Metal 2 The Masses is a series of events up and down the country offering self-signed and unsigned bands the opportunity to play at Bloodstock Open Air Festival; the UK’s biggest independent metal festival. One winner from each region will win a slot playing the New Blood stage at the festival, plus Empire Guitars are once again generously supplying an extra prize open to any band in this year’s competition in the form of a 2k custom axe. Along with previous sponsors from the wonderful Diezel Amps and Simon Jones, this year the competition welcomes Natal Drums , EVH Gear , Blackstar Amplification , Orange Amplifiers and Storm Rehearsal as official sponsors and endorsement. Shout-out to Moshville crewmember Ryan who is the official photographer for M2TM London on behalf of the organisers.
Metal 2 The Masses is a strict non-pay2play competition, so all the bands are judged purely on their musical talent rather than how many tickets they can sell. It is a great initiative to help support unsigned metal bands as well as the local music scene. Last year not only did Sentience win the overall prize to play the New Blood Stage, but Bangover were awarded a chance to perform on the Jagermeister stage.
Heat One of M2TM London saw Annunciation, Die Kur, Total Consumption and M.I.N.D battle for two places in the next stage. This year there are also two runners-up rounds, plus a wildcard place in the Grand Final up for grabs, meaning any band can get back in the running at any time.
Starting the night off were M.I.N.D, a London based progressive metal band, formed in July 2009 by lead guitarist Andreia Gomez. They say the concept of the band is “the human mind and the nature of human experience”. I could definitely hear their influences of Tool, Lamb of God, Metallica and Pantera in their performance. While Daniel the vocalist made an interesting front man to watch, it was Andreia’s guitar solos that really stood out for this band – I think we all were impressed with her skills. You can see for yourself on YouTube.
Next to play were Die Kur, an industrial metal band from London with six members! Ays on vocals, synthesizers, sampler and theremin, Amadeus playing bass, Tony and Ivan on guitar, Nick playing drums, and Takatsuna playing the violin. I have to say I don’t think I’ve seen a violin and theremin on stage with a metal band before, but for me this definitely gave them an edge on the night. I particularly enjoyed Tony’s headbanging and ogling his awesome BC Rich Warlock guitar; amongst the smoke poring from the machine I could see the top of it looking like metal horns – you can’t get better than that! The band has been around since 1999 and has released four albums; the most recent of which (Manifesto) was released in 2015.
Just as we were waiting for the third band of the night on stage, a man in a white boiler suit and another in an orange high-vis vest walked on stage. Thankfully there were no problems with the building, they were actually the next band, Total Consumption, a grindcore/crust/sludge act from South London, featuring Thomas Debenham on vocals and Matteus Carpentereus on guitar/backing vocals. Total Consumption made their debut at Red Roar Festival 2016 and since then have gone forward to support the likes of Department of Correction, Organ Dealer, Raised By Owls, Human Cull, Unsu, Necrosis and Basement Torture Killings. Their latest EP came out in September 2017 and they are currently looking for a new drummer.
Last but not least were Annunciation; a death metal band with members from as far as Canada and Italy – Jonathan on drums, Davide on bass, Deano on guitar, and Matthew on vocals. Brutal, fast, and furious, the band say draw their influence from such classic artists as Suffocation, Death, Morbid Angel, as well as “taking the best from more modern bands and crafting it into our own blend of brutality”. Annunciation had a straightforward, old-school “traditional metal” sound.
The votes were made up of 50% audience vote and 50% judges vote. Head judge Keiran Sheard was joined this week by guest judges Sara Tibbers and Chris Parker from The Devonshire Arms. As usual Mick kept us in suspense for ages until the crowd started getting itchy for answers, although he didn’t give them up quickly; the usual wit and banter ensued first before announcing that Die Kur and Annunciation were the winners of this week! Congratulations to them and well done to all the bands involved.
All photos by Katie Frost Photography.