You voted in your THOUSANDS and we've spent the last week tearing our hair out tallying up the results, but we finally got there. Now it's time to reveal who made YOUR year.
Ahh, 2014. You've been a beast of year. We've had incredible albums, spectacular shows and we've made memories that we'll take to our graves. But now it's the time to reveal what really mattered. Throughout the last month, over 35,000 of you have voted in our annual Readers' Poll to cast their votes for Best British Band, Best International Newcomers, Gig Of The Year, Festival Of The Year and so much more.
So who won what? Time to find out....
BEST BRITISH BAND
1. Bring Me The Horizon
2. Asking Alexandria
3. You Me At Six
4. Neck Deep
5. Mallory Knox
Maybe it's because they've consistently shown us this year that metal doesn't fit in any one box. Maybe it's because they sold out Wembley Arena and pretty much showed the mainstream that yes, heavy music does have an audience and it's growing faster than ever. Or maybe it's because, like us, you're STILL listening to 'Sempiternal' on a daily basis. Whatever the reasons, YOU voted Bring Me The Horizon as the Best British Band of 2014.
Meanwhile, Asking Alexandria and You Me At Six fill out spaces two and three. Special mention to up-and-comers Neck Deep and Mallory Knox for edging their way into the Top 5, too. Proof - if it was needed - that British rock is in the finest form it's been for years.
BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND
1. Black Veil Brides
2. All Time Low
3. Tonight Alive
4. Fall Out Boy
5. Of Mice & Men
In a year that's seen them release their most succesful album to date (not to mention a worldwide tour in The Black Mass), Black Veil Brides proved in 2014 that you can break the mould. They've lost the make-up, they've rediscovered their love for denim and balls-out rock songs and Andy Biersack made it onto the cover of our very own magazine. Again. Black Veil Brides are 2014's Best International Band according to YOU.
BEST BRITISH NEWCOMER
1. As It Is
3. Royal Blood
4. Blitz Kids
It hasn't just been a bumper year for the top end of the British rock spectrum. While the likes of You Me At Six and Bring Me The Horizon are selling out arenas and scoring Number 1 records, our Best British Newcomers category is topped by five entirely new names. There could only be one winner, though, and this year it's Brighton pop-punks As It Is. With a debut album set for release through Fearless Records in 2015 and a spot on Warped Tour just around the corner, this lot won't be newcomers for long.
Meanwhile, Marmozets really proved themselves this year, and their debut album 'The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets' just gets better with every listen. Royal Blood might only be two people, but they've already nabbed a Number One album, while Blitz Kids continue to go from strength to strength. As for ROAM, they've impressed on the live circuit, and we should be getting an album from them in 2015, too.
BEST INTERNATIONAL NEWCOMER
1. 5 Seconds Of Summer
3. Gerard Way
Let's be honest: nobody else really had a chance, did they? Love them or hate them, 5 Seconds Of Summer won the Best International Newcomer category by a country mile, and with good reason. Over the last 12 months they've risen to become the biggest band on the entire planet, and thousands of you voted for 'em.
Shuffling in behind them are Massachusetts three-piece PVRIS, who despite not having played a show on UK soil yet have clearly made a mark with their debut album 'White Noise'. Those shows with Lower Than Atlantis next year can't come soon enough.
The Top 5 is rounded out by not-really-a-newcomer-but-we'll-let-him-have-it Gerard Way, nu mosh mentalists Issues and the flipping riotous Beartooth. Have we mentioned that you lot have damn good taste?
WORST BRITISH BAND
1. One Direction
2. Asking Alexandria
3. Bring Me The Horizon
4. You Me At Six
5. Neck Deep
Do One Direction count as a band? For the purpose of our poll, you lot have replied with a resounding "YES". No surprises there, and as far as the other names in the Top 5 Worst British Bands go - there's not really any surprises there either. After all, if as many people are voting for you as BEST British Band as the WORST, you must be doing something right. Don't worry about it too much, Asking Alexandria, Bring Me The Horizon et al.
WORST INTERNATIONAL BAND
1. Blood On The Dance Floor
2. Black Veil Brides
3. 5 Seconds Of Summer
4. Falling In Reverse
5. Sleeping With Sirens
Despite not doing a single thing in 2014, you lot have once again voted for Blood On The Dance Floor as the Worst International Band of the year. As for Black Veil Brides, 5SOS, Falling In Reverse and Sleeping With Sirens - we doubt they're worried too much.
MOST IMPROVED BAND
1. Bring Me The Horizon
2. Motionless In White
3. Of Mice & Men
4. 5 Seconds Of Summer
5. Fall Out Boy
Another gong for Bring Me The Horizon, and with good reason. 2014 has seen the Sheffield lot re-emerge with the epic 'Drown' and 'Don't Look Down', not to mention become one of the hottest live acts on the planet. That Download performance and that Wembley show sure helped them along the way for this one.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
1. Kids In Glass Houses
3. Mötley Crüe
We're just going to say it: too many good bands have split up this year. And it never gets easier. For you lot, though, Kids In Glass Houses was the one that cut the deepest. Their final shows in October were bittersweet, but we'll give it to them for going out on their own terms.
To the rest of the Top 5, we salute you and bid you a fond farewell. Especially you, Mötley Crüe. What's the world going to be like without 'em?
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
1. Black Veil Brides ‘Black Veil Brides'
2. Gerard Way ‘Hesitant Alien'
3. Of Mice & Men ‘Restoring Force'
4. You Me At Six ‘Cavalier Youth'
5. Set It Off ‘Duality'
Once again proving that their fanbase can mobilise, organise and vote when it's needed - not to mention take an album to heart - Black Veil Brides pick up their second award for Album Of The Year. Their self-titled fourth record saw them taking things back to their roots and coming back strong.
GIG OF THE YEAR
1. A Day To Remember @ Alexandra Palace (February 12, 2014)
2. Linkin Park @ The O2 (November 23 / 24, 2014)
3. Tonight Alive play 'The Other Side' in full @ Koko (November 26, 2014)
4. You Me At Six @ Alexandra Palace (April 04, 2014)
5. Bring Me The Horizon @ Wembley (December 05, 2014)
It's a good thing we didn't have to vote for our gig of the year, because we wouldn't know where to start. You lot know what's up, though, and even though it happened way back in February, A Day To Remember's House Party show at London's Alexandra Palace definitely left a mark. And with good reason: there was zorbing, there was pyro, there was confetti and more beatdowns than we could possibly count. Special mention must be given to Tonight Alive for edging into the Top 5 with their full set of 'The Other Side' in November - we've done the maths and reckon at least 95% of the people at the show must've voted for it to be included here!
BEST LIVE BAND
1. All Time Low
2. Black Veil Brides
3. A Day To Remember
4. Pierce The Veil
5. Tonight Alive
We might not have had any UK shows from them since March, but All Time Low cleaned up in the Best Live Band category. We've already got our money on their Wembley show in March making its way into next year's Gig Of The Year shortlist.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
1. Bring Me The Horizon ‘Drown'
2. Black Veil Brides ‘Heart Of Fire'
3. Of Mice & Men ‘Bones Exposed'
4. Fall Out Boy ‘Centuries’
5. Sleeping With Sirens ‘Kick Me'
Matt Nicholls turned into a flipping werewolf in the middle of it, so it's a wonder anyone voted for anything OTHER than Bring Me The Horizon's 'Drown', really!
BEST AT THE INTERNET
1. Gerard Way
2. Jack Barakat
3. Mark Hoppus
4. Andy Biersack
5. Jono Yates
He's a prolific tweeter and he LOVES showing us what socks he's wearing every day he's on the road. Gerard Way is many, many things and being GREAT at the internet is one of them.
Elsewhere, no real surprsies - All Time Low's Jack Barakat is a sarcastic wonder on Twitter, Mark Hoppus is Mark Hoppus (and does stuff like this), Andy Biersack has continued to inspire, and Blitz Kids' Jono Yates has blossomed into a beer-swilling, vlogging internet legend this year. SUP JONO!
1. Reading & Leeds
2. Vans Warped Tour
4. Slam Dunk
Let's face it, Reading & Leeds is better than Christmas, isn't it? This year we had spectacular stuff from Paramore, You Me At Six, Sleeping With Sirens, A Day To Remember, Architects, Every Time I Die, Marmozets, Twin Atlantic... the list is endless.
And thanks to our international readers, Vans Warped Tour and Australia's Soundwave Festival nudged their way into the Top 5 Festivals of 2014.
1. London Alexandra Palace
2. London Brixton Academy
3. Glasgow Barrowlands
4. Manchester Academy
5. Nottingham Rock City
Perhaps an obvious one considering your Gig Of The Year took place there, but Alexandra Palace in North London really came into its own this year for live shows. We had that A Day To Remember show, that You Me At Six show, that Gaslight Anthem show, and when you've got a flipping ice rink inside the venue, you've got to be doing something right.
BEST ROCK SOUND COVER
1. 5 Seconds Of Summer (190)
2. Andy Biersack / Black Veil Brides (193)
3. Gerard Way (192)
4. Neck Deep (191)
5. Slipknot (194)
We put out 13 magazines this year, but there's one month that really stands out - that month when we gave 5 Seconds Of Summer FOUR seperate covers (five if you count the digital edition). You lot seemed to like it, and for that reason YOU voted it the Best Rock Sound cover of 2014.
2015 IS GOING TO BE ABOUT...
We asked you for three bands that you think are really going to take over in 2015, and you answered in your thousands. Tallying this up was a total pain, but we got there in the end. Your three bands to watch for 2015 are...
The Massachusetts three-piece pretty much came out of nowhere in 2014. Then they spent a summer on Warped Tour and released a storming debut album in 'White Noise'. Next year we'll finally get to see them play UK shows and we'd be lying if said we're not staying awake at night thinking about that prospect.
2. AS IT IS
The Brighton pop-punkers signed to Fearless Records in November (becoming the first ever UK band to do so) and with only a clutch of EPs to their name, they've already got a solid fanbase to build upon. It all hangs on that debut album now, lads. No pressure.
3. SET IT OFF
It just shows what one fantastic album can do for a band, doesn't it? 'Duality' won our hearts and by the looks of it, all of yours. We've got money on this lot stepping up to the big leagues in 2015, and we can't WAIT to high-five the shit out of 'em when they get to the UK in February.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR
As much as 2014 was a killer year for heavy music, you lot sure found a bunch of things to complain about. The three BIGGEST disappointments of 2014 according to you were...
1. Pierce The Veil not releasing a new album in 2014
Yeah, we know, that sucks. But it IS coming. And if you want to know what to expect, take a read of this article.
2. Bring Me The Horizon releasing 'Don't Look Down'
They spelled it out at the time, but let's reiterate: 'Don't Look Down' was an experiment as part of Radio 1's Drive: Rescored project. It's not really an indication of what's to come from the band. Or it might be, we don't know for sure. Either way, a lot of you turned your thumbs down at this one :(
3. My Chemical Romance not getting back together
It's not gonna happen. Sorry.
And because reading through your responses for this one was the most fun we've had all week, here's a selection of some other things you lot found time to complain about in 2014. In no particular order:
"Leeds Cockpit shutting down"
"Beau Bokan growing a beard."
"Metallica By Demand at Sonisphere. I can't even start to phrase how boring and awful it was and I don't think I've ever been that disappointed in a live performance in my entire life."
"Reckless Love's tour dates were not close enough to my city."
"Hayley Williams quitting Instagram"
"U2. I can't get their bastard album off my phone. Fuck you, Bono"
"No more new Pop Tart flavours"
"IDK" (over 2,000 of you put this. TRY HARDER!)
"Sherlock season 4 still isn't out"
"Fifty Shades Of Grey outsells Harry Potter"
"ANYONE WHO ISN'T THE HELL"
"ME, because I think I accidentally wrote something in the wrong box beacuse I don't remember typing BMTH under Best British Band"
And there you have it, YOUR winners and losers of 2014.
With that, we'll wish you a VERY merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you manage to get some time to relax, eat some food and generally have A Lovely Time over the next couple of weeks. We'll back in January to tell you EVERYTHING good that's coming in the year ahead.
Oh, and as for who won all of this stuff, we'll be drawing the winner for that in the New Year. So if you haven't heard from us yet, it's not all over...
P.S. If you haven't got our bumper 2014 review issue of Rock Sound Magazine, rectify that over Christmas. It's in UK stores now, you can order a copy to your door or download it for your pc / tablet / phone. And if you like it, stick around for another 12 months. There's much more where all that came from!