After one month of voting, nearly 6,000 votes cast and countless sharing across all social media platforms by us and nominees alike, the time has come to announce the winners of the GMA Awards 2019.
But before that happens, there will be a change to how the nominees are cast. For 10 months of the year we will be running a series of rounds from which the 10 finalists will be recognised for the annual event.
The system will work as thus: nominees elected in the month of January are voted for in February... February nominees voted in March, etc and finishes with nominees in October being voted for in November - the finalists will then be voted for across the month of December and into early January 2021; finishing 8th January 2021.
Now that's put out into the open, we can finally reveal the winners of the GMA Awards 2019.
Release Of The Year
Best Live Act
Breakthrough African Metal Band
Breakthrough Asian Metal Band
Breakthrough European Metal Band
Breakthrough UK Metal Band
Breakthrough North & Central American Metal Band
Breakthrough Oceanian Metal Band
Breakthrough South American Metal Band
Breakthrough International Metal Band
Festival Of The Year
Music Video Of The Year
Global Metal Ambassador 2019
* Later withdrawn by request of nominee.
Metal Blade Records is proud to welcome Surma to its worldwide roster! Founded in 2018 by Viktorie Surmová (Bohemian Metal Rhapsody) and Heri Joensen (Týr), Surma is symphonic, progressive heavy metal at its finest. Fans can expect the debut album from this group to be released in 2020 via Metal Blade Records.
"We are overjoyed to announce that we have signed a contract with Metal Blade Records for three albums. We have been working on the music for a year now and we are very satisfied with the results. We take this great opportunity very seriously and we look forward to unleashing our music upon the world."
Viktorie Surmová is a member of the theater ensemble of Divadlo Na Vinohradech in Prague, where she performs in a play called "Její Pastrokyňa". She has also collaborated with the Czech band Rosa Nocturna, singing on two separate singles, plus the whole album Za Hradbami Času (2017). Additionally, Viktorie was a founding member, lead singer and songwriter in the Czech band Surmata, who recorded a few singles in 2016. Since 2018, Viktorie has been part of Bohemian Metal Rhapsody, a very unique Czech metal project. She has also appeared as a guest singer for bands such as Drunk With Pain (on 2016's Hail The Monsters), Victorius (on 2017's Heart of the Phoenix), Kilmara (on 2018's Across the Realm of Time), Cruadalach (on 2018's Raised by Wolves), among many others.
Heri is a Faroese professional musician, educated at The Alternative Rhythmic Conservatory (D.A.R.K.) in Copenhagen in 2003. Starting in 2002, Heri has released 8 studio albums with Týr and one with his side project, Heljareyga. He was also featured on records by Ensiferum (2009's From Afar), Wintersun (2012's Time I, 2017's The Forest Seasons) and Alestorm (2011's Back Through Time).
For a preview of Viktorie and Heri's new project, Surma, fans can check out the live video for the track "Like the River Flows" - featuring session members Kevin van den Heiligenberg (drums) and Jakub Janků (bass). Filmed at Barga Negra, Budapest and directed by Viktor Nagy & Péter Lerch of Mihaszna Film (https://www.facebook.com/mihasznafilm/), "Like the River Flows" can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-czY3LfX_o
Stay tuned for more Surma news coming soon!
On March 8th, the Faroe Islands' Tyr will release their eighth full-length, Hel, via Metal Blade Records. Hel is a collection of ruthlessly melodic and irresistibly compelling progressive folk metal that will immediately resonate with any who have followed the band at any point over the two decades of their storied career. For a preview of the album, the first single, "Fire and Flame", can be heard at: http://metalblade.com/tyr/ - where Hel can also be pre-ordered in the following formats:
--box set (digipak CD, drinking horn, leather belt clip, poster, autographed photo card - limited to 1000 copies)
--steel-blue / gray marbled vinyl (US retail exclusive - limited to 500 copies)
--clear mushroom brown marbled vinyl (US webstore exclusive - limited to 200 copies)
--blue / white / black / red splatter vinyl (US webstore exclusive - limited to 100 copies)
--180g black vinyl (EU exclusive)
--turquoise blue marbled vinyl (EU exclusive - limited to 500 copies)
--clear / blue marbled vinyl (EU exclusive - limited to 300 copies)
--bordeaux red /black marbled vinyl (EMP exclusive - limited to 200 copies)
--olive marbled vinyl (Nuclear Blast exclusive - limited to 200 copies)
--white / blue marbled vinyl (Tutl exclusive - limited to 100 copies)
Known for their prolific nature - dropping their first five full-lengths in the space of just seven years - the six-year gap between Valkyrja (2013) and Hel is by far the longest between any two of their records. During that period the band toured hard, taking the album around the world, including a support run with Children Of Bodom in North America and an appearance on the 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise. However, other factors played into this extended break between releases.
"We approached this one differently because I learned that if I continue doing albums in the way we had up to now, I would die from a heart attack before I'm 50! That's one of the reasons we changed our method and took such a long time on this one." says guitarist/vocalist Heri Joensen.
That this tactic - which also includes more songwriting contributions from bassist/vocalist Gunnar Thomsen and guitarist Terji Skibenæs than on previous releases - has been beneficial is borne out in the finished product, which is perhaps more immersive than those that came before.
"Musically it leans a bit towards our album, 'Ragnarok' (2005). It's a bit more epic and also much better worked through than any of our previous albums." It also marks the recording debut of drummer Tadeusz Rieckmann, who has manned the drum throne for Tyr's live shows since 2016." states Gunnar Thomsen
Faroese doomsters Hamferð have released a live recorded video of "Stygd", the 2nd track from their new album, Tamsins likam, released on Metal Blade earlier this year. The song is part of the recorded album release show on March 17th, 2018 at the old Sjonleikarahusið theatre in Torshavn, Faroe Islands. To watch the clip, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLtwVGB7f60
Tamsins likam was played in its entirety, as well as a selection of older songs, including "Odn" - the band's very first song, which, although being a live staple, was never released.
Singer Jon Aldara comments:-
"This concert was a meticulous production in regards to performance, sound and lighting, and we felt it was the perfect opportunity to record it properly. It's a great feeling to have a live recording of Hamferð that does not come from an iPhone or from a festival production that we had little to no control over. We took everything in our own hands and went the whole nine yards with a brilliant crew, well-considered stage design and all the high-end equipment we could get our hands on. Luckily, I really think it shows!"
Hamferð will play a selection of shows in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands in October:
Oct. 2 - Stuttgart, Germany - Club Zentral (w. Egonaut)
Oct. 3 - Leipzig, Germany - Hellraiser (w. Egonaut)
Oct. 4 - Hamburg, Germany - Bambi Galore (w. Egonaut)
Oct. 5 - Paderborn, Germany - Metal Inferno Festival
Oct. 6 - Saint Georges, Belgium - From Dusk til Doom 4
Oct. 7 - Tilburg, Netherlands - Little Devil
Additionally, Hamferð will head out on a tour of Scandinavia in December, notably playing Sweden for the first time in their 10-year long career. See below for dates:
Hamferð tour dates w/ Svartmalm
Dec. 5 - Kobenhavn, Denmark - Beta 2300
Dec. 6 - Odense, Denmark - Posten
Dec. 7 - Goteborg, Sweden - Sticky Fingers
Dec. 8 - Oslo, Norway - Revolver
Dec. 9 - Trondheim, Norway - Hjorten Scene
To preview and purchase Tamsins likam, please visit: metalblade.com/hamferd
Jon Aldara - Vocals
John Egholm - Guitar
Theodor Kapnas - Guitar
Isak Petersen - Bass
Esmar Joensen - Keyboards
Remi Johannesen - Drums
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