The Distortion Project Belfast once again hosted this evening’s M2TM, the heats over and the final is now within touching distance. Tonight’s proceedings had an altogether meatier line-up which: was more than appropriate as we are now at the business end of this journey.

Having survived their respective heats, tonight Rule Of Six, Victim Royal, Death Of A Salesman and Ketos would battle it out for a place in Northern Irelands Grand Final to be held at Bar Sub n May. A lot was a stake tonight and it would be important that all bands hit the mark from the off, no rest for the wicked every minute counts in a series of fiercely contested 30 minute sets.

First up, Rule Of Six. Aptly named with four guitarists, a bass player and drummer, these guys had an old school Metal sound, with the guitarists harmonising ala Iron Maiden there was plenty of slick guitar work on show. Duelling guitars and punchy up-tempo numbers ensured a high-energy start to the night’s proceedings. Throwing a new track in the mix too the guys showed no fear and managed a Mr Big esque duelling guitar intro with both guitarists sharing the same double neck guitar, you could instantly see that we were at the business end of this competition as the quality was immediate for all to see from the off. The guys made their mark and laid down the foundation for what was to be a night of first class music at The Limelight Belfast once again.

Fresh faced Victim Royal were up next, with a Sludgy rifftastic start they immediately turned more than a few heads, their heavy laden start was then overtaken by a frantic three minutes of chaos as they went from a grinding riff to a frantic pace where their sound got a little muddy and the vocals seemed lost at sea. A mid song tempo change once again brought an ear catching heavy riff followed by mania and even though it was clear to see that these boys were up for the challenge, it was also clear to see that this years competition may have come a little too soon. For sure Victim Royal are ones to watch for the future, but for now they lack an identifiable sound of their own, serious potential lies within, but time is needed to hone their craft and no doubt these boys have what it takes to pull it all together.

Death Of A Salesman took to the stage, the bar had been set high and tonight was about to get heavy, like HEAVY. These guys came out fighting, frantic and in your face! Intensity to the max is was a lesson in Deathcore 101, within minutes the crowd had filled in front of the stage. Head banging as far as the eye could see, front man Aidan Thompson was like a man possessed, as intense and a powerhouse front man as you’re likely to see gracing a Belfast stage. DOAS were on a totally different level from what Belfast had witnessed thus far, with a behemoth sound and tight as a tigers ass!

Ketos would wrap things up for tonight, and after a powerhouse performance from DOAS they knew what had to be done. Another tight outfit with a KSE / Trivium vibe Ketos brought it from the off. With one of the finest lead guitarists locally they have a classy polished sound and their song writing is a good example of where Victim Royal need to be moving forward. Ketos brought the noise with a wall of distortion and howling vocals with a heavier than usual set, absolutely fitting following DOAS.

It was a night of passion and intent from all the bands, but two shone brighter and stood out head and shoulders above the rest with stellar performances, but with an audience vote casted with 50% of the total vote, would that be enough?.


As it turned out it was, both Ketos 1st Place and Death Of A Salesman 2nd Place progresses into the Grand Final In May. Congratulations to both and a well earned pat on the back to both Rule Of Six and Victim Royal who made it a competition for sure. Another great night hosted by James Loveday and The Distortion Project once again.


Photography : Liam Kielt




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