SAMMA 2018: It’s a wrap, final results

SAMMA 2018 table decor

Johannesburg, South Africa: so concludes the 2018 South African Metal Music Awards, celebrating the achievements of 2017.

Heavy metal seldom shows itself in such finery as has become the annual tradition at Rumours Rock City. This weekend, a record attendance appeared to witness the announcement of which bands would take home a trophy in each category. The organizational and decorative aspects of this event find the SAMMA being gradually transformed away from a live music festival-styled affair to a more formal format, including seating and decor; as well as a huge in-the-flesh social and networking opportunity for all in attendance.

Something is happening at the Southern tip of Africa. Whilst there are still some don’t wish to have any part in it, a growing number of artists, industry professionals and fans alike appear to be latching on.

SAMMA 2018 seated people

The Highest Honours Revealed

This year’s SAMMA was on point with delivery to non-attendees, including a live stream of proceedings on social media as well as immediate updates on instagram when announcements were made. Thus the trophy recipients for each category are already well known, and we summarize them here:

Best Music Video for 2017: Red Helen, for ‘Ode To The Corrupt’
Best Single Release for 2017: Megalodon, for ‘Sanctum’
Best EP Release for 2017: Last One Alive, for self-titled Last One Alive
Best Album Release for 2017: Red Helen, for Trading Past for Pathways
Best Newcomer for 2017: Last One Alive
Best Live Act for 2017: Deadline
Best Metal Event for 2017: Turning Tricks Entertainment, for Krank’d Up Music Festival
Best Black Metal for 2017: Adorned in Ash
Best Death Metal for 2017: The Fallen Prophets
Best Oldschool Metal for 2017: Deadline
Best Core Metal for 2017: Red Helen
Best Progressive Metal for 2017: Ohgod
Best Alternative Metal for 2017: Last One Alive

The results and the means

As the presently appointed Independent Observer, www.metal4africa.com has been charged with the responsibility to oversee the process as outlined in the SAMMA 2018 Operations Manual. We can confirm that all of the recipients of the trophies have received their merits according to the strictures contained in the 2018 Operations Manual. The three phases are summarized as:

Initial nominations: where seven panelists selected from a diverse geography and industry background each put forward an opinion of their Top 5 into a centralized listing. We then checked each nomination to ensure that it met with the criteria set out for the relevant category. In some cases, a panelist would have been asked to resubmit.

Public polls: these lists were then put to a public poll whereby the public vote would: 1)whittle down the lists to only a final Top 5 inside each category, and; 2) assist to identify genre-specific nominations for categories in which the panlists’ opinion remained divided. The number of vote does not determine the overall highest score, as it is known that some bands would be able to access resources in order to tip such a result in their own favour. Therefore, step 3 is to return to the panel.

Final scoring: the lists as determined by the public poll are returned to the panelists in A-Z order. Each Panelist then sent the list back to the Independent Observer, rearranged in an order of priority for the highest score to the lowest score from 5 points to 1 point. Therefore, the highest score possible for a nominee in any category is 35 points (in the event of a unanimous top score by all 7 panelists), with a lowest score possible being 5 points.

Final Scores

The final scores for each category reflect as follows:

Best Music Video for 2017:

Panelists were asked to assess the quality of both audio and visual production, as well to consider other matters of input such as creative effort and viewer impact.

35 Red Helen – Ode To The Corrupt
23 Ohgod – Hungry Ghosts
18 Mezzanine Floor – Behold! Lusca
17 L.A.Cobra – War
12 Nerve Zero – Torture Chamber

Best Single Release for 2017:

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2864148001 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=f0dae8 tracklist=false artwork=small track=359989405]

Panelists were asked to assess the quality of audio production, captivating song-writing, visible effort put into the release (such as media, artwork and other supporting materials) and listener impact.

28 Megalodon – Sanctum
26 Ohgod – Hungry Ghosts
23 DevilSpeak – Unearth Hell
14 My Columbine – Vigorish (tied runner-up, listed A-Z)
14 Nerve Zero – Torture Chamber

Best EP Release for 2017:

Last One Alive 2017 self titled artwork

Panelists were asked to assess the quality of audio production, cover art, concept, captivating song-writing, captivating song arrangement (from start to finish), visible effort put into the release (such as media, artwork and other supporting materials) and listener impact.

29 Last One Alive – Last One Alive
23 Technopath – Ontology (tied runner-up, listed A-Z)
23 The Fallen Prophets – Death Conquers Life
17 Ruff Majik – A Finch in a Cherry Tree
13 Disarmageddon – Contagion

Best Album Release for 2017:

Red Helen 2017 Trading Past For Pathways

Panelists were asked to assess the quality of audio production, cover art, concept, captivating song-writing, captivating song arrangement (from start to finish), visible effort put into the release (such as media, artwork and other supporting materials) and listener impact.

27 Red Helen – Trading Past for Pathways
23 Ohgod – The Great Silence
21 Deadline – Black Wolf City
18 Megalodon – Illusion of Origin
16 Kings of Improg – Henosis

Best Newcomer for 2017:

Panelists were asked to assess the merits of achievement, as are visible, from bands which had not appeared on stage or in recorded works prior to 01 January 2016. Achievements can include releases (singles, EPs, albums, videos), caliber of live performance, initiative taken in touring, bookings at high profile events and any other noteworthy ground broken for a new band becoming active in the public space.

33 Last one Alive
22 Disarmageddon
21 13th Empire
16 Abaddon
13 Hiraeth

Best Live Act for 2017:

Panelists were asked to assess the entertainment value of bands based on factors such as stage presence, quality of delivery, fan interaction and any other visible “wow factors” not limited to stage appearance (costume), social capital (often talked about) or any other exceptional qualities evident.

28 Deadline
23 Red Helen
22 Megalodon
18 Riddlebreak
14 Ohgod

Best Metal Event for 2017:

Panelists were asked to assess the quality of an event based on factors such as (and not limited to) attendance, line-up/entertainment value, organizational ability, advertising campaigns, special features and fan feedback.

35 Krank’d Up 2017
28 M4A SummerFest’17
19 Wacken Metal Battle SA: Finals 2017
15 Metal Feast 2017
8 Ragnarok 2

Best of Genre Categories:

In each category, Panelists were asked to assess the merits of achievement, as are visible, from bands which showed exceptional activity between 01 January and 31 December, 2017. Such achievements could include local live activity, inter-provincial touring, international touring, releases (singles, videos, EPs, Albums), strong media presence (locally and/or abroad), generally of a high performance quality and high quality of releases where applicable.

Best Black Metal for 2017:

26 Adorned in Ash
23 Nebula Disrupt (tied runner-up, listed A-Z)
23 Wildernessking
20 Spectral Realm
13 Sinister Superstar

Best Death Metal for 2017:

26 The Fallen Prophets
24 DevilSpeak (tied runner-up, listed A-Z)
24 Maximum Carnage
17 My Columbine
14 Nerve Zero

Best Oldschool Metal for 2017:

34 Deadline
22 De Wallen
21 L.A. Cobra
15 The Slashdogs
13 Disarmaggedon

Best Core Metal for 2017:

34 Red Helen
22 Boargazm
21 Treehouse Burning
20 Truth And Its Burden
8 13th Empire

Best Alternative Metal for 2017:

31 Last One Alive
26 Deity’s Muse
17 Dirty Moonshine
16 Aimed At You
15 With Dawn

Best Progressive Metal for 2017:

31 Ohgod
25 Megalodon
22 Kings Of Improg
16 Technopath
11 Mezzanine Floor