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Metal 2 The Masses semi-final in Colchester goes right down to the wire

For those who have been following the Metal 2 The Masses over the last month or so, some of Essex and Suffolk’s most promising Metal acts have been battling it out at the CODA bar in Colchester for a spot on the Bloodstock open-air festival this summer.

I’ve had the privilege to attend most of the shows, and on more than a few occasions, it’s come right down to the wire, and this past Thursday during the first of two semi-finals promised to be no exception.

Metal 2 The Masses – Semi-Final One.

Words and Photography: Lawrence Potter

Unfortunately, due to an illness in the band, Draugrheim were forced to pull out of the show, leaving three acts to slug it out, with two of the three making it through to the final.

At around 8 pm, the crowd assembled inside the venue as our first band of the evening, Regicide, took to the stage. These guys came into the tournament as one of the favourites and as always, it’s easy to see why.

Regicide, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Regicide, Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

The lads never fail to put on a blistering performance full of intense thrashy goodness. The band as a whole, Niall on vocals and rhythm guitar, Mike on lead guitar, Josh on bass and Chris on drums, left it all on the stage, and you can tell they are truly hungry for that slot in the final.

It has to be said that the lead vocalist and guitarist, Niall Byrne, has a very personal approach to interacting with the crowd, and you can see why these guys are so well-loved and supported in the local Metal scene.

Regicide, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Regicide, Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

Next up, we had something a little different. The second act of the night, Tink, is a solo female vocalist performing alongside some pre-recorded backing tracks. Tink showed some true character with a great performance, but as a solo artist, this takes something special.

Tink, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Tink, Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

I would describe the music of Tink as Symphonic Metal. Think bands such as Nightwish and Epica, and you would be in the ballpark. Coming in as possibly an underdog tonight, Tink put on a fighting performance, so let’s see how the rest of the evening pans out for her.

On to our final act of this leg of the semis, and we have another one of the favourites of the whole tournament, Collected. The band have been making big waves on the local scene, more recently venturing beyond to further their fan base at the recent Face Down event at London Scala.

Collected, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Collected. Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

Liam Brazitis is one of the driving forces of this act, bringing a level of intensity and energy that is quite rare. Alongside Liam on vocals are Harry and Charlie on guitars, Chris on bass and Artis on drums.

As a collective, they have come together to create a unique blend of heavy and, at times, ambient sounds that make Collected one of the powerhouses on the Essex music scene.

Collected, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Collected. Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

We were now at the end of the evening, and what a night it’s been. All three acts put on some killer performances, but only two of the three can go to the grand finale to meet the winners of the next leg of the semi-finals in two weeks’ time.

After some kind words from our host of the evening, Ian Manning, he announces that going through will be Collected and Regicide.

All I have left to say is roll on the next semi-final. It’s going to be another tight one as we have four local juggernauts squaring off once again. I can’t wait.

Collected, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Collected. Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk
Collected, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Collected. Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk
Collected, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Collected. Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk
Collected, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Collected. Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk
Regicide, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Regicide, Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk
Tink, Metal 2 The Masses. Coda, Essex. Semi Final 1
Tink, Metal 2 The Masses. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

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