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Skull Photo gallery

A sweaty throng of more than 900 packed The Button South in Hallandale on June 25, 1992, for the first annual South Florida Slammie Awards, saluting the area's thrash, hardcore and hard alternative bands.

Headlining the six-hour, all-ages concert with a brutal 75-minute set was Fort Lauderdale death/thrash band Malevolent Creation, celebrating their second worldwide release on Roadrunner Records. Performing 30-minute sets were Miami thrash/death band Solstice (recently signed to Germany's Steamhammer Records), West Palm Beach "techo-groove-death-thrash" band Raped Ape, Fort Lauderdale power metal/thrash band Amboog-A-Lard, West Palm Beach hardcore band Meatlocker and Miami hard alternative band Load.

The performing bands dominated the awards, which were given out between sets by local radio personalities, journalists, band members and scene supporters. Ballots were circulated at local record stores and concerts for three months. In the spirit of the underground scene, all ballots were open (no nominees) and everyone's vote counted the same.

Amboog-A-Lard took home five awards, Malevolent Creation three and Raped Ape and Load two each. The award trophies are heavy ceramic skulls with a metal plate in the forehead engraved with the winner's name.

Band of the Year honors went to Raped Ape, which also won the Thrash Band award. Amboog-A-Lard won for Local Release (their 1991 demo), Song of the Year (Overthrown), Drummer (George Kokkoris), Lead Guitarist (Dan Fontana) and Rhythm Guitarist (Jeordie White).

Malevolent Creation's Bret Hoffmann took the Vocalist trophy and the band shared the death metal award with Roadrunner labelmates Cynic of Miami. Malevolent Creation's 1991 release, The Ten Commandments, won for national release. The new Retribution has been released in Europe and will be out in the U.S. on June 30. A U.S. tour with Obituary, Agnostic Front and Cannibal Corpse will follow in July.

Load captured New Band and Hard Alternative Band honors while Meatlocker won for Hardcore Band. The Bass Guitar award went to Tony Choy, who has played with signed bands Cynic, Atheist and Pestilence and who was guest bassist with Solstice at the Slammies.

Hundreds of dollars in prizes donated by sponsors - including T-shirts, CDs, cassettes and gift certificates - were given out to fans between sets. Several winning bands also got bonus prizes. The New Band award earns Load 10 hours of studio time at Gled Recording Studio in Davie, and Amboog-A-Lard will receive 100 free real-time cassettes at Audio Craft in Fort Lauderdale in addition to the Local Release award.

Other sponsors are: Instrument Rental and Cartage, Music Box, The New Look, Record Haven, Roadrunner Records, Sound Splash, South Beach Rocks, Stryder Records, Uncle Sam's Records, Yesterday & Today Records and Zack's Rock Shop.

Hosting the three awards segments were Glenn Richards of WSHE-FM, Chez Pazienza of WVUM-FM and Yvette Lam of WKPX-FM.

The South Florida Slammie Awards were organized by Jim Hayward, a West Palm Beach journalist, promoter and manager. He was assisted by the Slammie oversight committee composed of three local radio personalities - Amy Downing of WKPX, Bob Slade of WLRN and Paul Zimmerman of WVUM. Ballot-counting was supervised by certified public accountant Paul Kroncke of Fort Lauderdale.

The success of the first Slammie Awards show has solidified the event as an annual occurance. Plans for 1993 are already being made. Stay tuned to your local mosh pit.