Metal 2 The Masses – London, Heat 8 (4th Feb 2018)

Another Sunday, another heat of Metal 2 the Masses London. Heat 8 was back to four bands competing for a place at Bloodstock Festival.

Serpentyne (c) Danni Garner

First up were The Circular Ruins, a north London based experimental prog rock band, mixing elements of grunge, stoner rock and heavy metal. Unfortunately I was late arriving and missed a lot of their set, but Ryan (Shotison Photography) who is the official M2tM London photographer said “I really liked them. Their songs were unpredictable. The rhythm changes kept me on my toes when I was nodding along – nodding partly because of the infectious songs and partly in approval of some solid musicianship.”

Next to take the stage was a ‘Medieval-World-Folk-Rock’ band, with a fusion of beats and a Game of Thrones vibe. If you listen to Nightwish and Within Temptation, you will probably like Serpentyne. With operatic vocals, bagpipes and a hurdy-gurdy in the mix there was plenty to see and hear. Playing with a wildness to them, binding electronics, strings and some thumping rhythms, these pagans were set on bewitching the crowd.

The Bleeding (c) Ryan Whitwell

Arcane Militia (or just M for short) are a London based rock and metal band “spreading their unique brand of aggressive love metal across the globe.” Lead vocalist Mikael Hunter started their set by leaping on stage, then was slurping his spilt beer off the floor with a straw, dragging a table on stage to sit on and sing, then finishing the set by taking the show on to the street! He pushed open the fire doors and sat outside sharing the music with the people of Holloway. They played some catchy head banging songs, not only were they passionate in their performance, they were entertaining as well.

The Bleeding, a death metal/metal/thrash band were the last to perform. Their set was fast and heavy, and there were some tight death metal riffs. Their drummer James, it has to be said, was one of the hardest working guys that night, thrashing out some thundering beats – and all barefoot, too.

You can read our interview with the band from when they released their last album Rites of Absolution in May 2017. The album, along with other merch, CDs and bundles, is available over on their Bandcamp.

The judges took a while to decide, being called back again for another meeting. I think it was a tough decision but the winners were Arcane Militia and The Bleeding!

Well done to all the bands involved!

Photos by Danni Garner and Ryan Whitwell

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