Sunday 28th January saw heat seven of Metal 2 the Masses London at The Big Red. Only three bands were competing tonight for the opportunity to play UK’s biggest independent music festival, Bloodstock Open Air, as one band had been disqualified.
Because there were only the three bands, the show started a little later than usual. By the time the first act came on the room was filled with eager metalheads and Mercury Rising did not disappoint them. A heavy rock/metal band from Essex, who are apparently into “Piña Coladas, Getting caught in the rain, but they’re not into yoga”… wait a minute, that’s a song! Not one they performed though – although that could have been interesting.
Mercury Rising have some major 80s influences like Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses, even their bright logo with pink and blue neon was a clear indicator that they want to play guitar solos and have fun. They had a tight professional sound with some excellent harmonies, utilising the bass and two guitars akin to something like Iron Maiden. They have previously competed in Metal 2 the Masses in 2016 and got through to the semi-finals. Lets hope they go just as far this time, if not further.
Next up were a “European Union” (sorry- probably a sore point) metalcore band. With its members from England, Poland, Portugal and France, they make up a culturally diverse five-piece band called Decrypted. Lead vocalist Steve Kerr announced to the audience that he “always has a shit before a gig, but this was the first show [he’s] done in 10yrs when [he] hasn’t”. I’m not sure if it’s a good luck sign but hopefully it is, because this band gave a very passionate and enticing performance. They did a great job interacting with the audience and giving them some brilliant headbanging tunes.
The last band of the night was Demonskill, a four-piece band from London formed in 2015. They describe their sound as melodic metal, and you can hear Metallica and Megadeth influences in their music – in fact they covered a Megadeth song, which really got the crowd jumping around. They had some great guitar solos showing some major musical talent. They also entered the 2016/17 M2tM London competition and got to the quarter finals.
We thought choosing two bands out of only three would be easier, but tonight we were proved very wrong. All three were exceptionally good and I would love to see them all again. Which is why Mick announced that although Mercury Rising and Demonskill won, Decrypted will be put into the mosh pit round.
Photos by Danni Garner