By Monk

Poster for Catalysis at Voodoo Belfast 30 March 2024One of the major downsides of working night shifts, especially in the hospitality sector, where weekends tend to be the busiest periods, is not being able to get to as many gigs as you would like. It often takes planning of almost military precision to arrange something as apparently simple as catching a few bands laying waste to your local pub… but, on this occasion, the stars aligned and a rare Saturday night off meant that I was able to climb those steep, narrow stairs for another night of in-yer-gob metal action.

Opening up tonight’s proceedings are Frayed Ends BC, who have been kicking up something of a fuss on the Belfast scene over the past few months, and right from the off it’s not hard to see why as they immediately open up a frenetic pit with their old-school crusty hardcore, which is in turn delivered with plenty of spit, venom and verve. It’s something of a celebration for the quintet, as they have just released their new EP, ‘Strive’, this very day, and so are treating this as something of an “official release show” – although its characteristic of their Belfast humour that Eddie plugs said release only for the guys to immediately launch into an as yet unrecorded new song…

Overall, however, a tight and suitably impactful performance – although I shouldn’t have expected anything less given the pedigrees of the lads involved – and I definitely look forward to my next encounter \m/

Nomadus at Voodoo Belfast 30 March 2024One band who never disappoint in terms of the consistency and solidity of their performances are Nømadus, and despite a protracted absence from the local stage tonight is another exemplar of this.

To paraphrase their predecessors on the stage, there’s no fucking around to find out exactly what the boys deliver, and that is big, thick, crunching riffs characterized by a rich baritone sound to both the huge underpinning bass sound and Fredy’s dynamic vocals/. The frontman also delivers a series of classic rock style solos which hold sufficiently back from the needlessly overblown to compliment the overall density of the band’s doom-infused grooves.

Another imperious performance from a band who, as I said, never fail to impress every time they take to this or any other stage, and an epitome of the adage that less more often than not is indeed more.

For some strange reason, the crowd seems to have drastically thinned out as Catalysis take to the stage – not that this deters the Dundee dynamos in the slightest bit as they rip into their allotted 45 minutes of bludgeoning bass-led thrash grooves, with their almost symbiotic twin guitars overtopped by Col MacGregor‘s acidic vocals.

Thankfully, the floor in front of that stage slowly fills up again, as the frontman cajols and encourages the crowd to get the pit action going during a performance that is intense, and equally taut, on every level, not least in terms of the commitment displayed by all concerned, who throw it down in sweaty style and leave every ounce of their being and souls on the stage.

Catalysis at Voodoo Belfast 20 March 2024