Friday night saw the second semi-final of Metal to the Masses London at Nambucca. Katie was having a well deserved mini break so she sent me, Danni, down to try and fill her big awesome shoes and cover it. Another six London-based bands fought for three places at the Metal to the Masses Grand finale and a chance to play at Bloodstock Festival in August.
Cavina were the first band promptly on stage at 7:15pm, a heavy metal band from São Paulo, Brazil consisting of two brothers; Eduardo on vocals and Matteus on guitar, and their best friend Avner on drums. Heavily influenced by Pantera, Black Sabbath and Motorhead, these three delivered a hard and rocking set which is what brought the crowd in. It’s hard being the first band on, as usually people are wandering around, getting a drink etc., but as soon as they heard Cavina play, there was a decent sized audience nodding in time to the music. I also spotted a couple of fans in the audience with Cavina merchandise on.
Second to play were another three-piece band, Reveal the Beast, consisting of Billy on vocals and bass, Rich on guitar and Taylor on drums. They had an old school rock sound and I thoroughly enjoyed their set. Billy had great enthusiasm on stage, interacting with the audience – an excellent frontman! These guys are the kind of band who you want to see live. If you want to check them out, and I think you should, they have a show at the Underworld in Camden on 15th September.
Next up were five-piece progressive rock band Karab. I had seen them at Heat 7 of the Metal to the Masses London show, so I was looking forward to seeing how they were this time around. Jack is a very charismatic front man, dressed smartly in a black shirt and tie, he enticed the audience in. Karab recently played a show at the Dev in Camden, and while they have no more current tour dates I feel there will be more to come from these guys! In the meantime check out their EP Growth that came out in March this year.
Fourth to the stage were stoner/doom/metal band Purple Kong, describing themselves as three aliens surveying the planet. These guys definitely brought a different atmosphere to the place. Straight off the lead singer asked for the lights to be dimmed down. If you love doom music, these are the guys for you! Check out their self titled EP on their bandcamp page.
Following Purple Kong with a very different sound and quite a different image were Deep Throat Trauma. Apparently they are “your mum’s favourite band”. The Ringmaster & Lord Almighty, lead vocalist Lodurr, entered the stage in an Hawaiian shirt, kilt and mask. You could see why he calls himself the ringmaster as he certainly commanded the stage. The band also consisted of the only woman I have seen compete in Metal to the Masses, guitarist Hyper Death Princess Ree. I was straight away very impressed! At one point during their set, there was a guy dressed as Jesus with a water blaster. Lots of blow-up guitars and balls were also thrown about. A highly entertaining performance from this four-piece band. You can see Deep Throat Trauma perform at Club 85 in Hitchin on 22nd September.
Last but not least were Sentience, a progressive tech-metal five-piece band. These guys were serious. Adam, one of the guitarists, was practicing on the bench at the side long before their set. Stuart the vocalist was drinking water all evening, preserving his voice for the loud and screamo set that ended the evening’s competition. They had one very dedicated fan at the front, who the vocalist was happy to indulge during the set. If you want to see them live they will be at UK Techfest 2017 July 6th, supporting FRCTRD at the Black Heart in Camden on July 13th, at Prog.Metal.Madness at the New Cross Inn on August 5th, and also at The Phoenix Bar (High Wycombe) on August 31st. Their album Oleka is also available to buy and listen to over on bandcamp.
While Mick counted all the papers and the bands waited anxiously for the results, Bearfist (last year’s winners of Metal to the Masses London) came on stage to relieve the tension. Bearfist are a four-piece metal band from Essex and you can listen to their albums Bearfist and Foundations on their bandcamp page. They have a few live shows coming up – check out their Facebook events page for tour dates.
After Bearfist had finished their set, Mick appeared on stage to reveal the winners, but not before thanking all the amazing bands who played that night. It was a tough competition, not just for the audience but also the Judges (Kieran Sheard, Sarah Wanda Humphries, and Pete Dee) who make up 70% of the vote.
The three bands that made it to the final were… Deep Throat Trauma, Purple Kong and Sentience! Well done guys!
The Metal 2 The Masses Grand Final will take place at Scala in London on Saturday 1 July, promising “twelve-hours of real rock and metal”. The day begins with the M2TM final, followed by a headline performance by Acid Reign, then Unholy Club until 6am.
Bloodstock will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 10th-13th August 2017.
All photos by Danni Garner.