Tuesday 14 March – The finalists have been revealed for the seventh annual Heavy Music Awards, with the event again recognising the most influential and ground-breaking artists and creatives in the heavy music world. Leading the way with an incredible five nominations are Vukovi, closely followed by Nova Twins, Halestorm and Ghost who receive four nods each. This year, the celebration will reach new heights with the ceremony taking place at the legendary OVO Arena Wembley on 26 May, this makes it the biggest rock music awards ceremony ever held in the UK. Tickets for the event will be available soon.
The prestigious shortlist has been crafted by a panel of almost 1,000 industry experts, ahead of heavy music fans themselves having the final say. The winners will be decided exclusively by public vote – now open until 14 April here vote.heavymusicawards.com.
Leading the nominations and simultaneously making HMA history with the most nominations received by one act ever – an incredible five nods – are scorching Scottish two-piece Vukovi. The band have been championed by the event from its inception having made their debut as performers at the inaugural Heavy Music Awards in 2017.
Vukovi lead vocalist Janine Shilstone said: “Being the first and only band to receive 5 nominations in one year in the history of the HMAs has given us such a sense of purpose and achievement. We feel seen, and we feel heard. My younger self would be so proud of me and everything I’ve overcome at this point. I’m so excited about the future of female and non-binary in this genre and industry There is room for EVERYONE”.
Andy Pritchard of the HMAs says: “Once again the HMA finalists showcase the spectacular breadth of talent across the rock and metal scene. To see so many different styles and sub-genres represented – in addition to the diversity across all the artists – proves once again that the heavy music landscape is as vibrant and non-apologetic as ever.
Also receiving multiple nominations with four a piece are the stratospheric double BRIT Award nominated Nova Twins, ferociously charismatic Halestorm and world renowned metal giants Ghost closely follow. Also highly decorated receiving three accolades are HMA mainstays and newcomers alike Cassyette, Witch Fever, Architects, Parkway Drive, Creeper, Bad Omens, Polyphia, Static Dress and Electric Callboy
Previous dominators Architects will fight to make it a fourth win in the Best Album category after huge successes in 2022, 2019 and 2017. They are set to face tough competition from metal monarchs Slipknot, who are also in the running. Plus, 2023 marks Bad Omens’ HMAs debut, with a nomination for their innovative album The Death of Peace of Mind. Also up for Best Album are Ghost, Halestorm, Nova Twins and Vukovi.
The hotly anticipated, Best UK Artist category is a reflection of the monumental year the British heavy scene has had. The category boasts mainstream breakthroughs including MOBO winning Bob Vylan, Nova Twins and dizzyingly viral Sleep Token. Also on the shortlist are Creeper, Holding Absence, Malevolence and Vukovi.
Best Single sees huge anthems from Architects with ‘When We Were Young’ and Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘sTraNgeRs’, both bands are poised to add to their extensive HMAs trophy collection. Enter Shikari are also nominated with their Wargasm collaboration on ‘The Void Stares Back’ and Creeper with Ghost Brigade, teasing their upcoming album. Ghost’s ‘Call Me Little Sunshine’, Ithaca with ‘They Fear Us’ and Neck Deep’s ‘STFU’ are also strong contenders.
The four breakthrough categories once again showcases the fantastically diverse fresh face of heavy music today. Trailblazing New Dehli metallers Bloodywood, punk powerhouse Cassyette and vividly unique post-hardcore outfit Static Dress, are in the running for Best Breakthrough Album, alongside Charlotte Sands, Heriot, Wargasm and Witch Fever. The Best UK Breakthrough Artist category sees Cody Frost’s rave-punk, Lake Malice’s alt-metal and ground-breaking rock-rap representatives Delilah Bon and Kid Bookie all vying for the title with As December Falls, Blackgold and ZAND. Similarly, Best International Breakthrough Artist pits the electrifying new talents of Charlotte Sands, Scene Queen, ZULU, Scowl, Chat Pile, Soul Blind and LS Dunes against each other for the coveted award.
Brand new for this year, the Best Breakthrough Live Artist nominations are populated by acerbic doom-punk purveyors Witch Fever, As Everything Unfolds, Cassyette, Heriot, Joey Valence & Brae, Lake Malice and Static Dress.
Alongside the other Live Artist categories, celebrating the iconic performances from the last year. Nominations for UK contenders including Biffy Clyro’s explosive headline set at Download Festival, as well as Creeper, Enter Shikari, Neck Deep, Nova Twins, Skindred and Vukovi. Another category making its debut in 2023, Best International Live Artist finalists are represented by My Chemical Romance for their revered return to UK stages, unparalleled festival-set titans Turnstile, as well as Alexisonfire, Electric Callboy, Ghost, Halestorm and Parkway Drive.
The stars and stripes also fly proudly over half of the nominees in Best International Artist, with the likes of Polyphia and I Prevail, facing off against Canadian neighbours Spiritbox who have gone from strength to strength since their 2021 HMAs victory and German electronicore outfit Electric Callboy. Bad Omens and Ghost are also shortlisted.
Switching focus to behind the scenes, the Heavy Music Awards also champion the wider team, with Best Production, Best Video and Best Album Artwork categories, recognising the engineers, designers, directors and editors who all play a vital role in a project’s success.
The Best Festival category returns to the awards, as events did in full force last summer. Calendar staples Download, 2000trees, Slam Dunk and Hellfest make the final list, alongside Outbreak, Aftershock and Bring Me The Horizon & Friends Malta Weekender earning their first nominations.
Organiser Andy Pritchard continued to comment: “For us, it’s another chance to send the wider world a reminder that there is life-affirming, vital music being created every single day by people from all backgrounds. Since we started this journey in 2017, we’ve been committed to building the HMAs, and kicking down as many walls as we can to give these incredible artists a platform they can be proud of. Staging the biggest ever rock awards show is our most ambitious step yet, but we’ll keep pushing. We can’t wait to welcome everyone for what will be a crazy and memorable night in May!”
The Heavy Music Awards are also delighted to announce Youth Music as this year’s charity partner. The charity’s CEO, Matt Griffiths says:
“We’re honoured to be chosen as the Heavy Music Awards 2023 charity partner. At Youth Music, we believe that every young person should have access to make, learn and earn in music of every genre. That’s why we invest in the grassroots organisations and people making sure music isn’t just for the privileged. For almost 25 years, we’ve been building a more diverse pipeline of talent, which the music industries benefit from. And as we all know, greater diversity leads to even greater music.”
Additionally, the awards have unveiled the official radio partner for 2023 is ‘the nation’s favourite rock radio station’, Kerrang! Radio.
The public vote is now live at vote.heavymusicawards.com and closes on 14 April.
Please see below for the full list of categories and finalists. Tickets available soon at: https://www.heavymusicawards.com/