The true spirit of rock 'n' roll was unleashed yesterday Monday, June 16 at London's state-of-the-art Indigo2 complex, when the sixth Metal Hammer Golden Gods opened its doors to some of the biggest and most notorious rock stars in the world. The annual awards bash, which is owned by Future's Metal Hammer magazine, celebrated the great and good from the international world of rock and metal as well as playing host to five of the loudest bands on the planet to an audience of 1,500 frothing and frenzied kids. Metal legends TESTAMENT shared the stage with avant-garde Finnish quartet APOCALYPTICA featuring a guest appearance by Cristina Scabbia of LACUNA COIL on vocals metal titans CHILDREN OF BODOM and IN FLAMES and U.S. rockers DISTURBED who played exclusive sets to an audience of peers as well as the lucky competition winners. Undisputed king of heavy metal, SLAYER's Kerry King, was honored with the evening's most prestigious accolade, the "Golden God" award, which was presented to him by close friend and tattoo artist Kat Von D. The star of the TLC reality series "L.A. Ink" and MTLEY CRE bassist Nikki Sixx's current girlfriend flew in from the U.S. especially to present her friend and hero with his long-overdue award before heading to London nightspot Sin with Kerry and company for the official awards aftershow party. Having previously picked up multiple nominations and awards as part of his pioneering thrash metal band SLAYER, this is the first time that Kerry has been honored as an individual. Responsible for shaping the lives of many of last night's guests, Kerry King has been a constant inspiration to rock and metal bands across the world and continuously pushed the boundaries of metal. Elsewhere in the awards, Roadrunner Records snatched an impressive four awards last night, including the "Best Metal Label" gong alongside awards for MACHINE HEAD ("Best Live Band"), ex-SEPULTURA legends Max and Igor Cavalera ("Spirit of Hammer") and "Best Debut" for Aussie rockers AIRBOURNE and their "Runnin' Wild" debut album, which was released last year. British metal institution IRON MAIDEN picked up two awards in the form of "Best UK Band" and the coveted "Icon Award" for their longstanding mascot Eddie, who sent a video message from the States where he's currently on tour with the band.
The Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2008 winners are as follows:
* Best Breakthrough: APOCALYPTICA
* Best Underground Band: THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
* Best UK Band: IRON MAIDEN
* Metal For The Masses: WILLIAM GLEDHILL
* Best Live Band: MACHINE HEAD
* Best Video: DIMMU BORGIR "The Serpentine Offering"
* Best Metal Label: Roadrunner Records
* Spirit Of Hammer: Max and Igor Cavalera (SEPULTURA, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY)
* Best Debut: AIRBOURNE "Runnin' Wild"
* Icon Award: Eddie
* Dimebag Darrell Shredder Award: Alexi Laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM)
* Event Of The Year: Hard Rock Hell
* Riff Lord: Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH)
* Best Album: TESTAMENT "The Formation Of Damnation"
* Revolver Best International Band: IN FLAMES
* Golden God: Kerry King (SLAYER) (presented by Kat Von D)