Metal To The Masses Reading.

It’s been years since I’ve been able to attend a METAL TO THE MASSES final and I am ashamed to say I forgot how awesome they are. The atmosphere is like no other unsigned gig I have ever been to! Hoards of people come from all over the various cities and counties to make their support for their favourite bands known and the bands support each other with an unbridled sense of camaraderie.  The Reading final was no exception. 

I arrived into Reading without knowing exactly where The Facebar (a great venue for a gig like this) was so I played a game of “follow the neon pink hair” which proved successful. As I approached it I noticed I was becoming surrounded by people wearing leather and sporting band t-shirts and we all had the same destination. Inside it was busy from the beginning: filled with people brimming with excitement for tonight’s proceedings; waiting to see if the efforts put in by the bands would pay off in their favour. It was so busy that, by the end of the night, all you had to do was walk in through the doors to begin sweating.

The evening’s proceedings began with FLIGHT OF EDEN, a progressive metal band from Reading. They were the perfect start to the night with every member being on top form and Kurt Jones showing what his incredible voice can do.

The next band up were REPRISAL. This four piece thrash metal outfit from Surrey put on a good show which featured some epic drumming from Sion and excellent solos from Ollie. These boys exhibited a great understanding of metal and showed that they have the capability to play well. Unfortunately, as they were only the second band on the stage, the crowd was not yet in the full swing of madness. 

DED ORSE were the third band of the evening and what a change of pace! I was already sold on them when they referred to their first song as “this little ditty”. The four piece were fantastic with a perfect old school sound and vocals that would not be out of place in Iron Maiden. I don’t think I can do them justice in words so, if you’re currently sat at your computer or you’re on your phone, look them up.

The fourth band of the evening was CONFESSIONS OF A TRAITOR. I have seen these boys play before and they always putt on a powerful and energetic show and Metal To the Masses Reading was no exception. The crowd reaction was great with the first pit of the evening kicking off into full swing. This eventually became a human pyramid; something which I have never seen at any other metal gig. This then became a wall of death where both sides started on all fours (something else I have never seen at a gig). Stephen is known around this area for climbing on anything he can whilst singing and he was armed with his wireless microphone. Unfortunately he was promptly told off (three times!) which might answer why he was in the crowd so much. Everyone played their hardest and their efforts were obvious.  

MORASS OF MOLASSES followed them with their stoner rock sound which added an extra dynamic to the gig and let the audience recover from the madness. I got the impression that every note and every word was deliberate and well thought out and the guitarist’s, Phil, stage presence was only matched by his mighty beard. At one point the groove was strong and they referred to themselves as “sex rock” (the couple grinding and groping each other in front of me seemed to agree) and it seemed that there was not a single person in the place who wasn’t moving. The end of their set saw Bones crowd surfing whilst playing; adding to the impression I already had, that Morass of Molasses were all having a lot of fun playing this gig.

The final act of the night was REMNANT. They bought the gig back into a full on metal swing with the added addiction of amazing clean vocals from female singer Tori Walter. This band seemed to be exactly the excuse the audience were waiting for to have one more attempt at going wild before the results and they seized this opportunity (one audience member walked past me with his face dripping with blood. Perhaps he seized the opportunity a little too hard). Matt and Andy provided some more awesome guitar solos for the evening and Leigh’s growls were perfect. Their final song “Hate Me” saw an absolute frenzy from the audience.

Overall the evening was a resounding success and it was extremely enjoyable to have bands from different sub and hybrid genres sharing the evening. Every band gave it their all and the audience responded as such. The winners of the evening were Reprisal but Simon Hall surprised everyone with the announcement that Ded Orse would also be playing Bloodstock on the Jaegermeister stage. 

Bring on next year’s Metal To The Masses Reading heats I say!

Written by Eileen Bate 

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