The Metty’s – Local Metal Awards Ceremony

By Will Maravelas

You have probably heard of this thing called the Grammys; you may be aware of the City Pages music awards, but I’m going to bet The Metty’s is an unfamiliar moniker.

In late 2016, Minnesota-based Metalsota promoter and avid metal fan Bill Jelberg decided to create an event to honor the burgeoning Minneapolis area metal scene. He is calling it the Metty’s. Jelberg invested his own funding and time into the event which will be held this coming Friday, January 20th at 6 pm at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul.

With recent signings of bands like Reaping Asmodeia and Gabriel and the Apocalypse, the event seems well timed and is in Jelberg’s words he hopes it “brings people together” and “build’s a community”. The outside music industry often overlooks Minneapolis not only for tours and events; but also its talent and work ethic. Our harsh weather breeds stubborn promise and often forces us indoors to focus on our art and our instruments.

The very nature of an awards show, however, creates winners and losers. The metal scene is the writer’s opinion, is already somewhat divided into segments. That is not to say there isn’t community, more like clichés within the scene. Certain bands play certain venues; certain groups have their buddy bands they are sharing the stage with regularly; certain musicians prefer to create their own events versus becoming part of the larger community. So naturally, when the award show was announced, there was some polarizing commentary that is even continuing this week.

Mike Bloodfist from Bloodfist promotions and vocalist for the band Endless Reign comments in favor of the event, “Change is uncomfortable and people will resist it. Getting out of our comfort zone and becoming accepting of what makes us different will grow our scene and make us stronger. “

Erik Keyes vocalist of the band Aetheric adds,” This is a networking event. The awards are a nice nod to the bands and artists nominated, sure. But everyone who attends walks away from this having met someone new or gotten to know someone in the scene a bit better. Folks need to relax. There are no losers at this thing.”

Jelberg’s attitude remains steadfast and positive with the following “I’m hoping it goes as well as planned!! Hope it helps bring more people together. We have to start somewhere.”

Jelberg wanted to do right by his community and enlisted a large and diverse group of Judges, nominees, and presenters for the event. All artists and categories were derived from happenings of 2016, so the 2017 (in what Jelberg hopes to become an annual event) will be aptly timed and relevant as to who takes home an award.

The Judges utilized all come from different walks of life but all have one thing in common of them support our local music scene in different ways; be it through booking events, podcasts, playing in bands, owning studios or all of the above; the people polled were just as diverse as the people nominated.

Some of the nominees include: Witchden, Chalice of Suffering, Mastiff, Blue Felix, Hatebeast, Buried Above Ground, White Empress, Graveslave, just to name a few. There are several great categories for best instrumentalists of the year, best show of the year and best music video of the year.

There are a little sour grapes in the air locally as to some bands or musicians being overlooked but as John Suffering of Chalice of Suffering says, “All publicity is good publicity”, so even the negative commentary is getting people talking about the event and building anticipation for this coming Friday.

If your band or group wasn’t nominated, Daniel Koppy of Reaping Asmodeia has some insight to offer, “I view this as an opportunity to hangout and share sometime with all the friends I/we have made in all the amazing bands within the different Metal scenes.   I, personally, do not view it as “winning” or “losing.”  If anything I think seeing/being around so many talented people should push someone to want to excel at their instrument or music writing in some manner.”

The bottom line is this; it’s an award’s show created by a person who cares about local heavy music who has a pure love and respect for what Minnesota metal bands have to offer. Not everyone is or ever will be nominated because we have too much talent in the area to narrow it down and give everyone a participation award. Out of all the artists interviewed one word kept coming up: “community”. Jelberg encourages even the naysayers to come to the event and be part of the community. I for one am looking forward to an evening with familiar faces and probably some new ones.

Metalsota Presents – The Mettys

Full list of Categories and Nominees for reference:

SHOW OF THE YEAR:
(only shows that featured exclusively local metal bands during 2016)

REFLECTIONS FREE SHOW
The Fallout – Bobby Olson

TOP SECRET METAL FEST
The Amsterdam – DJ Gunnarson

WINTER MELTDOWN
Skyway Theatre – Bobby Olson

TERMINALLY ILL METALFEST
The Terminal Bar – Mike Bloodfist

REFLECTIONS FAREWELL SHOW
Cabboze – Bobby Olson

ROCK THE BOAT
Paddleford River Boats – DJ Gunnarson

CHILTON FAMILY BENEFIT
Opinion Brewing – Jordan Dwayne Swanson

BEST LIVE PERFORMANCE:
(only local metal bands that performed during 2016)

BLUE FELIX
BY THE THOUSANDS
BURIED ABOVE GROUND
MILESTONE
GABRIEL AND THE APPOCALYPSE
REFLECTIONS
ROADS OF GLASS

BEST ALBUM ARTWORK:
(only albums released during 2016)

CHALICE OF SUFFERING – For You I Die
BY THE THOUSANDS  – Connect
BURIED ABOVE GROUND – Birth
MASTIFF – From The Ash of Elders
HATE BEAST – Sky Burial
FAILING TO WAKE – Disruptor
WITCHDEN – Salt The Earth

BEST ALBUM PRODUCTION:
(only albums released during 2016)

ROADS OF GLASS – Deadking
SOULKEEPER – Get Well Soon
HATE BEAST – Sky Burial
FAIL TO DECAY – Fail to Decay
CHALICE OF SUFFERING – For You I Die
GABRIEL AND THE APOCALYPSE – The Ghost Parade
BURIED ABOVE GROUND – Birth

KEYBOARDIST / SAMPLER OF THE YEAR:
(only musicians / artists active during 2016)

LIZ ZIEGLER – Portraits of War
FIGGLES MCGEE – Gabriel and the Apocalypse
TAYLOR SCHULTZ – Aurae
HOWARD ANDERSON – Splitdriven
TORI SIITARI – Immoralis
DOMINIC CICCARELLI – Blue Felix

DRUMMER OF THE YEAR:
(only musicians / artists active during 2016)

MATT GROZDANICH – Aetheric / Portraits of War / Immoralis
CARLOS MONSERRATE – By The Thousands
DANIEL KOPPY – Reaping Asmodeia
ERIC MOEN – Blue Felix
ADAM SAGAN – White Empress
JERRID BOUTTO – Royal’z
BEN FAGERNESS – Astral Blood / Graveslave

BASSIST OF THE YEAR:
(only musicians / artists active during 2016)

MIKE LARSON – Portraits of War
JACE – Gabriel and the Apocalypse
COZ – Buried Above Ground
ADAM SULLIVAN – By The Thousands
TRACY RADERMACHER – Piranha
CLAYTON SAVER – In Search of Solace
JOHN WHEELER – Blue Felix

GUITARIST OF THE YEAR:
(only musicians / artists active during 2016)

ALEX KELLY – Reaping Asmodeia
DUSTIN KORTH – By The Thousands
STEVEN SCHLAGETER – The Culture Of
DJ GUNNARSON – Buried Above Ground
PATRICK SOMOULAY – Reflections
MICHAEL FRITZKAPPS – Mithya
STUART STELTER – Aetheric

VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
(only musicians / artists active during 2016)

ERIC MCMAHON – Buried Above Ground
LOUIS HAMEL – Roads of Glass
LEE MINTZ – Mithya
MIKE BLOODFIST – Endless Reign
LINDY GABRIEL – Gabriel and the Apocalypse
JAKE TOXIC CROOKS – Blue Felix
JAKE WOLF – Reflections

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR:
(only music videos released during 2016)

PORTRAITS OF WAR – Sing Your Sorrow
Directed by : Jake Woodbridge

GRAVESLAVE – Strange Days
Directed by: Rico Roman

BY THE THOUSANDS – Revenant
Directed by: Randy Edwards

BURIED ABOVE GROUND – The Evil One
Directed by: Jake Woodbridge

WHITE EMPRESS – Revenant
Directed by: Paul Allender

AURAE – Cross the Threshold
Directed by: Ben Dundas

MY ZERO – Work is the Curse of the Drinking Class
Driected by: John Wheeler

EP OF THE YEAR:
(only EPs released during 2016)

FAILING TO WAKE – Disruptor
BURIED ABOVE GROUND – Birth
AETHERIC – Mutated Malevolence
SOULKEEPER – Get Well Soon
FAIL TO DECAY – Fail to Decay
DOWN INFIERNO – Down Infierno
CYMOTHOA – Cymothoa

SONG OF THE YEAR:
(only songs released during 2016)

IN SEARCH OF SOLACE – (Re)birth
MILESTONE – The Seventh Guest
BURIED ABOVE GROUND – I Am God
GRAVESLAVE – Strange Days
ROADS OF GLASS – Costume
BLUE FELIX – Beating Heart
ROYAL’Z – I Am > Ghost

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
(only albums released during 2016)

GABRIEL AND THE APOCALYPSE – The Ghost Parade
BY THE THOUSANDS – Connect
HATE BEAST – Sky Burial
ROADS OF GLASS – Deadking
MASTIFF – From Ashes of Elders
CHALICE OF SUFFERING – For You I Die
WITCHDEN – Salt the Earth

BREAKOUT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR:
(only bands that debuted their first releases during 2016 with success)

AMONG THE SERPENTS
SOULKEEPER
ENDLESS REIGN
WITCHDEN
CHALICE OF SUFFERING
BURIED ABOVE GROUND
AETHERIC

BAND OF THE YEAR:
(only bands that have more than one release that excelled during 2016)

REAPING ASMODEIA
BY THE THOUSANDS
GABRIEL AND THE APOCALYPSE
PIRANHA
BLUE FELIX
REFLECTIONS
ROADS OF GLASS