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.
The first act of this, the last semi-final, M2TM (Reading) saw Didcot based bruisers K-Lacura. Intense music and high energy from all of the band members collided in a display of sheer fortitude and power. Not content with staying with one sound for too long the band seemed to like mixing slow almost melodic riffs, fast picking and crushing breakdowns to create a sound reminiscent of Parkway Drive mixed with Architects. K-Lacura put in an incredibly tight performance while at all times having a great interaction with each other and their audience. With some ballsy groove and a very full sound between the five musicians K-Lacura got the evening underway with a powerful punch.
The next band of the evening were the charming young men of London based doom-sters Ded Orse (and no that’s not an error). Fusing doom and classic metal influences with precision they have a refrained but huge sound to them, help along by the earth rumbling tone of the bassist. With lots of bounce and power in the rhythm sections the two guitarist had room to play to the hunger of the audience. Ded Orse put in a tight performance on the evening, without skimping on the fun or entertainment factor of their set. With the bar raised and three more bands yet to play the competition was heating up.
The third and youngest band of this years whole competition were Whitney based youngster Twisted State Of Mind. With an average age of thirteen/fourteen no audience should let their diminutive sizes fool them, they have an ability far beyond their years. Busting with energy, as you would expect rockers of their age to be, they bolt right out of the gate in a medley of thrash and classic metal sounds complete with a very polished stage show. Also the band do plenty of genre shifting between different sub-genres of metal and more classic rock to keep the audience entertained. Twisted State Of Mind show a lot of potential and could go very far based on the evening’s performance.
With three bands down and two to go all eyes turned to the gigs second youngest band Contek. With Plenty of samples and a three guitarist attack it was clear that Contek meant business. With good use of clean and harsh vocals and synths their metalcore sound is very refined and precise, complete with great lead guitar work, boundless energy, heavy breakdowns and plenty of tapping to raise the stakes and the tension. In an overwhelmingly tight performance the member of the band that ticked all of the boxes was the drummer, acting as the everlasting guide for the rest of the band-a heavy metal lighthouse if you will. They finished their set with a slower more melodic song to bring their performance to a natural stopping point very effectively.
The final band of the night were one of Readings’ rising thrash bands Reprisal. In just a short space of time this band have forged a path for themselves; becoming known for their expert mix of thrash/death metal and hardcore bounce. They put in a well groomed performance that really showed the audience what these four young men could do, no member of the band was slacking. The vocalist took to the floor rather than the stage for the most part, presumably so that he could gaze into the fear and often adulation of this baying and thoroughly entertained crowd. There were also hints of prog elements in some of the riffs, changing the direction of the songs even just for a moment to great effect. If one thing was certain it’s that Reprisal put on an impressive show in what had been a night of great fortitude and talent from all of the bands present.
All of the bands of the evening had brought their metal to the masses and they all deserved a place in the final, unfortunately only two could go through to the ‘Thunderdome’ of the Reading metal scene: six bands enter, only one will leave victorious.
Winners, advancing to the Metal 2 The Masses Reading final and joining Flight Of Eden, Confessions Of A Traitor, Morass Of Molasses and Remnant: