It’s the last in the series of three semi-finals in the Metal 2 The Masses competition in Wolverhampton tonight. KK’s Steel Mill plays host to the battle which pitches four heat winners against each other with two places at stake in June’s Grand Final. The ultimate winner of the competition will go on to the hallowed turf of Bloodstock and play the festival in front of 20,000 metal fans.
Born Zero are the first to take to the stage tonight. Their hard hitting brand of heavy metal shines through, a battering ram of sounds influenced by the likes of Machine Head and Pantera provide lashings of groove metal goodness. Levi’s vocals and persona comes to the fore in a performance plagued by technical difficulties. But drummer Charlie stands out, with no disrespect to any of the others, he is easily the best drummer of the thirty bands in the competition. Talented and entertaining his performance sums up the Born Zero ethos.
The Black Hounds progressed to the semi final after a stunning performance in heat three, outshining the
rest of the competition that evening. The semi provides a tougher challenge, but these boys are up for it. Vocally inspired by the likes of Bruce Dickinson, their brand of hard rock fury is a well rounded masterpiece. Luscious guitars weave a web around the listener in a performance of the ultimate rock experience.
Bringing a sizable number of fans with them, Mystiek have got to fancy their chances in the fans vote at the very least. There is a depth to the bands song writing that gives them the sound of something different, something unique. The vibrant performance sits well with the packed audience, there is an energy amongst the crowd and the banter from frontman Josh flows forth. The band have the confidence to shine, their sound a mix of rock, metal and grunge melding into a cacophony of aural delights.
Last band up in the competition are new generation of thrash upstarts, Elyrean. If you like thrash and death metal then look no further as they meld the styles of the genres greats along with heavy inspiration from the musical mind of Chuck Schuldiner. Snarling guitars fight for supremacy whilst battering our ears, Asa’s destructive vocal tone gives a haunting edge to the sound. As performances go this is outstanding, and surely enough for the band to progress to the finals?
Only the judges and the fans vote can decide the eventual winners, so whilst votes are cast and tallied the special guest headliners take to the stage.
Obzidian have been around the block and performed at Bloodstock last year, so the festival alumni are the
perfect way to round out the evening. Their bio describes them as thrash metal, but there is so much more to them than that. Their sound has depth, expansive and progressive. Their vocals violent, traces of hardcore and brutally delivered. Their experience shines through in a stunning, energetic performance where the band put their bodies on the line to deliver the show. ‘A Kiss From Nimbus’ stands out as a song, tied into the book ‘Kisses From Nimbus’, it has meaning, it’s heartfelt but doesn’t take anything away from the bands aggression.
With the musical entertainment for the evening at an end, it’s time for the results. The crowd, one of the biggest of the competition so far, gather to hear the as Elyrean and The Black Hounds are announced as having successfully progressed to the grand final. A final that is just weeks away. Make sure you pick up your tickets, it’s just £10 for 8 bands including guest headliners Ashen Crown and Evil Scarecrow, a show not to be missed.