Trivium (!!) – Violence Breeds Violence

Beyond Your Design Logo

Trivium (!!) – Violence Breeds Violence
Roasted by Rob Sutton

Never in my wildest dreams did I think when I started these roasts would I have the honour of roasting Trivium, but here we are! Now Trivium has been one of those bands I have grown up with, (like many of you reading this) but I am afraid to say that they have really dropped the ball with this song Violence Breeds Violence. First off I was sure they were signed with some big record label such as Roadrunner or some other big time label but now they’re signed with some UK based bottom feeder management called Unearthed? I mean who? Clearly Trivium has taken a step backwards and that is obvious by their attempt to infuse Killswitch Engage into their sound, it’s not even nostalgic, it’s just bland. Onto the growls on this song, now Heafy has never been known to be that strong in this department but these are really not great, they sound even more strained than me at a gym, which really isn’t a pretty sight. The cleans aren’t bad mind you. The solos here also seem to have lost the complexity of previous albums and have been replaced with mediocre trash solos and a vague attempt to be groovy, but in the end just sounds like a crap breakdown. I mean let’s take the video, Trivium are known for their big budget narrative based videos but here we have a performance based piece where it looks like the lot of them have just crawled out of a prostitute’s vagina while she is on shark week, not a good look at all! What happened Trivium, you’re breaking my heart! Honestly I can’t see why anyone would want to buy their upcoming album with this shite!


Fuck I have just noticed I wasn’t listening to Trivium and in fact it’s a band called Beyond Your Design! For fuck sake, which donkey decided it was a good idea to so blatantly copy Trivium and then give them a Killswitch name, the creativity here is just insane… Don’t get me wrong I like both of the bands as I explained but what the actual fuck? It honestly is like they have downloaded both bands discography and mashed them together to make a song. Did they not get Rick Rolled? This is becoming a common trend with Unearthed bands reliving the MySpace era of metal and doing it badly. So far I have had Budget Carnifex and now we have Charity Shop Trivium, Unearthed this is a call to you, send me something original please! Also, I just went on Beyond Your Design’s Facebook page and it says ‘genre: Melodic Death Metal’ GET FUCKED this as far away from Melodic Death Metal as these guys are to getting to the final of M2TM! 

To sum Beyond Someone Else’s Design up, it’s a shitty copycat version of bands everyone loves that really has no place within the current scene but yet they still seem to think it is relevant, I mean it is kind of relevant but only when done by professionals, not a group of amateurs soaked in fanny blood!


None of what I have said above represent my thoughts towards Beyond Your Design nor Unearthed and both have given me permission to roast them in this review (though still Unearthed can volunteer more of their bands if they want).

Who am I kidding; I still love the name Beyond Someone Else’s Design!

‘Violence Breeds Violence’ Official Video


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.

Vulgore – Renegade

Vulgore Logo

Vulgore – Renegade
Roasted by Rob Sutton

Born in the city of Stoke, (well hardly a city as it has no cathedral, more like an amalgamation of towns to create a shitty city) is the band Vulgore. Let’s start with their millennial metalhead inspired logo; we have silver with blood on it, so original. What’s next, baggy trousers with too many dog chains on or badly drawn make up? Well continuing with the 00’s theme one of them does in fact have black make up on, it’s almost as if this image has aged about as well as Amy Winehouse in her 30’s. Now these guys seem to have done fairly well in their short time being a band, most notably playing Bloodstock (probably because they had blood on their logo) and being managed by Unearthed. I mean how did Unearthed find these guys? Was it a drunken night in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, where everything was a bit hazy, or were they spiked by the slightly intimidating drummer? Either way this has worked really well for Vulgore as they are continually playing opening slots around the country to a handful of desperate metalheads. Good going guys!

Right onto the actual song, first off, where was this recorded in? Their mum’s basement? The amount of reverb on the vocals is clearly showing that he can’t actually do any kind of metal vocals and is just masking this by using the age-old black metal trick of echo. Yeah, there isn’t any black metal here so don’t get excited. If you want to get excited about decent metal just keep driving along the M6 and avoid the Stoke junction. I’m pretty sure one of these guitars is actually out of tune, genuinely sounds like the horrible groan your car gives you as your clutch starts to fail. Tinnitus is better. For once in one of these roasts it actually sounds like the drums have been recorded live albeit, with the practice pads still on, but hey… kudos. So lyrically ‘Renegades’ starts with a load of words thrown together just because they rhyme – congratulations on passing your primary school poetry class, lads! In fairness the words are fairly complex for a group of teenagers that clearly needed a support worker. There is a lot of talk about dying for freedom and justice. Freedom from Hanley, Burslem, Stoke in general, c’mon I want to know which one! Justice would have not having this song circulating on my YouTube for the past hour while I have to write this. 

Credit where credit is due here though, I can actually hear a bassist, not like it matters.

Disclaimer: All the above does not represent my actual thoughts towards Vulgore and this was done with the full consent of the band. In fact they are a lovely bunch of lads who have even played gigs for us… Though I don’t remember agreeing to this, funny as I only recall having one pint, but I can’t remember anything… blasted drummer! 

Who am I kidding myself this is just death metal done by the special education class!

I thank you… Duck!

‘Renegade’ Official Lyric Video


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.

Cast In Tephra – Decent To The Monolith Part 1 and 2 (I really don’t care, it all sounds the same)

Cast In Tephra Logo

Cast In Tephra – Decent To The Monolith Part 1 and 2 (I really don’t care, it all sounds the same)
Roasted by Rob Sutton

Cast In Tephra – 0191 Slamdown from Durham, which is hardly a place known for good music… And that is immediately apparent from these 1 or 2 songs they have sent to me. Firstly there is no start and finish between the two, kind of like a lass who doesn’t know when to end an argument. Speaking of not knowing where they stand, they aren’t heavy enough to be Slam, instead they venture into the Blackened realm. I like Black Metal… but not this. This skid mark of overly produced liquid shit just ends up blending genres that don’t work together. Top that with breakdowns with an attempt at pig squealing and vocals that sound like an elephant seal trying to mate, Jesus fuck I think I’m having a mental breakdown listening to it. There is even a reverse snare sound in there. Da fuck is that about?! It doesn’t make this heavy or cool but instead sound like someone has dropped a metal barrel off some scaffolding. 

Right anyway maybe the guitars will cheer me up. 

Nope! Again the riffs seem to go from generic Black Metal tremolo picking to a breakdown. Why all the breakdowns? Did they get stuck on what to put next so thought ‘I know what preteens like – breakdowns! Yes another.’ Bet the drums aren’t recorded live either, nahhh these are definitely done by the ultimate drummer… a Mac book pro. So these songs start with the phrase ‘Awaken me’. If this was my alarm clock, it would have been launched out of the window. Vocally there is a cracking range on this guy, lows, highs, crap pig squeals, inaudible noises. Fuck me I hate Slam. It’s not even the kind of Slam you want to hammer to, it’s the type of Slam you find in the 50p bin at HMV. 

So these guys somehow won their Metal 2 The Masses. My only guess is that the other Durham bands were even more dogshit that these guys. Poor Bloodstock, they really did have a difficult choice to make – which band will offend our festival goers the least. Never the less they have somehow made an album ‘Realm Of Blissful Ignorance’. Straight away I wish I was ignorant enough to have not bothered plaguing my spotify with this. 

I have fully descended into complete depression listening to Cast in Tephra, so if you’re bored of being happy all the time and want to experience depression, this is your band!

Shit bassist again… Actually I don’t think there is one. 


This roast was done with full consent of Cast in Tephra and doesn’t represent my actual thoughts of the band… who am I kidding Durham Dung Metal!

‘Descent To The Monolith, Pt 1 and 2’ Official Audios


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.

4Gent7 (Agent 47, I don’t know) – Rise/Fall

Agent 47 Logo

4Gent7 (Agent 47, I don’t know)
Roast Review by Rob (The Special Little Hyperactive Pixie) Sutton

For fuck’s sake! Which dimwit thought it would be a good idea to post publically to send songs so I can review them…? I always get lumbered with shit which simply annoys me. So Agent 47, 4gent7 or 47 Agents or James Bonds retarded Manchester counterpart. Fuck me have you seen the logo from these guys? Putting numbers to make a word just makes the name look like it would belong on a personalised licence plate, though there is nothing posh about these guys, I mean, they have hairlines Bill Bailey would be proud of. Honestly this logo clearly took a lot of time to come up with or a serious amount of autism. I’ll let you decide.

So the song ‘Rise/Fall’, sounds edgy, cool and a name that’s been used a million and one times before for a Metal song. Clearly, they used up all their creativity on the name / logo / registration plate. The song itself seems to be a wannabe Sludgy Blackened Death thing. It can’t decide what it wants to be, I mean the pacing at the beginning resembles that of a guy who is about to climax but is desperately trying not to so he pleasures his woman. Speaking of women, the video seems to be following a chick around the dirty parts of Manchester (I don’t mean perverted parts; get your head out of the gutter!). Maybe she is running away from this mess of a sound. 

Let’s start with the vocals, were they recorded in another room? They are so quiet! Normally I like to comment on the range or style that they use, but in this case what’s the point? It’s just over distorted shouting, which is supposed to be angry but instead sounds like a teenager who has just had his Playstation taken away and is now shouting at Mummy. If this is an attempt at Black Metal, record it in a forest on a cassette, bury it for 10 years then dig it up. Don’t fake it! Jesus I wasn’t miscounting, there are three guitars, each one seems to be doing the same thing. For fuck’s sake is this an attempt to be heavy, because it just looks like they’ve dragged a couple of street dwellers to make up the numbers? This song does actually pick up pace and we have a failed attempt at a blast beat, shall we call it a ‘slightly rapid hit of a snare’ eh? Practice makes perfect, it’s not like this band have been going for a while… 

Ok, Ok, bass time… Shit! He has a solo and does vocals! Well I’ve mentioned the vocals but a bass solo. Actually that’s pretty cool, nice one!


Nothing of the above represents my true feelings towards this band, they make quality music and do a lot for the Manchester Metal scene, I mean look! Housing the homeless! 


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.

Metal 2 The Masses Stoke-On-Trent Final

M2TM 2022 Stoke-On-Trent Final Poster

Metal 2 The Masses Stoke-On-Trent Final
Mufunta, Warlock A.D., Mercia, Headpress, Leave No Witness, Hellfekted
The Underground, Stoke-On-Trent

Live Review by Rob Sutton

It’s been almost a year since I last ventured to the Underground in Stoke-On-Trent and previously it was a bit of a dive, however the toilets while not amazing are better and more usable than before. Also, I will point out that soft drinks are extremely cheap here, which is fantastic considering I’ve driven and didn’t fancy taking out a mortgage for a pint of lemonade – which I have had to do at other venues.

So the M2TM final, the first one I’ve been to in Stoke and there is a monster 6 bands competing with no guest. First up was Mufunta – a band I have never listened to prior to this show. They bring a Sludgy Groove Metal vibe to the proceedings and I must say the riffs are fantastic; there is certainly a Pantera feel to their sound. Sadly, the guitars are barely audible throughout their set, meaning the crowd are unable to fully appreciate just how good these riffs are. Having said that the bass is bloody brilliant and manages to drive the songs enough to get the crowds heads bobbing. Sadly, all they seemed to get from the crowd was some cheers and a little head-bobbing, despite the vocalist trying to pump the audience. For me while the slower songs did have plenty of punch, after the first three songs I did begin to get a little bored of the set, so began to consider a cheeky smoke, this was until they upped the pace towards the end of the set. This is where Mufunta came alive for me. Picking the pace up completely changed the dynamic of their set and suddenly I found myself really enjoying them. So, I think that pretty much sums Mufunta up; solid riffs and engagement but had they mixed the faster and slower songs up a little more it would have worked better for me.

Warlock A.D. next and these guys bring something very different to the table – medieval / Power Metal. Straight off, their stage set up is impressive – with the fantasy style get up and the flags adorning the stage (mainly covering where a drummer would be) and there lies my first problem. They all look fantasy / medieval on stage and then there is a pirate?! Maybe this is from some nerdy shit I don’t understand, but he stood out like a sore thumb! Well until he had a swift costume change to a king which fitted better, it was strange but hey, moving on. 

Being without a drummer is a difficult task as it requires the full band to be in time and play to a backing track throughout, which they do for the most part of their set. Only the first song sounded really messy where nothing seemed to be as audible as it should be, but this I will put down to the sound mix. Musically these guys play Power Metal brilliantly – the voice is tremendous, the guitars and bass fit the genre perfectly and their interaction and crowd participation are professional and well choreographed. I honestly cannot fault their music at all but… 

Here is what really pissed me off. I love the whole fantasy / medieval style, but we get comments throughout the set such as ‘don’t leave me, I’ll buy you a maccies’ and ‘a dragon filled with candy and condoms’ what part of this theme would mention fast food or condoms? Are they trying to be funny, because if so, it really wasn’t. In fact, it was cringy beyond what Power Metal usually is. It’s actually completely unnecessary and against everything the songs and stage show had set up. These comments were something Footprints in the Custard would make, not a fantasy themed Power Metal band. This isn’t the first time I have written a review where a bloody good set was ruined by really stupid comments. Ahhh!

So, onto some more themed Metal and this time from Mercia. There is a big difference between Mercia and Warlock A.D., and that is that Mercia have kept the theme to a minimum, a splash of face paint and away they go. Now, I will give you a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t like these guys, but then tell you that for all these reasons you will still actually love these guys! Firstly, they are more on the rockier side of Metal (that’s no bad thing), which means the solos and vocals are front and centre. The solos are played in such a way it makes you envious of them, not to mention they cut through the sound absolutely perfectly. 

Vocally, well I’m a vocalist and I cannot sing, if I could then I would want this voice. They also play looking arrogant, like they know they are good at what they do and also a tad cheeky, judging by the way the vocalist looks at the crowd. So, for all those reasons you should hate them because of jealousy and well looking like they are up their own arses, but in seriousness the whole arrogance and cheeky image they portray just fits perfectly with the way they play, the vocals are simply stunning and send shivers down your spine, just like the guitars! I really am trying to find some fault with this set, but I’m struggling. Perhaps some would say ‘it isn’t Bloodstock’ but dya know what? I’d watch this at Bloodstock! I was left in awe of this set, Mercia absolutely blew me away!

From here the night seemed to take a heavier turn. Headpress, a band I used to play with many years ago, have remerged onto the scene and with a point to prove! When we were against them in the Crewe M2TM final, these boys absolutely smashed it and really should have won. Now this meant that I was expecting great things from the now three piece band. They did not disappoint! 

Firstly the banners on stage worked well and the odd few samples used to fill the set worked an absolute treat. As for the music side, well not much has changed. Headpress are still the same Hatebreed-style Hardcore and there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t much new or different here, but just good old Hardcore how it should be. One note which did stand out was the fact that all three members joined in on the vocal duties and while this is difficult to pull off, they were perfectly in sync with each other. It’s an absolute pleasure to watch when this is pulled off to this level, I guess that’s where Headpress excelled tonight – they are unbelievably tight and don’t try anything to extravagant. Though the constant calls for pits did seem to fall on deaf ears until the fourth time of asking… three no’s and a yes still means yes (it was a good pit as well). And there were some slight spats of silence between songs but for the most part, the energy these guys brought to the stage was unrivalled so far tonight! More of these please!

New boys Leave no Witness on the block next, with some Metalcore to add to the proceedings.  Now straight off, I am a huge Metalcore fan and find a lot of bands fail to hit the mark, especially with the over used backing tracks. Leave no Witness do away with the backing tracks and instead go down the Parkway Drive style of Metalcore, which is refreshing as not many bands seem to opt for this. Leave no Witness have actually only done three gigs, two of which being the M2TM and one of which being with yours truly, so I was expecting parts to look a little amateur or unrefined, but I was wrong, as this was a pretty damn solid set! 

Guitar wise the solos mix between sweeping and tapping fantastically and are split well between both guitarists. Vocally while the growls are on point, some of the cleans don’t quite hit the correct notes and it does kind of kill a few of the songs. Nevertheless, they make up for this by absolutely commanding the crowd and are rewarded by constant pits throughout, plus a serious number of head bangers. Leave no Witness had by far the best reception of the night, which again is impressive considering their lack of experience. Honestly this was solid and sets these guys up for many good things going forward, the only thing is, it does sound very similar to a lot of other bands. Aside from that if there was a vote for a band to go through, wearing a Thrashatouille T-shirt certainly a way to get my vote… And avoid a roast! I joke, I’m much cheaper to bribe than a £12 T-shirt!

One band to go! 

Hellfekted have a massive following behind them and beforehand I saw these guys as the band to beat, but seeing the competition so far, they needed everything they had… Boy did these guys bring it though, their intense Speed / Thrash / Death hybrid was a marvel to listen to and also watch as each member played with such ferocity it was incredible! I am amazed the drummer manages to head bang playing that bloody fast, not to mention the three others in front of him! 

Much like before it seems the crowd are now in the mood for pits, for Hellfeked, they ask and they get. Circle pits? Check! Wall of Death? Check! This was a master class in commanding a crowd and is so slick it’s almost planned without seeming planned. The voice is something very different as it is very high pitched and at first, I didn’t think it fitted with the style, but the more the set went on, the more I began to see exactly the sound they were going for and it slotted in place just like everything else during this performance. What more can I say? I had very high hopes for Hellfekted they delivered above and beyond what I had expected from them. This set was simply incredible!

So six bands, one winner… or is there? In fact two would progress tonight and one would go onto the reserve list. First off Warlock A.D. got through to the Jagermiester Stage. I’m not sure I agreed with this, as I feel another year to find their true calling may have been better for them, but their music was solid enough alone to make them a worthy kind of winner. Headpress went through to play the New Blood Stage. This was well deserved, as their whole show was stunning and will work fantastically on that stage. Hellfekted have been added to the reserve list but I really feel like these guys should have got a slot as well, they seemed to tick all the boxes for me. As for Mercia, Mufunta and Leave No Witness they all also played brilliantly and would have also been a fitting winner so I am hoping I will see each one again. 

This was a long gig… Lucky I don’t have one the next day… oh wait… !




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 – Awakened Hate

Portrayal Of Ruinn Logo

Portrayal of Ruinn – Awakened Hate
Roasted by Rob Sutton

Before we go into this song can I start by saying whichever member of this band came up with the band name clearly got an F in their English GCSE. It’s spelt ‘Ruin….’ or maybe it’s on purpose and they’re trying to be edgy in which case they are clearly appealing to the teenage market. Actually this makes sense considering some of them are parents so I guess having an edgy dad is cool these days, god those kids are going to be embarrassed when their friends ask what daddy’s band is called. 

Right, melodic deathcore they describe themselves as and this song certainly tries to be melodic taking influence from those shitty ballads you hear being sung at karaoke with the same couple of notes being played on repeat matched with a drum beat that is about as interesting as doing the laundry. All is not lost though as they have added a subtle hint of synths in the background! Wow! The creativity with this intro is outstanding, no other band I have ever heard has used synths before… wait. 

Awakened hate then turns straight into your stereotypical deathcore, yes not melodic, just straight up deathcore. Fuck sake someone sort their Facebook page out and learn your metal subgenres! Structuring lyrics is difficult at the best of times and even harder when you’re trying to portray a story but this just seems like they have thrown a load of seasonings onto a steak in the hope that they fit. In reality they’re rushed more than a postman on Christmas Eve. There is quite a nice riff under the barrage of beats from the drums, I say drums loosely as they’re clearly programmed as the drummer couldn’t be bothered getting up to record them properly, not like I can blame him as whoever wrote the drums clearly was having a tantrum about not getting their cookie before bed time and decided to press every button at once. I really feel sorry for the guitarist here as he may have talent but it’s lost in this sea of noise and artificial bullshit that’s being churned out. 

Oh Christ we have an attempt at gutturals… fucking hell my rectum is more understandable after a dirty Doner kebab the night before. The fuck is he saying, oh lyric video… yeah it’s needed. Though, they could have put anything as the lyrics as no fucker can understand him. Oops, he coughed. 

‘You were the worst thing that entered my life.’ This is bullshit. Girls or guys (not judging) are certainly not worse than politicians or for that matter Tesla drivers (fuck them). This is just being over dramatic but its fine as these MySpace era, deathcore wannabe’s clearly know a thing or two about being overly dramatic. Yes boys it’s time to cut the silly emo fringes and grow up. Oops he coughed again.

Ooo another brilliant phrase ‘your hate awakened me’ nah mate its put me back to sleep. I’m pretty sure these guys listened to Carnifex and just copied, it’s not even a good copy. Here is a tip, the Chinese are the masters of the copyright law take a trip there and learn how to copy someone but actually make it bearable for people to listen to. Oops he coughed. 

Why the fuck does he shout for cheese? Anyway back to this melodic metal that’s about as melodic as my voice when I stand on Lego… Oh for fuck sake he coughed! Right, my local Tesco has soothers for about 60p and they’re blackcurrant flavour, bloody love them, recommend them all day, and they taste better than the blood-soaked phlegm that your coughing up so buy some then you won’t have to keep coughing every 10 seconds and ruinning (see what I did there, now I’m edgy) this masterpiece of how not to do melodic metal.

Look if you like your run of the mill middle aged men attempting to relive their youth through ‘music’ then this is the band for you! Alternatively if you are a 14 year old wanting to rebel against mummy and daddy because they didn’t buy you a pony, buy one of their bright pink t-shirts, shout bleugh a few times and they will be so proud!

Shit I forgot to mention the bassist! Never mind.


This was written entirely for comedic purposes with the full consent of Portrayal of Ruinn. None of the things I have written represent what I actually think of this song.

Who am I kidding, I just farted and it was way more brutal than this budget Carnifex.

‘Awakened Hate’ Official Video


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.

Black Mass – Involuntary Semen Ingestion

Black Mass – Involuntary Semen Ingestion
Roasted by Rob Sutton

A solo project from Shottingham which started in 2018 called Black Mass is my next victim for these roasts, and first off let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way. It’s a solo project because clearly no one wants to join in on this putrid stain on the Brutal Death Metal scene, or they just have no friends, I mean the logo for a start is just a load of over cooked spaghetti thrown at a wall and then monochromed, if you can read the logo then fair play to you, god gifted you with the ability to decipher a 3 year olds doodle of a dog. 

So this song, if you can call it that, starts with 3 hits of what can only be described as an empty Pringles tin which is then continuously used throughout the song much to my annoyance. Then we hit the vocals… Now the song is called ‘involuntary semen ingestion’ but by the sounds of this, it was voluntary. It’s like the vocalist was kneeling down letting a group of 12 guys ejaculate into their mouth before attempting to make noise down a microphone. Perhaps the song should be called ‘voluntary bukakke gargle’ to me that perfectly describes the sound of this voice. Are there even lyrics in this? For those blessed with the ability to hear I beg you to try and decipher what’s being said. To me it’s just gargle, gargle, thur thur thur, attempted bree. I hear there are ‘how to’ videos on YouTube, try them or better yet go on pornhub and listen to how those whores take jizz down the throat and talk. Boy those videos are sexier than this.

More on the music, yes there is a guitar which I’m pretty sure has taken influence from Emmure’s writing as it is about as imaginative as ordering a fosters. Oh look, fast guitar, oooo breakdown, I’m having a breakdown. Honestly it takes a lot of guts to self produce music in your bedroom but I guess this is what happens when your social life is nonexistent and you spend your days wanking. 

Oooo shit I forgot to mention the bass! Never mind, there isn’t one.

Disclaimer: This was written for comedic purposes only and was done with full consent of Black Mass. None of the above represents what I actually think of this song.

Again who am I kidding, Pringles Bukakke Gargle metal!



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.

M2TM Manchester 2022 – Grand Final

M2TM Manchester 20222 Grand Final Poster

M2TM Manchester 2022 – Grand Final
Rebellion – Manchester
Review by Rob Sutton
Photos by Drew Scott

Guest bands:
Foetal Juice
Footprints in the Custard
The Crawling

Competing bands:
I Am The Wreckage
Portrayal of Ruinn
Vlka Fenryka
Asylum City Zoo

We made it to the final! It has been a long journey for Manchester with the sheer volume of bands entering, and the calibre of bands being so high this year it has been a tough one. For the final, the 0161 crew went all out by adding 5 guest bands! First up was Acoustic Beast but with them only playing a handful of covers I didn’t see much point in writing about them (sorry, covers aren’t my thing).

The first guest band was a band I have been itching to catch all year, Saurr. For whatever reason every time I was due to see them, either I got the plague or they did. Thankfully this was not the case this time around and the former M2TM Manchester winners were here in full force. Saurr are one of these bands that mix numerous genres together, there is a lot of Groove, a bit of Sludge, bits of Metalcore, bits of Djent… you get the idea. All these are blended together beautifully to create something that feels so heavy and powerful; the riffs are just phenomenal and backed with thumping drums, these guys instantly get the crowd’s heads bobbing. To break up these incredible riffs, some atmospheric guitar interludes appear, which are stunning to watch, and what makes it even better is that, even though there are backing tracks, the lead guitar is being played live! Honestly, this guitarist is a boss! Vocally as well these guys are strong, the harsh vocals cut through perfectly and really add to the all round heaviness, however while the cleans are being done, over the distorted guitars, they are sometimes a little lost. That being said these guys kicked off the day in fine fashion and set the benchmark for the competing bands that follow.

Speaking of competing bands, I am the Wreckage drew the short straw and were the first on. Straight off the bat, what happened to the sound? Saurr sounded huge, but the power just vanished for these guys, as well as the following 2 bands. This is something that has been noticed in a few heats – the fact the sound is inconsistent for the competing bands, and this is a worry. Also, I will note as well, whoever is doing the lights only seems to put effort in towards the end of the night… C’mon, this is a competition – play fair! Anyway, rant over! I am the Wreckage blasted straight onto the stage and made it theirs from the get go, they commanded the crowd perfectly and boy did they respond! The pits were mega and the circle pits were like fairground rides with the speed they were spinning. Previously I have commented that the guitar tone has been muddy and inaudible, but tonight it was crystal clear and sounded amazing. For that matter they all did; they perfectly encapsulated the essence of Hardcore and brought it forefront here. It’s really hard to find much wrong with this set… I mean there were a few missed notes but they weren’t that noticeable, and the bassist was wearing an I am the Wreckage t-shirt which annoys me. Actually on that point, why do bands do this? This would work if they all had their own t-shirts on, but they didn’t so it looks a bit… full of yourself. These are minor points though in what I thought was an incredibly strong set, which probably made the rest of the competing bands have to use the lavatory.

The crowd were in their masses for I am the Wreckage, but they thinned dramatically for Asylum City Zoo. This was strange, as these guys are not short on their online following or presence in the Manchester scene, but this might have something to do with their lack of energy. Normally these guys are full of beans however here perhaps the nerves got the better of them. ACZ do have songs which are at a much slower tempo than that of IATW, but this doesn’t mean they’re any better nor worse. In fact the vocal harmonies present are stunning! They really ‘hit you in the feels man.’ Top this with some interesting vocal effects and it’s an all round intriguing watch and an enjoyable one at that. Also something of note as per the previous sound comment, the kick drum was punching right through in the mix for these guys and sounded brilliant. The drummer was on point in timing along with the rest of the band, too – this was a tight set. I also appreciated the give always they do during their set; it’s a nice bit of giving something back to the crowd. Asylum City Zoo did play a very strong set, but their lack of energy and lack of really pumping the crowd let it down. Shame as musically this was tight!

Time for a raid! Viking shields adorned the stage, fur coats, blue battle paint, axes, swords and horns were all being waved around while the whole crowd began to chant… This can mean only one thing, Vlka Fenryka were next! In their semi-final I really rated these guys, and they completely change the atmosphere of The Rebellion unlike any other band at this event. It felt like they had put that little bit more thought and attention into how they looked on stage and how they presented themselves, and this is something I massively appreciate! The intro with the band chanting and bouncing around the stage was a sight to behold – it’s unlike any other band and I loved it. Musically the guitar tone was significantly better than last time, my ears weren’t bleeding, and in fact, the Melodic Death Metal style riffs were really audible, which was music to my ears, quite literally. The vocals also seem to have stepped up, the growls were slightly deeper than last time, which for me fits this style way better than the high pitched tones. Add these to the once again cracking cleans and you can’t really fault them. Vlka gave the crowd a load of blue glow sticks, which when I asked them ‘why’ they replied, ‘well it’s blue so it fits.’ It didn’t fit, Vikings didn’t have blue glow sticks, and this to me was an afterthought that actually took away from their image. I’m sure there is something else they could have done that would have been better but hey ho. Also there were way too many ‘woahs’ in this set for me. It starts to make the songs all sound the same. Again I am being really fucking picky here as this was a solid set with unbelievable crowd control and crowd engagement, like no other here. Yes, we had seen pits and carnage, but this was a different kind of owning the stage, as well as another belter of a set!

The final competing band was Portrayal of Ruinn, and after their semi final set, which was probably the worst I have seen them, they really needed to step it up here. Starting with 3 hi-hat hits then straight into their set, it felt a little lacklustre compared to the previous bands, and immediately I thought ‘here we go again.’ Thankfully I was wrong and they proceeded to dive headfirst into brutality and carnage! Instantly pits were being opened and bodies were being hurled across the room, and this is what Portrayal are about! They again owned the stage and this time what they asked for from the crowd they got! It seems a couple of weeks and a tour have done them some good. It felt like they were playing for the crowd as opposed to playing for themselves and it made a huge difference! The reaction they got was massive. Musically everything sounded a lot more polished, the riffs sounded chunkier, the drums were tighter, and the bass was as crunchy as some honey nut corn flakes. They even threw in some backing vocals which again really worked well; there wasn’t loads of them but enough just to emphasis certain parts… call it tasteful. The lead vocals started off pretty solid, the lows and mid range were spot on, with the ‘brees’ also working nicely, however I think perhaps a bit more vocal warm ups are in order, as towards the end of the set the ‘brees’ were more like whispers and his voice did start to crack. Another point from last time was the clean to distorted on their new song. This felt like an afterthought during the last set, but even though I’m not a huge fan of this, it was much slicker than last time. This set was a million times better than their semi final. Staying on stage REALLY worked well for Portrayal tonight. They looked so much more professional, they were tight and all round really fucking good to watch!

So, with the competing bands out of the way, we moved on to the final 3 guest bands. First up was Belfast based The Crawling, previous M2TM winners in 2016, who have since got on to play the second stage. These guys wasted no time in bringing their Doomy, depressing metal to the crowd, and honestly, it was gorgeous! The guitars were so pretty they give me butterflies and almost a tear in the eye. The melodies are prettier than you’re wife to be on your wedding day, I just cannot get enough of them. Despite these guys only being a 3 piece the sound is huge and filled the whole room leaving the crowd grinning and nodding in pure appreciation. As for me, well I had the biggest smile on my face in awe of them, just wow! Now there wasn’t just pretty music here. There were also some gnarly vocals to go with it, almost sounding Draconian Esk. There is a right mix of influences, from Slayer to Satyricon, and all were obvious to see throughout. Honestly I could ramble on about how much I enjoyed these guys and I wish there was a bigger crowd for them because my god YES!

From the melancholy to the mental! Yes, it was Manchester/Cheshire’s own Footprints in the Custard (minus the mankini). Footprints are well known for their crude themes and nudity on stage, but tonight was actually an exception for the nudity! It felt like a more mature set; don’t get me wrong it was still entertaining and funny but there wasn’t a real dick to be seen on stage! Although there were plenty of foam dicks in the crowd – pretty sure everyone got a dick to the face at some point! An example of this maturity was in the song ‘A Barren Field Of Fucks’! The riffs were straight out of The Black Dahlia Murders catalogue (RIP Trevor) and it strangely works. I like the way they’re moving to more interesting song writing, within the silly themes. Guitar wise, even though there was only one tonight, it still sounded big, and the solos cut through so cleanly they could be mistaken for a freshly washed dick. Footprints also brought their giant inflatable unicorn, which was instantly thrown into the crowd, with an audience member riding it (sure there is another dick joke in there somewhere); this however nearly caused more damage than it was worth, almost taking out some of the stage lighting and the guitarists lead. So, sadly, the unicorn was put to sleep earlier than perhaps intended. This was a very silly set as usual and an almost emotional one with the speech about Trevor. Very enjoyable, very fun and it gave me the chance to say ‘dick’ as many times as possible in a review! Penis!

Finally tonight we had a bit of brutal Death Metal from Foetal Juice. These guys are relentless in their speed and aggression; some of the faces they pull on stage are frankly intimidating, but that all adds to their aesthetic. The crowd responded to this aggression with drunken chaos, many beer cans being smashed over their heads, necked in one or just thrown around (waste of beer). Even the band joined in by biting some cans in half! Foetal Juice were clearly in the party spirit as they looked noticeably inebriated by this point, yet somehow they managed to remain tight and relatively professional on stage, even with the comment ‘to the competing bands, don’t worry if your shit, look at us.’ In fairness this wasn’t a shit set by any stretch of the imagination. What it was, was, well… pure decimation: plenty of pits, unbelievable fast songs and a set which flew by in the blink of an eye. We even got a cheeky guest appearance from their former vocalist who didn’t seem to have lost any of his abilities, and in fact had a voice that can only be described as ungodly. I really enjoyed these guys as well, and they were the perfect band to close out this very long day of bands.

So with that there was only one thing left… Time to announce the winner, *drum roll*………….. Portrayal of Ruinn! This was rightfully deserved, the amount these guys have improved since there semi final was insane! They will be a welcome addition to Bloodstock.

As for the other 3 bands, well they need to return next year. They were all incredible and would have all been deserved winners. I don’t say that lightly either, as if you have read any of my previous reviews, you will know that I won’t hold back. But tonight each band brought it in their own way and really should be proud of how far they’ve got. 

So that’s Manchester sorted, let’s find some more finals to criticise!





Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. All photographic images are the property of Drew Scott. 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 2022 – Manchester – Semi-Final 1

M2TM 2022 – Manchester – Semi-Final 1
Asleep at the Helm (Guest Headliner)
Dead Retinas, Technologist, Vlka Fenryka, Portrayal Of Ruinn
Rebellion, Manchester
Live Review by Rob Sutton
Photos by Callum Burgoyne 

Metal to the Masses is a great place to go to find new bands and also watch bands progress through a competition for the ultimate prize, a place on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock. This year I have been following Manchester’s M2TM but felt like it wouldn’t be right to review until we got to the Semi finals. So after 8 heats and 4 quarter finals we arrive at the first semi final and to a massive 250+ turn out!

Taking to the stage first is Deathcore outfit Portrayal of Ruinn, a band I have reviewed on a number of occasions. Going on first at any point in the competition is daunting but these guys don’t mess around kicking right into their set and commanding the pits to be opened. Normally the way these guys control the crowd is unrivalled in the competition, but I think tonight nerves have got the better of them as we are asked for circle pits during a breakdown (doesn’t work so well) and walls of death are formed by the crowd without a leader to say when to charge. It just felt a bit scripted tonight almost like they had all sat down before the gig and said ‘wall of death here’ or ‘jump in the crowd then.’ Portrayal previously feed off the crowd and go with the flow and normally this sets them apart from other bands in the competition, whether it was scripted I don’t know but it seemed like they were over thinking or trying too hard. Another example of this ‘trying too hard’ was when the vocalist fucked off stage and beyond the crowd to the very back of the venue. Why? Fuck knows. He just seemed to stand around a bit then wander back to the stage. This was completely unnecessary and had the whole crowd facing the wrong way leaving the rest of the band playing to basically a photographer. One of the guitarists also tried this trick of going into the crowd but stayed firmly in the pit, this worked better, though because he decided to stop playing for a moment towards the end of the song, the outro lacked oomph so perhaps this wasn’t the wisest of moves. Having said that, when they are all on stage and head banging or bouncing on stage, they are a real pleasure to watch, the synchronised head banging is so nice to see and having the crowd all banging their heads in unison just adds to the feel. One other thing that seemed slightly off was the guitars, there are twangs in the final song which for some reason were just pained tonight but they weren’t the only band with this issue so this maybe sound related. However the transitions between clean and distorted guitars felt like an afterthought, I feel more of a build up with the drums or the other guitar feeding in would have made this change much smoother. This review really sounds like I am ripping Portrayal and I kind of am. Their performance in the quarter final was by far the best performance of any band this competition but this one felt try-hard and messy. I genuinely love Portrayal and so did the crowd but I know they can do better so, I would take what they did in the quarter final and play that if they progress to the final.

With the stage now littered with Viking shields this can only mean one thing, Vlka Fenryka are next up. Starting off with a Viking chant without a backing track is something a bit different, adding the addition of a few horns (couldn’t hear them, gutted as this would have been cool) and a bit of dancing, yeah this is different! Their whole get up is fantastic and seems to whip the crowd in the Viking party atmosphere. We also have a nice mix of vocal styles as well, from the shouting/chanting to screaming to singing. The singing being a personal highlight as I felt his voice was spot on, not too much on the power metal side to be cheesy and not proggy enough to drone on. The screams I wasn’t so keen on, while the style of screams are done well, I don’t feel they were aggressive enough for the whole Viking style. Without sounding cliché, I would have liked growls instead. This would move them closer to the Amon Amarth style but with the addition of the cleans, I feel they would have enough of a unique selling point to make them stand out. As I said though there wasn’t actually anything wrong with the screams. This being my first time watching Vlka Fenryka I didn’t really know fully what to expect but being a Viking band I felt there would have been a crowd rowboat… there wasn’t. Maybe they are trying to make sure they don’t fall into the trap of copying others and seemed quite happy to stick with the horns in the sky or the chants and I don’t mind that. Very metal! Also harking back to the first set, a couple of the guitar solos here were also a bit everywhere. So much so, in one part I am pretty sure each member was playing a different song; I did wince as it was just so messy I couldn’t find the beat or tell what was going on. For that matter the tone of the guitar really didn’t fit the solos in general, they ended up cutting through and almost piercing the ear drums of the crowd. It was actually painful. Again this could have been a sound issue. Besides all of this Vlka Fenryka were great fun to watch, the whole set up completely changed the feel of the stage and the night. This was a very strong set. Skol guys!

Again with the sound issues but this time a monumental issue where the intro track doesn’t play and there are no vocals whatsoever! Never the less, Technologist start their set but in honesty this was completely pointless as they only got a tiny way through their first song before giving up. I don’t blame them either, nothing was working properly. While this was being sorted they did treat us to a nice jazz interlude so not all was lost. Once their set did start most of the issues were resolved but honestly the sound really fucked these guys both musically and with their confidence. And that unfortunately sets the tone for the rest of their set as they were fighting a losing battle. For me their confidence had been well and truly shaken and while they still showed their usual smiles with the hint of arrogance about their playing ability, you can tell they were not on form. The first half of their set did sound messy and uncoordinated. It was a real shame as throughout the entire competition these guys have been stunning to watch. Don’t get me wrong though, the second half of their 4 song set list was tight and their technical ability did shine through here but the addition of a new song into the set this close to the final was a very brave move. Having seen Technologist the Tuesday prior to this gig and they absolutely smashed it then, I am complete baffled as to why they decided now of all times to add a new song? Yes it was a good song but it didn’t feel like it had the mileage the other songs had already got and it really showed. Luckily they did keep a personal favourite of mine in the set and closed with ‘Reborn’ but even here, vocal queues were missed and it was noticeable with the drummer reminding the vocalist to come in. again this is a band I absolutely love and really wanted this set to be as good as all their others but everyone has off nights and they picked the wrong night to do so and, for me, has cost them going through.

Another band I watched last Tuesday, and frankly they pissed me right off at that gig by openly admitting that they were performing at 80%. This means that I have come to this gig expecting to be blown away and with a bit of a cloud over my head. So Dead Retinas at 100% then… Musically again their blend of Punk and Hardcore is just brilliant, I really love the mash up of these 2 genres and tonight is no exception. They are playing with full ferocity and sound amazing. Vocally again he sounds on point, with the punk shouts and metal growls sounding pretty damn good. Not only do these guys sound on point tonight but they also have the energy on stage. Much like Portrayal earlier there is a lot of head banging, a lot of movement and a great deal of crowd engagement. This includes a number of pits which are again present throughout their set. From this point these guys seem to be taking this competition by the balls and making it theirs. As with the previous bands having a few niggles or things that just didn’t work for me, Dead Retinas also have a few. I will start with the lack of a wireless microphone. The vocalist also makes a habit of spending more time in the crowd than on stage, again this doesn’t always work and with a wired mic less so. Because of this he has to have half the crowd holding the cable in the air so anyone moshing doesn’t trip over. I could make a joke about health and safety but in all seriousness just get a wireless and make everyone’s lives a little easier. Also climbing all around the venue is all fun and games but this is just overkill. As I have said before, there is a balance between being on stage and in the crowd and while they have found the balance in the music, they haven’t with this. Also, mentioning the voting tokens for me is a massive no, especially when it’s to vote for your own band, it makes you look arrogant in a bad way. Dead Retinas played a solid set but were again let down by little things/comments and it really is a shame.

Finally onto our guest headliners Asleep at the Helm, now if you have read any of my reviews of these guys before you will know how much I rave about them. Tonight was no exception, they were absolutely on it and that is even without a bassist! (Though the sound was a bit thin but this couldn’t be helped). Their whole set felt like they had made this specifically for me with a good mix of old and new songs, each of which having been played on my spotify countless times. AATH boast a mix of screamed and clean vocals and are performed by multiple members as well, each of the screams and growls are nailed to perfection and the clean vocal harmonies just tug at your heartstrings. Drums are absolutely on point as well, pretty sure there wasn’t a beat missed here which is impressive! AATH seemed to do away with the wandering around off stage and instead let their music and on stage performance do the talking and it works so well. Couple this with a charismatic front man and an engaging guitarist shouting at the crowd, they have the audience in the palm of their hands. It goes to show you don’t need to be constantly in the crowd to engage with the crowd. Everything these guys played tonight was just head and shoulders above the other bands and just shows that AATH are on a different level in terms of quality and professionalism by comparison. For me this was by far one of my favourite sets of the year, I just wish the promoter had let them finish with their cover of ‘Lady.’

So before I go into the results I would actually like to say that I am being overly critical on the bands but this is the semi final of M2TM so really these bands should be on top form. Don’t get me wrong, I did really enjoy each set but this being a semi final for Bloodstock and the final being only a matter of weeks away, I felt a lot of the bands needed to step their game up from the previous rounds and that just didn’t happen tonight. It really shows when the guest band completely owns the competing bands as they were on another level. Also the crowd voting system really showed its flaws that night; everyone who paid was given a token to vote. This meant people were walking in 1 song from the end and voting for a band that had already played! How is that remotely fair? I would love to see this voting system changed for next year where you get a token if you turn up before the first band starts and then open the voting when the last band finishes. This would stop people only turning up for the band they want and at least watching the other bands before making a decision. I’ll be honest the vote felt like a mockery of the system and extremely unfair to all bands. 

Anyway going through was Vlka Fenryka and Portrayal of Ruinn, Vlka certainly deserved to go through and I would say so did Portrayal if I forget about this set and remember their quarter final set. Commiserations to Dead Retinas and Technologist, again I have seen both bands play a lot better than tonight but there is always next time. 

On another note I will be back next week with the second semi final where hopefully I can be a bit more positive.



Bloodstock M2TM Manchester:

Callum Burgoyne Photography:

Drew Scott Photographic:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. All photographic images are the property of Callum Burgoyne. 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.