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 event will win a slot playing the New Blood stage at the festival, plus a selection of other awesome prizes are up for grabs for the bands competing.
One of the wonderful things about M2TM is that it 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.
Twenty-eight venues all over the UK are holding Metal 2 The Masses events to find the best local talent, and on Sunday night it was Heat 7 at Nambucca in London. The evening was introduced and compéred by Monsta Ents’ Mick Wood, who I would like to thank for his hospitality and for putting on a fantastic evening.
First on stage were gothic hard-rock trio Immortal Machinery who got the evening off to a great start playing a selection of tracks from their upcoming album An Imperfect Storm (out on 7 April) including the incredibly catchy “I’m Not Sorry”. They also covered “Shot In The Dark” by Ozzy Osbourne as a self-aware nod to the fact that the majority of the metal-heads in London were seeing Black Sabbath that evening.
Second to play to a steadily growing crowd were four-piece hard rock band Mercury Rising from Chelmsford who competed in M2tM last year and were back with a vengeance. The band treated the crowd and judges to a very lively, engaging and riff-tastic performance, which was very well-received.
Next up were alt-metal five-piece Novacaine Nothing who were one of the heavier bands of the evening. They had a very cohesive ‘look’; all wearing black, and were very popular with the crowd.
Last but certainly not least were five-piece heavy/progressive metal band Karab, who describe their sound as “equal parts prog rock and nu-metal, with a desert-esque penchant for reverb”. Again these guys looked very much the part and put on a very tight performance that everyone clearly enjoyed.
Four bands had played but only two could go through to the next round of M2tM so it was time to cast our votes; 50% from the audience and 50% from the judging panel made up of local scene legends Keiran Sheard (Underworld / The Worlds End), Chris Parker (The Devonshire Arms) and Owen Davies.
And the winners were… drum-roll… Karab and Mercury Rising, who are through to the next round. Huge congratulations to both bands. The overall winner will be decided by Bloodstock booking agent Simon Hall at the grand final at Scala on 1 July.
This show also coincided with Independent Venue Week. You can read more about Nambucca in our earlier article.
Bloodstock Open Air will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 10th-13th August 2017. Tickets available right now.
Photos by Katie Frost Photography