The Heavy Music Awards is the sector’s leading scheme of recognition for artists, events, photographs, designers & producers from across the alternative music sphere.

Following nominations from 600 experts, representing hundreds of organisations, the finalists for the third-ever event showcase a cross-section of the finest talents that the industry has to offer.

As anticipation continues to build ahead of the event – now just a matter of days away, we thought that it was only fitting to take a closer look at some of the most hotly contested awards up for grabs on Thursday 22nd August at the O2 Kentish Town Forum.

Best Album

Presented by EMP

A prestigious accolade in any awards ceremony, the Best Album category will see the greatest releases from the past 12 months go up against one another.

The Finalists:

Architects – Holy Hell (Epitaph Records, Produced by Dan Searle & Josh Middleton)
Black Peaks – All That Divides (Rise Records, Produced by Adrian Bushby)
Ghost – Prequelle (Loma Vista Recordings, Produced by Tom Dalgety)
IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Resistance (Partisan Records, Produced by Space)
Judas Priest – Firepower (Epic, Produced by Tom Allom & Andy Sneap)
Parkway Drive – Reverence (Epitaph Records, Produced by George Hadjichristou)
Turnstile – Time & Space (Roadrunner Records, Produced by Will Yip)

Our take:

After picking up the trophy for ‘Best Live Band’ last time out, Architects’ Holy Hell is sure to be one of the frontrunners to take home an award from this year’s event. Holy Hell has received mass critical acclaim since its release, and it almost feels fitting that after a couple of years of trauma the band will get recognised for this hugely impressive and steely record.

However, they face stiff competition in the form of IDLES. With a meteoric rise and a run of ginormous sold-out shows to go with it, this band are undoubtedly one of Britain’s hottest prospects. How does a band with all the tools to be superstars cement their place as titans of industry? Well, releasing a killer album obviously. Joy As An Act Of Resistance is a masterpiece and has grabbed the attention of the masses – if I was a betting man, my money would be on IDLES to walk away with the trophy.

I think that the dark horses of this category have to be Black Peaks and Turnstile. Black Peaks’ second LP has firmly secured the band as a force to be reckoned with, while Turnstile have managed to build an impressive cult following off the back of Time & Space and as a result of their explosive on-stage antics.

Our Prediction:

IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Resistance (Partisan Records, Produced by Space)

Best Live Band

Presented by O2 Forum Kentish Town

The trophy that I think every band wants to win, the highly contested ‘Best Live Band’ accolade will be fought out by the industry’s most exciting and innovative performers.

The Finalists:

Architects (Epitaph Records)
Bring Me The Horizon (RCA)
Enter Shikari (Ambush Reality)
FEVER 333 (Roadrunner Records)
Ghost (Loma Vista Recordings)
Parkway Drive (Epitaph Records)
Slayer (Nuclear Blast)

Our Take:

While Architects will have their eyes set on another trophy, and Enter Shikari and Bring Me The Horizon have been delivering live shows of the highest order for the past decade, this category is the only one being presented at the Awards that is a no-brainer to me…

As headliners of last year’s Heavy Music Awards, and as organisers of one of the quickest growing followings in the industry, FEVER 333 simply HAVE to win this trophy. The band have been tearing up countries all over the globe with a series of what they like to call ‘demonstrations’ that have delivered positive messages and utter carnage to thousands of adoring fans. Seeing the band perform at the HMA 2018 was utterly mind-blowing and quite possibly life-affirming – for this reason, there is no doubt in my mind that they see off the likes of Slayer and Parkway Drive to this win this title.

Our Prediction:

FEVER 333 (Roadrunner Records)

Best Album Artwork

As one of the most innovative categories on offer, this trophy will be presented to a designer that has produced an eye-catching and hugely memorable album cover.

The Finalists:

Architects – Holy Hell (Epitaph Records, Artwork by Dan Hillier)
Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest (Nuclear Blast, Artwork by Nicola Samori)
Boston Manor – Welcome To The Neighbourhood (Pure Noise Records, Artwork by Josh Halling & Martin Ruffin)
Bullet For My Valentine – Gravity (Spinefarm Records, Artwork by Daniel Holub)
Don Broco – Technology (Sharptone Records, Artwork by Charlotte Smith)
Ghost – Prequelle (Loma Vista Recordings, Artwork by Zbigniew M. Bielak)
Judas Priest – Firepower (Epic, Artwork by Claudio Bergamin)

Our Take:

There are some really contrasting nominees in this category, but hey… art is subjective after all.

From the classic, long-haired ‘finger horn’ look to Judas Priest’s cover, to the sharp, modern vibe of Boston Manor’s latest album Welcome To The Neighbourhood, to the whacky, out-there effort from Charlotte Smith on Don Broco’s Technology – there really is an album cover for everyone’s taste among the finalists.

However, I think the abstract nature of the art behind Behemoth’s latest album will pip its competitors to the post. It looks like the cover to a medieval poetry anthology and I think it does a great job at evoking emotion – it is chilling and simple, yet layered and powerful.

Our Prediction:

Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest (Nuclear Blast, Artwork by Nicola Samori)

ilovedyouatyourdarkest.jpg

Best Photographer

Huh? A photographer category? In a music award ceremony? You’re damn right there is.

The Finalists:

Derek Bremner
Thomas Lisle Coe-Brooker
Corinne Cumming
Paul Harries
Jennifer McCord
Tom Pullen
Ester Segarra

Our Take:

Photographers have, for too long, been overlooked in the music industry and in a world absorbed by an Instagram culture, they are facing more challenges than ever. If you ever had the pleasure of being sucked into ‘the scene’ there is no doubt in my mind that at one point, one of your bedroom walls would have had a poster makeover courtesy of the Kerrang and Rock Sound photographers. But have you ever stopped and thought that maybe it isn’t as simple as point and click? From trying to get that first photo pass, to dimly (and all too often red) lit shows above pubs, to trying to discover your own style – it is hard work. I don’t know about you but I think it is about time these phenomenally talented individuals start getting the attention they deserve.

So, who will join previous winners Ed Mason and Ben Gibson on the roll of honour?

 

 

 

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From Drag to Rock Sound, London based photographer Corinne Cumming has left no stone unphotographed and is adored throughout the industry. The proud mother of Cecil the sausage dog has smashed 2019, having achieved her first solo Rock Sound cover feature and having snapped the likes of As It Is, Enter Shikari, Panic at the Disco, as well as Best Festival nominees Slam Dunk and 2000 Trees. This isn’t the only time you would have seen her name pop up at these awards, Corinne was also a judge alongside fellow nominee Jennifer McCord for the 2019 Heavy Music Award Young Photographer of the year category.

Alongside her role on the Heavy Music Awards judging panel, Jennifer McCord is a cherished music and lifestyle photographer. Over the past year, she has had the opportunity to capture artists from across various genres such as Westlife, Ellie Goulding, The Maine and more, all the while continuing to develop her stunning lifestyle portfolio. Frequently taking to twitter to celebrate the achievements of fellow female photographers, Jennifer is the hype woman everyone needs.

Tom Pullen is an incredible photographer and videographer based in London. If you don’t know the name, you’ll definitely know his photos as they have been littered across Don Broco’s socials over the past few years. This year you would have found him -camera in hand – touring Europe with Enter Shikari, as well shooting festivals such as Download and even chilling with Busted. Who knows, you may have even spotted yourself in both the photos and videos Tom captured at the final ever Lower Than Atlantis show (RIP).

Our Prediction:

Tom Pullen

 

The Heavy Music Awards 2019 will take place at the O2 Kentish Town Forum on Thursday 22nd August. Keep your eyes on our social media to find out who the winners are, as they are announced, and look out for our post-event breakdown coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

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