M2TM Manchester 2023, Heat 1

M2TM Manchester 2023 Heat 1 Poster

M2TM Manchester 2023, Heat 1 – Dekaytah, The Island, Wrath of Man & Blacklist
The Rebellion , Manchester
Review by Rob Sutton

It feels like only yesterday that Manchester’s final was won by Portrayal Of Ruinn but here we are back for another year and with what looks like the toughest competition to date. 


Dekaytah are a fairly new band on the scene, but one which I personally shared the stage with at the tail end of 2022 and they really impressed me then – so I was excited to see what a couple of months had done for them. Firstly, I did miss a song due to well traffic and bloody road works, but they did kick the competition off in fine style, bags of energy on stage and a cracking mix of different subgenres. Everything from Hatebreed to Lamb of God and hints of Metalcore in there as well. This all blended perfectly together, and the crowd absolutely loved it firing off into pits throughout the set. Their musicianship was pretty spot on as well, with the only niggle I could find was the actual singing. It wasn’t great in fairness, but the screams and shouts did make up for this. Honestly Dekaytah set the bar really high not only for the night but for the whole competition. A really impressive start.


The Island 

A complete change of pace in The Island was up next and they took things down a more Hard Rock route. For me the first song took way too long to kick in and when it did really lacked punch, which was a shame as in terms of performance it was really tight and had a good blend of influences which reminded me off Tool crossed with Placebo. Once the set kicked in, they really did turn up the energy most notably when the front man got rid of the guitar and gave it some beans, and then more so with the solos cutting through beautifully. Now his voice again didn’t quite work. The shouts were good and fitted the genre well, but the singing was off key and dare I say it, a bit drab. He did however make up for this with the ‘nice guy’ persona on stage, which I really liked as it was a complete change to the aggressive hyper front men in Metal. Although The Island weren’t my cup of tea, they were good and I really did enjoy the last song, but I think nerves got the better of them.


Wrath of Man 

Another band that have been well and truly on my radar for the past few years is Wrath of Man. Now these guys have been about for a while and with two members also in All Consumed, you would expect a certain level of professionalism. This is exactly what we got, after the slight delay with the backing track they bounce on stage hyping the crowd and kick straight in with a heavy as fuck Death Metal tune. Again, the crowd instantly start pitting, headbanging and well the usual Metal things. The riffs on display here are absolutely brutal, a good cross between Groove and Death, with a slight hint of Thrash. Couple this with some blistering drums and a snare that echoes in your ears for the next few days, and you get the idea just how intense these guys were. The vocal ranges used were also pretty damn sweet with the lows being gut wrenching and the highs and shouts slotting in just the right places, but again the singing did nothing to me. I’d prefer just the growls and screaming if I’m honest. Nevertheless, this was an incredibly slick and professional performance and raised the bar even higher.



Last up was Blackpool thrashers Blacklist, another band that have been on my radar for a fair few years. These guys also aren’t short of experience, and it shows. Despite another issue with what I think was an intro track they bounced on stage hyping the crowd and immediately kicked into… well Thrash. To me this is what Blacklist are, ticking every box when it comes to Thrash Metal and their performance. It was tight, energetic, epic solos, thundering bass and a crowd going mental. Yes, pits throughout once again with a huge wall of death and even a slow dance pit. I honestly loved this set and that’s coming from someone who isn’t into Thrash, but it did everything that you would want from a show. I really couldn’t find any fault with them.


For me three bands deserved to go through and it was a tough one to call, but Dekaytah went through on crowd vote – which didn’t surprise me as they seemingly brought most of the crowd but still had done enough to warrant a judges vote too. Wrath of Man went through on the judges views, which I can also agree on. Blacklist definitely should be in the hunt for a wildcard if there is one though.

OK now I have to rant. Lighting… for Dekaytah there was basically nothing going on just a pre-set, The Island got some fancy bits throughout, and Wrath of Man got the same treatment but then Blacklist had nothing until the last song. This is a competition and lighting places a huge part in how an audience looks at a band. In the interest of fairness either put a pre-set and leave it for every band or go nuts for every band, not as and when you feel like it. Also please check levels for backing tracks. Speaking to the bands using them for intro’s, it transpired that these weren’t checked during their line check and left a band stood side of stage in silence waiting, I wouldn’t mind but these were thirty-minute changeovers, so there really is no excuse.

Aside from that this was a well attended and promoted show and has set the standard for the rest of the heats.




Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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