One of the great things about Bloodstock Festival it not only showcases the biggest and best metal bands from around the world but it also offers a platform for the unsigned bands of the UK and beyond that are currently toiling on the underground circuit.
Metal 2 The Masses is a battle of the bands that ultimately gives 22 bands from the UK and two from Europe a slot at the UK’s premier metal festival.
M2TM (East Midlands) Heat one began with Derby thrashers Hellrazor. Fronted by Chris ‘Star Wars’ Whitehurst, the speed metal quartet blasted out a set comprised of songs about drinking, headbanging and general metal shenanigans. The crowd were well into it, singing along to Band Your Head and Suicider; it was a damn good set of party thrash.
Second up were ICONS. Whilst not as catchy as the previous band, the Leicester metalcore quintet were definitely a notch heavier. Admittedly, their newer songs weren’t quite as tight as the tracks they played from their EP Lifesigns, but on the whole it was a decent half hour or so of modern metal.
The next band to hit the stage were 2007 M2TM winners, Blindsight. Although the line up was slightly different from seven years ago, the key elements are still the same. Riffs, screams, melody and humour all come together in a Blindsight set and although there were a couple of slight mistakes on this occassion, it was clear to see why these guys had won it in the past.
For those in attendance that liked a little more melody to their metal, the penultimate band were sure to appease. The second band from Derby to play tonight, Doomsday Outlaw played straight-up, raw southern metal about whiskey, skinny hookers and psychosis. No bull, just pure, unadulterated groove metal played concisely and with the utmost condfidence, despite being a guitarist down.
The final performance was by a band who have been attracting quite a bit of buzz lately, Taken By The Tide. The tech/groove lads from all over the East Midlands were also missing a guitarist, but still put on a great showing of musical wizardy. Front man Phil Illsley was engaging yet humble between songs (and kept his cool even though the microphone kept cutting out) and the entire band seemed genuinely happy to be playing to such a receptive crowd.
All five bands seemed to have a blast and even though only two could eventually it through to the East Midlands final, the atmosphere was fun and lively, and why shouldn’t it be? Five up-and-coming bands playing different kinds of metal to the best of their ability – there’s simply nothing better.
Winners, advancing to the Metal 2 The Masses East Midlands final:
TAKEN BY THE TIDE