Metal 2 the Masses 2018

August 9-12, Catton Park, Walton on Trent, Derbyshire
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robin8585
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby robin8585 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:28 am

Didn't get to Manchester's Heat 2 last night, I was the other side of the city centre at the Dystopian Future Movies gig. Barbarian Hermit and God Shaped Devil made it through, with Armageddon Stereo and Stormrider missing out.

Barbarian Hermit are a band I really like, I'd love to see them win the whole thing, so I'm happy with that. God Shaped Devil have been enjoyable when I've seen them previously, but having never seen the other 2 I can't really say if it was a decent result there or not.

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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:31 am

Tbf, Dystopian Future Movies are ace and that's totally understandable, haha.

We had our 7th heat last night. Write up to come later today / tomorrow. We have one remaining first round heat, and that's on Sunday.
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:21 pm

A Small Update

Due to scheduling conflicts, anthemic rockers Fear Lies and melodic metallers Steal the City have withdrawn from the competition.

Combining this with the respective availabilities of the bands that have finished 4th so far, this meant that Rancidium, Zero Point Zero and Thrashsquatch have all qualified for the Quarter-Finals. Additionally, in the two remaining heats, the bands that come 4th will definitely qualify for the Quarter-Finals.

The Story So Far…

Qualified for the Semi-Finals: Arkdown, Sour Tusk, Bleating Apocalypse, Lowdrive, Aonia, Soul Shredder

Qualified for the Quarter-Finals: The King is Dead, Crimson Tide, Exemption, Deltanaut, Grave UK, Psython, Gorilla Warfare, Air Drawn Dagger, Burn Down the District, Spiteful Embrace, This State of Ours, Rancidium, Zero Point Zero, Thrashsquatch

Round 1, Heat 7

The penultimate heat in the First Round saw five bands battle it out for one Semi-Final and three Quarter-Final spots.

Kxntinuum
https://www.facebook.com/KxntinuumBandUk/

Kicking things off were young upstarts Kxntinuum. Of all the genres we have had represented so far this year, deathcore is probably one that appeals to me the least. Saying that, these guys did okay and those down the front partook in some rhythmic headbanging in time to the downtempo chuggy riffs. I only had a couple of issues with the set – namely that Charles’ guitar was too quiet in the overall mix (some of the technicality was lost) and the other being that they weren’t the tightest unit around. Both of these things can be resolved with experience.

Empusa
https://www.facebook.com/EmpusaUK/

Next up was Chesterfield/Sheffield quintet Empusa. Those that read my blog last year will know that I was impressed with Crucifixiation frontman Danny. Well, this is where he is now, and, man, has this enabled him to show off his skillset more! His low death grunts are excellent (with good diction!), and he can transition to high end metalcore/black metal shrieks at the drop of a hat. Musically, the band are sort of death metal / melodeath, with smatterings of metalcore here and there. The set was excellent and I was blown away by some of the riffs/tunes.

Discordian
https://www.facebook.com/DiscordianBand/

Next up was the latest out-of-town band to enter the competition, Huddersfield’s Discordian. These guys were quite interesting – musically, they were dancing the borderline between modern heavy metal and metalcore. However, the musicality and melodious tones of the clean vocals from frontman Will would not have sounded out of place on a 30 Seconds to Mars track. Additionally, there were times when he had a more shouty delivery usually found in acts such as Rise Against. To me, this made them more of an intriguing prospect than a lot of run-of-the-mill metalcore bands around at the moment.

Coyote Mad Seeds
https://www.facebook.com/CoyoteMadSeeds/

Trio Coyote Mad Seeds were the penultimate band of the evening, and their brand of southern / hard rock brought a definite stylistic change on what had come so far. They remind me of quite a few bands I’ve seen over recent years – a dash of Trucker Diablo, a pinch of Scorpion Child, a handful of The Treatment – though not quite like any of them either, and with their own flavour too.

I had managed to check out a couple of tracks from an EP of theirs that’s available on Spotify currently (apparently they played the whole thing tonight, plus a new one) and I recognised and enjoyed hearing them live (particularly Get Outta My Way).

Live, these guys are tight. Definitely one of the tightest bands we have seen so far this year.

Sobriquet
https://www.facebook.com/sobriquetband/

One of returning finalists from last year, Sobriquet drew the closing slot for the evening.

For those that haven’t seen them before, Sobriquet are a high energy band that mixes aspects of Incubus, Placebo and Tool with a general post-hardcore sound. Its uptempo and brash, but not without plenty of melody. It’s infectious.

As with any of the returning bands, I was looking forward to seeing how they had improved since then. A small criticism I had of theirs at times last year was (like Heat 1’s Arkdown) that they could be a little tighter live. Well, (again, like Arkdown) they certainly showed me! I had heard that they had tighten up greatly by the time their EP launch happened last year, and that certainly played out last night. This was a really strong set, easily matching their best from last year’s tournament.

My Thoughts

For me personally, it was very close between Empusa, Coyote Mad Seeds and Sobriquet. In the end, Danny’s vocal range and delivery sufficiently blew me away for me to give them the nod. I genuinely can’t remember who I voted second, but it was one of the the other two, followed by the other.

The Result

In what turned out to be a close heat, Sobriquet won and advanced to the Semi-Finals. Empusa were second, narrowly ahead of Coyote Mad Seeds and a little more ahead of Discordian. Those three will all progress to the Quarter-Finals.

The eighth and final First Round Heat takes place on Sunday 25th February. It features: Dislocator, Dissenssion, Epitaph, Firegarden, InFall and Strange Bru.
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:37 am

The Story So Far…

Qualified for the Semi-Finals: Arkdown, Sour Tusk, Bleating Apocalypse, Lowdrive, Aonia, Soul Shredder, Sobriquet

Qualified for the Quarter-Finals: The King is Dead, Crimson Tide, Exemption, Deltanaut, Grave UK, Psython, Gorilla Warfare, Air Drawn Dagger, Burn Down the District, Spiteful Embrace, This State of Ours, Rancidium, Zero Point Zero, Thrashsquatch, Empusa, Discordian, Coyote Mad Seeds

Round 1, Heat 8

So, this is it; the final first round heat!

InFall and Strange Bru both withdrew on the day, reducing the heat to a four band affair. Whilst this meant no one was going to be eliminated, it did give the evening an extra laid back and relaxed feel. The four bands knew that they were now just vying for the first place spot, which is rewarded with a bye into the Semi-Finals.

Dislocator
https://www.facebook.com/wearedislocator/

Kicking off the evening were a self-proclaimed ‘self-depreciating thrash metal’ act, all the way from the frozen north (well, erm, Barnsley). The quartet rocketed through their 30 minute set at a rate of knots, their old school thrash sound woven into each track. Whilst I don’t think anyone will ever call this the tightest of performances, it was actually something more important than that – it was fun. I’d happily watch these guys again.

Dissension
https://www.facebook.com/UnholyThrashingDissension/

Second on the bill was our other thrash band, a Sheffield/Chesterfield collective known as Dissension. Their story is quite interesting – when they entered the competition (back in November ish?) they didn’t have a drummer or a second guitar. They also only had one song written. Between then and now they have recruited those positions, written half a dozen tracks and practised enough to play them to a damned tight level. That’s some great going! I really enjoyed this set. They had a fun thrashy cover of Exploited’s Fuck the USA, and their own material was really good too. Whilst a thrash band, musically they adopted elements of black metal at times (drums, some guitarwork), and at other times tunes felt almost crossover/thrash punk. A diverse setlist.

Epitaph
https://www.facebook.com/Epitaph2011/

The penultimate band of the evening was Sheffield melodic heavy metal outfit Epitaph. These guys are resilient bunch, and have been around in one form or another for at least six or so years (I remember seeing them win a Battle of the Bands at Corp back in the day, as well as them reaching the final of the 2014 M2TM tournament at South Sea live). I must admit, I lost track of them some time around 2015ish. Since then, they have had a singer or two. Their latest singer Sam is quite unique and charismatic. Visually making me think of a sort of punk Maynard James Keenan, Sam’s voice is like a mix of Dave Mustaine, Alice Cooper and Blackie Lawless. Very rock and roll. Musically, Epitaph are accomplished, very slick, and could give any band a run for their money.

Firegarden
https://www.facebook.com/firegardensheffield/

Closing out the evening were the veterans of the heat. Firegarden were formed in 1996, and I have been following them myself for something like ten years, on and off (for the record, The River off Walking on Saffron is still my favourite tune of theirs!). Last year saw the departure of talented keyboardist Andy Gotteri. The band have taken the change as an opportunity to re-invent their particular flavour of prog’n’roll, eschewing the use of keys. They’ve also added an additional vocalist in the talented Adele.

Performance wise, this was one of the tightest performances of the competition to date. The vocals were great, the electric stand-up fretless six string bass had a lovely sound, and there were some tasty proggy meanderings throughout. A brilliant set.

My Thoughts

This competition has been fantastic… at giving me headaches on voting, haha. I had Firegarden a smidge ahead of Dissension and Epitaph.

The Result

Firegarden pipped the others to the post in a heat that probably saw the tightest spread of scores across the bands that make up the entirety of the show. The progsters move straight to the Semi-Finals, whilst the other three all progress to the Quarter-Finals.

That completes the first round! The first Quarter-Final takes place on Thursday 15th March.
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby robin8585 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:01 am

I know it's not the organisers fault because it was due to withdrawals last minute, but man it seems harsh running 2 heats where only 1 band will miss out.

I won't be posting an update on Manchester this week, I'm going to be in Stuttgart. So if anyone else is going to be there and fancies filling in for me, I'm sure people following along will appreciate it.

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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:01 pm

It's just how it went in the end. I think we will be revising the system next year to hopefully avoid this.
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:59 am

The Story So Far…

Qualified for the Semi-Finals: Arkdown, Sour Tusk, Bleating Apocalypse, Lowdrive, Aonia, Soul Shredder, Sobriquet, Firegarden

Qualified for the Quarter-Finals: The King is Dead, Crimson Tide, Exemption, Deltanaut, Grave UK, Psython, Gorilla Warfare, Air Drawn Dagger, Burn Down the District, Spiteful Embrace, This State of Ours, Rancidium, Zero Point Zero, Thrashsquatch, Empusa, Discordian, Coyote Mad Seeds, Dissension, Epitaph, Dislocator

With the first round now in the books, it is time to turn our attention to the later rounds of the competition.



A reminder of the format:

The eight First Round winners have progressed directly to the Semi-Finals. They have been split across the four evenings set aside for that round. Each Semi-Final will contain four bands. The two remaining slots in each Semi-Final will be decided by the Quarter-Finals.

The Quarter-Finals are four nights, with five bands per night. Pending availability, bands have been kept as separate as possible from those that qualified from the same First Round heats.

As previously communicated, the weight of the fan vote decreases by the round. In the Quarter-Finals is it ⅓ fan to ⅔ judge. For the Semis it is ¼ fan to ¾ judge.

Now for the exciting bit – finding out who is in which QF / SF! Please see below for the answers:

Quarter-Finals
Thursday 15th March
Dissension
Gorilla Warfare*
Grave UK
Psython
This State of Ours

* Gorilla Warfare have withdrawn due to logistic issues. This will be a four band Quarter-Final.

Sunday 18th March
Coyote Mad Seeds
Deltanaut
Exemption
The King is Dead
Zero Point Zero

Thursday 22nd March
Burn Down the District
Crimson Tide
Dislocator
Empusa
Thrashsquatch

Sunday 25th March
Air Drawn Dagger
Discordian
Epitaph
Rancidium
Spiteful Embrace

Semi-Finals
Friday 6th April
Arkdown
Sobriquet
+2 Quarter Finalists

+ Special Guest Headliner set



Saturday 7th April
Aonia
Bleating Apocalypse
+2 Quarter Finalists

+Special Guest Headliner set



Friday 13th April
Soul Shredder
Sour Tusk
+2 Quarter Finalists

+ Special Guest Headliner set



Saturday 14th April
Firegarden
Lowdrive
+2 Quarter Finalists

+Special Guest Headliner set
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:45 am

From the Venue Info page:

28 Apr - Coventry (Arches Venue)
04 May - Sheffield (Mulberry Bar and Venue)
06 May - Reading (Face Bar)
11 May - Glasgow (Ivory Blacks)
11 May - Belfast (Voodoo)
12th May - Dublin (Fibber Magees)
19th May - Carlisle (The Brickyard)
24th May - Norwich (The Brickmakers)
26th May - Leicester (De Montfort Hall)
26th May - Milton Keynes (The Crawford Arms)
1st June - Stoke (The underground)
1st June - Hitchin (Club 85)
2nd June - Sadnes (The Tribute)
2nd June - Burnley (Sanctuary)
3rd June - Scunthorpe (Cafe Independent)
9th June - Bielsko-Biala (Rude Boy Club)
15th June - Wrexham (Rewind)
15th June - Saltash (Livewire)
16th June - Bridgewater (The Cobblestones)
16th June - Cardiff (Fuel)
23rd June - Newcastle (Trillians)
23rd June - Nottingham (The Maze)
23rd June - Liverpool (EBGB's)
24th June - Manchester (Rebellion)
29th June - Oxford (The Bullingdon Arms)
29th June - Selby (The Venue)
30th June - Northampton (The Black Prince)
5th July - Peterborough (The Met Lounge)
7th July - Bristol (The Exchange)
7th July - London (Big Red / The Dome)
8th July - Birmingham (The Hammer and the Anvil)

I've edited this into the first post too.
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:40 am

Guest Headliners for our Semi-Finals have been confirmed:

SF1 - Regulus
SF2 - Forgotten Remains
SF3 - Raised by Owls
SF4 - Hoofknuckle
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby robin8585 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:53 am

Heat 3 in Manchester saw Twisted Mentality and Crescent Halo going through and Storm Of Aura and C:/dos/pun missing out.

I've seen both of the bands going though before in last year's competition, and was thoroughly unimpressed. It's been a year so maybe they got better, I'll have to see in the next round.

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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby robin8585 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:37 am

Finally managed to get to another heat last night. I was intending on making it to heat 4 last week, but then work happened. Last week's heat 4 was between Dead Retinas, Gaia's Stone, Upon This Fate and Volniir. It was Volniir and Dead Retinas that made it through. Having not seen any of the 4 before, I can't really offer much comment on that, but it's nice to see the only Black Metal band in the contest advance.

So, heat 5 then:

Arcadia
https://www.facebook.com/Arcadiamusicofficial/

Sound like they invented a time machine, traveled back 20 years to my teenage bedroom and just copied what they heard playing. I honestly don't remember the last time I saw a new band playing this sort of 90's chart Nu/Rap Metal style, I thought it was dead as can be. They've totally nailed the sound, they were really tight as a group, bags of energy on stage, 14 year old me would have fucking loved it. Last night's me, not so much.

King Beef
https://www.facebook.com/KINGBEEFROCKS/

An alt-metal 2 piece who I honestly don't have a whole lot to say about. They were fine, that's really the best I can do.

Sauur
https://www.facebook.com/SaurrMusic/

Saw these guys in the contest last year and commented at the time that they were stylistically a bit mixed up. Some songs put me in mind of older Paradise Lost, whereas others were more Killswitch style metalcore. This time, they've picked a genre and stuck to it, but unfortunately it's the metalcore. Real shame, because I enjoyed the other stuff. Not that they're bad exactly, just not anything particularly exciting. The audience are in to it though, they seem to do a good trade in t-shirts afterwards.

Aftermath Eternal
https://www.facebook.com/AftermathEternal/

I've seen these guys a bunch of times before and always enjoyed them, tonight is no exception. Good solid Groove Metal obviously quite heavily influenced by Lamb of God who are one of the few examples of the style that I really enjoy. The vocalist actually has a bit of banter and builds rapport with the crowd (in contrast no-one else had any interaction beyond "cheers for watching us, good luck to all the bands"). They go down really well in the room, I can see these doing well.

40,000 Leagues
https://www.facebook.com/40kLeagues/

Another alt-metal group, these guys were the band of the night for me. Had some fantastic tunes, tons of energy on stage, a vocalist with an absolutely belting voice, and a really adept lead guitarist doing lots of widdling. My only criticism is that they seemed to struggle to keep time, noticeably slowing down as songs went on, with the drummer straining against the guitars tying to push the tempo back up. They've not been going that long though, so that's the kind of thing you'd expect to get better with more live experience.

So my picks would be 40,000 Leagues to win with Aftermath Eternal runners up, and Sauur as an outside shot. The judges go with Aftermath Eternal and Sauur. Can't complain too much about that, Sauur weren't my favourite thing, but they weren't bad, and were obviously well liked by the room in general.

So we almost have our full list of semi-finalists, all being well I'll be able to make next week's final heat.

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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:09 am

Thanks for the write-up man. Sounds like alt metal and metalcore are popular in Manc?
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:10 am

From my blog:

Quarter-Final 1

After what seemed like a small ice age, Metal 2 the Masses returned to the Mulberry last night. It’s Quarter Final time! Fan vote is worth ⅓ of the total band score in this round.

Whilst the round was designed for five bands, logistics meant that Gorilla Warfare sadly had to withdraw, making this a four band evening.

Psython
https://www.facebook.com/psythonofficial/
Qualified from: Heat 4

Having only missed out on winning their heat by a single point, I had high hopes for Rotherham’s purveyors of #ReytMetal.

The opening slot is sometimes seen as difficult one, particularly in a competition where fan vote makes up a portion of the final scores. However, the Psython lads looked totally unfazed by this andrattled through their set in no time at all.

Performance wise, this was never less than solid, and just as fun as their First Round Heat. One thing I do like about their set is that, whilst they are rooted in thrash metal, they aren’t constrained by it – one track in the middle was pretty much a mid tempo stoner rock / sludge tune that would expect more out of Down than a thrash band.

Dissension
https://www.facebook.com/UnholyThrashingDissension/
Qualified from: Heat 8

A surprise package from the first round (the band only formed late last year, only achieved its full complement of members a couple of months back, and the heat was only their 2nd ever gig!), Sheffield/Chesterfield thrashers Dissension were up next.

The quintet wasted no time in crashing through their half hour set. Mixing up the setlist a little from last time (no Exploited cover this time), their uptempo style got the crowd going (particularly in the last couple of songs). The mix wasn’t as clean for them this time around, the vocals and lead guitar both a little low. Still, it was a solid show.


This State of Ours
https://www.facebook.com/thisstateofours/
Qualified from: Heat 2

It feels like quite some time has passed since I saw these guys in Heat 2, and I was wondering how they would sound second time around. These guys were a bit of a dark horse pick for me in this Quarter Final – whilst they (narrowly) finished fourth in their heat, they did qualify with the highest judge score of fourth place acts.

One thing I immediately noticed from their set is that everyone seems a lot more relaxed last time out. I didn’t make mention of it before, but they had looked a little tense at times in their heat, but none of that was evident here.

This leads me onto my next observation, This State of Ours were the first band of the evening to play better than in their previous round. Their brand of alternative metal (mixing a number of influences, including Killswitch Engage and Deftones amongst others) was catchy enough last time around – this time out they also happened to be really sodding tight too, and I found myself headbanging along to every groovy riff. Great Stuff.

Grave UK
https://www.facebook.com/graveuk/
Qualified from: Heat 3

Closing out the evening were local beatdown artists, Grave (UK).

I quite enjoyed these chaps in the previous round and thought they might be in contention for Semi-Final spot. Their brand of metallic hardcore / beatdown is infectiously headbangable, and they threw everything they had into their performance. One of the tighter bands on the evening.

As with their heat, they played quite a short set (around 17/18 minutes), which almost caught me off guard (I was compere for the evening)! Haha.

My Thoughts

A fun evening, with every band putting on (at least) a solid show. Personally, I thought that – whilst every band was at least ‘solid’ – only one band had everything come together for them on the evening, and that was This State of Ours.

The Result

This State of Ours won the Quarter-Final, coming first on both the fan and judge votes. It was an absolute dog fight for second place, with Psython triumphing by a handful of points.

Based on band availability, we already know which Semi-Finals these guys will be performing in: Psython join Bleating Apocalypse and Aonia in Semi Final 2, and This State of Ours join Sour Tusk and Soul Shredder in Semi Final 3.

So, congratulations again to This State of Ours and Psython, and commiserations to Dissension and Grave. Quarter-Final 2 is up next, on Sunday 18th!
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby Haldamir319 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:07 pm

The weather totally destroyed any chances of our second QF going ahead. After exploring the logisitics of moving it, it was decided to put all five bands through (there wasn't a single date than all five bands plus venue were available).

I think it's the fairest outcome. Just means three of our SFs have one extra band.

Here's who is playing on which date now:

Friday 6th April: Deltanaut
Saturday 7th April: Zero Point Zero
Friday 13th April: Coyote Mad Seeds
Saturday 14th April: The King Is Dead, Exemption

QF 3 and 4 are going ahead as planned.
Last edited by Haldamir319 on Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Metal 2 the Masses 2018

Postby houston4044 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:49 pm

Good to see there might be some (decent by the sounds of it) thrash on the New Blood this year, thanks for the good read :yes: