• Naomi Sanders

Louder Reviews: HEAVY MUSIC AWARDS 2021 at O2 Forum Kentish Town, 02.09.2021

Once again, the music industry descended upon London to commemorate the 5th annual Heavy Music Awards, this time making its proper home in the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, making it the second year the venue has hosted the event. Whilst this was the 5th year of the awards show, this was the 4th time the awards were able to have people attend, as the pandemic meant last year’s was all online. But now everyone was back at it again, this meant that the real party of the year could swing ahead in both amazing live acts, and commemorating another fantastic year of music.

First to kick off the show were As Everything Unfolds, who delivered a great start to the festivities. Energetic, inclusive with the crowd, and rowdy, in the good way of course, this group were absolute fire, and certainly a band to catch once if you can. Though technically not the first band, as Glitchers pulled up outside the venue before the show began with their fantastic punk rock music and punk style; it truly kicked off the party feeling for the night. But As Everything Unfolds, as the official first band of the night, were a great band to see that night.


Second up was Hot Milk, another amazingly energetic and lively group that brought a mixture of pop and hardcore rock to the show. Despite a couple of pitchy moments in the vocals, the grit and power the band exuded from their performance was enough to excuse those flaws. It will be exciting to see what this group will do next.


A break from the music, radio presenter Alex Baker hosted the main stage and helped keep the show going, even when the unexpected happened, like when Bring Me The Horizon’s thank you message wasn’t available to play immediately after they won Best UK Band. But aside from that moment, everything else went smoothly when announcing Nova Twins won Best Video for “Taxi”, Enter Shikari won for Best Production on Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible, Dance Gavin Dance’s album artist, Mattias Adolfsson, accepted the award for Best Album Artwork, and when Ghostemane won Best International Band.


The third band of the night, Trash Boat then entered the stage, keeping up the energy the bands previous had left from their performances, and then some. Their hardcore punk music was fiery and punchy and overall a great introduction for anyone who had never seen or heard the band before. An added bonus was Milkie Way of WARGASM joining the band for their song “Bad Entertainment”, which added to a fantastic set, even if it meant the livestream of the show was taken down in that song for reasons unrelated to music. Despite this, it was a special moment to see that song performed with the featured artist on stage as well. Speaking of WARGASM, as the night progressed onto the second half of the awards show, they were the recipients of the Best UK Breakthrough Band, whilst for bands across the pond, Spiritbox had won Best International Breakthrough Band. Despite only having a total of 9 songs, Bring Me The Horizon also scooped up the award for Best Album, whilst the Music Venues Trust were awarded The H award for their work keeping grassroots venues open, especially through the pandemic. Finally, Best Podcast was awarded to The Downbeat podcast, hosted by Craig Reynolds, and delivering the best speech of the night, simultaneously honouring the other nominees whilst thanking others for not being nominated so he could win, in the spirit of his humour.


The last band of the night, Sleep Token, were truly the pièce de résistance of the night, showcasing their talent for progressive melodic metal that transcended throughout the whole venue and proving why they were one that many desperate to see, as well as why their upcoming album, This Place Will Become Your Tomb, is as highly anticipated as many excited fans state online.


Overall, as chaotic as it usually is, the Heavy Music Awards had another fantastic year of great nominees and winners, brilliant live performances, and the occasional slip up that proves that at the end of the day, we come together for the music, and that is what the awards show celebrates. It’s a party, sure, but one that celebrates the joy that music brings to many fantastically talented people. As 2020 proved to be a firestorm of a year for heavy music, 2021 is already proving that next year’s awards are already going to be tricky to even narrow down for nominations. Roll on 2022!

Photo Credit: James North

HEAVY MUSIC AWARDS 2021 WINNERS LIST


BEST ALBUM PRESENTED BY AMAZON MUSIC

Bring Me The Horizon 'Post Human: Survival Horror'


THE H PRESENTED BY TICKETMASTER

Music Venues Trust


BEST UK BAND PRESENTED BY LIGHTWAVE PRODUCTIONS

Bring Me The Horizon


BEST PRODUCTION

Rou Reynolds - Enter Shikari ‘Nothing is True & Everything is Possible’


BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND PRESENTED BY EMP

Ghostemane


BEST UK BREAKTHROUGH BAND PRESENTED BY SHARPTONE RECORDS

Wargasm


BEST INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH BAND PRESENTED BY AFTERLIVE MUSIC

Spiritbox


BEST PODCAST PRESENTED BY THE HEAVY NETWORK

The Downbeat


BEST VIDEO

Nova Twins ‘Taxi'


BEST ALBUM ARTWORK

Mattias Adolfsson - Dance Gavin Dance ‘Afterburner'



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