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‘Absolutely Ridiculous’: Aus Heavy Music Scene Outraged After King Gizz's ARIA Win

26 November 2020 | 1:50 pm | Staff Writer

"You’d think an actual metal band could win the metal category."

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Metal fans across the country are rioting on social media following last night’s Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album reveal at the 2020 ARIA Awards.

Local favourites King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard took out the honour with their album Chunky Shrapnel, sparking a wealth of controversy amongst Australia’s heavy music scene and fans of other nominated acts Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction, Polaris and The Chats.

The common consensus seems to be that genre favourites Polaris, whose The Death Of Me (our Album Of The Week upon release) is widely regarded by fans and critics alike to be one of the best heavy releases in recent history, were “robbed” of the award by a band that doesn’t quite fit the mould.

One Twitter user described the result as “absolutely ridiculous”, while another said it was a “joke” that “doesn’t even make sense” and someone else said the ARIAs were ‘ignoring real hard rock/heavy bands’.

“Impossible for hard rock or metal bands to get any recognition in this country, and ARIA seems to be a large part of the problem with stunts like this,” one user noted.

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Polaris, however, being the bloody legends that they are, congratulated King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard on their win via Twitter, and also appeared to have a good night, despite being “robbed”.

Back in 2016, a similar controversy resulted when King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard were awarded Best Hard/Rock Heavy Metal Album at the ARIAs, and The Amity Affliction alongside fans called for an overall of how the voting system operates.

“I can see why some people are frustrated right now," UNFD label head Luke Logemann told The Music at the time.

"Personally, I think the best thing to do is to follow the model the Grammys follow, where for each award a specialist committee comes together to make sure all the submitted artists fit the criteria."

Appearing on an episode of The Green Room with Neil Griffiths podcast earlier this year, Parkway Drive frontman Winston McCall said he believed heavy music is still not appreciated locally

"The thing that always pisses me off is how many people love this music. This isn't just Parkway, this is any kind of music that's seen as alternative or heavy or extreme - there's hundreds of thousands of people in Australia that listen to this kind of music and it is still belittled in a comedic way," McCall told host Neil Griffiths.

"It's always seen as, like, that weird thing and 'They make the screaming noises!' and it's like the caricature.

"That's the thing that annoys me because I think there is so much more substance in so much of this music than there is in most of the thing that is given credit as being artistic."

Check out all the winners from the 2020 ARIA Awards here.