Posted on by Oran

The last of the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland semi-finals finally arrives in the capital’s iconic Fibber Magees venue, marking another astounding year showcasing Irish metal. As always, Overdrive was there, front and centre to document, what has now become one of the most important events in the flourishing underground Irish music scene. Step inside…

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Having started back in January, the last of the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland events is about to get underway with the final five hopefuls, who are all gunning for their place in this year’s final on May 12th.

With a crisp and bright Saturday evening winding down, the dark interior of Fibber Magees holds an electrifying charge in the air for both bands and punters who flock to the stage to witness tonights opening band.

Taking to the stage first is Dublin-based grunge/rock five-piece CREEP, who waste absolutely no time in raising the bar for what can only be a very tough show considering what’s at stake.


Vocalist Jason McGuinness knows just what to do as he leads the charge towards the Bloodstock dream followed by brother Layne McGuinness (drums), Liam Noctor (lead guitar) Jake O’Reilly (rhythm guitar) and bassist, James Kearney.

With touches of Alice In Chains here and there, especially with McGuinness’s vocal ability, CREEP can certainly write a good tune. Their solid arrangements grip the audience by the neck and take them on a journey into a textured, melody-driven abyss of captivating tracks, that very quickly win over the increasing audience.

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Two unexpected power-cuts during the band’s performance didn’t phase them one bit, as they simply handled it with the utmost professionalism and picked up where they left off, much to the approval of the audience who gave their deafening support throughout the bands setlist.

CREEP have a wealth of talent under their collective belts and seeing them blossom on the M2TM stage over the last few years is a reminder of just how focused and mature these guys have become. Whether they make it to Bloodstock or not, there is no question that these guys will be a major force in the Irish rock/metal scene in the coming years.

For more information on CREEP, please visit this link.

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Following swiftly along we are graced with the presence of Immaculate Deception. Their captivating blend of hardcore/punk and metal blasts through the venue like a powder keg explosion and it’s fucking glorious!

Vocalist Declan Caffery stands centre stage and unloads a spectacular performance that is loaded with visceral and venom. With tracks such as ‘Beat of the Craw‘, ‘A Lesson in War‘, ‘Chemical Warfare‘ and ‘Spoils of War‘ up their sleeves, Immaculate Deception have one thing in mind, and that is to rip your fucking head clean off.

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The intensity of Immaculate Deception’s performance has upped the game considerably tonight with some members of the other bands looking a tad nervous, and the truth is, I don’t blame them. The band’s debut EP, ‘Spoils of War’ is a burning hot slab of gnarly, brutal brilliance and when witnessed live, there is simply no turning back.

For more information on Immaculate Deception, please visit this link.



Switching up genres again, Jet Fuel Chemistry take to the stage and uncage a setlist of high energy hard rock grenades, that detonate throughout the venue like a scene from Apocalypse Now. Their stage presence is turned up to 11 and packed with enough punches that at times it’s hard to know where to look!

Vocalist Dan Cusack works the lip of the stage like a man possessed, much to the delight of the throngs of punters who embrace every riff and lick that pours from the house PA. Jet Fuel Chemistry are tight-as-fuck tonight and bring a whirlwind of mammoth riffs to the Fibbers stage thanks to Lorcan Macken (guitars), David O’Grady (guitars), Danny Bochkov (bass) and Martin Killeen (drums).

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Whatever the outcome of tonight’s showcase, these lads are having the time of their lives and clearly enjoy playing under the intense, burning stage lights for the sweaty masses!

For more information on Jet Fuel Chemistry, please visit this link.

With the evening’s performances flying by, we find ourselves awaiting the start of this years ‘ Judges Wildcard’ choice, and without any warning, Rouen, open up the venue with such intensity that I don’t believe we have witnessed in all the five years of Ireland’s Metal 2 The Masses campaigns.

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Vocalist, Andy Fitzpatrick surges through the venue marking his territory like a rabid animal. Behind him, his bandmates lay down a plethora of heavy-as-fuck riffs that could literally take down a mountain or two.

Rouen’s backbone is held together by bassist Alex Sherry and drummer Morgan Beasuang as they rip out the low-end defence, pummelling the Fibber’s audience with each offering. Tracks such as Borrowed, Matches, Void and Breed leave the place in ribbons and it’s only when they tear into ‘Young Light‘ that the intensity goes one step beyond.


Having truly torn the bollocks off tonight’s audience, Rouen finishes off with Fitzpatrick hanging from the ceiling, as all manner of chaos unfolds behind him. It would seem that Rouen are deadset on bringing their chaos to Bloodstock and who are we to argue with them.


For more information on Rouen, please visit this link.

The last band of the night to flex their potential Bloodstock muscles is non-other than Wexford natives, Marabou who crack open their performance with “These Creeps” and instantly grab the audience by their necks!

Vocalists Shay Davitt and Aaron Gaffey throw themselves into the performance with unbridled passion, as do bandmates Tom Lacey (drums) and Kalebh Grocock (bass), which sends ripples of intensity from the Fibber’s stage all the way through the venue.


We are treated to ‘Skywalker‘, ‘Gimps‘, ‘Rise‘ and ‘Mr. Architect‘ accompanied by Marabou’s furious and captivating stage presence, which blasts the heads off the first few rows of punters, some of which are clinging to the monitors as they offer themselves to the fantastic tapestry of sonic brutality from the band.

Everytime I see Marabou, they outdo their previous performance and tonight they might have just reached a new level of awesome. Fucking glorious performance from a stellar band. Watch this space!

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For more information on Marabou, please visit this link.

While the judges deliberate the decision and count up the official crowd votes, it’s time for tonights special guests to bring the misery to the stage. What a year 2017 was for Lisburn three-piece, The Crawling. Having recently opened for Satyricon in Dublin’s Tivoli Theatre, the bands growing success has been a welcome sight for anyone that knows just how hard these chaps work.

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Tonight, they do not disappoint and as they open with ‘An Immaculate Deception‘, vocalist Andy Clarke brings his menacing stage persona to the surface and unloads his lungs over the wonderfully sinister audio backdrop provided by bassist Stuart Rainey and drummer Gary Beattie.

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With tracks such as ‘The Right to Crawl‘ and ‘Catatonic‘ oozing from the PA, the crowd are transfixed by the sinister, hypnotic brilliance of The Crawling and rightfully so. Without a doubt, one of the best metal bands in the country right now, who have most likely not even reached the top of their game yet.

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With all performances now over with, the announcement is made for the final two bands who will be joining Black Dawn Rising, Sectile This Place Hell and Element X for a slot at this year’s Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland final on Saturday, May 12th.

The outcome was as follows;




Join us for the final on May 12th for the last event of the M2TM Ireland calendar when Bloodstock booking agent Simon Hall will be present to hand-pick the winning band who will be representing Ireland at this year Bloodstock Open Air Festival in Catton Hall, Derbyshire UK.

Metal 2 The Masses Semi Final C  – Photo Gallery © Down The Barrel Photography 2018


Oran O’Beirne

© 2018