Saturday 1st July was the night: the Metal 2 the Masses final had arrived after months of bands battling it out for a chance to win a spot at Bloodstock Open Air Festival, taking place August 10 – 13 at Catton Park, Derbyshire.
It was an earlier start than usual, and first band on stage at 6pm was metal/rock n gore band, Deep Throat Trauma – remember them? ‘Your mum’s favourite band!’ Again they did not disappoint. Lodurr, the ringmaster and vocalist with his kilt and booming voice, and Hyper Death Princess Ree (the only woman on stage the whole evening – again) slaying on the guitar both have incredible stage presence. Lots of inflatables were thrown about including guitars, swords and, memorably, a penis. Jesus also made an appearance on stage at the end of the show and Lodurr jammed an inflatable penis in his mouth. One way of ending your set! Great job guys, I heard it was only the eighth gig they’ve played.
Their album Go Deep or Go Home is available to listen to for free on most streaming sites that haven’t discovered how depraved it is yet.
Next up were Purple Kong. These guys like things dark and gloomy, or should I say doomy. Amongst the very dark blue lights and smoke I could spot people slowly head banging along to the stoner/doom band. They had barely finished the first song before slipping into the next with a deep bass sound; this was obviously a favourite with the fans as they cheered loudly and the bassist lapped it up, stomping across stage.
Third on stage were five-piece-band Bangover, influenced by old and new school thrash and death metal (bands such as Megadeth and Slayer), they drew in a large and lively crowd. A circle pit started forming almost immediately, with one of the inflatable swords from Deep Throat Trauma in middle of it. Fionn Moore is an excellent front man who moves around the stage interacting with the entire audience. He also has great hair for headbanging and some cool air guitar skills. For me it was the most entertaining performance of the night. I think Keiran Sheard (one of the judges at Metal 2 the Masses) particularly enjoyed their set as he was on the barrier headbanging along also.
Their debut EP Divine Command Theory is available to download for free on their website.
Next were progressive tech metal band Sentience, influenced by the sound of bands like Monuments and Tesseract. All dressed in dark clothing – when the lights were low they could barely be seen – vocalist Stuart made sure they were heard, his loud screaming vocals hitting the audience, often up close as he would stand on the speakers to make sure the audience took notice. You can see them perform when they play UK Tech Fest on July 6th amongst other shows this year – check out their ‘Events’ on their Facebook page.
Opensight performed next. The band describe themselves as “an adventurous and neurotic blend of metal, spy themes, quirky jazzy passages and powerful orchestrated sections”. Their music is varied, loud and powerful one minute but also softer with an acoustic interval next.
You can buy their album, Ulterior Motives on their bandcamp page, or see them live at Sunk Fest July 21st.
Last to play were Sutalkerah, a thrash metal band influenced by the likes of Pantera, Korn, Slipknot and Lamb of God – in fact the lead vocalist was wearing a Lamb of God T-shirt. The audience also developed a circle pit during their set, which included Hyper Death Princess Ree from Deep Throat Trauma. You can listen to their music over on Soundcloud.
When all the bands had finished playing, Mick Wood came out on stage to loud cheers. He has put so much blood, sweat and tears into this competition and we are all grateful to him. Claps and cheers and lots of horns in the air ensued, as he congratulated everyone who had taken part in the competition. When it was time to announce the winners, Mick introduced Simon Hall, Metal 2 the Masses organiser & production manager at Bloodstock Festival.
Simon said that the competition was so good that he was going to pick two winners: playing the Jager stage, would be Bangover! But the overall Bloodstock Metal to the masses 2017 (London) winners were Sentience!
Congratulations to both bands and well done to the other four bands for coming this far in the competition.
Mick then introduced Noon Seymour-Rutherford, owner of empireguitars.co.uk, to give away a custom-built axe. This went to Tommy Marshall from Purple Kong.
Deep Throat Trauma & Sutalkerah won a tailored graphics package from Andy “Sarge” Pilkington’s Very Metal Art.
Photographer Tina Korhonen came on stage to announce who had won a photoshoot: Purple Kong were the winners here.
The fun then continued with music from thrash metal band Acid Reign as the headliners of the night. With influences like Metallica, Anthrax & Slayer, they were the perfect band to follow all the evening’s entertainment. A beach ball was flying around the stage and back into the audience – at one point poor Katie got hit in the face with it. It’s dangerous work being a photographer at these shows!
Vocalist Howard kindly checked she was OK, although later on tried to encourage myself to jump from the balcony into the audience and crowd surf. If you want to catch these guys perform they will be at Amplified Festival in July 21st and Sancfest August 27th.
Katie and I had to leave to catch our trains home, but the party carried on with Famyn playing after Acid Reign and the Scala continued with a club night of DJs and dancers.
Photos by Katie Frost Photography