Unbelievably it’s that time of year again, the road to Bloodstock kicks off here with the first Northern Irish heat of Metal 2 The Masses. Voodoo Belfast would play host to the opening night and four fine locals bands step up to the plate to make their mark on the competition, and a chance to stand on the Hobgoblin New Blood stage at Bloodstock 2019.

Axecatcher https://www.facebook.com/Axecatcher

First up, Derry/ Londonderry’s own Axecatcher. Self described as Hardcore,Metal & Punk they came out of the traps kicking and screaming. A wall of distortion bellows out across the room as they unleash unholy hell on the Voodoo faithful. A fast and furious first number batters the onlookers and their pace, which is relentless, continues throughout. The adrenaline clearly pumping as both frontman and bassist just cannot stand still even between songs. Each track more brutal than the last, Axecatcher mean business. Well received by the crowd but was it enough?

Elder Druid https://www.facebook.com/elderdruidband/

Ballymena’s Elder Druid are up next, if Sludge / Doom is your bag them Elder Druid are for you. They do what they do really well and that is clear from the off, a coherent style, well executed and appreciated by those in front of them they produce a solid and engaging performance. A hefty sound pummels those ballsy enough to stand front and centre of the stage, they gave it their all on stage and made sure they weren’t just here to make up the numbers.

THVS https://www.facebook.com/ThievesTHVS/

THVS (Thieves) hit the mark with angst-ridden music that was a deviation from the usual M2TM line up, guitar-laden riffage yes, but with an edge that set them apart form the usual power chords. It was a high energy set, packed with a catchy memorable soundtrack that just seemed to separate them from the surrounding bands. A tight trio that left nothing behind with their performance showcased themselves well and no doubt should raise a few eyebrows moving forward.

The Lufthansa Heist https://www.facebook.com/LufthansaHeistNI/

Last up The Lufthansa Heist, an old school style metal band to wrap up tonight’s proceedings just before handing it over to the public for voting. No pressure lads.

The guys grew in confidence as the set went on, a five piece with a lot going on their sound was a little muddy for my liking and it detracted from their performance. So much so the riffs themselves were indecipherable and at times the vocalist could hardly be heard. Less can sometimes be more in these instances and it should be something to note for any bands moving forward in the competition. Make sure that their sound is on point as much as their performance, as all these factors come into play on the night,especially when your fate lies in a public vote.

A great start to the competition courtesy of The Distortion Project but alas only two can qualify from Heat 1, congratulations go out to THVS and Elder Druid who qualify. Well played and onto the next heat which takes place Friday 15th Feb once again at Voodoo Belfast.




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