M2TM Manchester 2023 – Heat 5 

M2TM Manchester 2023 Heat 5 Poster

M2TM Manchester 2023 – Heat 5 
Rebellion, Manchester 
Live Review by Rob Sutton

I’ve done enough of these now to bother with an intro so let’s just go straight into the first competing band, Wailing Banshee. These guys have recently acquired a new vocalist which I would love to compare to the last one but I’ve never seen them before. Either way these guys (and girl) kicked off in fine fashion, pouncing straight into the first song after some immediate crowd pumping – exactly what you would expect from a heavy metal/heavy rock band. Their style leans towards that of Iron Maiden crossed with Judas Priest in my eyes, with the guitar work particularly fitting of this style providing some very nice riffs and soaring solos to match. Couple that with some pounding drums and brilliant bass lines and you get an idea what’s going on here. On stage there was a lot of movement from all members, (even the drummer!) as well as plenty of crowd interaction. The stage presence here was so much better than the previous 2 events and honestly I breathed a sigh of relief. Now vocally is also where these guys shine. For the most part she hit all her notes and had a good amount of power, even doing a raw scream on the final number which just shows her brilliant control and emotion while she performed. Honestly this was a fantastic performance and one on paper I wasn’t that hyped about but live, blew me away!


I Am The Wreckage are a band I have reviewed a number of times and I have come to know exactly what to expect from them. The banners on stage really did give a professional look to them and the addition of an intro track also meant they walked on stage to thunderous cheers before bouncing straight into 2 brand new songs. A risk but one that was worth taking. The rest of the set followed this great start with tons of energy on stage, mainly the bassist doing his usual parkour around the stage and the guitarist having a wander into the crowd. Their engagement was again spot on, hyping the crowd and encouraging pits, which they get throughout their set. From a performance side, everything was pretty good too, with only a couple of missed notes and beats but this is hardcore so being clinical didn’t matter to me. Where I felt a little meh was the new songs as they didn’t really sound like anything new for them. Still I guess don’t fix something that isn’t broken so I can’t take that as a mark down when the performance was this good.


Two bands in and already I was in a good mood as it seems this heat had a lot more going for it than some of the others, which left third band The Feral Kings with their work cut out. Straight off their take on heavy rock worked well and was performed to another very high standard. Their set is tight, with some really good riffs and solos again as well as some chunky bass lines. Drums were also really strong keeping the whole set very head-bangable (think I just made up a word). The thing that was lacking over the previous two bands was the stage show, while there was some crowd interaction the actual stage presence was minimal to non-existent with most members just stood playing, leaving only the singer’s minimal movements and the lead guitarist’s slight showing off during the solos. In my opinion this got a little boring and I did find myself zoning out multiple times during the set. That’s not me saying they performed badly, in fact quite the opposite as vocally as well, there were some lovely notes hit and some great harmonies in the backings but I could have just listened to a recording.


With such a strong night so far that left Chrysalid with even more work to do. Again these guys were another unknown to me and with a very nice played intro featuring a fair few drum rolls before the vocalist takes to the stage to greet the crowd they kick into the first song with… wait for it… more drum rolls… There were more drum rolls at the beginning of this set than a marching band (had to put that in)! After that though we were treated to some good old heavy metal with a vocal range reminiscent of Merciful Fate and it’s marvellous! The notes this guy hits does send shivers down your spine and then we get more stunning solos and over the top fills throughout the set. This did tick all the boxes when it comes to a good heavy metal show including their crowd engagement, thus getting pits and also introducing the band individually, which was a nice touch. A slight thing that bugged me was when the sound tech nearly played the wrong intro to a song the singer was a bit snappy with him which didn’t look good, however I will say that this should have been sorted during the 30 minute changeovers we had or even do it yourself rather than relying on the sound tech. Aside from this, Chrysalid played a blinder of a set as well and are definitely a band that any heavy metal fan should get on!


So after all that we finally had a really strong heat, something which I was waiting for over the last few weeks and all the bands really stepped it up. So on crowd vote was I Am The Wreckage which was no surprise and the judges’ was The Feral Kings? Ey? Don’t get me wrong, they did play well but there wasn’t a stage show and to me Wailing Banshee and Chrysalid brought the music and the stage show. I must be missing something here… 

Commiserations to both Chrysalid and Wailing Banshee as I personally believe both bands were worthy of going through. I hope to see them both again.




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.

I Am The Wreckage – Ocelot Revolver

I Am The Wreckage Logo

I Am The Wreckage – Ocelot Revolver
Roast Review by Rob Sutton

Manchester boys I am the Wreckage are next on my list to roast and this was a great honour as these guys are the 0161 house band, playing every gig they put on! Though this isn’t because they’re any good but more like no other promoter will touch them.

Let’s change things up and start with the actual video. We find ourselves in the unique setting of an abandoned warehouse with all the band members facing each other, I guess they are the only ones who would actually want to look at them. Still, from bland, we go to pain and that pain is from the insufferable sound of Protest the Hero meets Hatebreed, I’m talking about the vocals and they are about as painful as being fisted by the Infinity Gauntlet. 

Moving onto their overall sound and honestly it sounds like they’ve taken inspiration from American deep south Groove / Hardcore, no bad thing but you get the image of these boys sat outside their caravan, feet in a paddling pool ‘rearranging’ their man junk while watching their cousin parade around the dried up grass. That’s right we have the Coors Light beer of Metal! Weak ass hillbilly shite. Now the drums aren’t bad, but they are about as basic as your next Tinder date. This is no surprise as the riffs coming out of these guys do sound like one of the guitarists lazy ass students who doesn’t practice. In fairness to the kids, I hope they don’t listen to their teacher as if they do, we clearly have a problem with the future of Manchester Metal… Watch out kids the great American dream of caravan style Metal is coming your way! I can see it, 10 years from now – a young band starts up under the name I am Wrecking my Cousin! God bless ‘merica!

Speaking of education, who hired the geography teacher to play bass?

Disclaimer: None of the above represents my true opinions of I Am The Wreckage and they are in fact one of my favourite bands to come out of Manchester and would highly recommend them to anyone!

Ahhh this is normally the part where I would call them ‘deep south, cousin fucking metal’ but whilst I was reading the comments on the video I found this piece of gold!

‘That guy at the beginning with the guitar is too attractive x’ this came from… The Blind Gamer!

Hahahahaha someone did my job for me!!!!


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.

Portrayal Of Ruinn w/ Cast In Tephra, I Am The Wreckage, and Biomech Wangies, Eccles – 13/11/2021

Portrayal Of Ruinn at Wangies Poster

Portrayal Of Ruinn
w/ Cast In Tephra, I Am The Wreckage, and Biomech
Wangies, Eccles – 13/11/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

Tonight was the first time I had ventured to Eccles for a gig! And on first observation, before I start talking about the bands, I have to say Wangies is a cracking little venue, filled with character and some of the loveliest bar staff around. The whole place has a lovely homely local venue feel about it. That made the prospect of live music even more great!

First up was a band I knew nothing about. I hadn’t listened to them before hand or heard the name until this gig, though there was a familiar face behind the kit in Aaron, who I have seen in many of his previous bands. Biomech are a mix of Tech Death, with elements of Deathcore, and their influences are clear to see. The tone of the solitary guitar has a delicious crunchy sound to it, and gives their overall sound a meaty fee. This is coupled with some blistering drumming, and some of the fastest double bass, I have heard in a long time. The drums really are solid and jaw dropping to watch. Biomech also utilise backing tracks to create some added ambience to their music, and this includes the lead guitars. While this is all well and good, I honestly would have preferred the leads to be played live with the backing tracks being the rhythm guitars. I do like to see bands show off, and Biomech missed a trick here. This set felt a little rough around the edges, but with a bit more practice these guys have the potential to go far, as they all clearly have a lot of talent.


Second up was a band I have been following since my first post lockdown gig. I Am The Wreckage seem to have built a name for themselves by, well, wrecking venues. This set was no exception; they were full of beans and leaping around like a bunch of scared gazelles. The bassist could be seen standing on amps, spinning around, or lying down on the stage. It’s hard to keep your eyes off him, but it wasn’t just limited to bass! The guitarist seems to be making a habit of starting the carnage by merely strolling into the crowd and knocking a few people around. It worked, as pits continue from here for the rest of their set. Musically, this did not seem as well polished as last time I saw them – the muddy tone of the guitar drowned out everything else, and left each song sounding rather messy and rushed. Saying that, there were a few moments where a very tasty riff would shine through, and everything came together neatly. This was by no means their best set, but it was packed with energy, and was an incredible amount of fun to watch and to join in.


Cast in Tephra travelled a long way to play this show. All the way from Newcastle to be exact. With them, they brought a new level of heavy to proceedings, mixing Slam and Deathcore together to create something that was ungodly heavy. Vocally, there is a cracking mix of styles, including some disgusting pig squeals. (I say disgusting as a good thing). There was plenty to headbang to here, and pit to, and they were again present throughout the set, and much more brutal than before. People were yet again getting thrown out the door, or falling into the bar, although that’s not a bad thing as you can just get another beer while you’re there! The use of samples for the intros was nicely done, and didn’t take away from their overall sound, in fact it was a fantastic addition. We were also treated to a few covers in this set, firstly for all the old school Deathcore fans, ‘Recreant’ by Chelsea Grin, which was performed beautifully and allowed me to sing along, much to the confusion of a few around me, as it seemed no one had got which song this was. Then, as the final song of the set, we were treated to ‘Roots’ by Sepultura, a classic! And this cover was probably one of the best I have heard a band play. My main criticism with this though is that they had a half hour set, and playing 2 covers felt like a waste, when their own material was of such a high quality. This actually left me really disappointed, as I felt like this could have been one of the best sets of the year, had I heard more of them, and not other peoples work. Saying this, they were enjoyable and were so close to playing an absolute blinder of set, hopefully next time one less cover will elevate the set higher.


Tonight was all about one band – a band I have reviewed on a number of occasions -but tonight was Portrayal of Ruinn’s first headline set. They continued exactly where Cast in Tephra left off. Pure, in your face brutality, and plenty of pits ahoy. Although the crowd may have thinned a little they show no signs of relenting. Portrayal played a mix of old and new songs throughout the set, and you could hear the crowd joining in on the more well known songs. They also began the set with an intro sample which thankfully this time didn’t continue playing through the first song. Apart from this there were no other samples in the set, and this was no bad thing as it gave Calvin (vocals) plenty of chance to pump the crowd. Portrayal have had critics in the past for not moving much on stage, tonight however, they were bouncing, moshing and generally getting in with the crowd. Doing this however caused an unusual issue, with a guitar getting tangled in the netting on the roof. This took a lot of time to untangle, but was hilarious to watch! This wasn’t the only problem they had with the netting, as while throwing some free t-shirts out, one managed to land perfectly in the netting as well. Portrayal also treated the crowd to a new song which I felt did need a little bit of work as it ended rather abruptly, and they didn’t look as confident playing it as their others. But this was a good time to try something different. They also brought a guest on for their latest single ‘Lifeless Life’, however I cannot comment on this song as the guest was me!! Portrayal of Ruinn have really grown in the last few months, a lot of gigs and hard work definitely seem to be paying off, as they dragged a huge crowd to this show. I can see 2022 being a very good year for these guys with this rate of progression.


Portrayal and the 0161 have pulled another blinder of a gig; they really are showing that the Manchester scene is alive and kicking. This is a fantastic destination for any band in the underground scene.

0161 MUMC:


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.

0161 Day Of Destruction – The York, Bolton 24/07/2021

0161 Day Of Destruction poster

0161 Day Of Destruction
The York, Bolton
Review by Rob Sutton

After a short shift at work, and with BoJo now finally giving us our freedom back, gigs are back on the menu (couldn’t help a food reference).

This was my third gig of the year (second as a punter) and the first all originals as well. So off I ascended to the York, in Bolton, a venue I have never been to before. I was pleasantly surprised as the last venue I visited in Bolton was a bit of a dive. Most notably the terrible toilet facilities. Firstly, I am pleased to say the toilets were actually useable, there was a lock, bog roll and a door! Also, I have to add the whole place felt clean and with a lovely outdoor area. But most importantly for me, Newcastle Brown at the bar. We are onto a winner.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to catch Crowfire, a hard rock/metal band from Manchester. I guess I will have to wait for next time. Sadface emoticon.


The first band for me was I Am The Wreckage, a metallic hardcore band with masses of stage presence. Both Guitarist and Bassist used their wireless systems to their advantage by getting right up in the crowd’s face. Very fitting for the genre and engaging, so much so I found myself having a good ol’ mosh to band one, along with many of the other onlookers. This led to a few pits even at that early point in the day. If I have to pick at the set I would say try and ride through any technical difficulties. But all being said the whole sound these guys have is incredible, I would strongly recommend anyone to check them out!


Next up were newcomers Ecstasy Engraved, and I only found out on the night that this was their first ever live gig! It was brutal! The songs were well structured, and while they were in the groove of the songs looked to be having the time of their lives, as did the crowd as yet more pits began. However, between songs felt a bit awkward, this I would put down to nerves as it was their first gig. The vocalist had a fantastic voice, and the set flew by, making me want to hear more, especially when they complete their line-up. (No Bassist L)


Chimp In A Box was a band that, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really get when doing a listen before the gig, and in fairness I don’t get the joke? But all that aside, my god do these guys have groove! I loved it and could listen to those riffs for days. Maybe missing the joke stopped me enjoying these as much as I should have. or maybe adding a bassist will thicken the sound up more for me. But a solid set nonetheless and another band to see again.


From three bands I have not seen before it’s onto the only band I had, and many times at that. Portrayal of Ruinn is a band I have gigged with often, and since their latest EP dropped it seems they are starting to gain the buzz they deserve. This gig was proof of that; they were the first band with the audience actually singing along to their songs, no mean feat, considering most people can’t understand metal vocals! This is a true testament to the traction these guys are building. The set was tight, brutal and immensely enjoyable. Pits were present throughout the whole show, with a sea of Portrayal t-shirts bouncing around. This was one of the best shows I have seen them play, and it would be nice to see them on a bigger stage, so they can really show off how they can dominate the stage.


Sadly, I ended up missing Hounds, and again I am hoping to catch them when they are next in the area, as what I heard I liked!


The night closed with a band I have been following for a long time, Asleep At The Helm. These guys were mega! Full on new age of metalcore. This is exactly the genre I love, and they did not disappoint. The whole set was like listening to a pre-recorded album, with added energy and oomph. The mix of clean and growled vocals really added something extra here, as I hadn’t heard much actual singing (not complaining). When I say they were worthy headliners, I mean it, and I can see why they are getting picked up to support bands such as Our Hollow, Our Home. These are seriously a band to watch as I can see them going far!


So, gigs are back, and this was a belter! My only downfall was the Newcastle Brown which cost me a band. But aside from that, this venue is a fantastic new home for 0161 in Bolton, and I am looking forward to appearing at the next event!

0161 LINK:

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.