First up tonight, is Black Svan, a five piece who hail from Drogheda. Reason for applying to MTTM2: Networking, promoting their album (16 Minutes) and band, and just “going out and having a laugh!”
This band are focused, proffessional very well rehearsed and sound tighter than a Nun’s ninny! Judging by the vocal abilities alone, they are definitely BOA material, and I just love their riffs. Their guitar sound is crunchy, powerful, and passion-driven, and the set list they produced was amazing.
There are touches of Sepultura and Mudvayne in their music, only a little lighter in the vocal department. It stands to them, that they put on a full-out attack on the crowd that was (unfortunately), quite small at the time. That didn’t faze them in the least. The first band of the night set the bar for the remaining acts to follow, and if the caliber of bands that were to follow were anything as good as Black Svan, this is going to be some night.
Next up is Saint Slaughter, a mix of international speed metal devotees. Reason for applying to MTTM2: More opportunities to play with excellent bands.
Influenced by the likes of the Big 4, Death, Meshuggah, Lazarus A.D. and Kreator, these guys know their instruments. The lead guitarist is a wizard, plain and simple. They start their setlist like a bat out of hell. A fresh mix of tapping and flashy triplet solos combined with catchy licks amidst a flurry of hardened riffs, provide audible paradise. Disaster strikes, however, when a string break forces the band to replace their damaged hardware quick smart. This cost them valuable time on the stage, but the show must go on and thanks to Black Svan for lending the guys one of their guitars they finish their set to a healthy crowd.
There is a definitive early ‘80s speed metal buzz to their sound, not unlike old-style metal bibles like “Kill ‘Em All” or “Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?” Saint Slaughter are currently in the studio recording their first EP, and just need to finalise the drum and vocal tracks before mixing. This band is definitely one to keep an eye on, as it will only be a matter of time until they are gracing our stage again with a bigger audience in tow. Keep your eyes open and your ears on high alert for their debut.
Third in line to hammer the stage of Fibbers is Soothsayer, a doom-prog metal infusion with overwhelming numbers of different riffs per song. Reason for applying to M2TM 2015: Besides it being their first ever gig in Dublin, they wanted to push their new material on crowds before heading in top Data Studios to start recording. They also entered the competition to gain exposure from media coverage.
The sound is drudgy, slow, thick and hard. Soothsayer’s singer is quite animated as he weaves his way through the crowd singing at the top of his voice in guttural tones that cause rumbles in the floorboards. Even perched on top of a table, he bellows with aspirational fervor and has the look of a serial killer.
Their songs consist of largely riff laden melodies, and prolonged verses; perfect for zoning out and just chilling to the music. The guitar work is crazy heavy, the bass lines are thick and booming and the drum section definitely has its work cut out. They are inspired by horror movies, Black Sabbath and the dark edge-of-your-seat soundtracks that have shaped the moods of dozens of old Hammer-horror movies. Their album is out soon, pending recording cost and studio time, in meantime keep a look out on Overdrive for all the latest from Soothsayer, as we are most definitely fans and await the arrival of the new album!
As we reach the half-way mark, our attention turns to the next band up: Vile Regression. Reason for applying to M2TM 2015: This is their first time applying to Metal 2 The Masses. They also want to test themselves to see how they fare against the other bands taking part and to push themselves to be better as a live band.
Now, these lads pack a punch. I last saw them at the “Unleashed” festival in the same venue last year. They are heavy as hell, and their sound is very crunchy and riff laden. They are already a crowd pleaser, as the venue has now been filled to capacity! What a gig this is tonight ladies and gentlemen!
The drum section cuts through you like a machine gun. Vocalist Padraig Croke, is dedicated to reaching the farthest person from the stage and connecting with them. As they blast through their set, the onlooking crowd are in their hands and loving every minute of it.
The 5th band on the stage is Awaked Dominion: another “Unleashed” metal machine. Reason for applying to M2 TM 2015: Exposure and publicity, and they love gigging full stop. Hailing from the bosom of Mullingar, Awaken Dominion hit the ground running. Although they are a man down (with one of their guitarists on drums, and you wouldn’t know he’s a guitarist!), they still blitz the place with ear shattering screeches and killer solos.
Each band only has a half an hour to play, and I thing A/D played more songs than anyone else. The crowd is slightly thinner; but there is serious movement, as a pit opens up in the middle of the floor. This is what M2TM 2015 is all about! Kicking ass and busting heads! Influenced by metal deities Pantera, Death, Lamb of God and Machine Head, they waste no time thanking everyone for participating. They currently have plans to record a video for one of their older songs “Spunch” and also hope to have another album released by the end of the summer.
The last band to batter Fibber Magees is a Cork-based gaeilgeoir (Irish-speaking), band Corr Mhóna. Reason for applying to M2TM 2015: Exposure for the band, as they are not too long together. With face-paint in Ogham, C/M are a different breed of metal. As with other international bands singing in their native language, it’s really cool to hear what these guys have to offer. It’s thick, heavy and it’s fast – just the way I like it. And it’s in Irish (my Irish teacher would be proud of me!).
Their catchy down-tuned riffs are infectious and raw, which keeps the heads banging long enough to generate a lot of interest from the judges table. C/M just recorded their album “Dair” (meaning Oak in Irish), and are doing their best to plug it wherever they can. They are already writing for another album and hope to have another release this winter after already having studio time booked beginning in April.
With a staggering display of home grown Metal, the judges have their hands full in terms of trying to make a decision on who will go through to to the semi finals in April. Finally, with the votes counted and the conferring over, the decision has come down to the following.
Judges Vote: BLACK SVAN
Crowd Vote: VILE REGRESSION
With such an incredible and outstanding level of talent on display tonight, it was a very tough decision for all involved. The Wildcard Final on Saturday April 4th, will give a second chance to six bands that didn’t get the crowd vote, or came very close to the judges vote. This will see them graduate on to the Semi Final’s in the last two weeks of April, before the mighty final on May 9th, where representatives from Bloodstock UK will fly in to Dublin to pick the overall winning band that will play at this years festival.
Don’t forget to come down and check out Metal 2 The Masses Heat 3 on February 13th where, Lace Weeper, The Dark Lanes, Minus Ten Thousands Hours, Megacone and Ruam Kingdom will get up in your face and bring the “loud” to Fibbers on Parnell Street. Hit the graphic below and make sure to get your ass down and celebrate Irish Rock & Metal!
Check out the full photo gallery from Down The Barrel Photography below.
*All images are copyright to Overdrive & Down The Barrel Photography. Please contact either parties for permission of use.
Words – Shaun Martin & Oran O’Beirne
Photography – Steve Dempsey | Down The Barrel Photography