If “bracing oneself for a bumpy ride” could be tangibly assessed, it would definitely apply to what transpired on Saturday night in Fibber Magees on March 12th. Of the first 5 bands to hit the stage, Enshrined are first. I actually arrived halfway through their first song thanks to a traffic jam on the Quays by the River Liffey, but I’m gobsmacked at the volume of people here at 8.30pm on a Saturday night. Fibbers is wedged!
Enshrined are one of those bands who can turn a church choir into a fucking bloodbath in a heartbeat, as fron-tman Sam Gorman towers over the audience and bellows out his commands. There is a pit from start to finish and the Dublin 4-piece set the bar for what other bands must beat. And this ain’t gonna be a walk in the park kids… I’ll tell you that for nothing. There are some fine chunky riffs with brutal breakdowns and crashes thrown in for good measure. The reception is incredible by the crowd and Enshrined are well on their way to bigger and better things in their career.
Pethrophia are a madcap bunch of headers from Cork. New to the Metal 2 The Masses scene, their dedication cannot be questioned. Their opening song ‘Anal Circumference’ draws a bit of raised eyebrows around the room, followed by a hearty laugh, followed by a circle pit. Maniacal singer Chris rocks his socks off in front of everyone, gyrating provocatively and repeatedly shouting in Spanish (?). Their lead guitarist though, is a different fucking animal completely. The third song of their set-list combines sweep-picking with tapping licks on a massive solo. It would make Joe Satriani’s hair stand on end (if he had any, but since he doesn’t, it’ll never happen. Satch, you’re safe enough!). I think at one point Chris jumps off the stage and rugby tackles a punter in the middle of one of the mosh-pits. It’s hard to tell because there are so many people around and I’m not the biggest guy in the room. Progressive thrash would best define their style but it’s infused with primal ferocity. I don’t really know how else to explain it.
The people have turned out in droves to see next band, Call To Arms. They have pushed their appearance so much, it says a lot for the power of social media in the underground metal scene. The lads don’t know the meaning of practice makes perfect. They only know the meaning of PERFECT practice makes perfect. They only know the meaning of PERFECT practice makes perfect. And that’s what they sound like. Call To Arms supported Fozzy last year at Fibbers and it was every bit as heavy. Frontman Dean Donnelly snarls at the mic and his commanding presence is the perfect outlet for this otherwise quiet kid.
This is their first gig of the year so far and if this is the marker that they have put for themselves in March, it’s gonna be some year. They thank all the other bands but are under no illusions as to the reasons that they are here tonight. A: get crowd votes, B: win a nomination to progress to the semi final, C:…..well that’s it actually. Their determination onstage has whetted the appetites of all around from near and far, and now Fibbers is rammed! Donnelly only has to move his arms in a ‘Moses-parting-the-Red-Sea’ gesture before the audience splits down the middle and runs at each other. This is a brutal night and I know there were more than just a few sore bodies in the morning after this.
But we’re not done yet.
Damage Assessment has a history of M2TM entry and just making a holy mess all over the club. Usually consisting of body parts, this is no different. At one point the venue is a sea of devil horns thrust into the sky, with a rhythmic bobbing of heads to boot. It’s like there are punters standing on scattered pneumatic platforms and they’re breaking down in the middle of lifting people up. But it’s all synchronised. It’s hard to describe, but Damage Assessment are killing it tonight. The infusion of heavy metal and hard rock is keeping the pit violence alive and well (I don’t know if an emergency department would agree if that’s a good thing or not). However, the night is taxing on the punters and this isn’t a good time to be tired. I see a few weary heads stop the madness to catch their breath as Damage Assessment plough on.
Finally, Minus Ten Thousand Hours slowly make their way to the stage. I expected a bit more from their intro at the time, and was thinking “hang on a tic, this was much heavier last time I saw-“, and that was the end of that thought, because the noise was deafening. It sounded like thunder rolling off the back end of Satan’s shoulders. The bass player is losing his shit onstage and it looks as though energy is feeding into his audience, because they’re doing the same thing. It’s hard to classify the genre of metal that Metal 2 The Masses fit into – like a cluster-fuck of each of the best bands around and thrown into a tumble dryer.
Out comes clarity, fury and talent, but in heavy metal form. I can see those weary heads get up and give it another crack at seeing if they can manage to hospitalize themselves before midnight in the mosh-pit. The music is bruising – definitely in the right place at the right time, and the band are hip deep in it. A few beers are spilled, and the devil horns g up. It’s another great band able to top the night off with a great performance.
So after 5 bands have laid it all on the line, the moment of truth arrives. Call to Arms absolutely steams ahead with a massive crowd vote (note to all future bands reading this: advertising is everything. Push, push, push, because nobody will do it for you!). And yet another close call with Enshrined landing the judges vote.
Watch this space folks because shit’s about to get real. Real soon.
Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Irealand will be entering into the semi-finals for the next round of performances. Semi Final A will be taking place tomorrow night in Fibber Magees on Parnell Street in Dublin 1. We will see performances from the following bands;
Doors at 7.30pm | Admission €5.00. For more information, please click on the graphic link below.
Photography – Down The Barrel Photography
© OVERDRIVE 2016
METAL 2 THE MASSES IRELAND HEAT 7 – GALLERY 12/03/16
TICKETS FOR BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR ARE ON SALE NOW. CLICK THE GRAPHIC BELOW TO ATTEND THE BEST METAL FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR!
Tune into The Cranium Titanium Radio show on Monday 21st March at 8pm for exclusive interviews with Ireland Metal 2 The Masses semi-finalists AeSect, Enshrined and Call To Arms.