
BEST LIVE BAND (Presented by O2 Forum Kentish Town)
There are two kinds of people in this world. Ones who have seen Enter Shikari live and probably reserved a lot of time to tell you about how rowdy it was, and ones who haven’t seen Enter Shikari live but desperately want to. There are plenty of bands deserving of the title of Best Live Band, but there probably isn’t much doubt that Shikari have the edge over them all. There aren’t many live experiences as wacky as a Shikari one. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to clap to ‘Sorry, You’re Not a Winner’ while it’s played live?
BEST UK BREAKTHROUGH BAND (Presented by Believe)
If you’ve been to a show in the last 12 months and haven’t seen someone wearing a piece of Holding Absence merch, they must have been in the toilets. Seemingly appearing out of nowhere and becoming the name on everyone’s lips in such a short time without even having released an album until March this year, they’ve become poster-boys of UK alternative music. Now with a US tour commencing in a month’s time, Holding Absence have well and truly broken through and are a shoo-in for Best UK Breakthrough Band.
BEST INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH BAND (Presented by Fireball)
Everyone loves a good pop/rock cross-over band, but The Faim have managed to do what others often can’t, and stay firmly in the middle of the two. The Faim’s shows are as packed with adoring female teenage fans who also listen to boybands as they are with twenty-somethings who cite State Champs as their favourite band. Without having released their album, they’re already on a world tour – not bad for a bunch of Aussies in their early twenties. Let’s hope they’ve left room in their luggage to fly the Best International Breakthrough Band award back to Australia.
BEST PRODUCER (Presented by Allianz Musical Insurance)
If you were big into the UK alternative scene in the noughties, there’s a good chance that Romesh Dodangoda produced your favourite album. Soundwave Studios in South Wales churned out solid album after solid album from bands like Kids In Glass Houses, The Blackout, Lower Than Atlantis, Don Broco, Yashin, and Save Your Breath. Romesh is still firmly at the top of his game, and we reckon he’ll be heading home with the award for Best Producer.
Unless you’re not into alternative music or don’t have Instagram, you’ll probably have seen Tom Pullen’s photos, and might have even double-tapped to make that little heart turn red for one of his shots at one point or another. Seemingly always on tour, Pullen has captured bands like Enter Shikari, Don Broco, and Busted doing what they do best on and off stage, all around the world. He’s our pick for Best Photographer.
Possibly better known as Drownload, if any festival sums up a British attitude to fun, it’s this one. Despite the torrential downpours making it a complete washout almost every year, tens of thousands of music fans manage to stick it out in calf-high mud and still have possibly the best weekend of their year. Whether the big-name metal acts on the Main Stage are your thing, or you prefer to spend your time with the pop-punk bands on the Avalanche Stage, Download has plenty to get excited about; that’s what makes it Best Festival.
BEST ALBUM ARTWORK
Don Broco – Technology (Artwork by Charlotte Smith)
We’re not quite sure what’s going on in the artwork for Don Broco’s Technology album either, but we guess that’s what makes it art. Slightly unsettling to look at and having racked up a couple of ASA complaints, the controversial artwork thoroughly fits the dark theme of the album which reflects on the bad place we’re at as a society in the technology-obsessed world we live in. The Technology cover is arty, controversial, and our pick for Best Album Artwork.
Heavy Music Awards take place on Thursday 22nd August in London. Follow us on Twitter @VultureHoundMag for live updates on the night’s revelries!