Posted on by Oran

It’s getting close! Yes folks, the Irish leg of the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses is approaching the last few events of the year and it’s been one hell of a ride so far! A truly breathtaking display of some of the finest metal bands from all over the country have taken part in the hope of representing Ireland at this years Bloodstock Festival this coming August! Semi Final B was a truly grueling experience for the judges; who had to painfully let some of the bands go. Find out all about it below!

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Saturday nights have never been the same since Overdrive and Jetrocker kicked off the 2016 Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses campaign. As each week has passed by and each of the thirty five bands taking part played their hearts out, one thing is abundantly clear. Metal music is very much alive and kicking in Ireland.


A broad range of genres from doom, rock, thrash, stoner, metal-core and more have graced the stage in Fibber Magees this year, with each and everyone of the bands showing originality, passion and unquestionable support for each other and the music that binds us all together. That support was evident on Saturday April 9th, with the line up for semi final B with punters and musicians from many of the bands in attendance.

wM2TM SemiB030Opening up the evenings performances is none other than The Tailor Made, who unfortunately had to cut their set short due to the late arrival of one of the bands guitarist. Throwing caution to the wind, The Tailor Made proceed as a four piece, putting on a performance that is packed full of boundless energy and post-hardcore, cross-over themed brilliance! Vocalist Joseph Cleary leaps from the bass drum to the stage multiple times; nearly scalping his head off from the low ceiling and it’s fucking brilliant! Packed full of aggression and frenzied arrangements, The Tailor Made are a gritty, sharp breath of fresh air, who have the ability to rain down shards of broken glass tempos, creating devastatingly good consequences!

For more information on The Tailor Made, click this link.

Following on with the mighty Black Svan, who take to the stage with a tremendous sense of determination and focus. Launching off with a monstrous sound that is simply crushing, the Drogheda five piece waste no time in launching their attack on the Fibber’s punters. Vocalist Kieth Caffrey has got to be one of the best vocalists in this years campaign if not in the Irish hard rock / metal scene. His tone and sky scraping presence lifts Black Svan into the heavens tonight, as their perfectly mixed low-end of grove and relentless power; cascades from the house P.A.

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Sounding better than they every  have, Black Svan are raising the bar to a ridiculous height tonight, branding a professional approach to their on stage chemistry and overall sound. How are these guys not touring the world and gracing stages in front of thousands, is a real head-scratcher. By far, one of the stand out bands from this year’s Metal 2 The Masses and one that should be witnessed live at any give chance.

For more information on Black Svan, click this link.

A dramatic shift in genres see’s Vendetta Love as the follow up band for tonight’s running order. For those who have never witnessed Vendetta Love, their quirky alternative sound is hard to pin down but is fantastically compelling to anyone that stands before them. Moments of Alice in Chains and Green River flash unexpectedly here and there, with a style of guitar playing that is reminiscent of the 80’s and early 90’s. Vocalist / guitarist Shawn Namaste effortlessly stalks the stage between lyrics, dropping ” Slash-like” guitar solos over their predominantly alternative influenced set.

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Although compelling to watch, Vendetta Love sound a little “loose” tonight and with a more raw sounding approach to that of any of the other bands, their swagger carries them through their set with a host of new fans.

Find out more on Vendetta Love on this link.

wM2TM SemiB315Already looking like a very, very difficult night for the judging panel (which includes last years winners Animator) the continuing performances see’s stoner doom captains, Nautilus open up a mountain of heaviness in a wash of slim-green stage lights and dry ice. One of the bands that have just continued to surprise with each performance, Nautilus unleash a sensational set, packed full of deep groove and chunky-as-fuck riffs, that are set to the pace of an avalanche in slow motion.

Vocalist Cathal Hughes delivers a tone and depth that is absurdly unnatural for us mere humans! Sounding more like a beast from the darkest corner of hell, Hughes lays down a captivating performance as the rest of the band, churn out thick slabs of brilliance for the duration of their set!

For more information on Nautilus, click this link.

wM2TM SemiB461With a sizeable crowd gathering in front of the stage, Minus Ten Thousand Hours have clearly been busy promoting their slot at tonight’s event. The Dublin based three-piece waste no time in launching into an aural attack, which see’s them blossom as performers, all the while displaying an insane concoction of dramatic musical styles embedded within their core. Bassist Dylan Skully and Co. fling their instruments about the place like possessed lunatics, much to the concern of the front of house sound desk. Minus Ten Thousand Hours have the crowd eating out of their hands and are loving every minute it.

Drawing influences from all corners of the metal sub-genre playing field, Minus Ten Thousands Hours are a band that want this so bad and will not let anything stand in their way! You have been warned!

For more information on Minus Ten Thousand Hours, just click this link.

Finally we have arrived at the last of the nights performance which will be executed by AeSect, who find themselves back in this years semi finals after reaching the final in 2014. Dressed in black, the band kick things off in spectacular style with a sound that is damn near perfect! A perfect balance of low-end in the mix see’s recent new bassist Aidan Williams in his element, as he brings a truck load of presence to the AeSect sound.

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Vocalist Mark Lennon seems to be building confidence with each show and without warning whips the rabid crowd into a frenzy in the form of a wall of death. New material is unleashed alongside the bands quality back catalogue, which earns them a new level of respect among critics, who wondered about the bands new members. One of the highlights of the night and punishingly heavy, AeSect drive their complex brand of metal right down on Fibbers like a pick-axe to the skull!

For more information on AeSect, hit his link.

With all six bands now waiting nervously about the venue, the painful judging process is well underway before the winners are announced by Animator front-man James Doughty. The results were as follows:




Regardless of the band that will be chosen to play at this years Bloodstock, the important thing is that all the bands, punters, promoters and media platforms involved with Metal 2 The Masses Ireland have an deep passion with regards to keeping heavy music alive all the while supporting each other and the venues that struggle to keep their doors open.

Semi Final C takes place on Saturday April 23rd on Fibber Magees main stage with performances from Alpheidae, Call To Arms, Jenova, Soothsayer, The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back and zhOra. This will be the last remaining chance for any of the bands to make to the final on May 7th where they will join the following finalists:

1. AeSect

2. Minus Ten Thousand Hours

3. Ten Tonne Slug

4. Two Tales of Woe



For more details on Semi Final C – click on the graphic below!



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Words – Oran O’Beirne

Photography – Down The Barrel Photography


Bloodstock March 2016