Posted on by Oran

Spring is in the air and with the evenings getting just that little bit longer, the signs of Summer are well and truly present, which can only mean one thing. Bloodstock Festival is approaching fast. As Ireland’s chapter of Metal 2 The Masses reaches the halfway mark for all the bands first initial performances, we find ourselves at one of the most difficult heats in recent memory. Step behind the frontline of Irish metal.


With the fourth installment of this year’s Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland about to get underway a sizeable crowd have gathered in the dimly-lit corners of Fibber Magees chatting amongst themselves about their predictions for the evening’s line-up before the clock strikes 8 pm and first band of the evening, Crooked Edge explode from the stage in a hail of energy and unbridled confidence. Front-woman Fiona Garvey literally takes control and stokes the fires that ignite the relationship between band and crowd.


With riffs that are straight out of Clutch‘s back pocket, Crooked Edge smashes through their set, ticking all the boxes for what is proving to be an attention grabbing performance. Highlight tracks ‘Oceans Calling‘ and the recent video single ‘Break Out‘ draw more bodies from the beer garden who file into the venue to see what all the fuss is about. Although a little rough around the edges here and there, Crooked Edge do a stellar job in ripping the lid off the venue and set the bar at a respectable level.

For more information on Crooked Edge, please visit here.


Next up are Marabou. A three-piece from Wexford who has a serious amount of lethal riffs under their collective hoods. Guitarist/frontman Shay Davitt unleashes a battering ram of vocals twinned with buzz-saw six string antics that sound like the bastard son of Prong and White Zombie. With a few glitches with sound from the first track, Marabou hit the rich vein by track three and proceed to just annihilate the crowd throughout the rest of their performance.

A very strong contender who could very well make it all the way to Bloodstock. Marabou has a crushing chemistry that just works. Bassist Kalebh and drummer Tom provide a landscape that allows Davitt’s vocal and guitar artillery to expand the band’s sound to that of the backstreets of New York’s piss-infested punk/hardcore/metal scene of the mid to late 90’s but with a contemporary delivery. A band that needs to be discovered.

For more information on Marabou, visit this location.


With the evening running like clockwork, the third offering of the night comes from the excellent Words That Burn, who create a sound that is reminiscent of Korn and Parkway Drive in places with sonic moments of Bring Me The Horizon and Smashing Pumpkins thrown in for good measure.

Frontman Roni MacRuairi displays an impressive vocal range following his decision to lose his in-ears prior to the performance. Bassist Ger Murphy, guitarist Shane Martin and drummer Jason Christy are on top form as they unleash a setlist of molten bangers taken from their critically acclaimed ‘Regret is for The Dead‘ album which was released last year. Slab after slab of pure Irish metal is dealt out from the lads as they push to raise the bar. With a tour set for March and April already set in stone, you would be mad to not get your earholes filled with this indulgent and highly infectious brand of original Irish ground-cracking metal.


With a set that was simply not long enough, Words That Burn are a band that have all their ducks in a row and are ready to take on the world, one gig at a time.

For more information on Words That Burn, click here.

A quick stage turns around and some busy footfall from bar to beer garden sees a decent gathering of battle jackets adorned with the likes of Suicide Silence, Bring Me The Horizon and a plethora of metalcore bands, which is a good indication of what’s in store for the next 30 mins. Pain In Vain takes to the stage with all the power of a kinetic storm. One of the youngest bands in this year’s campaign, the Dublin five-piece launch into a chaotic assault of riffs which sparks a flurry of activity from the both the lip of the stage (where frontman Mikey O’ Riordan spits and growls his way through the bands crushing sound) and the sizeable front line who are flexing themselves for a setlist of potential bone breakers.


Pain in Vain delivers their music drenched with infectious energy, bringing the younger attendees to the frontline to flex their muscles. Although a little wet behind the ears, the guys pull off an impressive setlist given their nervous disposition which was slightly evident during the beginning of their performance. Catch them at the forthcoming Siege of Limerick this coming April.


For more information on Pain In Vain, click here.


With the final band of the night gearing up for their crack at the whip, the chat amongst the venues punters reflects on the range of genres that we have been treated to across the evening. With a plume of dry ice and the notorious ‘slime’ green lights glowing from the stage, Mother Mooch kick off their groove based fuzz-out brand of stoner rock and it’s just what is needed as we approach the midnight hour. Front-woman Chloë Ní Dhúada drives the ship with her captivating presence and smooth vocals that are as rich as a dark chocolate and as smooth as a fine wine. The desert breeze of winding riffs that emanates from Sid Daly’s SG take the venue on a journey to the peaks of Mother Mooch’s universe and beyond.


Last year’s debut ‘Nocturnes‘ provides the band with a meaty setlist that seduces the Fibber’s audience, keeping the punters fluttering in front of the stage like moths to a gas lamp. A perfect finish to a sensational evening of top quality Irish metal.

With tonight’s crowd vote going to openers, Crooked Edge, the always painful debate of the judge’s vote was a particularly tough one this evening with the decision narrowly going to Mother Mooch who will proceed to the semi-final’s in April.



For the full exclusive gallery for Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses – Heat 4, check out the gallery below. All images by Down The Barrel Photography © 2017.

Oran O’Beirne


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