Here's how Sheffield's 4th Heat went down:
There were five bands in this one, due to someone pulling out a week or so back.
Apparently these guys had an album out in 1991 and they toured with the likes on Xentrix back in the day. I think the opening track was a newer one (based on how they introduced the tracks after), and was not that thrashy. In fact, it resembles Queensryche, or maybe a stripped down Dream Theater. That said, from the second track onwards, they were most definitely thrash. They were pretty tight, and I enjoyed most of the tracks. Would be more than happy to see them again, maybe as a local opener on a thrash tour.
IMRD (In My Restless Dreams)
Hardcore/Hard Rock/Nu Metal
Given the above self description on facebook, I wasn't sure what to expect. What we got was sort of a halfway house between middle of the road / radio friendly metal and the melodic end of Killswitch Engage's catalogue. They were quite professional looking and sounding, brought a heap of people and got a good reaction.
One Year Dead
It was like being in the early to mid 00s all over again. Reminded me of earlier Funeral For A Friend. OYD utilise two vocalists - one for clean vocals and one for growls. The growler was front of stage (well, on the dancefloor because they have too many members for the stage). I thought these guys weren't that original, but did get a solid reaction. There was an interesting bit where they played a ballad, and the entire band sat down for it, and they encouraged the crowd to do it too (front few rows obliged).
Punk / Grind / Heavy Noise
Grind really isn't my bag (seriously, I don't get why you have lyrics if there is a nearly 0% chance of being able to make the vocals out - just seems a bit redundant), but the band were tight (particularly the guitarist). From my limited exposure to Grind, these were (musically) towards the more 'melodic' end of the spectrum.
Unfortunately at least one of the band members had some crazy BO going on, and the crowd noticeably stood back from them. It was all a bit awkward.
Hardcore / Metal
Apparently they recently changed their name from something else (was chatting to the booker of the event), but don't recall what they were known by. Apparently they've tweaked their sound and made a small line-up change and this was 'Inertia''s debut gig. Frontman was quite passionate, and the band were fairly tight. Not my usual cup of tea, but would have been fine with them going through.
After Inertia finished, controversy struck! One or two of the staff members became convinced there had been some vote tampering on the public vote side (I can certainly say that one band seemed to have less by the time I cast my vote vs. when I'd looked earlier at how the votes were going).
Part of the problem is that the voting box is open topped, with six compartments (hence how I - or anyone else - could see how the vote was going. There were a couple of other things - 1) The box was brought out around the 3rdish band on, instead of during the final act, and 2) the chap 'watching' the box definitely wasn't there for the entirety of the time the box was out.
To be fair to the venue, they acknowledged it wasn't the best method and they are changing it up from now on.
The resolution to all this was that the entire public vote was rendered null/void, and they simply went on the judges votes.
IMRD, Mothcob and One Year Dead went through (I *think* IMRD were the winners, and Mothcob were definitely second). For me, IMRD should definitely have gone through, as I had them and Amnesia vying for first place. I had Mothcob and Inertia vying for 3rd, though OYD weren't poor or anything. I'll be interested to see how these three do against some of the others.
In other Sheffield Heat news, we might be having a 7th Heat! With the semi-finals being on weekends (and one on Good Friday), the venue have realised they can accommodate more than six acts. Talk was that, if it goes ahead, they'll do a heat with bands who finished 4th in the others - kind of like a repechage round. This pleases me, as I think Sour Tusk and Soulphernus were definitely unlucky to have been eliminated.
It's also been confirmed that the final (on a Saturday) is going to be a pretty long one. At least 6 bands in the final, plus a special guest headliner.
We have a week off now, so I'll be back in the thread in two weeks with my thoughts on Heat 5.