Gig Review: Metal 2 The Masses Quarter-Final 3 – Oxford (20th May 2023)

I really need to get out to more places. I would be more than happy to give you a review of a nice new venue, with a large, decorated stage and a really long bar… but that is not going to be the case. I am back here again at The Jericho Tavern once more to watch another four hopeful bands battle yet again it out for the few remaining spaces left in the semi-finals. Upside this week is that I get to hear one new band from the earlier heats whom I was to unfortunately miss.

So, without further delay the first band to don the stage was Street Outlaws, back again with their Motörhead style of music. From the first song to the last, it was loud and fast throughout their complete set. Yet again another flawless performance and nice to see there was little, if any, sound issues throughout. Unlike their performance in their heat stage, I did not feel the repetition of their songs this time around. I am still trying to workout if their changed their setlist around to try to be effective and change it up a bit, or if it was just the fact that I was in a rock and roll mood this evening. Either way I thoroughly enjoyed their set and yet again, and it does make a pleasant change to the competition, having a light genre thrown in just to mix things up. Also, a quick shout out to the most impressive beard at this event so far. The lead singer Phil Powell’s beard is not only long but seriously well kept, and adding to this he must have had a fan directed onto himself as the beard was gently blowing like a windsock. This is not a beard envy I swear, but as an earlier beard owner I understand the complexity of keeping one to a reasonable standard.

Next up for the evening Voodoo returning from London as the Judges Wildcard, and I was quite happy with the judge’s decision to bring these guys back to M2TM. My review from heat two, let us just hope the drummers high hat is screwed down this time. At this stage in the competition, they cannot afford Any technical difficulties that may degrade their performance. Unlike in the heat stage they had much more of a crowd this time as by now the numbers had picked up dramatically. Yet again we were hit with a very heavy Metallica feel, And even more of those face melting solo rifts. They hit us with different songs this time and their sound seemed to flow much better. Along with that, they seemed to be even more energetic on stage which resulted in a small pit, and they even had a bit of crowd participation going on which is always fun to see. Overall, their performance was top notch and it’s nice to see if being the underdog, has what it takes to make it through.

The third band to grace the stage tonight was Indecorum, delight for myself as yet again I get to hear a band for the first time that I had unfortunately missed during the heats. And boy was I in for yet another surprise straight from the get-go. Paige, their lead singer was like nothing I’ve seen before. The energy that she had on stage from the how fast song right the way through to their last, was unbelievably energetic an animated throughout the full set. Jumping off the stage, straight through the crowd, and even managed to get the wireless microphone to work perfectly all the way to the bar around the corner. I bet the bar staff this evening had no idea that this was going to happen, yet it would be a pleasant surprise for them for a change to get up close and personal to the music. Not only that, but the whole band also seemed to have equal energy to go along with Paige’s. Their crowd interaction was incredible along with very shouty growls thrown in throughout. This band is certainly a force to be reckoned with as I have no doubts that they will progress further with their performance this evening.

The final act to take the stage this evening was Severed Tongues. Another band to which I have yet to see on stage so far within this competition. I certainly am lucky to hear two new bands this week, so I look forward to seeing what they bring. We have yet another metalcore band right from here in the very heart of Oxford, and it’s safe to say that these guys were definitely on par with performances so far of the evening. There has to be something said about Oxford producing really good metalcore bands as throughout this competition so far, all metalcore bands have been of an extremely high standard throughout. And severed tongues have yet again piqued my interest within the metalcore genre. As this competition has gone on, I have found myself enjoying this genre increasingly more. There were copious amounts of movement on stage fuelled by an obscene amount energy, along with an equally impressive amount of movement from the crowd. Their bases were heavy, and the drops were even heavier. Their vocals were on point, deep and intense, and they seem to absorb the atmosphere well enjoying every minute on stage.

So now it’s time for the final result and I would go so far to say it was an extremely tough decision for both the judges and the crowd. The quality of the performances this evening has been fantastic throughout have regardless of the decision all four bands have certainly earned a chance to progress through to the next round. But unfortunately, only two bands can go through. Going through on the crowd vote was Indecorum, followed by Severed Tongues winning the judges vote. Sincere commiserations to both Street Outlaws and Voodoo, To which on any other night the performance could have potentially seen them through to the next round. And with that we only have two more spaces remaining in the semi-finals, so it really is heating up now.

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