Unbelievably we are here once again, M2TM Northern Ireland, Heat 1, 2020, Voodoo Belfast.
In what has felt like the blink of an eye M2TM ravaged its way across the first half of 2019 leading us to a majestic finale in May where Locked Horns took the title with a stunning performance, matched only by their Bloodstock New Blood Stage debut at the festival itself to the packed out crowd.
New year, new blood for this years competition and tonight see’s fresh meat with two new bands to the competition and a healthy-sized crowd packed into Voodoo Belfast for the opening night of this year’s heats.
Belfast band Dystopia has the pleasure of opening the 2020 M2TM heats in voodoo Belfast once again where tonight we only have 3 contenders in the pot after Divides/Unfold dropped out for personal reasons.
I am a tad confused – Dystopia’s FB page says they’re a female-fronted band yet no female in sight, after a brief announcement from the band that their sing has gone AWOL we get down to business. What we have here is a four-piece that pull on various styles and influences to bring their sound to the masses. So fair play these guys are here doing their thing minus their frontwoman and still rocking out – it would be a tough situation for any band who have prepared for this event to be caught out as such. A short but sweet set whets the appetite for what lies ahead.
A newcomer to the M2TM scene PSO brings a Stoner/Sludge/Doom/Rock vibe to proceedings, opening up with an instrumental intro to warm the crowd up before their vocalist (who shall remain nameless as there is fuck all info on their social media page #pethate)kicked in. These guys have a feel-good factor with gnarly groove-laden riffs. The crowd in the room seemed to dig it, hefty riffage, uncomplicated and tight, in the vein of 1000Mods and the likes, PureSonic Outcasts delivered.
Northern Ireland’s veteran rockers Sinocence close proceedings tonight and bring a wall of distortion unlike anything heard this evening. A vastly experienced band who have seen/done it all and bought the t-shirt bring all their years of experience to the fire with a polished and professional display. Thrashing riffs, powerhouse vocals and a seriously solid backline lay the Benchmark for the competition. There is still a sizeable crowd present for Sinocence and they go down a storm going by those moshing up front and center.
A turbulent start to the heats with the loss of Divides/Unfold and an Awol vocalist but the Belfast metal scene persevered and it is onwards and upwards from here on in. The M2TM competition is one of the highlights on the local calendar as it allows all involved to gauge the level of the competition.
Tonight though belonged to both Sinocence and Puresonic Outcasts who after voting both progress through to the later stages of the competition so well done there.
Heat 2 is in Voodoo Belfast on Friday 21st Feb.