Yes, folks, the first annual Bloodstock Ireland showcase is just moments away from kicking off, and as the floor space becomes filled to capacity, prior to Dublin-based Metal Core crew, Pain in Vain even strumming a chord, everybody knows that tonight is gonna be special.
Kicking off with spectacular intensity, lead vocalist, Mikey O’Riordan whips the crowd into a frenzy of sweat, denim and wide-eyed excitement as all hell breaks loose at the lip of the stage. This being their third appearance at M2TM Ireland, O’Riordan and Co. know exactly what to do, and tonight they do it better than they’ve ever done in the past.
With bangers such as ‘Beneath Waves‘ and ‘Eye for an Eye‘, Pain in Vain are close to exhausting the crowd – who have been with them every step of the way – adhering to the war cries demanding walls of death, circle pits and all out mayhem. What a way to open up tonights proceedings.
Next up, is former Fornoth vocalist, Daire Coburn with his new ‘One Part Man‘ atmospheric, Melodic Gothic/Doom project, that sees him take to the stage with just his guitar and laptop.
With the crowd still hyped after Pain in Vain’s energetic performance, it takes a few minutes for the crowd to get their hooks into Coburn’s new sound, however once his spine-tingling lower register seeps from the house PA, all eyes are on the solo musician.
One Part Man’s music is both bleak, yet warm, filled with hope, yet utterly heartbreaking, and is just bursting with potential. A few technical issues aside, Coburn’s deep and earthy vocals stun audience members to silence, as he effortlessly glides from a Pete Steel-style baritone to raspy Blackened magnificence. What we witnessed tonight is a blueprint for something truly special. Keep your ears fixed to all future releases, as I believe this seed will grow into something incredible.
Next to grace the stage is Meditative Drone Metal Duo, True Home, who waste no time in igniting the full potential of the house PA’s low end. A continuous hypnotic hum provides a background aesthetic that transports the capacity to far away places on a magic carpet, fuelled by gargantuan riffs that, no doubt, re-arranged the furniture in the Chinese restaurant four doors down the street.
As vocalist/bassist, Declan Beare windmills through a cloud of dry ice and strobe lighting, drummer Charlie Appleby gives the house kit a work over, and you can feel the love for this band swelling by the second. Magnificent stuff indeed.
As the venue surges with punters, Groove/Stoner Rockers, Stone Sea take to the stage and drop one of the performances of the night. Sounding like a bastardised version of Clutch–meets-Crobot–meets-Kyuss, vocalist/guitarist Elvis Suhadolnik Bonesso is clearly happy to be back on stage, commanding a plethora of riffs – dipped in honey – for the ravenous crowd, and wastes no time in keeping a locked-in groove with his bandmates for the duration of their performance.
Stone Sea are a solid outfit that could very well jump on tour with just about anyone and hold their own. How they are not signed to a label and doing just that is beyond me, and a stark reminder of what is so very wrong with the music industry in Ireland today.
Finishing off the night is Spooky/Horror Punks, Lugosi, who, to be honest, were born for shows like this. Brimming with confidence and loveable erratic onstage behaviour, JM Burr commands the crowd with ease, as his bandmates figuratively rip-up the atmosphere and proceed to lay a foundation of good vibes, clever black humour, [anyone catch the Ted Nugent comment?] and of course, kick-ass tunes that were created exactly for situations like this. Beer, good times and Lugosi go well together, and tonight the balance is perfect.
With a close call on the crowd votes, the public decided on Stone Sea, with Lugosi going through to the semi-finals for this April, via the judges vote.
Tickets for Bloodstock Open Air Festival are on sale NOW via this link. Check out the below trailer for this year’s line up…
Heat 2 of Metal 2 The Masses Ireland will take place in Fibber Magees, Parnell Street, Dublin 1 on Saturday, February 5th from 7pm. Admission is FREE.
Click here for the official event link.
All photos – Down The Barrel Photography © 2022