Skip to main content

LIVE review: Metal2TheMasses final - Jace Media

Playing at Bloodstock festival is but a distant dream for many UK metal bands; however, with the Metal 2 the Masses competition, that dream can actually become a reality. In Belfast, the second year of M2TM started back in late January: six heats and three semi finals later, we arrived at the final on Friday night in Voodoo. As usual there was only one judge this time, Bloodstock’s Simon Hall, who made his second jaunt over from England to check out exactly what the Northern Ireland music scene has to offer his hallowed festival.

First off the blocks were rockers Sinocence, who, after a long and atmospheric intro, launched into their set of punchy, metal-edged rock. Right from the start they gave their absolute all before the packed venue, from opening track ‘Long Way Down’ to final number (“one of our favourites”, according to frontman Moro) ‘Metal Box’. Even a sudden issue with the bass amp does little to dampen their enthusiasm – they’re the perfect band to open up proceedings.

Old school thrashers Scimitar are next: after handing out plastic swords (alright, they’re cutlasses, but it’s the thought that counts) they blow everybody’s hair back with their proper thrashy goodness. The crowd immediately responds with their own delighted thrashing, fist pumping and headbanging gleefully. From ‘Scimitar’ to ‘The Act of War’ they are taut and muscular, and demonstrate exactly how much they’ve grown in ability and onstage confidence in the last few years. Top notch.

A dark and smoky stage signifies the arrival of death metallers The Crawling. From their use of light and shade and creepy backing tracks featuring sounds such as buzzing flies and Latin chanting, they are as theatrical as they are talented. They skilfully intertwine segments of catchy, racing melodies into their pounding and relentless death metal, resulting in hair flailing in every direction. It’s not all po-faced seriousness though, with frontman Andy Clarke referencing the band’s chances by quipping “because without hope we cannot experience true misery”. Quite…

Channelling everyone’s inner Cradle of Filth is next band Drakonis, who present themselves in brief silence, all corpsepainted faces and visually arresting stage gear (vocalist ‘Cass’ Cassidy is wearing a chain mail vest) before creating an immediate and vast wall of sound. Mixing blackened metal screams, death metal heft and even traces of almost tribal grooves with dark themes (they have songs like ‘Bone Grinder’, ‘Fear of the Wretched’ and new single ‘All Is Still’), they possess charisma and talent by the bucketload.

Speaking of visuals…it’s time to get down and dirty with some sluts! Belfast’s So Long Until the Seance/SLUTS also favour painted faces and striking clothing, but that’s where the similarity ends. After a delightfully silly intro where their backing track is briefly interrupted by Starship’s ‘Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us Now’, they fire up with ‘Dead Boys’ and drag the packed room along for a demented, sleazy and breathlessly entertaining ride. Straddling the borders of horror punk, rock and metal (genre-benders, you could say), they are simply a blast to watch, particularly when they finish their set with a giant plastic penis that turns into a confetti cannon. Brilliant.

Following that was always going to be tough, but nu metal-flavoured metallers Cursed Sunare more than up to the challenge. As Faith No More’s ‘Epic’ fades out they leap in, all guns blazing, and mightily impress the crowd with their pulsating, unhinged set. Singer Andrew ‘Jones’ Cassidy is the perfect personification of their music: intense, mesmerising and just slightly bonkers, he roars, croons and barks his way through their set from both on and off the stage. Like a roundhouse kick to the head followed by a jaunty two-step, Cursed Sun are the perfect band to wrap up the evening’s festivities.

After the raffle is drawn (giving away a ticket to Bloodstock), tonight’s main man Simon Hall takes a few minutes to wholeheartedly compliment the NI music scene before letting the crowd in on a little secret: all of this year’s M2TM winners are in with a chance of a record contract with a subsidiary of Sony – wow! Following a bit of good natured banter with people at the front, the announcement comes: the Belfast Metal 2 the Masses winners for 2016 are:The Crawling. The crowd duly goes nuts, the band scramble onstage for photos and it’s all over bar the celebrating. See you all next year…




Review by Melanie Black

Reproduced courtesy of JACE MEDIA

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CD review: 'Anatomy Of Loss' - Ram zine

There’s some great titles on this album and one is ‘An Immaculate Deception’ that possesses some tough and twisting rhythms with a deep dark grunting vocal that you can feel in your gut as it rips your intestines out!
Moving on to the next track ‘Poison Orange’ I can almost hear the band laughing when they thought up this track title, but also can feel the harshness brooding as it plays out and leaks its venomous liquid through its vicious assault, and this is without being played fast.

‘Acid on my Skin’ speaks volumes from its title and will have you believe that it is toxic and caustic and of course you would be right to believe as its abrasive mark is made with a very potent vocal and large slices of darkened rhythms.

‘All Our Failings’ is a very imposing track that holds a lot of insatiable bait. It begins fast and then slows down to reveal that it can’t make up its mind if it wants to move faster or slower so you just have to go along with the flow, however, the track contains real…

CD review: 'Anatomy Of Loss' - Demonszone

ANATOMY OF LOSS is the debut album from the semi-sober Irish death metal band THE CRAWLING. A promising band with an even more promising album.

After the release of their three track EP IN LIGHT OF DARK DAYS, I have been looking forward to hearing this record. In terms of style and sound, this album is very much more of the same. There is a vast selection of death metal riffing, each one being as catchy as the other thanks to having more emphasis on the rhythm rather then following the idiotic trend of how fast and extreme they could play.

When the group aren’t thrashing out on their instruments, they are playing slow heavy chords that is best described as doom metal. These songs start off slow (a little too slow for my personal taste) and had they been a little longer, they would have been a little tedious. But THE CRAWLING seem to have enough common sense to realise that each song requires a good hook and just when things slow down, they burst into life with some mean riff. Both styl…

Interview at Bloodstock 2016 - 'Total Rock' podcast

Total rock caught up with the band at Bloodstock - listen to the interview and a track on their podcast! Listen here!

Cheers guys!