Bloodstock Open Air // M2TM// Heat II // Belfast // Northern Ireland

Bloodstock Open Air // M2TM// Heat II // Belfast // Northern Ireland

Three bands tonight returning to toss their proverbial hats into the ring once more and newcomers Airies Air. It is always good to see bands returning to the competition, it shows character, they can take a hit by not making it through, pick themselves up and move forward, the great thing about the competition is that there is always a fantastic support network around it, from James Loveday the guy putting these shows on to the other bands who always offer support and encouragement to the other bands, so it’s a safe space for those on a steep learning curve!

First, though we have Falling Through who made an impression last time they played M2TM so it’ll be interesting to see how they have progressed since the last time, has their sound evolved and as a band, have they grown? Let’s find out.

Now you don’t always remember the faces of all the bands but I do remember guitars, and right away I can place the band by the guitarist’s unique weapon of choice. The guys have a thick hard rock, grunge vibe with a bit of prog tossed in occasionally to mess with the melon. It is a great start to the night, the voodoo crowd are lapping it up, the riffs are going down well and the room is bouncing ready for a night of heavy riffage from start to finish, Falling Through has laid down a solid foundation for the night, I dig their vibe, good hefty riffage and hooks that grab you, but occasionally they can go off-piste with a random key, tempo change, just for the sake of it, a lot of bands can be guilty of it to be fair, sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it sounds like two different bands playing two different songs, just remember kids as the man in the shellsuit says “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”, a good solid set for sure though,  let’s see how the other bands respond.


Gozer The Traveller return and are up next, as before it takes a few minutes to click the faces and once again the guitar stands out, headless…. Never trust anyone playing a headless guitar! 🎸 I jest, of course, it sounds lethal, the riffs are coming thick and fast and slowly my brain catches up and I can remember these guys alright, they’re defo tighter, heavier than before, more intense and focused. Voodoo approves. I have to say they laid down a quality set – finishing early and getting an opportunity at an encore! Sure what else would you be doing on a Friday night? I can defo see progress here from the first time we saw them, they appear more confident and comfortable on stage, well-rehearsed and interacting more with the crowd, just more comfortable in their skin and that comes through.

Snake Neighbourhood take the stage next. These guys and doll made a real impression the first time we saw them, a kinda bat shit crazy bunch of kids with talent oozing out their pores, really raw at that time, they needed time to grow and develop and I have caught them once since then  It was great to see but as I mentioned a tad raw the first time around, so it’ll be interesting to see how they have come on.  The answer is in spades! Heads down got the memo, no fucking around, a blistering set. Solid vocals, a far more focused approach and I have to say songs that resonated right away, purposeful riffage and changes in direction that made an impact, it’s great to see that as a collective they have matured musically and undoubtedly individually, they’re most likely still all bat shit crazy. #wellplayed

Wrapping up things tonight we have the newcomers Aires Air, so, unexpected prog-rock goodness delivered tastefully. This trio are tight, intelligent and technically on the ball to make a floundering Voodoo crowd stop and take notice. The songs have a dark emotive quality to them and take you on a sonic journey, exactly what those who crave proggy-goodness need in their lives. It’s great to see some new blood on the stage turning heads on their first venture into M2TM.

These guys mix it up, blending dark ambient songwriting with quality vocals and as mentioned before complex intelligent songwriting, a band to watch for sure, and they could be a new fav for the competition in years to come if they keep their shizzle together. Well worth checking out.

For any bands taking part in the competion – SORT YOUR FUCKING SOCIAL MEDIA OUT!!! 

Your job in a band is to get your message out about your music – get your links on social media for Bandcamp, Spotify or wherever your music is, as a member of the local music press who is taking part in the competition and invested in it, I have ZERO FUCKING TIME to go chasing your shit down, so if you think Joe Blogg’s will give a shit, you are delusional! This is one of the biggest failings I see especially on the local scene, why spend all the money on the gear, years of practise, recording music if you are fucking hiding it!

A sad Facebook page that looks like you are apologising for being a band does not cut it in 2024.

Rant Over!

Any bands needing help getting a presence together feel free to reach out, I do band promo photography and can help you assemble an online presence that you need to be as cool as me in 2024.

@flashartmark #flashartmark 




Congratulations to Gozer the Traveller and Snake Neighbourhood on qualifying from Metal 2 Mases NI Heat 2. Strong performances all around and another brilliant turnout! Heat 3 this Friday 16th Feb in Voodoo Belfast



🎟 Ticket Link:


The Distortion Project proudly presents Heat THREE of the 2024 Metal 2 the Masses competition Northern Ireland. Bands will be competing to secure a coveted slot on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock 2024 this year alongside such heavyweight as Opeth, Deicide, Carcass, Hatebreed, Amon Amarth, Satyricon and more. In addition, the winning band will have their travel expenses covered up to the value of £400 and have the opportunity to have their next release come out on my record label ,Distortion Project Records

Competing in Heat Three we have.

Asylum Road
“The Fear” video:

“I am Nothing” video:

YouTube Channel: :

“Cycle of Destruction”:

Friday 16th February 2024
Voodoo Belfast
Doors 8.00pm

Admission: £7.00 (includes 1 voting slip – tickets and pay on the door – cash and card accepted)

Stage times will be:

Band 1: 8.45 – 9.15
Band 2: 9.30 – 10.00
Band 3: 10.15 – 10.45
Band 4: 11.00 – 11.30

Running order will be drawn at random on the day of the show.

Voting will close at 11.45 and the results will be announced between 12.15 and 12.30..


2 bands from each heat will qualify for the semi-finals, and the judging will be 50% audience vote and 50% judges vote. There will be a panel of between 3 and 5 judges comprised of local journalists/sound engineers/other promoters and/or other music industry folk in Northern Ireland. Punters will be given voting slips as they enter the venue and asked to score points to the bands in descending order, by writing in the boxes on the voting slip.

4 points for the band you want to finish in FIRST PLACE,
3 points for the band you want to finish in SECOND PLACE
2 points for the band you want to finish in THIRD PLACE
1 point for the band you want to finish in FOURTH PLACE

An x or tick beside the band you want to win to will NOT be accepted and these votes will NOT be counted!!

Good luck to all involved and let battle commence!!