M2TM 2017

August 10-13, Catton Park, Walton on Trent, Derbyshire
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robin8585
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby robin8585 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:36 pm

Haldamir319 wrote:
Blake_Porter wrote:Black Metal is constantly overlooked.


I'm not sure how accurate this is but, from my experience, it seems that the volume of black metal bands around is relatively low in comparison to, say, Metalcore (just throw a genre out there).


I think that is certainly the case here. They didn't fill all of the available slots, so if a BM band had applied, they would have got in. Last time we had a dedicated BM event here there was only 1 band actually from Manchester, and they had to fill a slot with a Death Metal act to make up the numbers.

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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby Gandalf the Red » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:16 pm

Haldamir319 wrote:
Blake_Porter wrote:Black Metal is constantly overlooked.


I'm not sure how accurate this is but, from my experience, it seems that the volume of black metal bands around is relatively low in comparison to, say, Metalcore (just throw a genre out there).


I come across more Black Metal bands than I do Metal or Death Core.

Maybe the bands aren't entering because they know they won't get through?

Same goes for other subgenres.
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby Tet » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:36 am

Gandalf the Red wrote:Maybe the bands aren't entering because they know they won't get through?

I 100% guarantee that this is happening. I know of several melodic bands that don't even bother with M2TM because the feeling is that the competition is biased against melodic acts. Whether that's true or not is another matter (personally, I think there's an element of truth to it, even if it's probably not as extreme as some are making it out to be). But the fact that it's generated that perception probably indicates that M2TM has on some level failed. It's not showcasing the best new talent, because some of that talent is not entering in the first place due to perceived problems with the format.
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby Haldamir319 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:23 am

Am I correct in thinking that, once upon a time, you were meant to enter the heats closest your location?

It seems that isn't being enforced anymore (for example, the band from Stoke entering here in Sheff).

With that being the case, maybe some of these bands should try different areas? Whilst it still comes down to the guy who chooses winner, they can only choose from the finalists and, at least here in Sheff, I can say that everyone seems to have been given a fair shake so far.

With the above in mind, send any melodic or black metal bands up to Sheff next year :D
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby Haldamir319 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:21 am

For anyone interested, the dates of the finals in chronological order:

22nd April - Coventry
23rd April - Brighton
28th April - Swindon
29th April - Sheffield

12th May - Belfast
13th May - Dublin
19th May - Glasgow
20th May - Inverness
21st May- Carlisle
26th May - Wolverhampton
27th May - Leicester
28th May - Kent

3rd June - Sandnes, Norway
16th June - Devon / Cornwall
17th June - Cardiff
23rd June - Burnley
23rd June - Newcastle
24th June - Merseyside
24th June - Nottingham
25th June - Manchester
30th June - Hitchin

1st July - London
2nd July - Bristol
7th July - Lincolnshire
7th July - Oxford
8th July - Bournemouth
8th July - Northampton
8th July - Selby
9th July - Birmingham

I'll edit this is to the opening post for ease of reference.
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby robin8585 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:02 pm

Manchester Heat 5:

The Ninja Report - Hard Rock. Very good Hard Rock in fact, with a hit of prog about it. It seems the earlier start for the 5 band heats hurts the first act on in terms of audience, much like last week folk are pretty thin on the ground until about 8 which is when their set ends. It's a shame, they deserved a few more ears. I would have put them through in first, but unfortunately it isn't up to me and they fail to advance.

Twisted Mentality - Horror/Rock/Metal/Punk. They've gone to a lot of effort with stage decoration and playing dress-up, and get a really good reaction in the room, plenty of headbanging in the front. I think their musicianship is a little lacking, there were a fair few duff notes, and one guitar was out of tune for at least a couple of songs. It's not my thing at all, me and the missus withdrew to the smoking area to escape it, but unlike previous times we've had to do this, we're the only ones out there. Despite personal opinion I wouldn't have minded too much seeing these go through, but they don't make the cut.

Zebedy - Progressive Metal. There is obvious prog influence here, but I think it leans more towards Emo than anything (more Jimmy Eat World flavour than MCR). Really enjoyed them, the frontman is great with the crowd and even gets a decent sing-along going. I would have put them through in second, they get first place.

Crescent Halo - Hard Rock/Heavy Metal. Did absolutely nothing for me, totally uninspired, very, very dull. They make it through in second place. The only reason I can think is that one of the 4 judging categories is based on professionalism and supporting/promoting the event as a whole, and these guys have been enthusiastic attendees at every heat so far. Seeing as the judges stated there were only 3 points between the bottom 4 bands, that could have given them an edge.

Phineas Gage - Progressive Metal. I'd stick them firmly in the Metalcore camp myself, don't really get anything proggy from it at all. They're pretty good when the vocalist is growling along, but when he slips into clean vocals, dear god the man cannot sing. I honestly don't think he hit a note properly once. When one of the guitarists joins in to "harmonise", it actually causes me physical pain. Apparently I was pulling faces throughout. Luckily, I won't have to endure it again in the Quarter Finals.

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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby Dombag » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:53 pm

I personally didn't go to the first Merseyside heat, but I know Redwood Avenue won.

Can't say much about their sound as the facebook page doesn't have any links to any music.

Also I get where people are coming from with the different area thing. A fair few bands from Manchester have entered the Merseyside heats and the band above are from Wales. Hardy any local acts entering and when some do they're generic slam metal half the time.
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby Gandalf the Red » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:25 pm

Dombag wrote:I personally didn't go to the first Merseyside heat, but I know Redwood Avenue won.

Can't say much about their sound as the facebook page doesn't have any links to any music.

Also I get where people are coming from with the different area thing. A fair few bands from Manchester have entered the Merseyside heats and the band above are from Wales. Hardy any local acts entering and when some do they're generic slam metal half the time.


That's a coincidence. I had exactly the same conversation last night and decided not to bother. :lol:
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby i0th » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:33 am

Newcastle Heat 3

On paper, Heat 3 is one of the more diverse line-ups.

This wasn’t deliberate at all – but – certainly, the type of thing I was hoping for when I started running this competition in Newcastle, so a chance to see bands you’d not normally get to see or get to see together.

In the 2016 competition, no band who took the opening slot progressed. It is a very difficult slot because among anything else you can’t see what you’ve got to “beat”.
But, The Unholy Concoction buck that trend and taken on a riff driven booze metal approach to take them to the semis.
It does take a little while for them to warm, but a lot of people have made the effort to check out the early bands and they leave impressed.
It’s actually the crowd response that tips them through. As every judge has a different second choice band tonight!

I’m in awe watching Snakes Don’t Belong in Alaska. Sublime and hypnotic psychedeliac rock. Stunning riffs and great atmospheres. They help give the judges a nice headache, you know not the “will this noise ever stop” headache, but a “it’s tight, who is going through headache”

Saints of War are competition tradional rock, it’s funny – before they set I noticed Tim “Ripper” Owens has announced show at Think Tank and maybe this has me in mind for the nods towards Priest in SoW’s sound. Pretty good stuff.

Sworn to Secrecy, holy Hell, there’s quite a few young bands in this year and I love it. Absolutely. These kids tear up the stage with a high energy metalcore machine. Unlucky not to go through, but they’re another one of those bands that are good, they have the energy and enthusiasm and will only get better.

I mentioned earlier every judge had a different second choice band – well – they all had the same first choice band… Decrepit Monolith… fuck me. They’re tight. They take the competition to a new depth of Hell with their melodic Black Metal. Fearsome!

I already know the Semis are going to be too tight to call… I am mulling an idea….
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby Haldamir319 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:16 am

That Newcastle heat sounded good! I may have to check out one or two of those.

A couple of friends have informed me that I'm in for a treat at our latest heat this Wednesday. I should enjoy both prog/post bands on the night. I will, of course, report back.
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby Haldamir319 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:46 am

Sheffield
Heat 5

A couple of late cancellations mean that this was a four band heat. On another day, that might be a poorer quality band going through, but not tonight.

The Mechanist

These guys brought their own lighting rig and smoke machine. Sound wise, they were very close to Killswitch style metalcore, with an ever so slight tech metal flourish every now and then. Musically, they were very tight. Frontman did mostly growls, and one of the guitarists did the clean vox. I'm not sure if the lead singer was ill or tired but, by the last track or so, his voice was going a bit when talking to the crowd (didn't seem to affect his singing much). Basically, if you wanted a slightly techy Killswitch, these guys are your band.

Arkdown

Their frontman was purely a growler, with no clean vox in site, and they reminded me a bit of October File's heavier side. Whilst they described themselves as metalcore, if you removed the breakdowns from their set they would sound much closer to (contemporary or straight up) heavy metal, just with some outside influences that can't quite be pigeon holed. As a band, they were probably a step below the openers for 'tightness', but above them on originality and sound.

Archelon

Oh my word. These guys instantly go into my top three. A sort of post-metal/doom/sludge hybrid, kind of like if you mixed Conan with someone like SubRosa. One of the guitarists doubles up as a sort of secondary drummer (single drum brought out onto the dancefloor area for a couple of tracks). They managed to squeeze four tracks into their 30 minute slot, including a hypnotic 10 minute opener. These guys also brought a smoke machine, and it worked so well with their style/sound. This was just straight up excellent.

Normaliser

Prog band. Sounded a bit like if you stripped back the combined sound of Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Threshold, and made it a bit heavier about half the time. I thought they were solid, but not mindblowing, though my opinion could have suffered a little from them playing after Archelon's amazing set. On another night, I'd have probably had them in contention to win a heat.

Results:
Arkdown won the evening, partially down to the great support they brought (3/5 of tickets went to their fans). Archelon were second and Normaliser third. I'm fine with the result, though I agreed with the judges scoring more (they had the top two the other way around) and I wasn't fussed/thought it was very close between Normaliser and The Mechanist.

Other news:
Apparently we are 90%+ likely to be having a 7th heat, formed of bands that came 4th (it sound like one band will go through and they will extended one of the semi-finals by a band as a sort of wildcard). I'm happy with this, as there's been some heats where the gap between 2nd and 4th was tiny.

Also, I've been informed that the 50/50 fan and judge split ends with the heat stage an that the semi-finals will be a 75/25 split in favour of the judges. I'm fine with this, as I've tended to agree with the judge vote, plus it stops bands simply getting through because they brought a lot of people.
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby robin8585 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:13 am

Archelon sound right up my street, I will be checking them out.

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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby robin8585 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:39 am

Manchester Heat 6:

Lester Verde – Stoner Rock. One of the weaker bands we’ve seen so far in the contest, they’re alright, but nothing special. Lady luck was on their side when the heats were drawn though, because they get through in second place, and deserve it as well. Any other of the heats so far I don’t think they’d have managed it, and I don’t expect to see them in the semis.

Bloodwork Salvation – Heavy Metal. I’d call them more Groove Metal, reminiscent of Lamb of God. These young guys are all over the place, their persona and audience interaction is totally at odds with what they’re playing. They launch into a song “about being really pissed off” and half way through the very bouncy-smiley guitarist encourages everyone to grab a partner and do a jig, which just doesn’t fit at all. The frontman is doing his best to be posturing and aggressive, but unfortunately just looks far too much like A Very Nice Young Man, all fresh faced and full of beans. Not there musically, a big old mess thematically, they don’t get through.

Barbarian Hermit – Stoner/Doom/Sludge. These veterans of the Manchester scene take the stage and proceed to educate everyone on how heavy is done. I’m a big fan of these guys, but they have lost and replaced their vocalist and bassist (the latter less than 2 weeks ago) since the last time I saw them, so I was a little worried they might not be quite on their usual form. My fears are unfounded, they crushed the place. For my money serious contenders to go all the way, they walk first place in this heat.

Damnosus – Death/Thrash Metal. Doesn’t really do anything for me at all. If you’ve ever seen mediocre thrash in the corner of a pub you’ve seen these guys, paint-by-numbers thrash with a growly vocalist. I would have gone home at this point, but my partner owed me a beer and had just offered to go to the bar.

Overall, while it was great seeing Barbarian Hermit again, it wasn’t the best night. The first one so far I’ve left feeling like I’d rather have stayed at home. But, hey-ho, there had to be a duff heat at some point. Hopefully next week is better.

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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby Haldamir319 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:43 am

Sheffield
Heat 6

One band had to drop out due to an emergency, meaning we have five bands for this sixth and final heat.

Elecorn

First up is an interesting quintet. They play a sort of post-metal, with aspects of more mainstread prog rock and a touch of math/tech about them too. Vocalist divided his time between clean and growling vox about 50/50. The lead guitarist was the standout of the bunch - pretty damned tight, and was particularly swish at finger-tapping solos.

Ba'al

The only band I'd seen from this heat before, and one I was looking forward to seeing again. They are a Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal act. And they are heavy. They start off well, and are tight throughout the set. I didn't catch the name of the track, but they finished with a 12+ minute epic that nearly destroyed my neck.

Outta Peak

Describe themselves as 'pop mosh'. Basically, they are pop punk but with heavier bits and some flourishes of tech thrown in every now and then. I can take pop punk in smallish doses or if I'm in the right mood, otherwise it's no usually my bag. Trying to be objective, these guys did what they did well and - despite fearing my overuse of the word so far - they were another fantastically tight act. They got the crowd going a bit too.

Suffer in Anguish

Describe themselves as Deathcore/Metal. To me, in the live mix, this basically meant that at times they sounded deathcore and at another times death metal. Deathcore isn't really my thing, but these guys were really good at what they did and totally won me over. They finished with a brilliant cover of Sepultura's 'Roots' that sounded crushingly heavy. They also might have the most polite frontman I've come across in a long while - he was the first in the entire tournament that I recall thanked not just the booker of the tournament, but the sound guy, bar staff etc. It might sound like a small thing, but it went a long way.

Cain

Mancunian sort of trad / heavy metal. These guys seemed to divide opinion, but I quite enjoyed them. Front man reminded me of a sort of punkier Blaze Bayley, and he had an air of showmanship about him (at one point, he got the crowd to kneel down to take a 'Viking prayer' with him). There were some nice riffs, though I'm not sure exactly how memorable the actual songs are (I got a free CD, so I guess I'll find that out when I play it).



Results: Ba'al won, Outta Peak came second and Suffer in Anguish came third.

I agree with Ba'al and SiA going through - I had them as the two best, in that order, ahead of the others by a decent chunk. Outta Peak were good at what they did, and they might do it better than Cain/Elecorn do their own genres, so I guess I can't argue too much.

News:
It turns out we won't have a 7th heat after all - the logistics of fitting it in before the semis just doesn't work out.

The official semi-final line-up is yet to be announced, but I spoke to the event organiser and the tentative line-up (pending band availability) is:

Semi final 1 - Sat 8th April : Sobriquet, Gorgeous Morgue, Gorilla Warfare, One Year Dead, Arkdown, Outta Peak

Semi final 2 - Fri 14th April: Bovidae, Horizontal Faults, Delirium, Mothcob, Normaliser, Ba'al

Semi final 3 - Sat 15th April: Aonia, Crucifixiation, Grandmother Suplex, In My Restless Dreams, Archelon, Suffer in Anguish

The venue are also looking into getting guest headliners for all three semi finals too.
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Re: M2TM 2017

Postby robin8585 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:37 am

Manchester Heat 7:

Another quite poor heat unfortunatly, the winners walked it and 2nd was a scrap for least bad. Didn't help that it clashed with Battlebeast and the first day of Hammerfest so attendence was poor (even 2 of the 3 regular judges weren't there).

The Forgotten Poets - Some kind of alt-rock maybe, dunno. The kind of "alternative" sound you could see Radio 1 spaffing over for a month and giving an acoustic live lounge session to. Not helped by the fact the drummer kept missing beats and couldn't seem to stay in time. I was forgiving of this at first, since the kick drum kept running away from him and trying to fall off the front of the drum riser, but he didn't improve even after that got fixed. Apparently they've been doing this for a decade, didn't seem like it.

MoMenti - Melodic Death Metal. These were OK musically, the frontwoman is reasonable on both growls and clean vocals. They have no stage presence of which to speak, although they do pick it up a bit towards the end of their set. It could be nerves, they say that they've never played the venue before and it's the biggest crowd they've ever had. They get through in 2nd, and deserve to, but unless the final heat next week is a garbage fire they're going to get murdered in the next round if they don't come out fighting.

Fear Me December - Some kind of alt-rocky thing, again, not really sure. An Argentinian "power trio" who apparently (according to their website) have had some success in South America and the States. They'd be pretty enjoyable if the frontwoman could hold a tune. She's off key all set, it is painful.

Prognosis - Progressive Metal. I've seen these guys a few times before, and they've been awful. Then, having not seen them on a bill for nearly a year, I saw them at an event on Saturday and it appears they wrote a bunch of new stuff, practiced, and got really good. They're on just as good form tonight, outstanding set, technically excellent and obviously having a really good time up on stage. Even in one of the stronger heats I think they would have got through, I could see them winning the whole thing on this form.