Golden Gods 2015 Guide: Best International Band

Orange Amplification Presents the Metal Hammer Golden Gods In Association with World Of Warships is taking place on 15th June in London and we want YOU to choose the winners. There are eleven voted categories that we need your help with, and here’s the guide to the Best International Band category – sponsored by Nuclear Blast.

Slipknot After the loss, the infighting, the controversy and the many doubts the last 12 months have finally seen the return of one of metal’s most important bands. And what a return it has been, fifth album .5: The Gray Chapter was as anthemic, powerful and stirring as anything the Iowa nine piece have released in their incredible career. And if that wasn’t impressive enough then the band’s live shows at their own Knotfest festival and then their first UK headline tour in seven years most certainly was. Showing that Slipknot had lost none of the ability to connect to with audiences in a way that only a handful of bands ever have or could. Global icons and musical trailblazers it’s good to have them back.

Machine Head Over the last decade it’s arguable that Robb Flynn and co. have been the most consistently brilliant metal band on the planet. From the glorious return to form that was The Blackening to some of the most powerful live performances you could ever see, Machine Head were always going to be a shoo-in for this category. Especially with new album Bloodstone & Diamonds easily standing alongside classic MH releases like Burn My Eyes, new bassist Jared MacEachern settling seamlessly into the lineup with the band blowing minds and dropping jaws all over the UK on their recent headline tour.

Nightwish The story of Nightwish’s last couple of years just goes to show how hard it is to keep a good band down. After yet another change in the vocalist department and founding member Jukka Nevalainen absent for the writing of latest album Endless Forms Most Beautiful, their first with Floor Jansen fronting the band, you might have anticipated some problems ahead. Instead the album has been one of the best received of Nightwish’s career, they worked with infamous biologist Richard Dawkins and are due to bring their unique brand of symphonic metal to London’s massive Wembley Arena this December. Their biggest ever UK headline show.

Mastodon In the eyes of metal fans all over the world Mastodon continue to do no wrong. 2014 saw the release of yet another stellar album, Once More ‘Round The Sun, that garnered rave reviews from every corner of the music press and saw the band shift even further into mainstream crossover acceptance. Quite a feat for a band as original and uncompromising as the Atlanta progressive sludge merchants. They also excelled in the live arena, becoming more consistent and now boasting a set of all killer and no filler anthems during their UK tour and appearance at Sonisphere Knebworth.

Scorpions It’s quite a feat for any band to reach their 50th anniversary. The few that do manage it usually are seeing out their days by revelling in nostalgia or existing part time as they wind their career down. So for legendary German rockers Scorpions to celebrate their fiftieth year by releasing a new album of pumping classic heavy metal like Return To Forever and touring around the globe with headlining performances at festivals as prestigious as France’s Hellfest and a UK exclusive at the inaugural Ramblin’ Man Fair is as impressive as it is expected from such an iconic band.

To vote in the Golden Gods and win tickets to the ceremony head over here now.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.