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Metal 2 The Masses

The Grand Final
KK’s Steel Mill Wolverhampton 1st June 2019.

Today is set to be one to remember, with six heats and three Semi-finals done and dusted in this years Wolverhampton Metal 2 The Masses, the Grand Final is now upon us. With a slot on the New Blood stage at Bloodstock calling out to our winner, the anticipation was electric and our six finalist were ready to give it their all.

With Rustlung having drawn the first slot of the day, they quickly set about making their thirty minutes count. The atmosphere on stage was all consuming – as was their blend of stoner/groove metal and clearly the band were intent on proving that they had exactly what it takes to be worthy contenders for today’s much sought after prize, to perform at Bloodstock.

The next band to take to the stage were The Black Hounds and as always, hard rock/metal played at its very best was their ultimate goal for today. With audience numbers growing, the band captured and held their attention fast, leaving no one in any doubt that today we would be witnessing Wolverhampton’s Metal 2 The Masses finalists, reach a standard of performance to be proud of.

Our third band of the day were Eyes Of The Raven and anyone whose seen these guys play live before, will know that they live stoner/groove metal large and always pack an honest and heartfelt punch with every song they play. Highlight of their set for me was ‘Crown Of Serpents’ which in my book, is pure and absolute mastery!

With the first three of our six finalist having given their all, the midway point of today’s event was reached and it was time for our first guest band of the day. Ashen Crown are a shining example of West Midlands metal and their rocket fuelled rise within this community has already led them to perform on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock in 2017. To describe their set today as brutal, ruthless and relentless is an understatement – a first class performance from a first class band.

Atarka were next to perform at today’s event and I can’t help but admire this band for their volcanic intensity, which is further incited by the towering stature of lead singer, Jamie Smith. With the audience rising to meet Atarka’s call to arms, the mosh pit responded and clearly, this was going to be one performance from today, that was favored by many.

Having attended all heats and semi-finals, there is one band who have repeatedly exceeded themselves, and that band is Blood Church. The theatrics of this band knows no boundaries and today, their satanic brimstone, metal and fire was more scorching that ever. This band have to be seen and heard – and truly, they are a mind blowing experience never to be forgotten. Today saw them take both stage presentation and metal to yet another new level with bible tearing, blood and two pigs heads giving rise to some very sharp intakes of breath from me! Epic!!

Elyrean have been a big hit with fans throughout the entirety of Wolverhampton’s Metal 2 The Masses and it has been an absolute pleasure to see them rise to meet high expectations head on. With each and every performance they’ve given, the impeccable standard of musicianship that this band possesses has been a sheer pleasure to witness and today’s Final saw them embrace the moment and completely captivate their audience of many!

Today’s Final has been an incredible event but with our second guest band of the day still to play, it was definitely far from over. Evil Scarecrow are absolute icons within the metal community – and beyond it for that matter and today’s set was certainly larger than life! With their stage props built to satisfy the most bizarre of imaginations, their music to feast on and lots of hilarity on stage and off, today’s Wolverhampton’s Metal 2 The Masses performances ended on a high, in true Scarecrow style.

And with all bands having played and performed like their very souls depended on it, we waited with baited breath for the announcement of the day. I really didn’t envy Simon Hall his job as judge today, as this was definitely going to be a difficult call! But the moment came and the announcement made and Wolverhampton’s winners of a slot playing on Bloodstcks New Blood Stage went to Elyrean and to say they were overjoyed is most definitely an understatement! But the good news didn’t end there as Eyes Of The Raven received the suprise selection of a slot on the Jagermeister Stage AND one band (who weren’t named) picked as a reserve should an available slot arise – now that is a result!!

On a personal note, it has been an absolute pleasure to have been part of this great event and my heartfelt gratitude goes out to Matt Edwards for keeping those big wheels turning, the sound guys for their brilliant skills on the sound desk, all photographers and reviewers, KK’s Steel Mill for their hard work and never ending commitment to this great event, Simon Hall and of course, everyone who has supported the bands and this event along the way. And there we have it folks – my feet ache but the heart is very happy, Wolverhampton Metal 2 The Masses 2020 can’t come soon enough!!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Metal 2 The Masses

KK’s Steel Mill Wolverhampton 10th May 2019.

Wolverhampton’s Metal 2 The Masses 2019 has been quite a competition and one that each and every band who has taken part in it, has shown commitment to. Tonight’s third and final Semi-final proves that well, and see’s the hard work of Born Zero, The Black Hounds, Mystiek and Elyrean bringing them one step closer to the grand prize – a slot on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock.

Getting the night underway were Born Zero, with metal that is both savage and ferocious in its truest of form. Riding high on adrenaline, Born Zero lay siege upon KK’s Steel Mill and despite a few technical problems, the band kept things rolling. A great start to our night and a top notch performance from the band.

Our second band of the night were the mighty Black Hounds, who set about bringing a wealth of hard rock and metal thunder to tonight’s audience. These guys just made making music look easy, with Ant Wright’s voice being the best I’ve ever heard it – a stellar set from the band, which saw The Black Hounds doing what they do best.

Next to take to the stage were Mystiek, who raised their own game and packed endless energy and intent into tonight’s set. It was quite humbling to watch these guys perform as you could feel how much they wanted to go through to the final and I have to commend lead singer, Josh Dallas for his relentless vitality on stage – no way was he going to accept anyone standing back tonight and let Mystiek pass them by!

And so we come to our last band of the night and last band to play the Semi-finals, Elyrean. With thirty minutes of thrash metal ricocheting around the audience, Elyrean laid down a perfect storm and brought the competition to a close on one hell of a high!

The Semi-finals may be done but the night was far from over as still yet to come were special guests, Obzidian. Bloodstock 2018 saw Obzidian opening up the New Blood Stage on its final day and produced rave reviews for the band – but nothing surprising there as this band take full command of your attention with each and every performance they give. Tonight’s set stood in that same vein, with Matty Jenks a brutal live wire and merciless in every note.

And with votes cast and counted, the victors of the night were The Black Hounds and Elyrean, who now take the next step forward and go on through to the monumental Wolverhampton Metal 2 The Masses 2019 final on Saturday 1st June – what an event that is going to be!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle

Metal 2 The Masses

KK’s Steel Mill Wolverhampton 14th March 2019.

Tonight Heat 3 see’s five more bands all raring to go, with each one firmly hoping that the outcome of tonight will place them one step closer to a prestigious performance at Bloodstock 2019.

Getting things underway this evening were Enemy Of Atlas, who hail from the Birmingham area. Musically, this band deliver a hard hitting punch with a sound that is born straight out of their metal core. A great hit with the M2TM’s audience and the first mosh pit of this years competition.

Next band to take to the stage tonight were Second Cities and if you like your metal performed with the kind of psychotic energy that no straight jacket could contain, then this band are for you. Fantastic set from the band who proved that the future of metal in the West Midlands is looking very bright indeed.

And following on in that same vein, were Solihull based Born Zero. A new band to me but one who delivered the kind of impact, impression and great hopes for their future that is so exciting to find. Born Zero are four young metallers who are destined for big things and I highly recommend you check out their videoBreathe‘ – great stuff!

With this evenings heat having passed its halfway point, the moment had arrived for The Black Hounds to take to the stage and as always, these guys certainly make their mark. With a sound that is hard, heavy and perfectly delivered, the band gave the audience a first class performance tonight and one that certainly went down a storm.

Our final band of Heat 3 were Skull Fox and as with their four predecessors, this band made easy work of proving that they were well worthy contenders, who would easily fit into Bloodstock’s mighty line up. I really loved the great atmosphere that rolled out from this bands performance tonight as it delivered the kind of energy and feel good factor that simply leaves you wanting more… and more.

Tonight’s heat has been the toughest one yet – five great bands all worthy of going through to the semi-finals, but sadly that wasn’t an option. So, with all the votes being cast, counted and anticipation hanging in the air by the bucket full, huge congratulations go out to Born Zero and The Black Hounds, who will now progress on to the semi-finals.

Roll on Heat 4!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.