The Grammys: Best Metal Performance


Ah, yes: the reason above all others why I hate the Grammys. The category is nothing above contemptible to metal fans. The set of nominees any given year follows no pattern and it seems that, compared to any other award, the Academy understands what constitutes metal the least.

Lamb of God, “Set to Fail”
Megadeth, “Head Crusher”
Ministry, “Señor Peligro”
Slayer, “Hate Worldwide”

Judas Priest haven’t been worthwhile since the Reagan administration. Next.

Same goes for Megadeth, but swap Bush 41 for Reagan. They’ve made one great-sounding-but-mediocre-written album after another since 1992. Endgame, of course, is the epitome of fantastic sounding shit, with “Head Crusher” being one hell of a boring track about a tool of death. But, hey, it’s got a cool opening riff so why the hell not nominate them, right?

As for Minstry (and JP), why the live album picks? Does the Academy really believe had it not included all these live album picks that some categories would have no worthwhile nominees for 2009? Gojira, Nile, Cannibal Corpse, Mastodon, Napalm Death, Obscura, Cattle Decapitation, Steel Panther (Ok, maybe not a “real” band), Behemoth, Job for a Cowboy, Isis, and Dethklok all put out fantastic records between October 1, 2008 – August 31, 2009 (the eligibility period for the 2010 awards). Pick one.

While Slayer’s World Painted Blood was, for the most part, truly a return to form, “Hate Worldwide” is a tepid choice. It’s a cool tune, to be sure, but it also plods along and doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s simply not the best representation of what Slayer does best. “Psychopathy Red,” conversely, is two and a half minutes of pure Slayer awesomeness, and is easily the best track the band has made since Seasons in the Abyss. Shoulda gone with that one.

All that said, I must admit that the LoG pick is a great one. “Set to Fail” is the best single they’ve ever released, with its NWOBHM-infused pre-chorus and opening two-chord chainsaw riff. One outta five ain’t bad. Hell, it’s a better average than the rest of the awards.

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