On May 26, 2023, the seventh annual Heavy Music Awards occurred at the OVO Arena Wembley. It saw seventeen artists, festivals, icons, and others receive awards in recognition for their contribution to the heavy music scene. Hosted by Kerrang! Radio’s Alex Baker and the red carpet hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Alyx Holcombe and Nels Hylton, we saw some of the biggest names in heavy music grace the legendary stage attended by 5,000 fans and industry guests.

Renowned for showcasing the diverse global icons of heavy music at the annual event, this year saw a huge range of artists pick up awards. The acclaimed Best Album award went to US breakthrough metal titans Bad Omens for their album The Death Of Peace Of Mind. Meanwhile, Halestorm took home the award for Best International Artist, cementing their status as the band not to miss when they’re in the UK. Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger also performed an intimate unplugged set with lauded guitarist Sophie Lloyd. Additional performances from Creeper, Loathe, Underoath and Boston Manor raised the roof, playing hit after hit for the packed arena.

The seminal Pioneer Award has been awarded to Biffy Clyro in honour of their trailblazing innovation in heavy music and outstanding contribution to delivering rock into the mainstream. Another legend recognized at the awards was broadcaster and BBC Radio 1 Rock Show DJ Daniel P Carter, receiving the Icon Award for his steadfast dedication in championing the scene throughout his storied career.

Gothic storytellers Motionless In White took home the award for Best Video for their visually striking “Werewolf” and its graphic depiction of a graveyard party. Yorkshire hardcore icons Malevolence were awarded Best Album Artwork for the artistically expansive sleeve of Malicious Intent, created by the iconic Eliran Kantor. Vukovi took the award for Best Production following the breakout success of 2022’s NULA and put on a fiery transatlantic performance with pink princess Scene Queen and setting the bar high for the performances to come.

UK artists were also recognized by two awards, with the incendiary Skindred winning Best UK Live Artist, whilst fast-rising anonymous collective Sleep Token topped the tables and won Best UK Artist. 2022’s Best Live Artist winners, Enter Shikari, took the prize for Best Single with “The Void Stares Back ft. Wargasm.” More Heavy Music Awards alumni sought out wins also, with Germany’s Electric Callboy taking home the win for Best International Live Artist this year after taking home the Best Video for “Pump It” last year.

The breakthrough categories recognized the up-and-coming artists breathing fresh life into the scene. Winners of Best UK Breakthrough Artist were Nottingham pop-punkers As December Falls, whilst breakaway TikTok star Charlotte Sands won Best Breakthrough Album. Emo-crossover newcomers Static Dress took home the Best Breakthrough Live Artist whilst nu-metal provocateur Scene Queen took home Best International Breakthrough Artist.

Recognizing not only the artists but also the scene that facilities them, the Heavy Music Awards shared two awards acknowledging festivals, with Teddy Rocks being announced earlier this week as winners of the H Award, whilst the annual metalhead pilgrimage of Download Festival took the award for Best Festival.

The Heavy Music Awards was attended by celebrities including secret heavy music fans, comedians Ed Gamble and Joel Dommett, as well as Dougie Poynter and Danny Jones from McFly, all of which took the time to present some of the awards.

Since its inception back in 2017, the Heavy Music Awards has certified itself as a staple of the heavy music calendar, supporting bands from their seminal gigs all the way up to sold-out, globe-trotting stadium tours. This year was no different, marked by an incredible venue upgrade, a record number of performances and a truly unforgettable event, setting the tone for years to come.