It’s time again for the FemME (Female Metal Event) Battles 2019. As the numbers of applications of small bands exceeds the slots at FemME (11-13 October 2019), battles open an opportunity for bands to play and present themselves and get experience. The format is quite simple. In 4 International Preliminaries, 5 bands battle for 2 slots (jury winner / audience winner) in the Battle Final. Same procedure in the Final for 2 slots @ FemME.
The first preliminary was in the UK. Scruffy Murphys in Birmingham was hosting this event. Participants (all UK based) were Cadence Noir (Goth Folk ‘n’ Roll), Dark Sky Park (Alt Rock / Metal), Fear Me December (Heavy Rock/ Metal), Pallas Athena (Progressive symphonic metal) and Secrets of Mariana (Heavy Rock/Alternative Metal). Audience and jury were unanimous and selected Secrets of Mariana as the winner. In that case the ‘procedure’ assigns jury’s second as jury winner. With that Pallas Athena made it to the Final.
The second preliminary was in Belgium. Ragnarok in Bree was the place to be. Participants were BleedSkin, Cathubodua, Meridian4, Sulfeet and Tully Monster. Metal on Loud was present to report.
The playing sequence is determined by draw at the venue in the presence of all bands. They were informed upfront about playing time (35 minutes) and set list (no covers allowed). Unfortunately BleedSkin (Death metal – Male vocals / Female guitarist) had to cancel last minute. So only four to battle.
Sulfeet opened the ‘competition’. This band started as a S.O.D. tribute band in the 80’s. Now Sulfeet brings full throttle heavy metal with their own music and words.
Next in line was Cathubodua. They participated in a previous edition of the battles. It was good to see and especially hear that they’ve made progress. The epic symphonic metal is matured and more solid. The violinist is not only present for the nice view, she’s the main creator of the music.
Meridian4 is a symphonic / progressive metal band from Belgium, just like the bands before. They were the “youngest’ band in this event. Their set was not one of a real starter.
The last one was from abroad, more specific from the Netherlands. Tully Monster also did have a history in the FemME Battles. They indicated their music as Gutter Rock. The band members do have a lot of experience and that was pretty clear in the show, good and solid. Hard to categorize, but for sure not Metal.
The audience was very clear in the voting. Cathubodua was definitely their favorite. The jury had a tougher job, they of course look at other aspects as well. The finally decided, Meridian4 was their winner. It was a close call with Tully Monster (not Metal).
Interesting to see and hear participating bands, great to discover new talent. Up next are the Battle Preliminaries in Germany and the Netherlands.
Full set photos: Sulfeet, Cathubodua, Meridian4 and Tully Monster.