Posted on by Oran

With the smell of the hallowed Bloodstock mud from Catton Park almost wafting in the air, the excitement within the ranks of the Ireland Metal 2 The Masses team is building with anticipation and apprehension. This years series of events have been beyond anything that we could have expected and with so much more yet to give, M2TM 2015 will most definitely be one for the history books.


The Wildcard night had all the signs of being a show of force when it came to the bands taking part and boy, did they not disappoint! With a line up of mixed genres from Chemical Sacrament, to Corr Mhóna, there are enough flavors of Metal here tonight to please even the most difficult of Metal punters.


First up tonight is Chemical Sacrament, who waste no time in blasting into their set with a dirty cross pollinated Black Metal / Thrash approach. With tongue in cheek song titles that are reminiscent of S.O.D, the band do their very best to set the bar for the rest of the evenings performances. A somewhat awkwardness descends upon the stage between each song as singer Gordo Casey seems slightly uncomfortable when breaking the ice with the crowd. However this does not effect the sheer brutality that Chemical Sacrament are capable of and when they steer more towards the Black Metal compositions they show a very promising future as perhaps more Black than Thrash.

Find out more on Chemical Sacrament here.


Next to grace the stage is Enshrined, who bust out of the gates with a huge sound, that is pulsing with raw energy and huge riffs. These guys are hungry for Bloodstock and let everybody that stands before them know about it. With a support slot for Evil Scarecrow on Saturday (April 11th), Enshrined are clearly focused on melting faces and breaking necks! Guitarist Conor Spierin is a blur of ferocious hair and mountain sized riffs, all the while bassist Dharma Cosgrove and drummer Jamie Sweetman relentlessy batter the living shite out of the rhythm section. Vocalist Sam Gorman commands the stage and gives Enshrined a personality (which is vital), by addressing the crowd and keeping the energy levels on attack mode. As a result, we see the first bit of pit activity for the night which is always a good indication and as the band hammer through their set it becomes apparent that they have set the bar very high for the rest of the bands performing tonight.

Find out more on Enshrined here.


With a truck load of Thrash riffs parked out the back of Fibber’s, Exzeltic hit the stage and are set to destroy from the get go. There is no end to the assault that they release from the stage with hints of Megadeth and Death Angel here and there and the odd drop of Forbidden, Exzeltic offer nothing but pure quality and sound sharper than a butchers carving knife. Fast becoming one of the must see Thrash bands on the Irish Metal scene, Exzeltic have massive potential in becoming something very big indeed. Should you have the opportunity to witness them live, then do so. You won’t be disappointed!

Find out more on Exzeltic here.


As we reach the halfway mark of the night, we welcome on stage Alabaster, the four piece Metal outfit from Co. Meath. With their return to the M2TM stage, the band are focused and have their sites firmly fixed on the semi finals. Their performance is solid, like being repeatedly punched in the face (in a good way). Vocalist Connor Donnelly works the stage to his advantage as he stomps, spits and retches out his tremendous vocal ability all the while band members, Luck Moore (Bass), Colin Brady (Guitar) and Dónal Bowens (Drums) do their very best to level Fibber’s. Alabaster are one of those bands that make the judges decision very, very difficult indeed. Displaying a refreshing sound that pays homage to everything from Metallica to Refused, to Black Sabbath and beyond you would be insane not to get pulled in and loose your shit to these guys. A band like Alabaster, are a reflection of just how rich the Irish Metal scene is with quality talent.

For more information on Alabaster, click here!


A band that has very much been on the tip of everybody’s tongue since we first witnessed them earlier in the M2TM heats. Corr Mhóna are hard to classify in terms of genre, but who cares about that when your being knocked over by a sound that could not only move mountains, but could literally split the very foundations of the earth you stand on. Hailing from West Cork, the four piece launch into a performance that literally pulls people from all over the venue to the front of the stage like Zombie moths to a burning flame. There is a certain something with Corr Mhóna, that has the ability to almost take you to another place and hold you in a sort of suspended animation. Huge, monstrous riffs seep from the stage like black tar, all the while swallowing up all in it’s path. Corr Mhóna are a band that just NEEDS to be listened to and seen live. They weave between slow doom laden riffs and steady uptempo musical passages that bring the listener into the unknown. More of this please!

For more information on Corr Mhóna, click here!


Our final band of the night, Conscriptor are here to do one thing and one thing only. To level the place! The five piece Thrash band hit the stage and open up a bucket of berserker with vocalist Gary Fitzpatrick doing his very best to contain the hurricane that is bursting inside his lungs as his vocal power is shaking glasses behind the bar counter. Having only been together for a year, Conscriptor are not a band to be fucked with. They have a real dirty sound that has traces of everything from Overkill to early Metallica, topped off with a more contemporary vocal delivery. No doubt a great band that would do some serious damage on the New Blood stage at this years Bloodstock, Conscriptor are dead set on going all the way and if you plan in standing in their way, your fucked! Awesome.

With all bands having put on a performance that is totally worthy of reaching the Metal 2 The Masses Irish semi finals, there can only be two bands selected tonight and with only one vote allowed for the judges, the remaining band’s future is held in the hands of the crowd. The following bands will proceed to the semi finals:

Judges Vote –  Enshrined

Crowd vote – Corr Mhóna

The Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland Semi Finals will be taking place on Saturday April 18th with performances from VILE REGRESSION, WITHIN WITHOUT, LACE WEEPER, THE DEVIL WANTS HER SWAGGER BACK, ALPHEIDAE, NAUTILUS and CORR MHONA.

Admission is €5 and each punter will receive a voting slip upon entry. For more information hit the link below:


Check out some of the cool promo videos that the bands have made for the Semi Final A show. Also please find Down The Barrel Photography gallery below.






Words – Oran O’Beirne

Photography – Steve Dempsey: Down The Barrel Photography © 2015