Metal 2 the Masses Chesterfield 2022 – Grand Final – The County Rock bar Chesterfield – 25/6/22

Metal 2 the Masses Chesterfield 2022 – Grand Final
The County Rock bar Chesterfield
25/6/22
Live Review by Rob Sutton

Competing bands:
Steal the City
Death Divine
Reanimate
Kaparilion
Karma’s Puppet

A beautiful drive from Cheshire over the peak district brought me to Chesterfield, the second largest city in Derbyshire behind Derby. While Derby in itself has a few venues that would also suite a M2TM, The County Bar is a very fitting venue. The Stage, while on the small side, is suitably raised enough so the audience can see the bands, the beer garden is huge with plenty of seating, and there are pool tables and clean toilets! Every box ticked then? Well, the beer’s a little on the pricey side but hey ho! 

Tonight would see 5 competing bands with no guest headliner but still they managed to sell the show out and the venue was suitably packed for the first band, and wildcard entry, Steal the City. These guys wasted no time kicking into their Emo/Metal infused Rock with vocal duties split between 3 members, all of whom hit the notes consistently, which was very pleasing. These guys bounced around the stage and properly showed off throughout their set, getting right to the front to do solos or climb on top of amps, or even kneels on the floor while riffing away. This immediately caught my attention, as a good show can make you enjoy a set much more, regardless of whether the genre is to your liking. Having said that, I actually quite like this genre, it’s upbeat and you could quite happily sing along (if I knew the words). The whole set in itself was solid; I particularly enjoyed their new song which verged slightly more into a metalcore style (metalcore being a theme of tonight). My only real criticisms would be that there were a few too many ‘thank yous’ throughout the set and perhaps the genre would lend itself a little more to download as opposed to Bloodstock. Realistically though this was a very enjoyable set and I can completely see why these guys were put forward as a wildcard.

https://www.facebook.com/stealthecityuk

Death Divine were next – a 1 man act, which instantly got me questioning how on earth he would be able to pull it off on the New Blood Stage? Jager Stage maybe, but there are limited slots left there. Having said that he’s not short on energy on stage, consistently head banging or getting onto the barriers and generally engaging the crowd beautifully which led to the first pits of the evening. For the first half of the set there were a few little niggles for me. Firstly, I really wish more of the lead guitar lines were played live, the solos were, which was nice, but some of the lead melodies would have been fantastic to watch. Also his voice was ok, nothing that blows you away, but I would have liked a bit more variation. But, the second half of the set was where Death Divine came alive! A guest female voice on stage really added a whole new dimension to his set, moving it more into the Melodic Death Metal realm, and from here he continued this trend giving me massive Wintersun vibes. Honestly I loved this, for the first time in a while my hairs were standing on end while listening to a band. If this becomes a full band and he utilises the guest more in his songs, this could be unbelievably good and in my opinion, and would have stolen this show. Oh one more thing, I’m still not a fan of bands wearing their own t-shirts… 

https://www.facebook.com/DeathDivineUK

Metalcore seems to be one of those genres that everyone is aiming for these days and I have honestly lost count of how many Metalcore bands I have reviewed this year alone. Reanimate are band that have been well and truly on my radar this year, but this was the first time I had actually seen them. Their take on the ‘new age’ of Metalcore was performed very well, they were tight, and all the songs fit the genre down to a tee… And here lies my slight problem with them. There isn’t anything new on display here, just another Metalcore band playing the same stuff I have heard a million times this year. This is not me saying they are bad, as they are far from it – the breakdowns are on point, the growls are brilliant, and the drums and bass really drive this band. My only real criticism with their music in terms of performance would be the clean singing – was a little flat, but otherwise there isn’t anything to pick at, it’s just nothing new. Something that can stand a band out however is their stage show, and the fact that these guys got pits going pretty consistently throughout their set, along with chants for the band, really showed that they have a following. This was echoed once again by the fact numerous members of the audience could be seen singing along to their songs. In terms of controlling the crowd and owning the stage, Reanimate had this base well and truly covered. Well, until yet another comment pissed me off. Dedicating songs is all very well and good and I’m sure this was meant in the best possible way, but dedicating a song to Sophie Lancaster at a M2TM event just felt really cringy, and almost pandering to the judge. I wasn’t the only one who picked up on this as numerous people around me face palmed or sighed. This for me was a stupid move that didn’t achieve anything other than piss off a fair few members of the crowd. For me there is a lot of work to be done with Reanimate to make them really stand out, but never-the-less this was another solid set.

https://www.facebook.com/reanimateuk

From one Metalcore band to another, this time in the shape of Kaparilion. These guys actually bring something slightly different, and that is a very odd clean singing voice. I’m not quite sure what style it fits into, it’s almost Rock but then Metalcore too! It really is unique and I love it! The riffs again add a lot more groove into the mix, and with thumping drums the whole crowd again began to bang their heads and start pitting. Each band so far had brought an element of engaging the crowd, and this set was absolutely no exception – again, perfect controlling of the crowd, and climbing the barrier to be with the crowd. This whole set just struck the right chords with me and I found myself in the pits for the first time of the evening, mainly due to a certain judge but I won’t mention names. Also this was the first time I felt my head properly banging. As a reviewer I know I am supposed to pick up on what the band was doing on stage, but I just got completely lost in the moment for these guys and I think that is the perfect compliment. For me, these guys were the band to beat so far.

https://www.facebook.com/KaparilionOfficial

Last up was the only band I had actually seen and reviewed before, Karma’s Puppet. Now these guys seemed like they were going to be the band to beat, with a lot of buzz about them before the show, and the fact that most people in the venue were covered head to toe in KP merch. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that they would instantly go through just because everyone has their merch, or everyone keeps shouting their name. They actually needed to perform and live up to the hype. This is something Karma’s Puppet do, and boy did they grab this night and own it! Where previously there was the odd pit or two, here it was constant. The crowd were even commanded into walls of death and circle pits – instructions which they duly obeyed! Everything Karma’s Puppet asked of the crowd, they got! Heck, even when they started bouncing on stage, the crowd copied. This simply was a master class on how to control the crowd. Musically (we are going to use the key word from tonight…) Metalcore again, but this time it was more along the lines of if Metallica did Metalcore. This also sets them apart from the sheer amount of bands in this genre and they pull off this mash up perfectly. Vocally, the first time I heard the cleans they did nothing for me, but over the last 8 or so months I’ve begun to love the style. The screams also fit brilliantly within their sound. Couple that with probably the tightest music of the night and I think we have a winner. These guys came in as favourites and for me the absolutely wiped the floor with the competition!

https://www.facebook.com/karmaspuppet

So onto the result and personally I don’t think this was a tough one. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed every band that played and will definitely see them again but for me Karma’s Puppet were just on another level, and Simon Hall agreed, as they were announced as the winners. Reanimate have also been added to the reserve list which I can’t argue with, as their set was solid enough to warrant that. All in all this was a cracking final in a cracking venue. I hope to return!

LINKS:

Promoter/venue:

Bloodstock M2TM Chesterfield:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

One thought on “Metal 2 the Masses Chesterfield 2022 – Grand Final – The County Rock bar Chesterfield – 25/6/22

  1. Thanks for your review! Glad you enjoyed Death Divine’s set, and I’m glad you picked up on the Wintersun vibes! (I wrote blind after discovering them at Bloodstock 2017 )

    Was a great night and I’m truely thankful for being a part of it

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