Hard rock, heavy and death metal were the sounds of the night for Heat 5 of Battle of the Bands. This being the last Heat before the Semi-Final was obviously not an excuse for the music to let up in creativity, showmanship and diversity.
The night started off with hard-rockers _Subject to Change_, whose talented lead guitarist was a distinct feature of a band that seemed otherwise weak on vocals. A highlight of their set was his use of a pen to implement some clever guitar-manipulation, which added a cool and unexpected element to their sound. While the first two songs were a little lacklustre they managed to pick themselves up at the end of their set.
_C.B.A.’s_ set was a significant step up with an astoundingly good prog-rock opener that showed the audience the capabilities of the band’s stony faced yet fast-fingered keyboardist, talented drummer and ice-cool guitarists. The only failing for this great rock act came in the following two songs, which showed an unfortunate over-reliance on guest players and the lead singer from _Mr Coc_ which didn’t blend too well together as the band would have in isolation.
Hard rock highlight of the night came in the form of five-piece _Black Label_, who kept the crowd entertained, enthralled and amused in equal measure. With a sound that wasn’t wholly dependent on one instrument or individual, the band became one of the favourites of the night, with a charismatic lead vocalist keeping the crowd involved in the set without ever out-staging keyboards, drums or guitars.
_Coast is Clear_ added a dose of mainstream ‘90s influenced rock to the night, with the band being more focused on capable song-writing than talented musicianship. With a large fan club present on the night, this trio showed off a lot of their bantering skills rather than any particularly classic material in their set.
With the last two bands, the evening took a far heavier turn. Up first was trio _Throat_ who won the prize of beardiest band of the Heat. Showing off some accomplished guitar work and some fantastic stage presence, these guys managed to get the crowd loosened up and head-banging. Even a snapped drumstick wasn’t going to stop the band and its drummer from denying the audience for some legendarily heavy music.
However it was the final band of the night that really came off as the strongest performers – and the loudest act. Death metal artistes and returnees to the competition, _Silencing the Outspoken_, stood out for their energy, sound, and explosive attitude that even the student union had to add the barriers just before the set to keep hell from truly breaking loose. An outright pleasure to watch and deserved winners of that Heat.
Results of the night see _Silencing the Outspoken_ through to the Final with _Black Label_ left to battle it out in the Semi-Final.