Posted on by Oran

With a line up of Irish talent hand-picked by the public and the Bloodstock Ireland judges panel, Saturday nights final Metal 2 The Masses Ireland showcase possessed all the elements that display the astounding talent that can be found on our humble Island.

With a mind-blowing performance from the mighty Tool the night before, the packed venue for tonights’ highly anticipated Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland Grand Final, were ready for round two for some killer live music!

A stellar line-up of six bands’ provided a sensational evening of spine-tingling METAL in the hope of securing the coveted slot on the New Blood Stage, before Bloodstock’s very own booking agent, Simon Hall.

The rammed venue witnessed four hours of intense passion beginning with Jet Fuel Chemistry, who sparked instant pits under the watchful eye of vocalist, Dan Cusack.

Blurring the lines between post-Metalcore and powerful Hard Rock, JFC are masters of arena-sized anthems and blossom on tonights stage, much to the delight, and wide-eyed joy, of the bouncing, and already, sweaty venue.

Dipping into their 2020 EP, ‘Sign of the Times‘, tonights crowd are also treated to some brand new material from the guys, to which was lapped up by the punters, who wasted no time in throwing shapes at the lip of the stage.

JFC have a huge sound that is littered with anthems, and quality musicianship. If there’s any sense in the world, they will be snapped up and signed to a label, where they can truly spread their wings. Excellent stuff!

Limerick city three-piece, TOOMS swiftly took to the stage following JFC and proceeded to knock the beloved shite out of the ENTIRE venue. Sounding like Mastodon driving steamrollers, the ferocity of their performance invaded the atmosphere like a slow-moving lava spill, and just when you thought you have them all figured out, sonic hand-break turns present progressive, heavy riffing that are as big as tidal waves.

With just two bands’ down and four to go, the bar had already been set at an outrageously high level and it was up to Fornoth to push it that little bit further.

The Progressive-Blackened/Death five-piece unleashed one of the most powerful showcases of the year as they proceeded to lead us down a dark pathway that was equally balanced with tortured hopelessness and heart-filling, melodic beauty.

Vocalist, Daire Coburn casually switches from a blackened snarl, to deep baritone, effortlessly, much to the amazement of those who had not witnessed them live before. In fact, the bands three-part-vocal attack, is a truly powerful and effective weapon in Fornoth’s arsenal. Their twin dynamic of blackened and deep clean vocals elevates their overall sound to heights not usually found, and, oh boy, does it work live? You better believe it! Sensational stuff indeed!

Next to hit the stage are rising Irish force, Vendetta Love. Infused with elements of Grunge and Hard Rock, this four-piece are simply stoppable when they get going and tonight is no different as they waste no time in tearing the venue up in a haze of raspy vocals, punchy riffing and buckets of melody.

The with tracks such as, ‘Walk Alone‘, ‘Ode‘ and ‘Witches and Thieves‘ the Portlaoise/Dublin crew drive their fervent gospel deep into the heart of the venue, causing quite the ruckus at the front of the stage. A band that are most definitely going places.

If you’ve not had the pleasure of seeing them live, then you can catch them performing in Whelan’s this coming weekend [Saturday, May 14th] upstairs for their ‘Midnight at Whelans‘ sessions. To gain free entry, simply email the guest list, using the email address in the event link, here.

With punters stretching as far back as physically possible, Aborted Earth launch a sonic grenade into the audience and all hell breaks loose. Twisted, filthy aggression pours from the stage as vocalist, Jamie Murphy and Co pulverise the venue to a pulp with their unique Grindcore/Thrash/Death hybrid.

Aborted Earth’s intensity is second to none as they launch track after track into the either , much to the delight of the the hungry punters, who respond with some good old, friendly violent fun. Heavy, fast, aggressive, head-warping, brutality pours from each member of the band over the course of thirty minutes, leaving an exhausted pit to find their bearings after being captive in what could only be described as a giant washing machine on a spin cycle.

The final performance of the night is left to recently-formed Thrashers, Unmaker. Old-school Thrash is what these guys specialise in, and as they rip back the covers on their set, it’s pretty clear they have their eyes on the prize and give it 100%, from root to branch.

Frontman Aaron Gilbert proves (yet again) how good a frontman he is with his massive presence, as he whips the captivated audience into a frenzy causing the contents of many a glass to fly through the air before baptising more than a few heads.

It’s hard to believe how much Unmaker have achieved in such a short space of time and the confidence the band have gained performing in front the large M2TM Ireland audiences these past five months. If they continue to write and perform to the level they are now, who knows where they will be this time next year. Either way, we’d love to see them back on this stage again and most definitely at Bloodstock

The hard task of choosing just one band to perform at this years Bloodstock is down to Simon Hall and after witnessing yet another breathtaking showcase from the Irish underground, I could only sympathise for the decision he has to make.

With that being said, Hall took to the microphone and announced that “TWO” M2TM Ireland bands’ will be performing at Bloodstock Open Air this coming August, and proceeded to invite TOOMS for the Jägermeister Stage, and FORNOTH for the New Blood Stage.

As Metal 2 The Masses Ireland 2022 draws to a close, one thing from the nights showcase stands out like a beacon and that is the level of eye-watering talent that exists in the Irish underground. Long may it continue and let’s hope that Metal 2 The Masses Ireland will return in 2023.

Remember folks, we can’t do this without YOU.

Until next time….

Tickets for Bloodstock Open Air are on sale NOW via this link.

Oran O’Beirne

All Photos – Down The Barrel Photography

All Videos – Cosmopalace

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