with GÜNK, Graves and The Fisters
Reviewed by Liz Marriott.
A horde (or at the very least, a small raiding party) of metal-heads descended upon Duffy’s Bar last Sunday, for the third in a series of heats to compete for a prime slot performing at Bloodstock. The Derbyshire metal festival is well-established, both as a fan favourite, and as a supporter of upcoming artists, so it’s no surprise that many bands are eager to secure a set on the unsigned Newblood stage.
On the bill this evening were GÜNK, a slightly grungey, southern-inspired hard rock band, Graves, who again had a hard rock feel, The Fisters, who were more classic punk than metal, and Dead on Arrival, whose name proved apt, as they were unable to attend.
GÜNK started the proceedings off in fine form, playing a mixture of upbeat tracks with driving rhythms, groove-fuelled riffs, and down-tempo, moodier songs, such as My Tragedy, their latest single. They had good energy together onstage, creating a bigger sound than their three person line-up would suggest.
GÜNK Photo: Kevin Gaughan
Next on the bill were Metal 2 the Masses veterans Graves, an incredibly tight four piece, whose creative time signatures, and intense, melodic vocals went down extremely well. Unknown, their current single, amply demonstrated their versatility, taking the audience from clean, foreboding picking through to visceral riffs, and perfectly co-ordinated pauses. The band connected well with the crowd (the drummer at one point performing a strip-tease), however, it would be brilliant to see vocalist, Dan, take greater command of the stage.
Graves Photo: Kevin Gaughan
The final act, The Fisters, filled the venue with insouciant punk attitude, and did not waste the opportunity to crack several jokes at their own name’s expense.
“Don’t google us – you’ll just get your Mum!”
They boasted great stage presence, and clearly had a lot of fun performing their brand of upbeat, Sex-Pistols-esque songs.
The Fisters Photo: Kevin Gaughan
All great things must come to an end, and after The Fisters’ final song, it was time to get down to the serious business of voting, for only two acts would fight their way through to the forthcoming round.
Cue the drumroll…
First to make the grade were Graves, followed by GÜNK as runners up. Both bands will progress to the next heat, where they will battle it out with other semi-finalists.
Overall, it was a bloody good evening (although I was slightly disappointed at the lack of breakdowns and blast beats). However, the great thing about metal is that there’s a style for everyone, and I enjoyed seeing clean vocals taking centre stage for a change.
Metal 2 the Masses events will be continuing each Sunday until the 21st, so if you’re in the mood for some moshing, head (bang) on down to Duffy’s, to catch next week’s contenders.
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