It’s been a lovely warm day, summer and Bloodstock is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to tonight’s Metal 2 the Masses Semi Final show with a certain amount of trepidation. The five bands on tonight are all worthy of a spot in the final and it’s going to be a tough one for the judges to call.
First band to play tonight is Shrike, the first of our wildcards, from heat 4. These five lads from Preston kick out melodic thrash and death metal that set the pace for the rest of the night. Hard, fast and full of energy they bound about the small stage, I would like to see lead guitarist Liam on a bigger stage with more room to leap about. They definitely put on a worthy opening set for the already packed club tonight, and once again throw down the challenge to the rest of the bands.
Agent47 take to the stage next. Coming from Manchester, this 4-piece won a semi final place in heat 4. They mix up the genres to create a unique sound with complex riffs, thundering bass and the dual vocals from Rik and Mark that have to be heard to be believed. I was very impressed with these first time around and again tonight. They continue the pace set by the first band and command the stage, despite a small mic problem (quickly sorted) that didn’t faze them for a second.
Third band and gaining a final place by way of heat 3 tonight is Detest, a 5-piece deathcore/beatdown band from Manchester. They’re playing tonight with a guitarist missing, as he sadly couldn’t make it, although some technical wizardry helps make up for it once they get it working. As they blast out an intense set that has the obvious fan club here tonight slamming and kicking in the mosh pit. They have a predilection for strobes and hard violent metal that you either love or detest (pun intended).
Heat 1 winners Bloodmores are fourth to play. They’re a relatively new band of seasoned players from Preston, with an album already released. They play the kind of fast, hard classic thrash metal that I love, interspersed with melodic and atmospheric sections that take your breath away. With plenty of hair flying on stage as they storm their way through a flawless set, thundering drums and screaming guitars perfectly accompany Alex’s deep guttural vocals. Thankfully Chris managed to make it to the end of the set without breaking his kit despite his best efforts with his insane drumming.
Last band and by no means least to the stage tonight is Daybreaker, winning through to the semifinals alongside Agent47 in heat 4. This now 4-piece from Blackpool dominate the stage as they play their own unique brand of hardcore metal. Sam paces up and down the front of the stage screaming at the crowd to come forward as a mosh pit begins to form, with yet another ear shattering performance Daybreaker end the night just as it set off, hard, fast and in your face.
And with that the bands have done everything they can and it’s up to the crowd and judges to decide which two bands go through to the final. The crowd vote is taken, and the judges retire to a back room. After what seems like an age our compére Bobbi takes to the stage to announce the finalists.
Daybreaker and Detest will be going through to the finals on the 1st of June. A huge “well done” to Shrike, Agent47 and Bloodmores who all played blinding sets. This was a very hard semifinal – all the bands worked hard, played well, and were worthy of going through. It was indeed a tough one to call. It was a very heavy and loud night tonight and there are going to be some ears ringing in the morning. Next week and five more bands will once again take to the stage to chase the dream of playing Bloodstock.
Photos by Drew Scott Photographic