Heat 3 already, a mild night in Belfast and as i drive down from the sticks I am looking forward to this one, 3 bands unknown to me, 3 bands to make their mark on the competition and take the opportunity to get their asses in the next round. As I land down at Voodoo there’s a sizeable crowd outside socialising as we await the first band taking the stage at 8:45 pm, The usual faces are upstairs, the Voodoo and M2TM faithful are here regardless of who is playing, which is the charm of this competition, members of other bands in and out of the competition floating around to support anyone who steps up and takes that stage. The lineup has been picked, let’s do this.


Goatschlager – what can I say, unknown to me I am confronted with three bands who are fresh to my virgin ears. These guys are tight, well-executed set and played with real conviction, generally, as one observer says this genre would normally attract a certain persona live on stage, but tonight these guys are slaying it, each band member is fully grabbing this opportunity to shine and making their mark early in tonight’s competition. A highly impressive set to kick things off, Goatschlager has set a high bar. A welcome addition to this year’s lineup for sure.

Vaughanstrosity – so one-man project Vaughanstrosity has arrived in the building and like a parting sea he is ready to set alight Voodoo Belfast on his debut gig. Now our Ed who reviewed his EP loved it, so I am looking forward to seeing how this “Party Metal” will translate live. There were more than a few challenges with this set, technical and just trying to translate what had been produced in the EP to the live setting, fair play for having balls as big as watermelons even to tackle it but I think it was a baptism of fire, and it will be interesting to see where things go from here, time to reflect and regroup and come back bigger and better! Onwards and upwards for this talented dude! As tough as it was here this evening for Ruaidhri I can only applaud what he has done and I know this is just a case of fine-tuning regarding turning Vaighanstrosity into a live beast.

The Boat Sank – this crazy three-piece is third in line tonight as they take the stage at 10:15 – unknown to myself they’re instrumental with emphasis on the “mEnTaL” – I jest of course as these guys are great! A savage sound no Satch or Vai here but more ethereal, groove-laden rock that captures the imagination. Savage drum work from the big man at the back holding it all together and solid bass that keeps those groves thundering along and the guitarist playing a Les Paul Standard – not something you see too often In the M2TM but it tells you that this is a guy that loves his instrument and making it sing. If the boat has sunk lads it’s due to the heft of these riffs! Everyone just needs to calm down ta fuck! This is a surprising and welcome addition to this year’s competition.

Acid Age – Finally, we have our last band to wrap up this evening and it is the one, the only Acid Age. We recently caught the guys supporting Evile at The Limelight so we know what they’re capable of, it would be easy to copy and paste that review and lavish plaudits on them knowing what they are capable of but that would be disingenuous as each performance needs to be recognised on its own merits. Needless to say, it was another blistering performance, one thing caught my eye the guitarist and vocalist Jude doesn’t use a pick? Say What? Thrashing like a mo-fo, solos and all the rest with his thumb, his naked thumb! #sexyasfuck

The guys were in stunning form once again and the room knew it, old worts on the competition they described themselves but beyond worthy of their place and this evening they shone bright like a diamond!

A killer performance that saw them and newcomers The Boat Sank make it through to the next round.


A great night’s craic, a great night’s music, and four solid bands. Thanks again to James Loveday @ The Distortion Project for another great show and of course our hosts Voodoo Belfast. 


Photos By Mark McGrogan

#flashartmark @flashartmark

Band promos & commissions availabe on request:



Metal 2 the Masses Heat FOUR – Friday 10th March – Voodoo Belfast
Doors 8pm, first band 8.45pm