The next category in the Metal Hammer Golden Gods, presented by Orange Amplification and in association with World of Tanks that we're giving you the rundown of is the hotly contested Best International Band – presented by Nuclear Blast. We've been spoilt for choice with massive non-UK bands storming our stereos and sending our ears into spasms over the past year and cutting this down to five took many long nights and arguments. But who should come out on top? Have a read below then get voting!
They’re a band we’ve seen go from strength to strength over the years and it was latest album Hail To The King that truly cemented the Californian metallers as the next big thing. They’ve evolved from make-up wearing screamo merchants to fully-fledged hard rock heroes. And with their first ever Download Festival headline slot coming this June, the only way is up for the alias-loving heavy metallers. And it’s about damn time.
**DREAM THEATER **
It’s hard to name a more impressive and important progressive metal band. Go on, we dare you. Exactly. Dream Theater have been doing their thing since 1985 (just one year before the greatest mag in the world was launched) and we’ve been enraptured ever since. The dual-wielding genius of John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy over the years made DT a vital part of the metal community. They can be heavy, they can be gentle, they can they can only be Dream Theater.
For 18 years Within Temptation have been the forerunners of symphonic metal. They’ve been gradually moving up the festival bills here in the UK after carving out a niche and maintaining vitality in mainland Europe. And while you might prefer your music thrashier or angrier, you can’t deny the pure emotion in the music and the influence they’ve had on contemporary metal. Latest effort Hydra is a continuation of their outstanding legacy… even if Xzibit does make an appearance.
Similar to Within Temptation, Volbeat sadly haven’t reached the same level of fame on our shores as the rest of Europe, but their unique rockabilly meets heavy metal approach resonates with a dedicated core of metalheads. Having released five albums, with each increasing in quality and popularity – last years’ album Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies was even nominated for a Grammy.
NINE INCH NAILS
Trent fucking Reznor. Love him or hate him, you can’t help but admire his phenomenal talent. Nine Inch Nails have been synonymous with big sounds and big shows since 1994’s industrial opus The Downward Spiral, and it’s only been up from there. And while they may have taken a mini-hiatus to the disappointment of millions, last year’s Hesitation Marks was a dramatic return that simply refused to leave our ears alone.
Have your say and vote in the Metal Hammer Golden Gods over here now!