As the venue began to swell with anticipation and capacity, there was a noticeable charge in the air for this evening’s five-band performance. Strong competition is an understatement in this case and with such a solid line up, consisting of metal bands from all over Ireland, it’s a refreshing sight that warms even the blackest of hearts, just knowing that Irish metal is well and truly alive and kicking!
The first to take to the stage tonight is none other than Galway based Ten Ton Slug, who instantly open up the venue with some of the heaviest riff’s we have heard this year! The sound that this five piece generate is simply staggering. Slabs of crushing thunder come pulsing from the house P.A., sending ripples far and wide. Ten Ton Slug are simply outstanding. Their ability to muster up a low end sludgy / doom drenched riff that you can literally feel in your gut, whilst incorporating unpredictable bursts of delicious groove is unchallenged by any other band taking part in this years M2TM to date.
Vocalist Rónán O ‘hArrachtáin is a truly gifted front man that has the perfect mix of charisma and confidence all the while demonstrating his outstanding vocal ability for this genre. Rónán’s phlegmy low end twinned with his raspy shredded screams, fit perfectly into the manifesto of Ten Ton Slug. My only complaint was that the designated half hour performance time, was just too short! I could have happily watched these guys for another half hour or so. Their next gig will be at ‘The Siege of Limerick‘ on March 27th (click here for more information) do not miss this band live, should you ever have the chance to see them.
For more information on Ten Ton Slug, simply click this link.
Next to take the stage, are last year’s finalists Alpheidae, who waste no time in ripping into their opening song with the precision and brutality of what some bands can only hope to achieve by the end of their set. Alpheidae sound immense and tighter than bankers coin bag. With a new E.P in the works, the Dublin based five piece hammer through a set that see’s beer, hair and items of clothing flung around the now packed venue. Vocalist and serial topless front-man Calvin Singleton oozes confidence and swagger as he leads the charge though the bands invigorating performance. “City of Knives” carves it’s way through the Fibber’s throng with force and gusto, provoking all manor of organised chaos at the lip of the stage. Most definitely worthy of a slot at this years Bloodstock, Alpheidae have proved to be a band that continue to grow in sound and stage presence. It’s evident that they are enjoying themselves under the glowing green and red lights and I don’t blame them. They are a rising force to be reckoned with and have the ability and focus to go all the way. Keep a close eye on these guys as we predict good things.
With the beer and bands now flowing in full force, a huge capacity of punters now stretch all the way back to the bar in anticipation of Clonmel natives zhOra, who just level the place from the get go! These guys have enough power under their belts; they should be considered as an alternative source of sustainable energy. The chemistry between each of the band members is noticeably electrifying and translates across to the now rabid capacity that holds ground at the font of the stage. If this is your first time seeing zhOra or you have heard the rumors of just how gripping their live shows are, then believe it. Believe it all!
As a four piece, they cross pollinate rhythms and riffs, that are layered and delicately sculpted one verse at a time to generate a sound that can command the tide. A master class in heavy-as-fuck tunes that would have the lads from Mastodon sporting boners! Utterly fantastic stuff! Keep an eye out for the bands new album “Ethos, Pathos, Logos” which they are currently putting the finishing touches to and should be out around May. Find out more on zhOra, by clicking this link.
Three bands down and two to go! The venue buzzes with excitement about the quality of each performance as Devolted take to the stage. The now statement leopard print two piece suite worn by vocalist / bassist ‘Raf’ stands out a mile among the normally leather and denim throng of Fibber Magees, but who cares? This is a show after all! If there is one thing that Devolted know how to do, it’s put on a show. Tonight we are treated to a bull-horn, confetti gun and drummer Dom, who releases his inner ‘Tommy Lee’, by standing on the drum-stool sporting his rainbow coloured Mohawk and matching Devolted nipple stickers. A flock of well groomed young maidens loose their minds at the front of the stage and provide the baby-faced front-man with all the confidence he needs to smash through their thirty minute set of classic inspired, yet contemporary sounding metal / hard rock.
Having just release their debut E.P. ‘Broken Wings’ we are treated to some new material such as ‘My Monster’, which sounds strong. Devolted have a lot going for them and have proved to be a band that seem to be growing in strength and quality as each year passes. Their tendency to rely on gimmicks during their live show can at times, result in certain band members becoming distracted whilst playing their instruments, resulting in moments of fault which is noticeable. Devolted most certainly worth your attention and if you’re not convinced, then check out he bands E.P. on this link and you will know what we are talking about. For more information on Devolted, simply click this link.
As we finally approach the last band of the night, the overall reception for this evenings live offerings, has been fantastic. Looking about the venue and seeing members of Killface, Two Tales of Woe, Nautilus and many more, all enjoying the atmosphere is a comforting sight and a testament of just how close and supportive the bands are of each other.
With a late state due to a long change over, Cork based meatlcore five piece Emigra launch into a blistering set that grabs people by the neck and pulls them straight in! Vocalist Xander Coughlan, strikes a similar pose to that of Oli Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon) as he confidently stalks the stage. Emigra sound huge and have a captivating presence that draws people from the smoking garden as well as the bar area. Drummer Tomasz Bożek holds the pace, keeping things moving for bassist Pawel Kuczynski and guitarists Daniel Danowski and Szymon Saługa. With the evenings votes coming in at an alarming rate, Emigra give 110% and it’s paying off. Impressive breakdowns laced with quality melody show this Cork band to be a good investment. They approach to the metalcore genre is solid, yet they incorporate their own DNA into the genre, making them a refreshing welcome to what can sometimes be viewed as an imploding sub-genre.
With strict time restrictions, Emigra are unfortunately unable to finish their last song and with a wholehearted round of applause, they thank the crowd and pitch the audience to vote for them. A great band, that is most certainly worth checking out. For more information on Emigra, hit this link.
As the night comes to an end and the last of the votes have been counted and checked over, the announcement of Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland Heat 4 winners are as follows;
CROWD VOTE – ALPHEIDAE
JUDGES VOTE – zhOra
Both bands will be included in the semi finals which will be taking place on March 16th and April 9th and 23rd. Only six bands will be going through to the Metal 2 The Masses Irish final on May 7th and one band will then be chosen by Bloodstock Festival booking agent and production manager, Simon Hall to represent Ireland at this years Bloodstock Festival in Derbyshire on between August 11th and 14th. For more information on Bloodstock 2016, simply click the graphic link below and book your tickets now before it sells out!
Heat 5 will see another five bands taking to the stage for what can only be another fine example of the outstanding quality of metal in Ireland today. For more information, simply click on the event graphic above to find out more about each of the bands.
Words – Oran O’Beirne
All Photography – Down The Barrel Photography © 2016
© OVERDRIVE 2016
PHOTO GALLERY – BLOODSTOCK METAL 2 THE MASSES IRELAND 2016