"You’d think an actual metal band could win the metal category."
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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I’m sorry but King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard winning Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album is a joke and doesn’t even make sense. Wrong genre. Polaris genuinely deserved that award, The Death of Me was a stellar album 🙌🏻 they win in my eyes 🏆 #ARIAS #robbed— Maddie Clark (@madelclark) November 25, 2020
How did Polaris not win best heavy album? And to lose to King Gizzard makes NO SENSE fuck the #ARIAs man for real— Filip Cornea (@firipcornea) November 25, 2020
King Gizzard are a great band no doubt! Sadly the Arias have chosen to ignore real hard rock/ metal bands..... if you are going to put bands in categories at least reward the BEST BANDS THAT TRUELY BELONG IN THOSE CATEGORIES!!!— Jules (@juliansarangi) November 25, 2020
It’s truly not that hard!!!
I don’t care about the ARIAs, but plenty of industry folk I know do. That said, and nothing against King Gizzard (who I don’t really listen to), but you’d think an actual metal band could win the metal category.— Brendan Crabb (@JarOfTripsis) November 25, 2020
You guys are kidding if you think this band falls under either of these categories.— Duane James (@duanejames666) November 25, 2020
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”.
Didn’t win this time but still had ourselves a little celebration. Thank you @ARIA_Official for the nomination and congratulations to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard on the win!— P O L A R I S (@PolarisAus) November 25, 2020
Photo by Bobby Hendry pic.twitter.com/oxJTFLAmKs
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."
"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.