With the heats and semi finals behind us Bar Sub at Queens University’s student Union would host the final of this year’s Bloodstock Metal To The Masses for Northern Ireland.
Six gladiators of the local music scene would do battle to be crowned overall winner and for their opportunity to play on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock itself.
Cursed Sun, Death Of A Salesman, Lock Horns, Thunderwolf, Oracle and Ketos would provide the auditory riot for this evening’s events. Every one worthy of their place in tonight’s final, the outcome would be a close call for sure.
These guys came out of the gates like a band possessed, with thumping double basses pounding through the walls and a killer vocal performance from front man Andrew Jones Cassidy he had the room banging from the off. Cries of Murder, death, kill echoing around the room and the mass of local fans up front and centre of the stage shows just how popular these guys are on the local scene. The bar has been set.
Death Of A Salesman:
Once again full an angst ridden set and gnarly sound DOAS get down to business the only way they know how, with front man Aidan Thompson hanging off the rafters and riling up the crowd, they make a powerful proposition with a purposeful set. Wrapping up their set with their recent release ‘Heretics’ Aidan asks the crowd to “loose their shit’ for the breakdown at the end of the track, Bar Sub obliges.
Time for these guys to expel their pent up energy and bring it on stage once again, Lock Horns were the first band tonight to add a different flavour to the line up with a more technical and progressive sounding set. A no holes barred performance and as savage and tight as you would see on the local set, Lock Horns fused clean vocals with the heavier growls and likewise their music reflected that separating them from the pack. It would be interesting to see how their sound resonated with tonight’s guest judge Simon Hall.
A deviation of styles for tonight’s events Thunderwolf offered more of an old school sound with their take on Metal, right up many of the crowds street they went down a storm and made an impression on the night for sure. Well-received and heavily supported Thunderwolf will go from strength to strength and no doubt take this experience and run with it.
“Lets make some fucking noise” was the war cry from Oracle front man Jason Kerr as he took to the stage; at 10:45pm it had been a long wait for these riff monsters to hit the stage. Right from the off Oracle slayed it, with a powerhouse performance and as usual brutal vocal performance and seriously tight it was a really polished and professional performance.
Ketos had the pleasure of wrapping up tonight’s set but at 11:30pm it was a long and draining day mentally I’m sure for these guys who were wound up tight as a drum. That didn’t deter from their set in anyway, with a savage opening number they set the bar high for their 30-minute set. A blistering guitar solo’s and a strong technical feel give Ketos an individual sound on the local scene, which allows them to separate themselves from a heavily saturated Metal scene. A purposeful set showed their range and strengths in abundance and will have strengthened their position amongst the local fans.
Simon Hall from Bloodstock HQ had the daunting task of selecting tonight’s winner, and after the selfie of all selfies with the Belfast crowd it was time to announce the victor.
Oracleclaimed the top spot and a place on The Newblood Stage at Bloodstock Open Air Festival and deservedly so, a blinding performance on the night. All of the bands involved done themselves proud, from the guys who fought for their place in the heats to the last six standing, the 2018 M2TM competition was a huge success, in big part to James Lovedayfor hosting and organising the events locally and the Distortion Project for keeping Metal alive and well in Belfast and beyond.
Congratulations to Oracle once again and to DOAS and Locked Horns who also caught the eye of Mr Hall.
Bring on 2019!!!
Photography By Liam Kielt