Saturday 10th May was the final of the Bloodstock Metal to the Masses Ireland competition. So, while most people were at home watching the Eurovision (Gobshites), Fibber Magees was packed with metal lovers, coming to show their support for all the bands vying for a spot on the Bloodstock stage.
Although there was some relief in the competition drawing to an end, it also brought home the realisation that only one band would make it to Bloodstock. Considering the level of talent all of these bands possess, chosing the winner was going to be a difficult task for presiding judge, Simon Hall.
As per the usual procedure, names were pulled out of a hat to see which band would perform first. Killface were first up on the night. They exploded on to the stage in their usual anarchic and aggressive way. They delivered a great set to a packed venue with many sporting a Killface t-shirt. There’s always a fear of the crowd persevering themselves at such an early stage of the night (takes a few beers to loosen the neck joints) but there was great a crowd response. Killface always put in a strong performance and Saturday was no exception.
Second on the night were AeSect. They’re a truly fantastic band with an impressive and refreshing energy. You always kind of have to pick your mouth up off the floor when you’re watching these guys. Whether it’s the intensity with which they play that gets you catching flies or just the crowd’s blatant disregard for health and safety, either way you’ll be in awe. The crowd surfing, moshing, wall of death and head banging were the crowd’s tribute to AeSect, who put in a great performance on the night.
Dead Label were third on the night. The three -piece took to the stage and played with their usual, unwavering ferocity. Their set was tight and all songs were delivered with an unrelenting fury and sincerity. Dead label are a band that continues to get heavier as they progress. They played a new track on the night ‘Void’ which like the rest of the tracks was well received and memorable. Similarly to the two bands before them, Dead label definitely had the crowd with them throughout the set.
Then the champions of the night, Psykosis, took to the stage. Watching them play is always an experience and they always manage to bring a fun element to their set. With songs about Zombies and Beer, they’re sure to be able to please a vast majority of the audience. With that said they have genuine talent so while it is fun it’s not a joke. They performed to a violent sea of patches and denim – without a doubt they had the best crowd reaction of the night. They’ll be a fantastic addition to the Bloodstock line-up! Congrats to the mad thrashers.
Next on the night were Alpheidae. I had never seen this band before so wasn’t too sure what to expect from them. They definitely didn’t disappoint. They played a strong animated set and kept the crowd alive and focused. Sweaty lead singer Clavin’s, guttural growl takes the unassuming by surprise but his leadership is matched by the intensity of his young bandmates. They’ll definitely be back next year even stronger.
Theories Divide were last to take the stage. This Dublin four piece were one of the bands that had the biggest crowd behind them which illustrates their popularity. They wouldn’t really be my preferred style but they definitely gave it their all and put on a solid show with Garreth Quinn being a consummate frontman engaging and encouraging their rabid fans. On the night, Theories Divide won a generously donated EPK which will be great for them in progressing their march for world domination.
So, Psykosis will be representing Ireland at this year’s Bloodstock!! Fair play lads. Congratulations again to them. While it’s great to be able to send one band over, it’s still incredibly disappointing to see the other bands left behind. With that said, the judges were seriously impressed with the skill level and talent of the bands in the final, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see all the finalists have their day on the Bloodstock stage sometime in the near future.
Big pat on the back due to everyone involved in organising the events – Oran O’Beirne and Kev Kirwan at Overdrive made it all happen and our own Steve Dempsey at Down the Barrel Photography making everyone look RAPIH!
Thanks to Overdrive for permission to use the photos in our review