Slipknot lead Kerrang! contenders
Slipknot are in pole position for the UK's biggest heavy rock ceremony, the Kerrang! Awards, with four nominations. Close behind with three chances each are The Darkness - the only band to win two awards last year - plus Muse, Blink 182, Lostprophets and HIM.

Nominees will fight it out for titles including best single, best album, best newcomer and a new icon award for artists felt to have legendary status.

Ex-Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable will present the awards on Thursday.

Previous big-name winners include Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Marilyn Manson, AC/DC and Iggy Pop.

Seven of this year's awards have been voted for by the public, with the remainder judged by the Kerrang! team.

The nine members of US-based Slipknot face competition in the best album category from Muse, Lostprophets, Blink 182, Killswitch Engage and The Distillers.

Blink 182 are again among their rivals in the best video section, alongside The Offspring, New Found Glory and HIM.

UK band Ash are in the running for best single, with Orpheus.

Meanwhile, The Darkness will attempt to win best live act for the second year running, battling against Slipknot, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Welsh group Funeral For A Friend, last year's best UK newcomer.

Nominations for the newcomer title this year go to Amplifier, Yourcodenameis:milo, Reuben, Oceansize and The Glitterati.

Finnish band The Rasmus - also put forward for best single - will be up against bands including Velvet Revolver and My Chemical Romance for the best international newcomer prize.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose Californication was voted best album of the last 10 years in July, are among the contenders for the best band on the planet award, won last year by nu-metal act Linkin Park.

According to