Metal 2 The Masses

KK’s Steel Mill Wolverhampton 20th February 2020.

Tonight see’s Heat 1 of Wolverhampton’s Metal 2 The Masses burst into life and boy oh boy, have I been looking forward to this and ultimately, seeing one band make their way down the path that leads to Bloodstock 2020.

With six heats playing out over six weeks and a total of twenty four bands taking part, the Wolverhampton Chapter has attracted some shining local musicians and getting the competition underway tonight were one such group, Lynus, whose seasoned reputation marks the quality of rock that these guys play. It was clear from the start of their set that this band were serious contenders as musically, the depth and strength of vocals, guitar, bass and drums were a force to be reckoned with. The audiences reaction also stood to drive the band on as songs were sung along to and fists were pumped in appreciation and clearly, there was no holding Lynus back tonight.

Our second band of the night were Militia Inc. and it was great to see these guys back again this year as they really do bring the life and soul to the party. A good live performance can easily influence the mood of the audience and the energy and enthusiasm that Militia Inc. brought to the stage was completely addictive as they a not a band to let one moment pass them by. Musically, they have mastered a sound that encompasses many shades of rock and metal combined, which they deliver with a hearty dose of pizzazz and personality. Tonight’s audience were captivated and who could blame then as this band are not only great to listen to but addictive to watch aswell.

The penultimate band of this heat were Identities, who are a new band to me but clearly not to a lot of others! With their fierce blend of thrash and growl, these guys held the audience gripped in an iron clad fist that called to arms the first mosh pit of the event. Their energy on stage tonight really stood out and was relentless in its attack and distinctly drove their performance on through many notable highlights – I highly recommend you check out their track ‘Semblance’ to hear this for yourself.

Closing out Heat 1 were Gypsy Jack and what a great way to end the night! From the start of their set and all the way through, the bands charisma and swagger ran wild and was a perfect match for their fine tuned style of rock that was performed and delivered to note perfection. Lead singer Marty Rose is one hell of a charismatic front man and his endless energy and on stage presence was a definite highlight of the night for me.

So, with four bands having given their all, the time was upon us to vote and send two bands onward and into the semi-finals, and a huge shout going out to Lynus and Identities for making it through to the next round.

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

3Teeth

With support from <Pig> at The Rescue Rooms Nottingham 1st February 2020.

In all honesty, before tonight I knew very little about 3teeth, or <PIG>, their support band but as I’m a fan of industrial metal and bands such like Korn and Marilyn Manson, I jumped at the chance to cover them on their Nottingham date, here at the Rescue Rooms.

Thankfully this gig was at the beginning of February, meaning we could wave goodbye to a very lonnnngggg January, as is usually the case and we could get back to doing what we love to do! Looking at the many faces, in attendance tonight, we can only assume that they all felt the same way as us!

Although doors were advertised for 18.30, they actually opened at 19.30, so we can only assume this was down to the fact 3teeth had a meet and greet session organised. However, once inside, it didn’t take long for the 450 capacity Rescue Rooms to fill to bursting and for tonight’s entertainment to kick off with UK based, post-industrialists <PIG> who were founded way back in 1988! Despite their many years of service, they still have lots of energy to share, helping us all get motivated and into the swing of things! Lead singer Raymond Watts, has a very seductive stage persona, which works well with the songs and the written lyrics, saucy! <PIG> have to be one of this genres best kept secrets and deserve greater exposure, as they are a very creative and individual band, indeed!

Many of the songs on tonight’s set list came courtesy of the bands new album ‘Candy’ which was released in 2019. The album is available in a variety of different sleeve options, for both CD and vinyl formats, as well as being available on all major streaming sites where you can also find all the bands previous releases – extending way back to their debut album ‘Genuine American Monster’ released back in 2002!

After a quick stage change over, we were straight back at it with tonight’s headliners, 3teeth! It’s a great honour to photograph any band but to do so on the opening night of a new tour, is always a little bit more special, as no one else has seen this particular show! By the time this review gets released into the wild, 3teeth will most likely be rocking out in venues over in Europe before these guys then head off onto North America. This tour is scheduled to last until April, which is a grueling undertaking but also a lot of fun – alas, we can only imagine!

Originally from Los Angeles, these post-apocalyptic metallers are outspoken on all things socio-political and do so whilst clad in leather, well lead singer Alexis is anyway! After grabbing the attentions of bands like Tool and Rammstein, fans such as those certainly pays off, as it gave them the opportunity to support both bands on and exposing them to a much wider audience! The current tour is in support of the bands latest third album ‘Metawar’, which was produced by Sean Beavan (NiN and Marilyn Manson) and released by Century Media.

Tonight was a powerful display of raw energy, that had probably been building up in anticipation of this tour and finally to be released for all of us to appreciate! Although it’s been a while since 3teeth last visited the UK, after the nights performance, I don’t think it’ll be long before they return here again, maybe in a field over the summer?

This was a great show and highlighted an album well worthy of gracing any metal heads collection!

Here’s an interesting fact that I read recently – did you know…. people who regularly attend a live gig, live an extra 15 years longer! I’m sure this is bollox but any excuse to get out and go to a gig like this one tonight, is good enough for me!

Realistically, I should have written this live review by now, to enable people the opportunity to read my thoughts on how I felt the gig went but this time I chose to promote this gig and tour visually, which, for both me and the band, appears to have worked better as it gave them an opportunity to share something new, out into social media land and enabled their follower to do the rest – the results of which have been astronomical in today’s standards, all be it a small (non-profitable) victory.

Until next time, be good and take care of each other!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)