The nominations for the fourth annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards — which this year takes place on Monday, June 12 at Koko in Camden, North London — were announced today. In keeping with the "Valhalla" theme of this year's awards, Metal Hammer magazine have teamed up with the crew of the "Hammer of the Gods", an authentic full-size replica Viking longboat, to launch both the awards on June 12 and the team's cross channel row, which takes place on the weekend of June 3 to raise money for charity Task Brazil.Leading the field for nominations are longstanding rock and metal purveyors Roadrunner Records, with a staggering total of 14 nominations for the label that is home to acts as diverse as SLIPKNOT, MACHINE HEAD and award-nominated DRAGONFORCE. Coming in a very close second for overall nominations is major label powerhouse Warner Music with an impressive 11 awards for their roster of breakthrough U.S. rock bands MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE and AVENGED SEVENFOLD (a favourite of Radio 1's Jo Whiley), as well as Valley boys FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND and Finnish rockers H.I.M. In a complete whitewash of the category, Warner Music have secured four of the five nominations in the "Best Video" category, with the fifth and final nomination going to Roadrunner. Going head-to-head with a joint total of four nominations are Sony and Universal, while EMI have secured two nominations for metal stalwarts and British institution IRON MAIDEN. Coming on strong is independent challenger to the rock throne Visible Noise marginally trails Sony and Universal with three nominations including "Best UK Band" and "Album of the Year", both for BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. U.S. alternative rockers COHEED & CAMBRIA have surprised many with 3 nominations including appearances in the prestigious "Best Album" and "Best International Band" categories. The full nominations list for the fourth annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2006 is as follows: Best UK Band: BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND
DRAGONFORCE Best Live Band: TRIVIUM
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
COHEED & CAMBRIA
Best International Band: LACUNA COIL
COHEED & CAMBRIA
Best Underground Band: BLEEDING THROUGH
MEADS OF ASPHODEL
Best Newcomer: AIDEN
FALL OF TROY
Best Video: AVENGED SEVENFOLD – "Bat Country"
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE – "Ghost Of You"
WITHIN TEMPTATION – "Angels"
FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND – "History"
H.I.M. – "Wings Of A Butterfly"
Riff Lord: Slash (GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER)
James Hetfield (METALLICA)
Jimmy Page (LED ZEPPELIN)
Jerry Cantrell (ALICE IN CHAINS)
Michael Amott (ARCH ENEMY)
Shredder: GOD FORBID
CHILDREN OF BODOM
AVENGED SEVENFOLD Best Drummer: Travis Smith (TRIVIUM)
The Rev (AVENGED SEVENFOLD)
Igor Cavalera (SEPULTURA)
Nicko McBrain (IRON MAIDEN)
Dave Lombardo (SLAYER) Best Metal Label: Roadrunner
Album Of The Year: OPETH – "Ghost Reveries"
DRAGONFORCE – "Inhuman Rampage"
AVENGED SEVENFOLD – "City Of Evil"
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE – "The Poison"
COHEED & CAMBRIA – "IV"
Icon: Zakk Wylde
Kerry King (SLAYER)
Axl Rose (GUNS N' ROSES)
Eddie The 'Ed (IRON MAIDEN)
Cristina Scabbia (LACUNA COIL) Three further awards that carry no nominations, simply a winner, will be unveiled at the awards and include the prestigious "Spirit of Hammer" award and the revered "Golden God" award, the highest accolade to be awarded on the night. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Metal Hammer magazine continues to pave the way and defend the faith for the alternative rock music scene. Daring to cover music genres and artists others fear to, Metal Hammer magazine has risen to become an institution in rock music over the years. The dedication of the magazine to its readers and its integrity sets it apart from the rest of the market, something that was reflected in the recent ABC announcement, which saw Metal Hammer magazine increase its year-on-year circulation a staggering 15%, which equates to a 50% circulation rise in the last two years alone. Chris Ingham, publisher of Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazines said: "The Metal Hammer Golden Gods have always represented the year of music that the magazine has supported. We know what our readers listen to and we keep in close contact with their changes in taste and styles. The Golden Gods celebrates the bands and artists that are influencing lives, not bands and artists that have the most money to spend, the best clothes or the most adverts. The fourth annual Metal Hammer Awards promises to be a spectacular occasion and a real chance for the marginalised to finally have a say." A spokesman from the Hammer of the Gods crew said: "Task Brazil Trust do fantastic work with the abandoned street kids in Rio de Janeiro and although rowing a 2.5 tonne wooden Viking boat across the busiest shipping lanes presents a bit of a challenge it's nothing compared with the challenges faced by the kids living on the streets of Brazil." For all the details of how to vote and where to get tickets see issue 152 of Metal Hammer magazine (available Wednesday, April 12) or visit the Metal Hammer web site: www.metalhammer.co.uk.