Swedish black metallers WATAIN were honored with the "Best Hard Rock" award at the Swedish "Grammis" gala, which was held this past Monday night (January 17) in Stockholm.
Commented WATAIN frontman Erik Danielsson: "I always pictured the criteria for entering the [Grammis] awards to be those of mainstream music in general; conformity, insipidity and commercial potential. In other words, I was quite surprised when we even got nominated. But considering all the blood, sweat and tears we have put into this, our life's mission, during the past 13 years, it is by all means an award well deserved. And no matter what the parameters were by which the jury made their decision, the Devil won again!"
He added, "Even if this music genre will always be one with adversity and wild hearted insanity as its very roots, the artistic value must be acknowledged not only on an underground level but in any cultural circumstance, high or low. Acknowledged I say, not necessarily appreciated. And in a country like Sweden it is about fucking time, for here it has been neglected and stupefied by the mass media for years, while legends such as DISSECTION and BATHORY have been writing and releasing some of the most monumental albums in music history. The [Grammis award] that we have won with WATAIN is a step towards rectification in that matter, and a sign that the artistry and infernal creativity that permeates WATAIN and this genre is being taken seriously. For that we are proud and delighted in accepting the award. As for its market-value or importance in a 'music industry context,' we sincerely could not care less."
Video footage of the band's acceptance speech can be viewed below (courtesy of Mary Raven's blog).
The band stated from the stage (translated from Swedish), "Strange mood in here... So far it's been a pretty intense year, even though it's still January... We've had earthquakes in South America, we've had half of Australia lying under water, we've had birds raining from the sky... and now we win a Grammis. One doesn't know whether to laugh or fall back, right? ... We'd like to thank our brothers and sisters, dead and alive. It's very much because of you we stand here this evening. Hail Satan."
The nominees in the "Best Hard Rock" category were as follows:
* GHOST - "Opus Eponymous"
* KHOMA - "A Final Storm"
* PASCAL - "Orkanen Närmar Sig"
* SABATON - "Coat Of Arms"
* WATAIN - "Lawless Darkness"
The artists were all nominated for their most recent releases, all of which came out during 2010.
Last year's Grammis award in the "Best Hard Rock" category was won by MUSTASCH for the band's self-titled album.
"Reaping Death", the latest CD single from WATAIN, which was exclusively distributed in Sweden via Sweden Rock Magazine, was certified gold in the band's home country in April 2010 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry for sales in excess of 10,000 copies. (Note: Each copy of the magazine sold in Sweden counted towards the certification.)
"Reaping Death" comes off WATAIN's fourth album, "Lawless Darkness", which entered the official chart in Sweden at position No. 26 and dropped to No. 37 the following week.
"Lawless Darkness" sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 42 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
"Lawless Darkness" was released in Europe on June 7, 2010 in a limited three-panel digipack edition with die-cut and a cover of DEATH SS' "Chains of Death" as a bonus track.