Ah, the Grammys, that time of the year when metal fans sigh and shake their heads as pop stars are hailed as geniuses and a hard rock band from 1974 wins Best Metal Performance for a cover song. The Recording Academy have announced this year’s Grammy nominees, including those for the Best Metal Performance award — and, surprisingly, they’ve nominated a few worthy bands this year.
Here are your nominees for Best Metal Performance:
Body Count, “Bum Rush”
Code Orange, “Underneath”
In This Moment, “The In-Between”
Power Trip, “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe) – Live”
Let’s dissect this line-up real quick: Body Count was nominated because the Grammys love Ice T — Body Count actually played the pre-show last year — and the last couple of albums the band has released have admittedly been awesome. Code Orange are this year’s Young Band Which We’d Be Blatantly Out Of Touch To Ignore, while In This Moment are this year’s These Guys Have Been Around A While And Just Keep Making Money outfit (no shame to either band, that’s just probably why they were nominated).
Meanwhile, Poppy is metal-oriented pop made by a pretty young woman, so the Academy sees it as a way to award a traditional-looking pop star outside of her category (they love that shit), and Power Trip got the big because Riley Gale’s tragic death was the biggest thing to happen in underground music since Sub-Pop Records.
The upside to this is that none of these bands winning would be an egregious error. There’s no Jethro Tull or Billie Eilish on this list; even if Poppy wins Best Metal Performance, she’s wearing corpsepaint on her album cover. So at least the Academy are trying.
That said, it’s the thought that counts, and the place where that shows up is the In Memoriam reel. Whether or not Riley Gale makes it into that footage, we’ll just have to wait and see — but it’s worth noting that in recent years they left Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman, Pantera’s Vinnie Paul, and The Prodigy’s Keith Flint out of the footage.
Words by Chris Krovatin