On Saturday last we roared into the second half of the six heats that would determine this year’s semi –finalists for the Irish chapter of the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses franchise. So far this year I have been met with very varied styles of rock and metal and performances ranging from over the top exuberance to apologetic shyness. What makes this such a special event is not only the fact that one band from our country will get the opportunity to play at Bloodstock 2015 but that all the bands are getting fantastic exposure and the chance to play alongside each other and develop and improve from the experience.
Road Rash from Roscrea is selected in the bingo ball lottery to be the first band to play. They are a very tight four piece and are crisp and tight in their performance. The keyboards seem a little lost in the mix at times, but when they are rocking they carry a sweet swagger. Mid-paced crushing riffs and clean toned solos abound in their set which draws a nice response from the crowd. Snowblind are Dublin’s equivalent to a prog Motorhead. There are not enough adjectives to describe the power and technical precision of this band. How a three piece makes such a joyous racket is beyond me. During the last song one of Jake’s cymbal stands takes a tumble from the ferocity of the onslaught. This is the most memorable performance of the evening and Snowblind will be a force to be reckoned with in the Semi Final.
Pushing Snowblind very hard for the most memorable performance tag is Devolted. Bassist/singer Rafal exudes the confidence of a man with metal flowing through his veins. A frontman who commands the stage as if he was playing to a thousand faces. Their classic heavy metal sound is lapped up by the crowd with a voracious fervour and they in turn grow in confidence. There has been a massive improvement with this band from last year’s competition and M2TM Ireland has to be thankful to any band who learned from previous events and progressed themselves to be ready for the next chance. This is my first time catching Chemical Sacrament who on first appearances look like a thrash band but sometimes you cannot judge a book by its cover. Chemical Sacrament does have thrash leanings but their black metal leanings are a welcome distraction on the evening. They are a young band that is developing a harsh caustic sound that I for one, will be interested to see in the future.
I missed the end of the Enshrined set and the beginning of the Conscriptor set due to a First-Aid incident that needed assistance. Hey! people bled for Bloodstock on Saturday night. The reason for said excursion is the intensity of the mosh pits during both Enshrined and Conscriptor who nail everyone to the rafters with their high tempo, aggressively riff laden constructions. Both bands have a solid fan base and on the night made the judges decisions extrememly hard.
At heat 4, the crowd vote went to the affluent Devolted and the judges vote went to scintillating Snowblind.
PlanetMosh caught up with the two bands in the aftermath. Here’s what they had to say
Devolted – Dominik Tokarski
For people hearing about Devolted for the first time. Tell us about yourselves?
Devolted is a 4 piece, Polish/Irish hybrid nothing like the Toyota Prius. It’s like McLaren P1- kick ass and aerodynamic. We have Krazy Guy on the drums, a fancy looking dude on the vocals and two amazing shredders on guitars.
This is your second time playing Metal 2 The Masses. How was your experience of the first step on the road to Bloodstock and do you feel you learned from being in last year’s showcase?
Since we’ve played our first gig in the Bloodstock competition we have learned that stage presence and performance is very important and that’s what we’ve been trying to concentrate on.
Devolted won the crowd vote at Heat 4, guaranteeing a Semi Final place. How did it feel getting to the next stage and what can we expect in the Semi from you?
Cant stop the power. It felt great to go through. We were very impressed with the crowds energy and hope they that they are gonna do as much drugs as they did this time. What can you expect from us in semi finals? Lasers and shit!
Would you recommend taking part in M2TM to other bands for future years?
Definitely! If you know how to play them tunes, kick ass and you think you’ve got the chops. Apply, because next year the winner gets a life time supply of condoms and a mail bride. We’ll see you all on the 25th of April!!! Rock on
Snowblind – Jake McCarthy
For people hearing about Snowblind for the first time. Tell us about yourselves?
Well we are a three piece band from Dublin who play progressive old school heavy metal with a sprinkle of thrash. We were once described as the lovechild of Megadeth and Rush, and I suppose that’s the kind of sound that we’re going for. We released an EP last year called “Existence Is Futile” and since then we have been gigging as much a possible. We’re currently very busy writing the follow up to “Existence” with the hope of a release sometime in this year. In the meantime we will be playing some of the new material at our upcoming gigs.
This is your second time playing Metal 2 The Masses. How was your experience of the first step on the road to this year’s Bloodstock and how is the experience compared to last year
We had a blast playing our heat this year. Our set time was kind of early so we were a little worried that there might not be much of a crowd, but we were pleasantly surprised as the place was packed and the atmosphere was fantastic. We enjoyed every second of it, even the part where a cymbal stand gave me a kiss. To me it seems that this year M2TM has more of a buzz about it. People are making the effort to turn up to the gigs and support the local bands and it really makes such a huge difference. Nobody likes playing to an empty room, and you’re almost guaranteed that won’t happen at these gigs.
Snowblind won the judges’ vote at Heat four, guaranteeing a Semi Final place. How did it feel getting to the next stage and what can we expect in the Semi from you?
We’re delighted to have gotten through. Every band on the night played an absolutely cracking set so we were very grateful to be chosen by the judges to go on to the semis. We’re bringing all the guns next time. You won’t see us for the next month because we’ll be locked away in the practice room rehearsing and writing until our eyes bleed, leaving only to replenish supplies of noodles and shitty beer. We hope to debut a new song at the gig as well. We’re really looking forward to playing again.
Where can we hear your music?
You can download or listen to our EP on our bandcamp page or like us on facebook. Cheers!