Sunday had arrived, and my bones were feeling it! Old age and three nights camping were taking it’s toll but there’s always a cure for that, high quality music!
The previous two days saw a plethora of first class quality bands take to the stage from all across the UK and beyond, today would wrap up the last of the M2TM finalists and bring a close to a very special stage indeed.
First up, Obzidian.
About: Obzidian – British Thrash Metal from the Home of Metal since 2001….
Obzidian goes back to the founder’s high school days when Baz (guitars), Paul (drums) and Jeffsy (bass) formed the basis of the band in 2001. Having added a couple of further members in the formative years, by early 2005, the line-up was stripped back to just one guitarist, Baz, whilst Matty J was added as frontman and vocalist, and the band’s current groove-laden sound was conceived. In March 2007 the band signed with Casket Records and went on to release their self-titled debut in 2007 and “Damned Eternal” in 2012. They played extensively in support of these two releases building a solid reputation across the UK, sharing the stage with the likes of Sepultura, Crowbar, Il Nino and Arch Enemy.
In 2014 they unleashed their 3rd full length offering “Concrete Psychosis” which was released on 8th September on Rocksector Records. Mark Appleton, label manager at Rocksector says “We first saw Obzidian playing live in Manchester and they immediately impressed. Later when we heard the early mixes of the album we were struck by the extraordinarily tight brutal sound which is clear, concise and immense. They’re an exciting prospect for the label and we relish the opportunity to work with them”.
2015/2016 had been a great year and has seen the band go from strength to strength and build a lot of friendships and partnerships within the local music industry. The band are currently planning dates all over the country and further afield in support of “Obliteration Process”, which was self-produced and released on November 28th 2016. The album has been receiving critical acclaim from both industry professionals and fans and is set to be the Launchpad for the year ahead, even being named as “Album of the Year” by Totally Tankered.
Now in 2017, a recent merger of management companies has seen Obzidian join forces with FATangel Management who are building momentum and focus in the national scene with an excellent roster of underground Metal bands.
Obzidian Members… – Guitar – Barry Foster – Vocals – Matthew Jenks – Bass – Matthew Jeffs – Drums – Paul Hayward
A modest crowd had gathered for these fine Thrash misters! Too early on a Sunday morning for some, but not for the dedicated few that understood this was a marathon, not a sprint! The lads went about their set the only way how, full on and full force. Brutal as you’d see at 10:30am anywhere Obzidian set the standard for the rest to follow.
About: Imminent Annihilation formed in late 2011 and has been constantly evolving since day one. In 2014 they entered the studio to record their debut EP; ‘The Annex Between Creation and Annihilation’. Since then they have been working on different styles of metal, taking influence from wherever they found it and are now currently working on a follow up to ‘Annex’. They aim to enter the studio mid-to late 2018 to record their first debut album (as yet untitled).
Band Members, Connor Rhodes – Guitar., Harry Godfrey – Drums., Richard Knight- Bass., Jordan Gray – Vocals.
Following Obzidian, Imminent Annihilation had to bring it, and they did! Heavy as Fuck and savage about the way they delivered their performance these guys laid own a severely high bar. Well-played ladies.
About:Autocracy are a 5 piece hard hitting melodic metal band from West Yorkshire, the band released their first EP – Awakening in April 2018. Metal To The Masses winners, they are now due to appear at Bloodstock Festival and take their music even further.
Band Members, Mark Curry – Vocals, Aron Armitage – Lead / Rhythm Guitar, Joe Dobson – Lead / Rhythm Guitar, Rob Butcher – Bass Guitar, Peter Nicholson – Drums
A hefty riff-tastic set by Autocracy was just what New Blood needed to keep the energy levels up, a gargantuan sound and guttural vocals left no-one short changed and no doubt will win over a whole new arm of fans.
About :Heavy riffing ,West Cumbria stoner rockers. Fans of: Spiritual Beggars, Monster Magnet, Black Sabbath, Down, Corrosion of Conformity. M2TM Winners 2K18!
With more of a Stoner Rock vibe Drudge changed the pace a little in the New Blood but not the energy, still rocking the Hobgoblin was bouncing as it had been all day. Groove laden riffs and punchy songs made their mark.
About: Crawlblind is a metal band hailing from the UK bringing an intense sound in the vain of Pantera, Korn, Sepultura, deftones and Machine Head.
Band Members, Jon Martin, Matt Martin, James Fisher, Matt Gamble, Calvin Chadwick
A behemoth sound and gnarly riffs along with killer vocals made Crawlblind an unmissable band at this years New Blood Stage, catchy and engaging tracks that had the crowd eating out of the plam of their hands.
About:National Award Winning rock band, consisting of Zach 18 yrs, Ben 16 yrs & Dan 14 yrs. Zach, vocals & bass guitar, Ben, vocals & lead guitar & Dan, drums.
Ethyrfield are a young three piece rock band from Newton Abbot in Devon, made up of Zach Cornish (bass and lead vocals), Ben Cornish (lead guitar and backing vocals) and Dan Aston (drums). Ethyrfield mainly play their own music with one or two covers thrown in.
The band formed in 2014 and were originally called New Project before changing the name to Ethyrfield in 2017. In February 2015, the band took part in the national Rock the House competition in London and won the under 19s category which gave them the opportunity to play at the American Ambassador’s residence.
Later in 2015, Ben took part in Sky Arts Guitar Star and reached the finals of the rock guitarist section. During the competition, Ben was mentored by Tony Iommi, who still mentors the band.
In January 2018, Ethyrfield played on the Introducing Stage at the Giants of Rock Festival at Butlins, Minehead and were voted winners by the audience, so will return to play the main stage in January 2019.
Ethyrfield for me were one of the highlights of the New Blood Stage over the whole weekend, I had to look twice when I walked into the pit to shoot the band. A drummer who looked all of eleven and two guitarists who were just kids slamming these Bluesy Rock riffs made me smile ear to ear. A tight unit with catchy melodies and guitar shredding wizardry was just what the doctor ordered for a Sunday afternoon!
This Place Hell
About: ‘This Place Hell’ are a 5 piece metal band formed in 2013 and based in Dublin Ireland featuring, Stephen Cannon (vocals) Dylan Scully (bass) Mick Hynes (guitar) Ryan Cummins (drums) and the recent addition of Damien Regan pulling second guitar duties. Taking influence from all eras and sub-genres of metal, the band produces a massively heavy sound that is accompanied by melodic hooks and grooves. A modern sound with occasional nods to more classic styles of their genre.
The bands first EP “Malice” was released in October, alongside the music video for “Casualties” to a great response and this led the band to recruiting second guitarist and long time friend Damien Regan. They have just released the video for the first song they co wrote with the new addition to the band entitled “End Game” which saw an updated, fresher sound that maintained the heaviness and the ferocity the band have become so well known for. They are currently recording their second EP “Contempt” scheduled for release September 2017. The band have become known for their DIY approach to their music and publicity as well as their perseverance and strong work ethic.
All members of the band had been playing in their local music scenes for the last decade in various bands and other projects, guitarist Mick Hynes, bassist Dylan Scully and drummer Ryan Cummins having previously been in a metal band decided to regroup and play the music they wanted to hear. This led to them writing what would become the music for ‘The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back’. After recruiting Stephen Cannon on vocal duties they quickly released a demo called “Sign Here….” which received great reviews including 5/5 from Shredload.
Exploding onto the live scene and generating a fan base quickly the band were asked to play Slipknots album launch to a sold out Mezz in Dublin in 2014. After gigging around the country relentlessly, the band took part and secured a finalist spot in the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses competition in 2015. Their rising popularity only increased with the release of a double single; “Eat This & Monster in Me” which prompted their first music video for “Monster in Me”. Just one week after releasing the video the band set on their first UK tour where they were received with great enthusiasm, playing in Sheffield, Manchester and Mansfield. In 2016 the band began recording their first EP “Malice” only breaking to play at Agressive Music Feat in Czech Republic where their merch table was swarmed having been previously totally unknown in the country.
In late 2016 the band felt the need to evolve and add another layer to their music and recruited long time friend of the band Damien Regan on second guitarist duties and immediately began writing new material. The first of which, “End Game” was released as a music video in February 2017. Their second EP “Contempt” is due out September 2017 and will be the first to feature Regan on second guitar.
Having just finished their Russian tour in April 2017, and playing with UK hardcore psychos HECK and Employed To Serve they decided to change their name from ‘The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back’ to ‘This Place Hell’. The band are also scheduled to play at Mammothfest Brighton in October alongside bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Rotting Christ.
Constantly moving forward and being ahead of the curve with technology, social media and audience interaction This Place Hell have a hunger for success and success is the only option.
This Irish band ripped a new one on the New Blood Stage, bringing the noise and energy levels needed to crash that tent in all around. The crowd below was in a frenzy as these lads threw down the gauntlet, battering each and everyone who was brave enough to face them This Place Hell kicked ass.
About: Doom/Sludge/Stoner/Riffage/Desert, “They sound like a Cyclops driving a freight train through a herd of wildebeest.”
Ed Campbell- Vocals, Mike ‘Big Daddy Reegs’ Regan – Guitar, Adam Robertshaw – Guitar,Rob ‘Spadge Fafner’ Sutcliffe – Bass, Gaz Manning – Drums
Barbarian by name barbarian by nature, intense is not the word, well not the only word with frontman Ed Campbell wanting to climb into the crowd, in their face up front and personal is the only way these guys know how to play.
Dead Before Mourning
About: Tenacity. Determination. Resolve. Dead Before Mourning from Surrey, England are defined by these words and more. Juggling the world as you do, journeyman frontman and guitarist Matt Hockham and the insanely talented drummer Steve Ebsworth came together in late 2012 to work on a shared path, one of pure metal. It was not long before the DBM ethos and direction were firmly decided on, and the incredible Dom Harvey was added on lead guitar. Pat McGarvey on bass soon followed within months to complete the line-up.
DBM recorded a 3 track demo in early 2013 and set out on the gig circuits of London and the UK. 2013 and 2014 were spent gigging, writing and rehearsing. During this the lads quickly recorded four new songs for an E.P. entitled ‘The Storm’. The Storm was released in 2015 and was well received by the fans (now known as ‘Mourners’). 2016 saw the band do fewer gigs and instead focus on writing as much as possible. A line-up change was on the cards and in March 2017 thundering Stephen ‘Gus’ Mussett was welcomed into the fold to replace Pat McGarvey on bass. With Gus on the bass the new sound and foundations of DBM’s backline were set in heavy metal stone.
The journey of recording their debut album ‘Killing Time’ started on the hottest days of summer 2017. The lads chose to work at Barnstorm Studios with engineer and co-producer Rob Barry. 9 songs were chosen from their now extensive song list and the drums began to pound. After 7 months of hard graft Killing Time is now mixed and mastered. Pounding rhythms, shredding guitars, angry and honest vocals mixed with haunting melodies are the sound of DBM’s Killing Time.
Killing Time is now being readied for release on all formats and is due out 1 April 2018. Numerous 2018 UK dates are also being scheduled in support of the new album!
Old school Thrash was the name of the day here, and a welcome deviation from the Grindcore, Doom and Metalcore we had seen, a breath of fresh air with some quality break neck guitar riffs and old school charm!
About: Skybrudd delivers dark, melancholic music with a relentless live performance.
The Norwegian band invites the audience adventurous journey through dark catacombs with their heavy, sluggish rhythms and hard-hitting vocals. further into inhospitable groves where hard, piercing riffs and sinister lyrics bear witness of pain and suffering, before one is finally guided towards the light – a transient where alluring harmonies mask the trauma. All while still reminding you that the worst is yet to come.
Skybrudd´s soundscape can best be described as a melting pot where doom, sludge, black metal and all that is dark and malevolent is merged into a massive, heavy and dark matter. The music comes across as immense and complex, but is simultaneously comprehensible and captivating. The characteristics of their sound is the unorthodox use of symphonic percussion instruments, such as a gran cassa, timpani and a symphonic gong. This adds a whole new deeper dimension of force and punch to the soundscape as well as opening the door to a colossal and vast ambience, which puts Skybrudd in a category of its own.
The name is also carefully selected. Skybrudd derives from the Norwegian name for the weather phenomenon known as cloudburst where extreme amounts of precipitation appear without warning over a short period, often leading to floods and destruction. This is adopted as a metaphor of the way of life through several of the band´s lyrics, theming the darker parts of life. This overcast, depressive view of earthly existence also clearly influences Skybrudd´s sound and artistic expression.
In 2015 the band released their first demo-EP, and has since then worked hard to finish writing their full-length debut album. Over and over songs and ideas have been abandoned and deemed “not good enough”, as quality of the song material has been eminent for the sake of making a grand entrance to the metal scene. Though, despite a long songwriting process with great care to details and perfection; Skybrudd has made sure to take the time off to do concerts, supporting bands like Keep of Kalessin, Sagh, Blood Red Throne and Norwegian doom-psych-sludge trio Superlynx.
Joachim Isaksen – Vocals/Guitar, , Fredrik Langeland – Lead Guitar, , Sander Wetterhus – Drums,Renè Gunnerud Vandli – Bass,
Skybrudd were a great addition to the line up, our Norwegian brethren who qualified via the M2TM overseas added a bit of international flair to the New Blood. The Nordic countries always deliver high quality Metal and Skybrudd were no exception.
About: The world famous Mercenary Metal band!Seriously unserious Power/Heavy Metal from the barren plains of Yorkshire.
Founded in the summer of 2013, this band of Bardbarians set out to conquer the world with their own take on Heavy/Power metal they like to call Mercenary Metal.Their debut album “…And Now We Ride” is available now, the band is working on their follow up to this, the aim to release in 2018.
Fate has a curious habit of intervening in such noble of adventures! And so it was that we waved farewell to two of our founding members; in 2016 we parted ways with our axe-wielding Slav of a companion Jacek as he returned to his fair homeland, and again in 2017 with our most faithful battering-ram operator Alex as he began a new glorious quest in his native homeland. Yet there is no stopping the valiant crusade!
We were most fortunate to be able to welcome the riffing majesty of James as our new guitarist, and the devastating percussive onslaught of Tom into our ranks on drums, to complete the mighty lineup once more, and fulfil the destiny of Mercenary Metal!
Stuart Perry – Vocals, James Stephenson – Guitar,Henry Mahy – Guitar, Tom Keeley – Bass, Tom Warner – Drums
I cannot lie, I am not a fan of this type of music. But alas when you look out into the sea of people and plastic swords as far as the eye can see, I am in the minority and in fairness the jovial mood was quite infectious. There was a festive party atmosphere here at The New Blood Stage and who could argue with that! Sellsword know how to throw a party and with the likes of Alestorm playing the main stage there were plenty here to support them.
About:The band SERVERS formed in South Yorkshire in 2012. Driven by a compulsion to delve into the minds of servers and the subservient nature of followers, Server 00001 (Lee Storrar), Server 00002 (Lee Wilde), and Server 00003 (Ant Nettleship) came together to work on a collection of songs for what became known as “Leave With Us”. As word spread more servers were recruited and early transmissions were brought into this world; produced by Server 00004 at Flatwave Studios, the true home of SERVERS. Once these early transmissions met with the standards expected, the works were taken to Axis Studios for final ascendence.
Backed by Undergroove Records and Holdtight PR, SERVERS’ debut album “Leave With Us” was released on the 24th February 2014 to critical acclaim.
Described by Rock Sound Magazine as “a white hot slab of incandescent fury”, in Metal Hammer UK Magazine as “Mastodon meets Queens brand of intelligent riffs” and Big Cheese Magazine described Servers as a “bright prospect for 2014”
Since the debut album release Servers have gone on to conduct a number of Gatherings where the transmissions are performed live at venues across the UK with the addition of Server 00005 on guitar.
The mind has an unhealthy obsession and desire to know more than it does today, all SERVERS reference material is archived at www.serversband.co.uk where you can receive your own server number, this will be more important as the days progress, as the world falls into line become servers.
Rest assured that your only chance to survive is to… LEAVE. WITH. US.
Servers brought a big of old-fashioned Rock ‘N’ Roll to proceedings at the New Blood Stage with their slick riffs and QOTSA esque quality to it all. It was a welcome breather of the intensity of some of the other bands and allowed the crowd to decompress a little, but not by much as these lads know whow to RAWK!
About: Slovenia – Black metal/Black’n’Roll
Srd closed off the New Blood Stage at this years Bloodstock, all the way form Slovenia these crazy mo fo’s in makeup looked like the gates of hell themselves had opened and spat them out! With Watain wrapping up the Sophie Lancaster stage with equal if not more severe drama it was fitting for Srd to close the Hobgoblin with a bang.
An amazing three days music from some of the finest talent across the UK and beyond. Roll on 2019!!!
Photography : Mark McGrogan
Mark Ellis / Shoot The Groove