It's that time of year again when there are lots of gigs in succession and lots of 'thankyous' to be said to my forever suffering partner for being so understanding of my mission to bring you the best coverage of local and further afield Metal bands.
I am, of course, talking about the annual Metal 2 The Masses competition. This year I'm able to make all except one of the heats and the semi final due to being out of town so I'm really looking forward to reviewing them and bringing you the videos so you can watch for yourself and see if you agree with the judges' decisions.
2014's South East Region is being held at The Ivy in Sheerness. This is the second year they've held the event.
Heat 1 is started off with a band called Abyss.
They play traditional Metal which is really nice to hear nowadays as it was not what I was expecting from a bunch of lads whose age group usually play Nu-Metal or screamy stuff.
They had a really solid sound with strong vocals and some cracking riffs and they certainly set the standard for the evening and, in fact, the competition.
They're song titles are fairly traditional too with the likes of “All Seeing Eye” and “Burn The Witch”.
But the top title which is not very traditional has to be “Trains”. Dedicated to how crap the public transport system is.
I really enjoyed watching Abyss and look forward to seeing them again.
Incidentally the vocalist also plays drums in Spyder Byte. So if you like Abyss, be sure to check them out too.
I first saw Mantora at Herofest 2013 at The Red Lion in Gravesend where they impressed me somewhat.
It's hard to describe their sound other than old school Metal with extra riffage and harder vocals.
They are a band that certainly know their stuff and are a pleasure to watch with the vocalist moving back and forth at crowd level rather than on stage which adds to the crowd interaction.
Only a couple of issues, one is taking a bit too long between songs tuning. The other I'd like to hear a little more polished endings. Sort this guys and as far as competitions go you'll be well away.
Another enjoyable set and “Craving Conspiracy” is the nuts!
Vulgate played last years Metal 2 The Masses and reached the semi final. They hooked up with winners Neon Halo (now Infected Dead) and have played quite a few gigs in Kent earning a respectable following.
I've seen them a few times since last year and this year they have certainly upped the anti.
Some of their songs have been slightly restructured and they've thrown in a new one entitled “The One Who Knocks”.
They are a very solid sounding band now and their stage presence has evolved nicely making it a pleasure to watch them.
Hunter Killer are a new band to me and I was really looking forward to a headline act that would blast the other bands of the evening out of the water.
Unfortunately this was not to be the case.
Whilst being able to play, their inexperience showed and you could almost feel the nerves coming from the stage.
Still, they are the ones on the stage and not me so I will always praise that.
They play a five song set which included two covers which is fine with me in ordinary circumstances but not in the M2TM competition.
This is where I want to hear as much original material as I can in a set so maybe another year before entering would not have gone amiss although their enthusiasm shone through.
I know this sounds harsh guys but please keep at it and surprise me next time I see you.
With the bands finished it was time to wait for the winner of the heat.
Unsurprisingly it was Vulgate this evening.
A well deserved place in this years final for a band who have really shown commitment and effort over the last year to get there.
Well done lads.
As you're Death fans you'll appreciate this...
Don't forget to check out and like my Facebook page and subscribe to my YouTube channel where you can see the videos of this gig.
Support your scene by going to local gigs and buying merch.
Remember, They're your bands.
Thanks to my mate Debbie Davies for the photos on this blog.