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What are Tool’s Chances of Winning a Grammy Award?

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With the annual Grammy Awards ceremony coming up soon, taking place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA on January 26, speculation is beginning to heat up as to who will take this year’s “Best Metal Performance” Grammy. While the award has drawn ire from the metal community in the past for its failure to recognize the true up-and-comers in favor of dinosaur acts, the voting committee got it right last year with the selection of High on Fire’s “Electric Messiah,” drawing praise from across the metalsphere.

Who are this year’s nominees? The committee did a decent job nominating deserving acts, with a mixed bag from across the metal spectrum:

Candlemass & Tony Iommi – “Astorolus – The Great Octopus”
Death Angel – “Humanicide”
I Prevail – “Bow Down”
Killswitch Engage – “Unleashed”
Tool – “7empest”

So: who stands the best chance of winning?

The heavy favorites have to be Tool for the simple reason that they’re the most recognizable name on the list. Every Grammy voter gets a say regardless of whether or not they know anything about metal, a major flaw in the voting protocol, so we’d have to imagine most will go with Tool on name recognition alone. Indeed, according to Sports Betting Dime, Tool are the favorite band to win the Best Metal Performance Grammy, no surprise given the incredible success of Fear Inoculum. What’s more, there is precedent: Tool have won this category twice before (in 1998, for “Ænema,” and in 2002, for “Schism”).

But don’t count the others out. Killswitch Engage have been around for nearly 20 years now and first got a Grammy nomination back in 2005 for “The End of Heartache,” so there might be some name recognition for them amongst the voters, too. Death Angel have been around even longer (more than 40 years!) and surely carry some of that caché as well, and wouldn’t it be nice to reward them for their steadfast service to the metal community for four friggin’ decades? Tony Iommi is arguably the most recognizable name of all, but his status as a guest collaborator with a different primary artist, Candlemass, makes that song’s chances somewhat dodgy (although you never know).

Watch out for I Prevail, though: they could be a sleeper pick to win it all! I Prevail have had QUITE a year, and as the requisite newcomers they may be poised to get the nod. Aren’t the Grammys about recognizing new talent, anyway? Much in the same way that High on Fire beat out Between the Buried and Me, Deafheaven, Trivium and Underoath last year, I could see I Prevail doing the same in 2020. Given, this year’s nominee pool has bigger names than last year’s, but still, I Prevail get my personal vote for second most likely to win.

Tune in on Sunday, January 26 to find out. As usual, you’ll need to watch a special pre-event stream to catch the Best Metal Performance Grammy, which doesn’t air on the main television broadcast on CBS at 8pm EST.

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