SAMMA Chronicles 2017: The Roundup

SAMMA 2017 M4A 780x506

Johannesburg, South Africa: As the dust settles on a majestic month of Metal which saw events such as the South African Metal Music Awards, Emalyth‘s Big Day Out and www.metal4africa.com‘s own WinterFest’17 to name a few, we thought it would be apt timing to close out the SAMMA Chronicles 2017 series with a quick look at some of the highlights from the event itself, hosted on 1 July 2017 at Rumours Rock City.

The Setting

Walking into Rumours Rock City on the day, the scene was set for what was bound to be one of the most noteworthy events to date on the SA Metal calendar; one to showcase the top Metal acts, releases and events from 2016. This year’s awards ceremony saw guest tables decorated in black and silver and attendees dressed to amaze and astound in their most glamourous attire; something not often seen in this Metal scene of ours. It definitely gave the ceremony that true ‘Awards Gala’ feel and left everybody feeling well impressed.

“This year’s awards were spectacular! Compared to the previous years’ efforts one could see and feel the step up in class. For a few brief hours we felt like massive superstars, that’s for sure! Metal Hammer awards meets the Grammy’s! But seriously well done to everyone involved! That’s how you get people to notice your scene!” ~ Jessy Switchblade (vocals, Deadline)

Those in attendance had a blast – both the bands and the fans – and gave everyone an opportunity to just celebrate all that makes South African Metal great.

“I loved every second of the awards this year. The sense of community was palpable and I think it’s a great thing to be part of. It was just a fun night out with fellow musicians and fans hanging out together. I hope to see this event grow in stature year on year.” ~ Wayne Boucher (vocals/guitar, Deity’s Muse)

A lot of effort went into the awards this year and that definitely showed.

“The event itself was more than top notch. Sashquita and her team worked extremely hard for this event, and I take my hat (or beanie) off to them. The venue looked fantastic, and it was great to see something completely different like that for a Metal event, becoming an awards ceremony. Sash and her team really outdid themselves, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’re planning for next year’s event already.” ~ Christiaan LordBoo Bronkhorst (SAMMA 2017 Judge/Superfan)

SAMMA 2017 Table Decor

The Proceedings

The event saw a workshop from www.metal4africa.com‘s own Patrick Davidson and performances by Deadline, Maximum Carnage, Displeased Disfigurement and Adorned in Ash, over and above the announcements of the winning bands. A few of the winners have been on the receiving end of this accolade before. Some in the same category and others in different categories. DevilSpeak were one of these bands, taking the crown this year for Best Thrash Metal following last year’s win for Best Newcomer.

“It feels really good having taken awards at the last two events now. Taking Best Thrash now is awesome, as Azaliyah’s biggest influence is Kreator. We are definitely not a straight Thrash band, but we do like to Thrash in our music at the same time!” ~ Derrick Leppan (bass guitar/backing vocals, DevilSpeak)

Among the other returning award winners were Boargazm, Krank’d Up Festival, Theatre Runs Red, Bleeding Spawn and Zombies Ate My Girlfriend. New to the top merits are Last One Alive, Raptorbaby, Riddlebreak, Deity’s Muse, Deadline and Juggernaught.

It could not have been easy make a top selection in each category if taking into account the caliber of the bands up for nomination this year.

“It was difficult. To pick a winner in each category was messing me up. Each one of the nominees was exceptional and having to choose one as the winner, while the rest get put into their respective positions, wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. As a fan, I usually just enjoy the music and the bands; but having to be a judge, that’s completely different. I also discovered some new bands in the process myself.” ~ Christiaan LordBoo Bronkhorst

DevilSpeak M4A 2017 by Christopher Tatzreither
DevilSpeak: image courtesy of Christopher Tatzreither

What comes next for some of the award winners?

I am sure that everyone would agree, we can’t wait to see what is next for the top selections from this year. Deadline, for one, has a new album set for release this year, titled Black Wolf City, and we were interested to know what the fans can expect from it.

“The fans by now would have heard every track that will feature on the album at one show or another except the album intro which is a really beautiful theatrical kinda piece to set the tone, aptly named after the album. I guess they can expect a full blown balls to the wall, energetic, fiery 45 minutes of Old School Heavy Metal in the Accept mold with plenty sprinkles of Maiden, Metallica and Guns N Roses. The album manages to capture our live feel to the T and it definitely leaves no guesses as to what has carved and influenced us as musicians!” – Jessy Switchblade

Deity’s Muse will be hitting European shores later this year at the Euroblast festival.

“Well, Euroblast is a festival we have all individually wanted to attend for years now. Some of our favourite bands on the planet have played it over the years and this time around we’re excited and blown away by the fact that we’re on the bill. Sharing the stage with Twelve Foot Ninja, Devin Townsend, Uneven Structure, Textures, etc. is a dream come true. It still hasn’t quite hit me yet. It’s a crazy dream I don’t want to wake up from.” ~ Wayne Boucher

The Roundup

And with that, a close out to the SAMMA Chronicles for 2017.

“I think the biggest highlight was the amount of people who jumped on board to offer their skills as prizes for some winning categories. It gives the bands a little more than just a trophy, and having these people endorse the awards adds to the credibility of the Metal Awards; that, and of course, how fancy everyone looked on the night. The event was a lot of fun, and it brought together so many different people from across genres and provincial lines all to celebrate South African Metal.” ~ Sashquita Northey (2017 Event Organiser, Emalyth)

SAMMA 2017 group shot at media wall
Metalheads getting into the spirit of the SAMMA: image courtesy of Schutte

We definitely can’t wait to see what the next year brings. You can see a full view of the results in each category at this link.

Connect with the official page for the South African Metal Music Awards on facebook