A DAMP chilly night on Belfast’s Fountain Street was no match for the hot powerful metal that was giving everyone shelter within the confines of Voodoo under the watchful eye of The Distortion Project’s own James Loveday.
Tonight was Heat Three of the clash of metal on metal for Metal2TheMasses, with four bands stepping up on their quest to find a place at Bloodstock 2018.
The first into the fray was Indominus, melodic death metal merchants from the Belfast area.
They had a hard, heavy and thunderous set with thrumming riffage and growling vocals full of menace to let the crowd know who they were.
While there was some movement from the band members, the bassist was a centre point banging off into the crowd every so often with an energy that helped stir up the headbangers there for a good night. They delivered a good set, if only slightly offset by drowned out vocals, but a great effort and well received.
Next up was Acid Age, who interestingly introduced the crowd to the intricacies of thrash fiddling (or
violin for those slightly more cultured).
Eyebrows were raised but this soon changed to delight as this strange combination worked well.
The band were definitely enjoying themselves on stage and on the floor as the singer joined the moshers from time to time. The crowd were really getting into the set and there was even audience participation with a metaller given a mike to sing along – delivering a fair performance himself. They gave a rhythmically diverse performance with some excellent heavy rhythm and blues in the last song.
Thunderwolf, a band from Armagh, came on next and the floor was quite obviously packed now. What was going to happen now? Well, what happened was a very tight band, with fantastic stage presence and interaction with the audience, delivered the best set of the night. By a mile.
No disservice to any of the other bands, but Thunderwolf were fantastic. They rocked the place with melodic heavy riffage, great clear vocals, and songs that got everyone moshing and headbanging like demented demons. They really made even the jaded metallers there stop and take notice. If Iron Maiden did thrash, they would be called Thunderwolf.
With their pumping drums, aggressive melodic bass riffs, screaming and chugging guitars they would fit perfectly performing on screen in the likes of Altered Carbon or Blade Runner. They absolutely nailed it.
And to finish off the night came Wardomized, grindcore from the Belfast/Lisburn area, giving all they got in front of a still animated and enthused crowd of moshers.
They had an aggressive energy that did not stop throughout their set along with yet more audience participation. Heavy growling vocals, pounding drums, heavy bass and melodic guitar swaying between lightning fast and slow produced a cacophony of thrashing kept the moshers happy.
All four bands delivered their own great performances, though there was one clear winner, Thunderwolf. Also joining them in the next heat is Acid Age.
The fourth heat of M2TM will be at Voodoo on Saturday, 3 March featuring PERIAPT
RULE OF SIX, RUSTY TASTE OF SWEETNESS and SKYPILOT.
Review by Ivor Whitten