Posted on by Oran

As we continue through the heats for the 2016 Ireland Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses, Overdrive takes stock of last Saturday night’s performances from the five bands who took part. Get the full breakdown of what happened, accompanied by a fantastic gallery of photo’s from Down The Barrel Photography. Bloodstock Open Air is fast approaching and one of these bands could possibly be taking to the New Blood stage at this years gathering in Catton Hall, Derbyshire in August!

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The third night of the heats to play at Bloodstock Open Air 2016 rolls around, and the buzz in Fibber Magees on Dublin’s Parnell Street is palpable. Another 5 bands from all corners of Ireland get ready to tackle the M2TM judges and the audience combined, to win the ultimate prize – a chance to enter the international circuit on BOA’s New Blood stage, where Irish bands like Animator, Snowblind, Dead Label and Psykosis have previously waged war on the world. Overdrive’s Shaun Martin, was on-site to give the lowdown on another blistering night of mayhem and metal.

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Due to an unforeseen occurrence, there were a few replacements on the bill for tonight. From 2015’s competition, AggroCulture were originally supposed to play, but in steps Ainriail instead to kick us off tonight. The doomy, sludge-metal duo from Dublin show some amazing technical ability in the midst of a slight tech malfunction at the start. Bassist Eric and drummer Tommy ,both share vocal duties during their set. Their sound is dirty and heavy, but I feel personally it would benefit from a guitar being added to balance out their power. Eric wows with some very impressive bass chord-driven riffs, as the off-beat but perfectly timed drum sets mix well to deliver their signature bone-shaking tunes. Songs like “ManBastard” and “Wasteland” have drum beats that catch you off-guard. You don’t actually know where the song will change and that’s like a breath of air in a stale room. There is a lot of originality in their music and I think that it’s a welcome addition to the folds in Irish metal.

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Second in the list (and another change in the line-up), is Svet Kant, from Argentina and Dublin, replacing another 2015 competitor, who was originally billed tonight, WithinWithout. Like Ainriail, they are both very technical and original. Their songs flow from one extreme to the next – at one point you could be listening to headbanging, speeding metal power riffs, and in a heartbeat, you have delicate arpeggios with finger-picking, flamenco style, to something that resembles a choir in a cathedral, then back to ripping metal. It’s interesting stuff to see such a wide variety of musical styles so fluidly delivered in one set. They’re totally different to anything else in this competition so far. There is also an envious partnership on both guitars that belong on the road, touring with a bigger band and I hope that happens to Svet Kant. There were a few feedback issues, but nothing can be deducted from this group. They love what they do, and they put in the hard graft. Top marks!

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Things get heavy and fast with Twisted Wrath. Bass player/singer Patrick Fitzgerald lets rip at the crowd with ferocity as guitarist/shredder Colin Dunne mangles his fingers at lightning speed along the fretboard. Drummer/thunder impersonator, David Mahony supplies the backbone to this audio assault. It sounds like a welcome return to 80’s era thrash, which spawned so many giants of metal – many of whom I have no doubt are being imitated right now on this stage. Twisted Wrath are a young band with a love of old-school metal and it oozes character, going by their performance here. They are just a class act. There is little I can say about them that doesn’t describe them as amateur – they’re pretty fucking far from amateur! They’re solid and tight, the way a metal band should be and the crowd love them. They kicked ass here tonight and get the liveliest reaction thus far.

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Next up is The Tailor Made. If music was a blanket, I’d say TTM would wrap themselves in it and roll around on the floor. They’re very animated on stage – obviously revelling in their chance to play at M2TM. They’re heavy, fast and tight. Each man on stage acts like it’s the last night of his life, as the sheer enjoyment is written all over their faces! Their music is a little lighter in style, than the other bands tonight, although by their 3rd song “Dreamteam”, we finally see a moshpit. I would love to see these guys on a bigger stage because their stage personalities are perfect for this type of environment and it’s only a matter of time before big things start to happen for this band. Definitely one to watch out for in the future. The end decision will be tough for the judges to make, as the depth and sheer gravity of the acts so far has been outstanding as always but there’s one more band left to play.

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Saint Slaughter, another band from last year’s competition, are back to run the mile again. This thrash metal workhorse, has been an underground favourite for quite a while. In true slaughtering form, they rip Fibber Magees to shreds with their unapologetic anger at the world. Their second song “Resist The System”, is a perfect example of this and has a catchy and dazzling riff in its belly, one that is memorable and bright. Obvious Metallica fans, they dig in deep and put on an outstanding performance as always. I caught up with them at last year’s competition for a few minutes and they’re still a bang-on bunch of dudes. I always like seeing these guys in action and they never disappoint and as a punter seeing a band like this, one can be forgiven for thinking that there are unsigned bands on that stage. We had no repeats of last year, when a broken string forced a quick change in their set-list but that is a distant memory this year. Saint Slaughter came and slaughtered. Job done.

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Another night over, and another decision to make. It’s times like these you dread, because it could mean the making of one band and the breaking of anther. But as with nature, only the best conquer all. The crowd vote goes to The Tailor Made, and once again, the judges vote narrowly to give Saint Slaughter the nod to proceed to the next round. Quickly following the announcement of the next heat on Feb 20th is a competition to give away tickets to Slipknot and Suicidal Tendencies in Belfast on Feb 15th. So another heat is over and we look forward to heat 4 with Zhora, Alpheidae, Ten Ton Slug, Devolted, and Emigra. This competition is getting heated – we can’t wait to see who wins!

For more information on Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland 2016, just click on the graphic below!


Words – Shaun Martin

Photography – Down The Barrel Photography © 2016



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Following in the footsteps of WARPATH (2013), PSYKOSIS (2014), ANIMATOR (2015), DEAD LABEL (2015) and SNOWBLIND (2015), the 2016 winning band will be representing Ireland at this years Bloodstock Open Air Festival on August 11th through 14th in Derbyshire, U.K and will e featured on the same bill as SLAYER, MASTODON, GOJIRA, BEHEMOTH, TWISTED SISTER, VENOM, ANTHRAX, FEAR FACTORY and many more! (See festival information at the bottom of this post). Check out Animator killin’ it at last years festival on the video below.