Bloodstock Open Air Festival // M2TM Final 2024 // Northern Ireland

Bloodstock Open Air Festival // M2TM Final 2024 // Northern Ireland


So, this is it. Shizzle is here. It’s happening, six quality bands all battling it out in a sold-out Voodoo Belfast, one very sweaty, Voodoo Belfast.

Belfast has somehow found itself in a mini heatwave this week, so when this place is rammed it’s an experience but tonight it’s gonna be leg-end-derry! It’s walls-to-wall hoochie-mammas, skid-row wanna-bees and everything in between as M2TM reached its culmination tonight! Someone is going to walk away with a big ass prize and the chance to play The NewBlood Stage at Bloodstock Open Air 2024!

Six bands who all made the cut from the heats and semi’s all ready to play to the death! The last ending around 12:15 ish #nosleeptillbedtime

Let it be said this is less of a review and more the ramblings of a mad man – sure you know the craic!

Up first Astralnaut – these guys have been very consistent over their previous shows and I’d not expect anything different tonight. Thank god I have the night off, the call this evening shall be made by Simon Hall of Bloodstock who travels over each year to make that particular call, it’s going to be a tough one for sure. I know we say that every year but this year we have six bands in the final and it’s such a diverse bunch, its great to see but for someone who’s jumped across the pond and is catching all these guys in the flesh, fresh tonight, Jaysus! I’m glad he’s the man making the call.

As always a blistering set, with such a crazy hefty sound being pumped out from the stage, it’s hard not to be impressed. The vocals are strong and keep up with the wall of distortion and pummelling backline. A seriously strong start to the night!

Nihilanth is up next, they got out of a very tough semi-to-play tonight and are well deserving of a place in the final. A savage band, every song more cutting than the last, big thick breakdowns, killer vocals, slamming you into the floor time and time again. The room is rammed for their set, the crowd clambering in to see what has caused this wall of noise! A seriously powerful set indeed has the Belfast crowd eating out of the palms of their hands.

The heat in here is hectic – it’s a sold-out show but thankfully due to the heat when there’s a welcome breather in between bands and sheeple are going outside to catch some fresh air,

But as Solothurn take the stage there’s a sizeable crowd back in again and the heat is palpable!

The music is as punishing as you can imagine but with a more melodic edge than the previous band, now I didn’t catch these guys in their heat so I am seeing them raw for the first time and they defo make a serious impression. It’s understandable how they climbed out of their heat, a breakneck performance from start to finish will make the decision-making even harder.

Foreginwolf take the stage next and for anyone who has seen these crazy cats before you know they’re a serious outfit who always deliver every time they hit a stage, big or small they make it their own. they always deliver a polished performance, seriously strong vocals, great melodic hooks in their music, earworm anthemic chorus’ and huge breakdowns when you least expect it, these guys have all the qualities you would want in a band that are ready to take that step to the next level, and I am sure they were a mainland band they’d be all over that scene.

We are up to our penultimate band with The Boat Sank, this crazy three-piece has won over the cockles and muscles of our wee hearts here in Norn Iron. 3 guys just looking for someone to love ….. their music !As always a beastly performance has the foundations shaking to its core, a musicians musician type of band, anyone on the local scene has an appreciation for what these guys bring to the live stage, thunderous in every sense of the word, its sonic abuse at the least, and audible GBH on the other! Sign me up! If only the big man wore a shirt with rubber ducks all over it ! Aww Jaysus I’m sold.

Our final band tonight are Mr Pink, one of the quirkiest bands in the competition, less metal and full-on rock ‘n roll! An assault on the senses in the best possible way with songs that embed themselves deep in yer brain! High energy, high impact they do bring a smile to your face! Living their best lives up there tossing out intricate guitar and bass lines to melt your faces, M2TM 2024 doesn’t quite know what’s hit it ! A nice sonic breather with a more melodic feel to their sound, with their own thing going on for sure, some special Mr Pink Sauce all over it!



So with that, it’s all over, a really short break, the band haven’t even had the chance to get all their gear off the stage when Simon Hall & Mr James Loveday, (Aka Mr Distortion Project)  kinda looking like a Chinese wish version of Pete Doherty (with his rubber man impression) take to the stage to make the call everyone has been waiting for. Whow would be taking to The New blood Stage @ BOA 2024 to represent Norn Iron?

Tonight Matthew, it’s going to be Nihilanth! They played a blinder and as did the other bands this evening, everyone played to their max and gave it everything, I don’t think anyone could look back and say they could have done anything differently, it is what it is, the public vote plays its part, the judge’s vote plays its part and James O-Level/GCSE Maths does the rest.



But it all culminates in a fantastic night that is The M2TM Final every year and year after year, it just gets better. It is worth the fee alone to see the state of James by 12 o’clock!

A big thank you has to go out to all who made it possible, The Bloodstock Team who spread the love to Norn Iron, Voodoo Belfast and all its staff for hosting and looking after us, Metal For Life for always being there #blessbless and of course the one the only Mr James Loveday for taking on all the grief every year #Legend #loveyou 



As always, I’ve been Mark, you’ve been loverly, till next year.

@flashartmark #flashartmark @rocknloadmag