With applications open from early October, Metal 2 The Masses Ireland has yet again come to the end of another year, and what a year it was.
Featuring a whopping forty bands from all over the country, Metal 2 The Masses Ireland initiative has once again proved to be one of the most important platforms for unsigned Irish underground music, giving bands the opportunity, to not only perform at Bloodstock Open Air, but also to reach a wider audience both from the live showcases and the online community within Ireland, the UK and beyond.
A total of eleven live showcases have taken place since January, and the final six artists are now preparing for the Grand Final event on Saturday, May 13th in Fibber Magees, Dublin.
Let’s take a look at each of the 2023 finalists…
When live music was put on hiatus in 2020, long-time collaborators Tristan Carroll and Maximillion Foy used the down time to form Cell Games as a long distance, largely online project.
The pair released a handful of singles in 2021 influenced by the nu metal they grew up with and coloured by their own experiences playing separately over the last two decades.
With playing live becoming an option again, the hunt for a full band led to Deb O’Brien on bass, and drummer Tonči Vrdoljak completing the lineup. Deb and Tonči quickly injected their personalities into the band’s sound, and established Cell Games as a solid addition to the Dublin metal canon.
Check out their latest single ‘Here’s To Your Bones‘ below…
From witnessing their live shows during the Metal 2 The Masses events, this year there is no question that this band are capable of performing at Bloodstock, thanks to their captivating stage presence in tandem with their ability to cross-pollinate elements of Nu-Metal with soaring melody and a solid Hard Rock/Metal foundation. For more information, please visit this link.
Faint Memory are a Dublin-based metal band, founded by lead guitarist Conor Brown, and vocalist Steven Kelly. The band’s lineup is completed with rhythm guitarist Kyle Wright, bassist Oskar Mozdzierski, and drummer, Charls Roy.
Their official bio describes them as “drawing heavy influence from 80’s thrash, hard-rock and Metalcore, Faint Memory’s sound is diverse and hard-hitting, with a focus on tight, energetic tracks that can get any crowd moving“.
There is no question that the band have a dedicated fan base in place as they have stormed the crowd vote on both of their showcase performances thanks to their energetic live show and the talents of frontman, Kelly.
Currently working on a debut album, Faint Memory show a lot of promise for the future and will, no doubt, be on their A-Game for what will be the most important show of their history on May 13th. For more information, please visit this link.
By far one of the heaviest bands’ to emerge from the Irish underground in the last year. Creators of punishing metallic Hardcore that draws some gritty elements of Bodysnatcher, Malevolence and Jesus Piece, LaVein have simply stunned our Metal 2 The Masses Ireland audiences from the get-go, pummelling anyone that stands in their way.
Self described as; “a combination of hard-hitting slams and breakdowns from modern day Hardcore, with big riffs reminiscent of mid 2000s Metalcore, creating a fresh new-age approach to the genre”
Their new EP ‘Fine Failure‘ has just been released and can be accessed here.
Having only formed last year, Progressive Metal crew, Nebularis have been one of the most talked-about bands on the Irish scene in recent months. Despite their short tenure as a band, their captivating live performances have won judges votes this season, thanks to their well-crafted songs, their musicianship and stage presence.
If you wanted another reason to check out the bands that take part in Metal 2 The Masses Ireland, then Nebularis are a great example of what can be found in the Irish scene. Featuring members, Mó Sheerin (guitars), vocalist Hytham Martin, and drummer, Damian Dziennik, the band site the likes of Devin Townsend, Steve Vai, Karnivool, and Opeth as influence, however with a lean on the concept of film score.
Having released their debut single, ‘Cataclysm‘ and the imminent release of ‘Subnautica‘ (May 19th), Nebularis are a band to watch! Find out more via this link.
Ritual Effect are a band that never disappoints! They understand the concept of a live show and it goes without saying they give 100% when on stage. Imagine a meat-grinder fusing elements of a fuzzed out, angrier ‘Core‘ era Stone Temple Pilots in a bar fight with Alice In Chains and Silverchair, and you’ll come somewhat close.
Check out their latest EP ‘Too Late to Turn Back‘ below:
This three-some have one hell of a stage presence and are not afraid to let everyone in the venue know they are very much in control of the atmosphere. For more information please access this link.
Uragh are one of those bands that you just have to witness live to get the full understanding of their power. Smashing elements of Black Metal with Alternative/Progressive Metal makes for compelling listening, as you just don’t know where they are gonna go with each track and that is half the pleasure of Uragh. Featuring members, vocalist Craig Murphy (ex-Outbreak), Marcelo Varge (ex-Sectile) on guitar, Sebastian Sparr on bass, and Jason Hodgkins on drums, the bands music is a breath of fresh air, to say the least.
As for their live show, it’s about as intense as it gets. For more information, and blast of their three track EP, ‘Samplaí‘ click this link.
The Grand Final special guests will be Dead Label who will be taking to the stage for their first performance in Ireland since 2020.
The band have just released the first of four new singles ahead of their Bloodstock appearance on Sunday, August 13th, where they will be sharing the stage with the likes of Tribulation, Decapitated, Sepultura, Ugly Kid Joe, Helloween and Megadeth.
Check out Dead Label’s latest single, ‘Slaves’ below:
The chosen band will be performing at Bloodstock Open Air this coming August, sharing a bill with the likes of Killswitch Engage, Meshuggah, Megadeth, In Flames, Triptykon, Helloween, Biohazard, Zeal & Ardor, Sacred Reich, Sepultura, Decapitated, Abbath, Knocked Loose, Candlemass, Fit for an Autopsy, and many more…
There will be a live raffle draw on Saturday night for one pair of Bloodstock Open Air weekend camping tickets (a total value of €390.00). Official raffle tickets can be purchased from in front of the sound desk in Fibber Magees, priced at 1 for €5, or 5 for €20.
For more information, please click ‘going’ on the official event link here.
All band photography – Down The Barrel Photography © 2023