As most savvy metalheads will already be aware, Bloodstock is the festival to be at this summer if you're into bands with indecipherable logos. If you're into unsigned bands with indecipherable logos then Bloodstock has a stage dedicated to said bands called the New Blood stage and bands across the UK compete in battle-of-the-bands type competitions entitled Metal 2 The Masses to earn the coveted place at the festival. I was lucky enough to catch the final of the South Wales chapter of the competition taking place in Fuel Rock Club.
First band up were Chaos Trigger and they easily pulled the largest crowd of the evening. I turned up a little way into their set so I had to take up position at the back of the room as there was absolutely no way I could manoeuvre the sea of bodies between me and the stage. For a local band to draw this much of a crowd though is testament to the quality of their music and their excellent stage presence. This is a band with a well established fanbase and some fantastic straight-up metal tunes under their belt. Their sound was spot-on and between the crushingly heavy guitar work and Ben Duffin-Jones' brutal vocal delivery, they put on a great show.
Next up were Kryophere and I was looking forward to seeing these guys as I'd checked out a few tracks from their 2010 debut 'Hiraeth' and I was suitably impressed. Unfortunately I found their sound to be a little flat and lifeless which was a shame as they have some great tunes and if the drums had been a little punchier and the guitars had a little more weight to them then their particular brand of death metal would have had a lot more impact. Sound issues aside though, they did put on a good show and I can highly recommend keeping an eye on Kryophere.
Cardiff-based metal band Blind Divide took to the stage next and they were another band with a bit of a death metal vibe going on, with great stage presence and some killer tunes. Go check out 'Scourge of Humanity'. Right now.
Fourth band on the bill, Gulah, were the highlight of the night for me and this had nothing to do with the nine pints of cider I'd consumed by this point. By the time they hit the stage I'd managed to secure myself a spot at the bar where the cider was easily accessible, I had a clear view of the stage and I was close enough to the amps that Gulah's thunderous, stoner/doom, Sabbath-esque riffs kicked their way into my alcohol-addled mind and insisted on staying.
I think that part of the reason Gulah were the highlight is that after watching three straight up, heavy-as-fuck metal bands it was a refreshing change of pace to hear a band that relies a bit more on groove over sheer brutality. Highly recommend.
So, after a heavy night, both in terms of music and cider lost to the scourge of my beard, Chaos Trigger took the place at Bloodstock's New Blood Stage and it is very well deserved as they are going to absolutely kill it at Bloodstock. Make sure you check them out if you're attending as not only will they fit right in with the existing Bloodstock lineup but they may even be one of the highlights of the weekend.