8th April 2018
with The Surrealists, Seven Hells, Gallows High and Graves plus special guests, Black Emerald and All Consumed
Reviewed by Kashif Hussain
The heats have ended and Leicester’s metal scene has showed the crowd and the judges what they’re made of. Now at Firebug the winners and wildcards have another opportunity to showcase their strengths on the road to Bloodstock as we enter the quarter finals of Metal 2 the Masses.
The Surrealists Photo: Kevin Gaughan
Local favourites The Surrealists were up first. Their trademark blend of punk-influenced noise rock is always a joy to experience, as are their high energy live performances. Vocalist and guitarist Ryan’s stage presence followed him off the stage as he performed in front of it, even running into the audience at one point, which was sure to leave a mark (hopefully not in the literal sense) on the crowd.
Seven Hells Photo: Kevin Gaughan
Metalcore quintet Seven Hells took to the stage next, with a hard-hitting combo of big, groove-laden riffs and catchy hooks, resulting in a sound similar to bands such as Killswitch Engage and Lamb of God and sure to please fans of that style of metal. But was it enough to carry them to the next round?
Gallows High Photo: Kevin Gaughan
Next up were Gallows High with an energetic and accessible form of hard rock with soaring female vocals courtesy of Emma Wale. In last year’s Metal 2 The Masses competition they managed to reach the quarter finals stage, so the band gave it all they had to try and progress further.
Graves Photo: Kevin Gaughan
Graves, who bill themselves as “Original Hard Rock Grunge,” were next on stage. Sounding like a satisfying middle ground between old school grunge and contemporary hard rock, their music was definitely bound to be a hit for rock and metal fans of all ages, especially their groovy track Grey Carousel.
Also performing were a pair of guest bands, both of whom won the Metal 2 The Masses competition in their respective hometowns and went on to grace the New Blood stage at Bloodstock, hopefully they could teach a thing or two to the aspiring contestants.
Black Emerald Photo: Kevin Gaughan
The first guests were Black Emerald from Reading, covering for Carlisle’s Triverse Massacre who unfortunately had to pull out. This was the trio’s first gig in Leicester, and they did a great job of demonstrating just what they were about, including their stoner metal track Drown which featured an impressive solo and some cool progressive elements.
All Consumed Photo: Kevin Gaughan
Finally it was time for All Consumed, hailing all the way from Preston. Their crushing blend of death and thrash metal meant that they were probably the heaviest band of the night, as they delivered fierce riffs and guttural vocals, particularly in their brutal tracks Child’s Play and Buried in Blood.
At the end of the night the results were in: Graves and Seven Hells were through to the next stage. Every other band that performed to get this far deserves a round of applause as well, as do the awesome guest bands, but in order to get a step closer to the Bloodstock the contestants need to step up their game now that the quarter finals have begun.