Metalcore Majesty As Where Oceans Burn + Rosen Bridge Bring Their Uncompromising Savagery To The Deers Head

Where Oceans Burn // Rosen Bridge // Koma // The Boat Sank // Snake Neighbourhood // Live Review // The Deers Head / Belfast

The weather has finally broken and water is falling from the sky causing mucho confusion in my life, what do I wear from car to venue in such weather, where will I park, will I die if I get wet? Too many questions and very few answers.

Where am I off to tonight you ask, tonight I find myself at The Deers Head, Belfast for my first rock/metal gig at the venue, I’ve been here before covering a few genres but tonight I am experiencing my first metal show here and I am looking forward to it. After mucho months spent in Voodoo covering Metal 2 The Masses, it’s good to stretch the aul legs and get out and about around the city’s other musical establishments. Mid-week we were in Deathcore mayhem with Lorna Shore at The Limelight on one of the hottest nights of the year, I think we’re all still recovering from that one!

Tonight however we have two bands from across the pond in the form of Rosen Bridge and Where Oceans Burn, two highly regarded bands and it tow three local heroes in Snake Neighbourhood, Koma and The Boat Sank.

Snake Neighbourhood open it up this evening and it’s been a minute since we last saw them in the M2TM heats in Voodoo. This crazy bunch made an impression that night with a dramatic entrance, quirky look and equally quirky set of Nu-Metal and Metalcore, introducing themselves to the Belfast scene with a bang! Tonight is no different, maybe a little less drama but the same angst and attitude that endeared Snake Neighbourhood to us then is still there to see in abundance as a live entity. The band are solid and knows how to grab your attention, toss is a cover of Abba and Limp Bizkit in one set and I’m sold, it may only be the beginning for these cats, but it’s a journey they’ll never forget and I for one can’t wait to see where it takes them!

Up next M2TM fan favs The Boat Sank, this trio stopped people in their tracks at M2TM in 2023 with a pummelling assault on the senses unlike anything we’d seen before, I’ve seen many a band on the local scene try to make an instrumental track work, but to date, nobody has done it as well as The Boat Sank. These guys are savage, uncompromising and unapologetic in their approach to songwriting. Bend over and spread yer cheeks cos The Boat Sank are in the house.

Koma take the stage next and if memory serves me right it was 2022 since I last see them in the M2TM heats in Voodoo also, a tried a test route for a lot of the bands on the local scene allows them to test the water in front of crowds behind their own, feel the heat and intensity of the competitive nature of it all and get involved in the community surrounding it, a great experience for all involved M2TM locally is a great platform in which to launch yourself as a fresh-faced band on the local scene. I remember Koma making a solid impression so it is interesting to catch them another 12 months or so down the line now, a more cohesive version of the band, both sonically and as a live entity, Koma seem more comfortable in their own skin commanding the stage as they should. A modern sound fusing clean and guttural vocals with a melodic edge Koma have come a long way since the last time we crossed paths and all you can ever hope for is progress and they certainly have made that.

Rosen Bridge steps up next and unleashes unholy hell on the unassuming Belfast crowd. I don’t think we quite knew what we were in for, but by the end of the band’s opener, it is clear these guys aren’t just here to make up the numbers. These guys have a fresh modern Djent, metallic Metalcore cutting sound. Technically proficient they can start and stop on a dime and do so at will. They’re an almost urban quality to the delivery of the vocals, verging on grime at times as they are spat out like bullets in a war zone. The guys fill the room with a behemoth sound, interlaced with ambient sections to take the audience on a rollercoaster ride as they continually slice away at you, battering and bruising you into submission. A mighty impressive set Rosen Bridge delivered from start to finish is a band that should be on your radar.

Where Oceans Burn wrap up a tasty collection of bands, all on various stages of their journey in this business we call show, from the young whipper snappers of Snake Neighbourhood to the polished and experienced cats of Rosen Bridge and WOB you can see the progression in the flesh, the miles on the road and the hours spent dedicating yourself to your craft and how that both pays off and of course, translates to the live stage. From the kids of Snake. With our hood who barely lift their heads to Rosen Bridge who stare at you like they’re looking down the barrel of a gun, what’s not to love. A blistering set packed with passion, intensity and hard-hotting tracks one after another, WOB demands your full attention and delivers a full-on assault on the senses, all the guys in the band are totally in tune musically, and the vibes coming from the stage are as hefty as the music itself and you can’t but stand back and admire the slamming riffs, huge breakdowns, killer vocals that all come together to make one fucking killer performance.

It is great to see the guys make that jump across the pond and as tough as it is playing a new city, our own metal core giants Survivalist are in the UK at the mo doing exactly the same thing, trying to break new ground, cutting their teeth in new territory and this is what it is all about, heartbreaking a times but it’s all about that time on stage and that lunatic’s moshing down below. A great night of music, three cool local bands propping up two savage UK bands that you need to have on your radar, playlists, and beyond. Check them out, you can thank me later.

I’ve been Mark, you’ve been lovely, laters!


Photography + Ramblings: Mark McGrogan

@flashartmark #flashartmark


A big thanks as always to James @ The Distortion Project for his hospitality #legend