It’s been three weeks since the Metal 2 The Masses semi-finals, and for these four bands, it’s probably felt like an eternity. But this past Friday, the time had come for the long-awaited final in a showdown at the Coda bar in Colchester to find out who would be heading for Bloodstock.
Metal 2 The Masses, Colchester.
Mechromorph, Collected, Regicide, Existentialist, Beyond Extinction.
Words and Photography: Lawrence Potter
I definitely did not envy the judge making the decision because this was always going to go right down to the wire. This night had one of those ‘big match’ feelings. I arrived at the venue with plenty of time to spare, which was a good job, as it was packed even an hour before showtime. Shortly after it was sold out and the security were turning people away.
Mechromorph drew the opening act card and went straight into with all guns blazing. The Clacton-based unit were on top form despite the pressure they were obviously under and put on a fantastic performance.
This was an entourage of in-your-face breakdowns, heavy guitar riffage of the highest order, with some tasty solo work from guitarist George Sorsdahl. Even the slightest mistake could cost them at this stage of the competition, but the crowd were certainly on their side, and throughout their set, they went absolutely crazy.
I’m sure the chant at the end of the performance got them a few brownie points as well from the judge.
Up next were another Clacton-based outfit in the form of Collected. These lads have bought buckets of energy to each of their outings in the competition so far, and tonight was to be no exception.
Frontman, Liam Brazitis, has a real knack for getting any crowd going, and despite it being the hottest day of the year, once again, the crowd went absolutely nuts. In an effort to pull out all the stops, the guys introduced a new song into their repertoire recently and, in a brave move, debuted it on the night, and it went down a treat.
The guys in Collected have a unique sound, driven by heavy guitars, but they are not afraid to throw in some ambience here and there.
Next up were Colchester’s own Regicide. These guys have accumulated an extensive and loyal fan base since their inception in 2020 during lockdown, and going by their previous shows at Metal 2 The Masses, they had every reason to be confident going into tonight.
Led by Frontman and rhythm guitarist, Niall Byrne, Regicide wastes no time bursting into their set with some top-tier Thrash Metal. Even though we were about up to the two-hour mark now, the crowd were not showing any signs of letting up as the energy was still high.
Regicide put on an absolute clinic and left it all on the stage. The next question is, though, is it enough to secure that coveted slot at Bloodstock?
On to our final band of the evening, Existentialist. These lads came straight out of the gate and grabbed the audience by the scruff of their necks with some brutal deathcore magic that they pull off so well.
Complimented by one of the most diverse screamers I’ve seen in some time with an extremely talented group behind him, these guys put on one hell of a show. Once again, with what energy they had left, the crowd showed their appreciation by going crazy in the pit.
It’s been a hot and sweaty night in Colchester, but, damn, it had been one of the best nights of live music I’ve had the privilege of attending.
It finally arrived at that time of the evening. After some words from our host of the evening, Ian Manning, he handed the mic over to Bloodstock representative Simon Hall.
After explaining how tight of a final this one was to call and damn near impossible, he made the call that Existentialist were going to Bloodstock, with Collected picking up a possible wildcard.
After a brief interval for the bands and crowd to take in the news, we headliner Beyond Extinction played out the evening to give the crowd one final dose of Heavy Metal delight and also a chance to mosh till they dropped.
What a way to end a fantastic evening, and we will do it all again next year. Congratulations to all the bands for some stellar performances.