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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!