Fixxion Warehouse Project Wolverhampton 23rd May 2015.
After months of blood, sweat and probably a few tears, the final of the Black Country Metal 2 The Masses is upon us and with Exiles Of Elysium, Eyes Of The Raven, XVII, Glass Bullet, Slaughter Horse and A Born Disaster all being the successful victors from the previous heats, it’s definitely going to be a tough final.
With the draw for tonight’s running order placing Exiles Of Elysium as openers for this event, these guys made quick work in raising the adrenaline charge from zero to max. In the blink of an eye, Exiles Of Elysium did a great job in bringing hardcore to the room and the unleashing of a circle pit was equally as brutal to that of their set.
Eyes Of The Raven have been firm favourites throughout this competition, and it isn’t hard to see why as these guys have their foundations built from the up front and honest spirit of metal itself. Their set tonight was certainly well received by Fixxion’s audience and as always, it was over way too fast – which for me is always an indicator of a great job well done!
XVII were the next band to take to the stage with front man Vaughn Bennett heading up the most brutal attack of metal. Their entire performance tonight was delivered with the kind of raging symmetry that left nothing spared in it’s intensity or power and from start to their finish, XVII were superb.
With their feet placed firmly within the realms of rock and metal, Glass Bullet were next to lay siege upon Fixxion’s audience, with a pandemic onslaught of much heaviness and dual guitar riffage. A technical guitar issue saw Ben Evan’s performance on guitar require him to step up into the realms of unbelievable and that is exactly what he did – so much kudos going out to him and to the band for letting nothing get in their way tonight.
Our penultimate competitors tonight were Slaughter Horse and in my humble opinion, these guys delivered a performance tonight that surpassed any performance of theirs that I’ve ever witnessed before! Slaughter Horse have never lacked in the raging metal department but the transformation in their stage presentation tonight, launched them into an orbit of psychotic uniqueness that was simply spellbinding to watch.
Tonight’s closing performance in this, the first chapter of the Black Country Metal To The Masses, was provided by none other that A Born Disaster . Once again, these guys were clearly a firm favourite with the audience and whose support to the band was equally as vociferant as ABD’s delivery of their own brand of metal, and you really couldn’t wish for a more awesome way in which to sign off the final heat for this competition.
With all six finalists having played their impressive sets, Simon Hall was now faced with making the ultimate decision as to which Black Country band would be making their way to Bloodstock 2015. I dare say the memory of those anxious minutes came flooding back to Eradikator who were this evenings guest band and winners of last years regional comp but no anxieties about their set tho, as Eradikator delivered a Rolls Royce metal cased performance that really put the golden seal on the whole night.
With the final decision made, Simon’s announcement came to the sounds of much audience approval, and none more louder than those of XVII who will now be performing on the Newblood Stage at Bloodstock with the other successful heat winners from across the UK and Europe.
Much kudos going out to XVII and to all the other bands who have taken part, the judges, Mayhem Promotions, Bearded Monkey Promotions and of course, the Metalheads who have supported the Black Country Metal To The Masses from the very beginning. Roll on 2016!
Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.