REVIEW – BLOODSTOCK IRELAND METAL 2 THE MASSES: HEAT 5, 29/02/03

Posted on by Oran


As we bid our farewells to February with a sigh of relief, yet another storm has decided to make itself known across the Emerald Isle but that doesn’t detour the punters who make their way to the venue to witness five more showcases from some of the best underground metal bands Ireland has to offer…

The night kicks off with Eziekiels, a sort of hybrid djent/electronic, dubstep beast with a humungous sound.

Having seen their masks on their socials and in their music videos, tonight they choose to perform without the visual aids tonight and just focus on the music which is a shame as I do love a bit of theatrics.

Technically impressive and loaded with breakdowns, Eziekiels have some absolute skyscraping bombastic moments that reverberate throughout the venue and the crowd is loving it.

With a setlist that is about 95% instrumental, the band consisting of Rony Jabronie (Producer/Guitar), BigDaddyMoo (Guitar), Keybal (Launchpad), Tony Power (Bass)
and Danko (Drums) occupy every inch of the stage and rip through their set in a sonic blur of super-charged electro energy. A very refreshing band that I believe is still growing with huge potential in front of them. Watch this space…

Waring a bright red Kimono, Peasant to a King vocalist Ben Doyle is feeling giddy-as-fuck. Whether is a nervous thing or is genuinely brimming with excitement, his switch is flicked as soon as the band open up their campaign for a slot at this year’s semi-finals and he transforms an overlord general commanding the pure fucking chaos that is unfolding in front of him and his band of merry men.

Yes, folks Peasant to a King simply levels the place. A bloodthirsty mob of lunatics wreak absolute carnage in the pit and there is literally nowhere to hide. Bodies are flung, twisted and battered from the very first track and it just doesn’t let up.

Finishing with ‘Selfish’, Peasant to a King know that they’ve set the bar at a considerable height and wrap up their performance before a now exhausted audience. Great stuff!

Next up is Spirit Merchant, featuring members of zhOra, Coroza and Medicant who bring their heavy, progressive doom/sludge to the stage and proceed to lead us all into a wormhole of splendour. Fronted by guitarist  Colin Bolger (zhOra), Spirit Merchant displays a multi-layered variety of sonic slabs that has tones of light and shade in the structure.

Slow heavy arrangments that suddenly burst into a galloping pace are served up in good measure and as Bolger empties his soul into the atmosphere, the audience is transfixed and rightfully so. Having only been in operation since last year, their concoction of Neurosis meets Yob is truly spellbinding. Keep an eye out for their next live show. You won’t be disappointed.

Having seen Vendetta Love blossom over the last few years, with a few lineup changes along the way, tonight was the performance that changed everything. The four-piece just slaughter the venue almost immediately with their dark, emotionally-charged setlist.

Sounding better than ever, it’s obvious that the band are focused, connected and determined to take it all the way to Bloodstock and it shows.

Tonight, Venetta Love show us all why they are on their way to becoming something far bigger than the average live band. They have the look, the sound and the attitude to break out of the Irish scene onto an international platform and beyond. If you’ve not seen them in action then I urge you to invest your time and see for yourself.

Capping off the last performance of the night is Wexford-based Death Can Wait who truly know how to blend a multitude of styles in their music. Vocalist Brian Colfer is gifted with an ability to flex his vocals from guttural to clean at the drop of a hat, and as they get on with the task at hand, the venue responds with growing interest.

With two singles already released (‘Left‘ and ‘Wreck Age‘), we have been told an EP is due to drop in the coming months, so make sure to keep your ears and eyes ready for that.

If tonight is anything to go by, Death Can Wait is most definitely a band that has no intention on resting on their laurels. Another welcome addition to the flourishing Irish metal scene that is brimming with potential.

With the judges and crowd votes in order, the announcement comes (as always) at the end of the night and the results are as follows:

Crowd – Peasant to a King

Judges – Vendetta Love

Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland will continue with Heat 6 on Saturday, March 14th with performances from Craven, Eternal Helcaraxe, Fornoth, Plúchadh and Stone Sea.

Two more bands will progress to the semi-finals and YOU get to take part and decide. Join us for the next showcase. Admission is FREE and official voting is just €3.50.

Photo Gallery by Down The Barrel Photography © 2020. 

Oran O’Beirne www.overdrive.ie © 2020