M2TM North Wales 2022 – Semi Final 1 – Grief 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Beth Jones. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

M2TM North Wales 2022 – Semi Final 1

M2TM North Wales 2022 – Semi Final 1
McLean’s Pub, Pentre, Deeside
27/05/22

Review and Photography by Beth Jones

It seems like ages since the last of this year’s M2TM North Wales heats. So, it was nice to have the first semi final come round. Following a venue change due to unforeseen circumstances, we winged our way over to our second home, and the Birthplace of Pentre Fest, McLean’s Pub in Pentre, Deeside. We had five competing bands – Omega Throne, Absolence, Zebedy, Thrashatouille, and Grief. And because it’s getting to the business end of proceedings, we had a guest headliner too – Djinova.

Omega Throne

First up were Omega Throne. They’re a Blackened Death Metal band from Liverpool, and boy do they love a good bit of shouting and heaviness! But it’s got a groove to it, and they’re tight as hell. The lead singer is a giant (to be honest, most people are giants to me), and has a super expressive face, which really lit up their performance here. Musically, Omega Throne are a very pleasing listen. My only criticism is the gaps between songs were too long and too empty. When it goes from a wall of noise to nothing it does seem a little awkward. 

https://www.facebook.com/OmegaThrone-1986460878039288

Absolence

Next, we were in for some Merseyside Progressive Metalcore, in the shape of Absolence. These guys were one of Fozzy’s wildcards, and in fairness they stepped it up a notch for this performance. It’s solid modern Metalcore, that’s incredibly Djenty in places, and that’s fine by me, because I do like a bit of tech metal. They used samples pretty well, and they kept the audience more entertained between songs. But there was still too much time without music. The front man did like to have a bit of banter with the audience though, which was good. But it covered up for the fact that their set, music wise, was short again, and sadly, it went into banter overdrive at one point, which made them overrun.

https://www.facebook.com/Absolence

Zebedy

North Wales based Progressive Rock/Metal band Zebedy were our 3rd competing band. I’m kind of unsure what to say about them to be honest. They’re good. But this performance was a little flat. Something sounded a little out of tune, the balance of sound wasn’t right, and while they do have a heavier edge occasionally, it just felt a little too commercial for Bloodstock, in my humble opinion. It was more of a Reading Festival vibe. I know that it shouldn’t be about ‘are they a Bloodstock band?’, but I’m just not sure it would work on the Newblood stage, sandwiched between the screams and growls of other bands. They do certainly have their place in the genre though, I just don’t think it quite happened for them in this performance. 

https://www.facebook.com/zebedymusic

Thrashatouille

These guys are somewhat old-timers to this competition now, getting to the semi’s a couple of times before. And this experience showed. For performance value and stagecraft, they walked the evening. Self genred “Chef Metal”, they play a blend of Thrash, Death, and Modern Metal, that’s food themed. Every song has an element of comedy thrown into the lyrics, but the ferocity with which the music is delivered shows how seriously they take their sound. The one thing I will say that the intro sample that they use is too long. It runs the risk of losing people before their set has even begun, and they should either ditch it, shorten it, or think of something more engaging to do during it, to make sure the attention is firmly held on them. That is my only criticism. 

https://www.facebook.com/Thrashatouille

Grief

These guys for me were, musically, the tightest on the night, and my favourites. They’re a new Progressive Metal/ Djent band, who have the makings of a really brilliant one. They’re beefy and heavy, and the sound, and songs, are complex but assured. They also have a lot of stage presence, and professionalism for such a new band. However, (and this is a really big HOWEVER, which really, really annoys me because they’re so fecking good) … they need vocals. Their current arrangement is instrumental, which is great, but it is absolutely and sorely missing some shouting. It doesn’t need to be a huge amount, just something to sit on top of the already brilliant music. Add in a bit of growl and the occasional scream, and they would be absolutely first class, and a force to be reckoned with. 

https://www.facebook.com/GRIEFBAND

Djinova

Djinova won M2TM in 2019, so knew exactly how the competing bands felt. They used it as a bit of banter with the crowd who were still left! They play Technical Death Metal / Deathcore that really packs a punch, and it was really bloody good! The frontman used the whole space, on and off the stage, in order to command the audience. And there was some serious bopping an nodding of heads going on throughout the set. 

Now, if there’s one thing that modern bands need to make sure they polish up on to make it to the next level, it’s business acumen! And Djinova have certainly got a sense of that, never wanting to miss an opportunity for a quick sale, even while on stage – the frontman actually sold merch whilst singing! Touché! Never seen that done before! A great show, and a great end to the night.

https://www.facebook.com/djinovaband

So, with that, it was time for the results. Two bands would progress to the final, one on judges votes and one on crowd votes. This was going to be a tough call, especially for us judges. We had a very long conversation, weighing up the pros and cons of each band, but again, for the 5th time this competition, came to a unanimous verdict… The crowd vote went to a very deserving Thrashatouille! Huzzah! And the judges vote went to Omega Throne! Again, deserved! Semi Final 1 was another great night all in all. Bring on the second semi final! 

LINKS:

M2TM North Wales:

N.E.W Metal Productions:

Mclean’s Pentre:

Bloodstock Festival:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. All photographic images are the property of Beth Jones. 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.

M2TM North Wales 2022, Heat 3 – Grief

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Beth Jones. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

M2TM North Wales, Heat 3 – Central Live Music Venue, Wrexham – 08/04/2022

M2TM North Wales, Heat 3
Central Live Music Venue, Wrexham
08/04/2022
Live Review and Photos by Beth Jones

After missing the first two heats of this years Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses North Wales competition because I became afflicted with the plague, I was raring to go for heat 3! I was judging too, so t was handy that I was rona-free really! It was set to be an interesting one, with an eclectic mix of style. 

First to the stage was an instrumental 4 piece who were a completely new name on me – Grief. They hammered straight into a heavy hitting Modern Progressive style, with plenty of chunk and groove. The drummer was an absolute machine, and the bass player was throwing some pretty lively shapes, and pulling some mad faces. One guitarist looked slightly out of place – very nervous and timid compared to the larger-than-life personas o the other 3. That said, they gave a superb, tight performance, and it was a great way to start the night. My only constructive criticism would be that adding in vocals would really take it to the next level. And then we discovered something… This was only their second ever gig! That actually blew my mind. Bar raised most definitely. Well done chaps!

https://www.facebook.com/GRIEFBAND

Next up was Psychcircuit. These guys looked promising, if a little mis-matched. We had a guitarist who looked like he’d just come from a 90’s Nu-Metal gig, a second guitarist who looked like he’d been roadieing and sound checking for Maiden since the early days, a drummer who looked like he’d just popped out for a quiet pint, and a frontman who had the look of someone about to go on tour as main support for U2. Eclectic, but it just might work, right?… Meh… the sound wasn’t right. It was sloppy, and a mix of styles that didn’t really work. The frontman was using in-ear monitors, and I’m still yet to work out why. The Nu-Metal looking guitarist was shit-hot though, on the plus side. 

https://www.facebook.com/Psychcircuit.band

Bogans brought some heavy pop punk to proceedings next. They were good, loud, very tight, and fun… However, and I will stress this absolutely changed my voting decision, the vocalist decided to do something a little, err… daft, shall we say (for the purposes of remaining polite). So, here’s my piece of advice. When a female photographer (AKA me) is just trying their job, don’t wrap a mic cable round her neck, and then lean on her head with your elbow so hard that you hurt her back. Without wanting to sound like a feminazi snowflake, there were two male photographers there too, yet the singer decided to leave them alone… It might have been ‘just a bit of fun’ or to ‘fit with the musical genre’, but I switched off at that point, because I won’t tolerate that bullshit for anyone. 

Soapbox dismount.

https://www.facebook.com/boganspunkrock

Our final act of the night where Preston-based Wrath Of Man. I’d seen these guys at Pentre Fest a few weeks ago, and to be honest I wasn’t that keen then. However, this performance absolutely blew me away. It raised the roof, and the bar, to a whole new level. It was tight, brutal Death Metal of the highest calibre, and from about half a song in I knew exactly who was getting my judge’s vote! This was one of the most quality performances I have seen in a while. Brilliant.

https://www.facebook.com/wrathofman

And with that, it was time for the audience to cast their votes, and us judges to head into the side room to deliberate. We were unanimous, and agreed with the audience. The bands making it to the semi-finals would be Grief and Wrath Of Man. Clear cut, and totally the correct decision. Well done to both bands, and I can’t wait to see them at the semis. It’s going to be a mighty tough job choosing a winner this year!

LINKS:

N.E.W Metal Productions:

M2TM North Wales:

Bloostock:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. All photographic images are the property of Beth Jones. 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.