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LIVE review: Metal2TheMasses final - Chord Blossom

After six heats and three semi finals, Belfast’s Metal 2 the Masses competition drew to a close in Voodoo on Friday night. In with a shot at playing Bloodstock’s New Blood stage were Sinocence, Scimitar, The Crawling, Drakonis, So Long Until the Seance/SLUTS and Cursed Sun.

It fell to rockers Sinocence to open up proceedings, which they did with all the aplomb they could muster as scene veterans. Their metallic rock was in fine fettle this evening, even with a slight bass amp issue; it was a passionate set that certainly did the job of warming up the crowd.

Old school thrash hit the stage next in the form of Scimitar, who almost blew the roof off with their tight, thrashy grooves. Within seconds the room was full of flailing hair and raised horns (not to mention plastic swords); who can resist a bit of proper, early Metallica-type thrash? No one, going by the response they received.

Gloomy atmospherics and a dark stage wreathed in smoke saw The Crawling creep in and up their game in a big way. Theatrical and engrossing, they stunned the crowd with their dense death metal, which ebbed and flowed like a jet black stream. Breathtaking.

Corpsepainted blackened death metallers Drakonis followed; equally as visually arresting but in a more ‘in your face’ way, they set a blistering pace right from the start and barely took their foot off the pedal for their entire set, much to the delight of the crowd. We predict big things for this talented bunch.

The outrageously entertaining So long Until the Seance/SLUTS introduced themselves with a solid dose of humour which continued throughout their set: musically a cross between horror punk, rock and sleaze metal, they impressed the entire room and had a ball doing it – what more could you ask for? Top job!

Last but certainly not least it was the taut and bruising nu metal-ish Cursed Sun, who possess one of the most charismatic frontmen in Northern Ireland in Andrew ‘Jones’ Cassidy; you’re simply unable to take your eyes off him as he serenades the crowd with his scream/clean vocals. A smashing end to the night.

With no crowd judging tonight, it fell to Bloodstock promoter Simon Hall to announce the victors (and we certainly didn’t envy him the task, given the calibre of performances tonight). After a raffle draw and a bit of banter, the result was given. The winners of the 2016 Belfast Metal 2 the Masses is…

The Crawling! Congratulations guys, and best of luck with your New Blood set!

We’ll be reporting on their triumphant performance at Bloodstock, so keep an eye out for the story in August.

Melanie Brehaut


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