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Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Metal To The Masses South Wales 2019 Heat 3 Preview

Bloodstock Metal To The Masses South Wales 2019 – Heat 3 Preview

No let-up in the pace as we speed towards Heat 3 at Fuel on St David’s Day, 1st March. With several other gigs also taking place It will be interesting to see if we continue to get the solid turn outs that the early heats have attracted. Only three of the bands have taken the opportunity to engage with us in interviews for this round but that’s all good with us. Let’s kick it off with the Rhondda Valleys metalcore buddies Beyond Sorrow.

Beyond Sorrow

As usual, we start with the history of the band. “The band formed back in 2011 as four-piece cover band playing the likes of Bullet for My Valentine to AC/DC songs. Over the years there has been a few line-up changes, where the rhythm guitarist had stepped down from being on vocals, to bring on the mighty vocalist that we have to this day. We have been an original five-piece band since late 2016. Who is in this mighty line-up? “That would be John Christo on Vocals, Aaron Williams on Lead Guitar, Samuel Sweeting on Rhythm Guitar (and most likely the first to be eaten in a survival situation), Shaun Culleton on Bass Guitar and Max James on the Drums”. Some handy tips there should there be a survival situation in Fuel. Hang on? Isn’t always? I’ll bring my knife and fork just in case.

Enough already. What about Beyond Sorrow’s sound? “Loud with a fresh take on metalcore, whilst giving a hint of numerous metal sub-genres, from thrash to death metal”. After that answer you could probably predict the band’s main influences but let’s give it a go anyway. “Our main influences are Parkway Drive, Thy Art Is Murder, As I Lay Dying, While She Sleeps, Trivium and Lamb Of God. A good blend of all these bands is what drives the music we make and reminds us of what we want to achieve as a band”. Okay, hands up who plumped for Nightwish and Marillion?

The question we always ask, and which has proved quite astonishing so far. What would happen to our lawn if you moved in next door? “In all honesty, the grass would start cutting itself. Simple as that”. Is that self-mutilation at the sound of Beyond Sorrow or a very organised and well controlled lawn? We probably will never know and that might be right. Onwards and upwards.

What prompted the band to apply for M2TM? “We’ve always dreamt of performing on the Bloodstock stage to thousands of people, the rush of adrenaline as the audience reacts and interacts to our music is something we hugely desire. Getting into the semi-finals in 2017 has only made us want it more”. Monstrous riffs, headbanging, big energy, off stage shenanigans, sing alongs, and a lot of growls. So, what can we expect at Fuel on St David’s Day? “It’s gonna be a heavy one”. Fair play/ Short, sweet and to the point.

What about highlights for the band? “Since playing originals we’ve performed at The Muni in Pontypridd, supported a band all the way from Hollywood, got into the semi-finals of M2TM in 2017 and have played multiple venues around the UK”.

As we head towards the end, has the band been to Bloodstock? “It’s nothing but good times. To be around people who are into the same music as you, all there for one purpose- to listen to Heavy Metal. Everyone looks after one another, and the staff have always been helpful through any condition. How can you say no to heavy metal, beer, food and good people?” Amen brother.

And finally, tell us something we need to know. “The one thing that comes to mind is that John as music background with opera music. Has the vocal of an angel... Lucifer to be specific”.

That was a mightily entertaining interview. Let’s move away from the metalcore to those youngsters from Caerphilly, Excurisa, a band that Mrs H thoroughly enjoyed when they supported the heft of Idlewar in November 2018 (but don’t take Mrs H’s word, get down to Fuel and see for yourself).

Excursia

Let’s start with some background. Give us a potted history of the band. “Formed by school friends Sam & A'Dan, who got fed up of trying to find music they liked in modern bands, Excursia started formally in 2016, but the line-up was not fully established until 2018. The aim of Excursia is to make metal music that they want to hear. If others like it too, fantastic!” Who is the current line-up? “Sam - Lead guitarist and only member of the band with no sense of humour. A'Dan - Guitarist and main meme man. We think he got Sam's sense of humour as well as his own when it was distributed by the metal gods. Lewis - Vocals and big pharma representative. Callum - Bass guitar and train timetable regurgitator (Callum is also not 13 years old. He is 13 and a half). Matt - Drums and being from Hereford, but we don't mention that. Much.” Well, exactly. Why would you?

How would you describe the band’s sound? “Loud. Classic/thrash metal, with a tinge of modernism. In other words, shit!” Okay, I’m pretty sure that is self-depreciation folks so don’t write it on the voting slips.

Who are the main influences for the band? “Pantera, Trivium, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Post Malone, Sleep, Spongebob Squarepants”. Ah, good old Spongebob. Who isn’t influenced by him?

The big question. Lemmy once said “if we moved in next door your grass would die”. If you moved in next door, what would happen to my lawn? “It would dye it's blades black and check itself into rehab”.

What prompted Excurisa to apply for the M2TM competition? “No idea. We weren't sober at the time, but it seemed like a good idea. Plus, who wouldn't want to play on the same bill as Anthrax?!????” Indeed. Well, maybe Armoured Saint? Let’s move on. What can we expect from you at Fuel? “Loudness, technical difficulties (it's a plague I tell you! A plague!!!), fun (as long as the tech issues aren't too nasty), and a lot of melodic heavy metal and shouting. ;-)”. No technical difficulties pleeaassseee! We don’t have time.

There is a strong line-up this year and the competition will be fierce. It’s great to have a healthy Welsh Metal scene. Playing this event always seems to raise the game. Tell us a few highlights for the band since you started. “Winning a spot at Byline festival and having John Cleese as our warm-up act, supporting Mentallica in one of the last gigs held at Pontypridd Muni, getting to play with some of the most talented bands in Wales and beyond, and ribbing Lewis for being the first member of the band to get his very own stalker!” A stalker and John Cleese. Chapters 1 & 2 of the book already written there. Probably with colouring to go with it.

Have you been to Bloodstock before? “Not yet”. Well, time to sort it out lads. And finally, tell us something unusual about each band member that you feel needs to be shared with the rest of the metal community. “Sam has spider legs for fingers, Callum wishes he was a train, but only if he can run on blue-top milk, Lewis is an ex-almost-pro boxer, A'Dan was a county level champion swimmer, and Matt's real name is Blake Anderson”.

These interviews are becoming more entertaining by the minute. Let’s move on the one-man technical machine that is Sounds Of Insane Music. Known to all in the South Wales scene, here’s what Elliot had to say.

Sounds Of Insane Music

“Sounds Of Insane Music started out of a want to be gigging. Hence why it’s a one-man band. Was either find members then gig or gig and get reputation then find members along the way” So it shouldn’t be a problem to introduce us to the members of SOIM? “Just me (Elliot Cadmore) on guitar and vocals live and rest is off backing tracks I recorded and mixed myself that I play off my laptop.” I don’t care what anyone says, this man is brave as fuck!

How would you describe the band’s sound? “A mixture of majority of the sub genres of metal with bit more weight on the extreme metal and progressive side”. Who are the main influences for the band? “This is a toughy. But at its core its bands/artists like Death, Emperor, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa, Animals As Leaders, Slayer, Slipknot and Queen”. That’s a mixed bag right there. Okay, here’s the lawn question. Lemmy once said “if we moved in next door your grass would die”. If you moved in next door, what would happen to my lawn? “The grass would become sentient and start shouting 'what the fuck is that noise'”.

What prompted you to apply for the M2TM competition? “I've entered it the previous two years and after sorting out a rumour about M2TM and one-man bands I decided to apply”. What can we expect from you at Fuel? “Mix of types of metal, crazy person with pointy guitar dropping into the audience and potentially falling on stage”. Stand by to pick Elliot up folks. You know the rules.

There is a strong line-up this year and the competition will be fierce. It’s great to have a healthy Welsh Metal scene. Playing this event always seems to raise the game. Tell us a few highlights for the band since you started. “Few highlights I've had with Sounds is opening for Psychostick in my first year of gigging. Playing my first M2TM heat same day as the Womanby Street march. And in all honesty any gig I've done with close mates”.

Have you been to Bloodstock before? If so, tell us some of your experiences; why is it such a great festival? “Been going bloodstock annually now since 2012. Amazing festival for metal music lovers as there's something for everyone. Great atmosphere there, feels comfortable there due to its smaller size”. That my friends, is the correct answer.

And finally, tell us something unusual about each band member that you feel needs to be shared with the rest of the metal community. “Well the laptop has an ego some nights and won't do as it is told. For me it's that when was in primary school, I was told I'd never be able to do music because of my small hands and not knowing notes on a piano”. So, a big fuck you to Elliot’s music teacher but don’t stare at his hands when he’s playing. That isn’t fair.

As well as these three fabulous bands, there is the mystery of newly formed Grym, the Swansea based groove outfit who will be travelling East in search of glory. Whatever the result, Heat 3 is a tight bastard to call and it promises to be another storming evening of full force metal. See you there!

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