Polaris // InVisions // Survivalist // Live Review / The Limelight II // Belfast

Here we are back at the Limelight in Belfast for a seriously hefty night’s music, 3 killer bands and one thing in common Metalcore!!!

All the way from Sydney Australia are tonight’s headliners Polaris, going for some 10 years now and since they dropped their debut album ‘Mortal Coil’ everyone has taken notice. Here we are some 6 years later, 1 shamdemic and a few thousand miles on the road and Polaris are back in Europe with UK Metalcore maestros InVisions in tow and Belfast’s very own Survivalist kicking things off.

Survivalist are just back off a world tour of Ireland and they are absolutely slaying it at the moment, their debut release VII announced their arrival on the scene with a bang! Signed to Earache Digital allowing them to get a far greater reach they have grasped this opportunity by the proverbial balls and not let go. A calculated and measured strategy of how to attack the local scene and beyond means their appearances are selective and impactful. Tonight is no different, I may have just seen these guys just the other week on a headline show of their own but tonight feels like they have absolutely arrived. The crowd here cannot get enough, obviously, the room is rammed with InVisions and Polaris fans but they are digging what they see and Survivalist is tearing at their very flesh with every thrash of the guitars, Gav’s guttural vocals are bellowing throughout the room. If anyone here hasn’t seen Survivalist before they will remember them without a doubt, as I look out across the room stank faces are being pulled as far as the eye can see, and the mosh pit in the middle of the room tells the story of the intensity of their set, the brutal weight tossed out from the stage and just what an appetite The LL2 has this evening for this savage band. An absolutely stellar performance by the guys cements their place in the local Modern Metal / Metalcore scene as one of the standout bands as we speak.

Thank fuck it’s a short and sweet set as it gives me time to catch my breath as InVisions get set up in the 20-minute changeover. I was lucky enough to catch these guys at Bloodstock back in August 2023 as they played The Sophie Lancaster Stage. 7:40 arrives and as at BOA23 InVisions make their mark, a seriously tight outfit they take no prisoners whatsoever and the LL2 knows a band of real quality when they see it. Tonight is no exception, the energy from the stage is electric, the riffage relentless and the vocals on point as they ravage their way through a blistering set of absolute bangers. Pummelling the Belfast crowd every chance they get, a powerhouse set of ever there was one, unforgiving and technically proficient, those Artisides being battered into submission so hard that you’d think they would break, not tonight however as InVisions are on a mission and goddam it feels good.

A clearing of the stage and a 30-minute break allows us all to catch our breath as we await the arrival of Polaris. The guys are hanging around at the side of the stage and the intimate setting of the LL2 means they are in touching distance of their devoted fans, these guys may be a long, long way from home but the LL2 this evening plays home to this savage quintet as they find themselves in a room full of friends. The brutal nature of Polaris sound means things are kicking off right from the start, the crowd are up for it, every band has had a killer reception and Polaris are no exception.

When asked they give back ten-fold, Polaris’ drummer is an absolute animal, the technical ability and brutality taken out in that kit is a crazy beautiful sight to see and hear, the LL2 crowd are bouncing from start to finish, it’s a rare thing to see so many go so mental on a Monday night in Belfast. It’s a testament to the popularity and thirst that Belfast has for the arrival of these Aussie giants, and I am sure it is appreciated after travelling from the other side of the globe, taking the expense and the risk to bring your magic to the masses, you have to give it to the guys from Polaris for that alone. Ireland and especially Northern Ireland is often forgotten when bands do the European thing, never mind the UK thing we often get overlooked so I do know that this will be in the hearts and minds of the fans who rammed into the LL2 this evening.

A killer show, 3 killer bands all topped off by an Aussie band at the very top of their game. Polaris played a blinder, the room is electric, the crowd whipped up into a frenzy, sweaty bodies flying from one side of the room to the other in unison, a brotherhood of men (and sisters) all living their best lives to one monstrous soundtrack. What else would you want to be doing on a school night!

It’s a beautiful thing to witness 3 bitchin’ bands in an intimate venue such as this, I am glad I was here. and lived to tell the story. If you ever get a chance to catch any of these guys on the live stage, Survivalist, InVisions, and of course the mighty Polaris, Do it! Thank me later.


Photography + Review : Mark McGrogan

@flashartmark #flashartmark