Rock Titan of 2014 – 4th Annual Loudwire Music Awards
We honor the goddesses of rock, so we also must honor the titans of rock. And the gentlemen in this category each made his presence known in a big way in 2014.
In a lot of cases, their personas are larger than life, brought about not only by the music but also by their ability to transcend genre boundaries through their actions. So take a look at the nominees for the Rock Titan of the Year and then vote for your favorite in the 4th Annual Loudwire Music Awards poll below.
After spending 2013 showcasing his Philip Anselmo + The Illegals solo project, Anselmo returned to Down in 2014 for the 'Down IV, Part II' EP, which yielded the stellar track 'We Knew Him Well.' He also was busy this year continuing to establish his Housecore Horror Festival as a destination event, reuniting Superjoint Ritual and mining plenty of laughs out of his 'Metal Grasshopper' YouTube comedy series with Dave Hill.
Dave Grohl's double-threat status was secured in 2014, following the successful 'Sound City' documentary with an equally impressive HBO series documenting the making of the Foo Fighters' 'Sonic Highways' album. Add in a variety of music festivals, TV appearances and secret shows and Grohl was perhaps rock's most visible representative in 2014.
He's not only the "metal god," he's also one of metal's biggest ambassadors. We're talking about Judas Priest's Rob Halford, of course, who returned in a big way with the band's 'Redeemer of Souls' album. A rejuvenated Halford put his stamp on the band's latest effort and once again commanded the rock stage for one of metal's greatest live acts.
There's never been any doubt as to what Behemoth are all about, but Nergal found himself in the headlines when his band was detained in Russia and ordered to leave. They also faced some protests in Poland as well. But 2014 was more than just drama, as Nergal and his group issued the excellent album 'The Satanist,' toured the U.S. without incident and the singer even opened his own men's salon and barber shop.
Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows was most visible in 2014 while on the concert stage. The vocalist was front and center for big tours in the spring and a headline spot on the Mayhem Festival. But behind the scenes, Shadows was putting his gamer fascination to use in developing the band's 'Hail to the King: Deathbat' game. Shadows was also integral in helping to put out the group's 'Waking the Fallen: Resurrected' reissue in 2014.
This year saw Nikki Sixx mostly spending his time onstage with Motley Crue as the band began their 'Final Tour.' Meanwhile, Sixx was also working behind the scenes to wrap up the excellent new Sixx: A.M. 'Modern Vintage' disc. The bassist began the transition to his post-Motley touring days playing a live show with Sixx: A.M., continuing his successful radio show and sparking plenty of conversation over his posts on hot button topics.
Slash was back in a big way in 2014, touring in support of the well-reviewed 'World on Fire' disc. The run began sharing dates with rock icons Aerosmith before Slash's band got their spotlight. Slash also played a highly publicized residency of Hollywood's most legendary venues for Guitar Center's 50th Anniversary.
Slipknot made their long-awaited recording return in 2014, with '.5: The Gray Chapter' finally hitting shelves. Corey Taylor was right at the center of that, taking part in the writing and recording, then fronting the band on their fall tour, which included the band's major concert event Knotfest. Taylor also turned up in the film 'Fear Clinic' and started on a new book called 'You're Making Me Hate You.'