Your essential guide to the Golden Gods Breakthrough category

We Came As Romans, Avatar, Northlane, Beartooth, Deafheaven
Clockwise from top left: We Came As Romans, Avatar, Northlane, Beartooth, Deafheaven

Every year a band with potential makes the step up to achieve something more – be it a larger fanbase, an improved live spectacle, or an advancement in their recorded output. In the metal world of 2016, all of these bands nominated here have made that important step to the next level.


You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

The Swedes were already something of a cult proposition in the UK after being bumped up to a main stage slot at Bloodstock last year. But this past 12 months has seen them reach an even more fervent level of devotion from fans of their Hollywood, goth, rock superstar aesthetic.


2014’s Disgusting debut sent shockwaves through the underground with its raw and deeply personal lyrical content mixed with slamming hardcore – and the chaotic live shows that followed were legendary. But no one could have imagined the connection it had with so many people, so quickly. There are now an army of fans waiting to hear its follow-up.


Already critically lauded for their meld of post-black metal atmospherics on 2013’s Sunbather album, the San Franciscan quintet have truly, and quite amazingly, crossed over into mainstream consciousness with the release of last year’s New Bermuda. An album that took their formula and improved upon it.


Northlane could have been derailed, as so many bands are, by a change in the vocalist department. But instead they found Marcus Bridge – a man whose vocal dexterity and class is plastered all over last year’s Node album – and have taken vast creative steps both on record and live.

We Came As Romans

Already a big name in the States, WCAR had never really managed to break out of the metalcore pack here in the UK. That is until they released the best, and most accessible, album of their career with last year’s self-titled effort. Now the buzz on this band can be heard on both sides of the Atlantic.

Vote for who you want to win Best Breakthrough Band at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods, in association with Fireball, to be in with a chance of winning tickets to the ceremony.

Tickets are available to buy now for £6.66 at the Eventim website. TeamRock and Eventim will donate all profits from ticket sales to the charity Heavy Metal Truants, an annual charity cycle ride sponsored by TeamRock from London to Download Festival to benefit Nordoff Robbins, Teenage Cancer Trust and Childline.

Each Golden God Awards ticket includes a free 3-month TeamRock+membership worth £11.97, giving unlimited access to full magazine content online from Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Prog and The Blues Magazine as well as exclusive content, events and offers.

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.