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Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Northern Ireland Heat Three – Band Interviews

PlanetMosh continues its support for the Northern Ireland leg of the annual Metal 2 The Masses competition – which gives the winners a slot on the New Blood stage at Bloodstock – by interviewing the participants in heat number three, which takes place at Belfast’s Voodoo on Thursday (March 12).  Once again, in the interests of equity and fairness, the bands are interviewed in alphabetical order, with each one also being asked exactly the same set of questions…

Baleful Creed (questions answered by guitarist John Allen)

Baleful CreedCan you briefly tell us who you are, where you’re from and how long you’ve been going?

We are based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and formed around the tail end of 2008 with Fin Finlay on vocals/guitar and myself on guitar.  A few early members moved through the line up and in late 2014 we refreshed the engine room with Davy Greer joining on bass/vocals and Dave Jeffers on drums.

How would you describe your style of metal?

I think we touch on the elements of heavy rock, classic rock/metal and the retro side of the stoner rock sound to give a huge nod of respect to the forefathers of the music we love and we try and throw in our slant on the whole mixture.  We were built from a guitar tone upwards, where we had this thick tone while we played covers, yet it developed into wanting to put that to our own music.  Fin and I agreed that pitching in three band names as the key influences would focus us in our own song writing, and from day one it’s been about shooting in the direction of Black Sabbath, Fireball Ministry and Danzig.  Other elements come in too and we have been reviewed as having a swampy doomy southern rock sound to some Alice In Chains references – which we are really glad to have tagged to us as well.

What are your collective musical influences?

Black Sabbath, Danzig, Fireball Ministry, Blackfoot, The Cult, Kyuss, Trouble, Free.

In no more than a dozen words, why should you win Metal 2 The Masses?

Nothing beats a great head-nodding groovy riff with whiskey soaked vocals

If you do not win your heat, which other band in the competition would you like to see win?

I have never seen the other bands live yet, so I’ll be watching with keen interest and will vote (if we are allowed) on the one that impresses me the most on the night.

And, assuming you do win through, what band at this year’s Bloodstock are you most looking forward to seeing (providing they don’t clash with your set, of course)?

Can I have three and move around a lot lol?  Would be Opeth, Orange Goblin and Black Label Society!

Overoth (questions answered by guitarist Andrew Pennington)

OverothCan you briefly tell us who you are, where you’re from and how long you’ve been going?

We’re an extreme metal band hailing from in and around Belfast. We formed late 2005 and went on to release a couple of records before our debut album ‘Kingdom of Shadows’ in 2010. We’ve done a bunch of tours over the years since we formed and have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with great bands such as Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, Obituary, Hail of Bullets, Cattle Decapitation, Rotting Christ, Morbid Angel and a lot more. The last few years have been fairly quiet for us as we’ve went pretty much underground to concentrate on writing.

How would you describe your style of metal?

In our early recordings… in fact, all recordings that have been released, we undeniably possess an old school death metal vibe. We played about with some strings to add atmospherics on our debut full-length ‘Kingdom of Shadows’ and with our latest recording, which is as of yet unreleased, we experimented a lot more. We added whole new dimensions to the music but I’d say the old school vibe is still there if you strip it right back to the bones. So, now I would simply call our style of music extreme metal.

What are your collective musical influences?

This is hard….  These influences may or may not show in our writing but we all certainly share a passion for these bands… Morbid Angel, Behemoth, Insomnium, Gojira, Asphyx…

In no more than a dozen words, why should you win Metal 2 The Masses?

You won’t get a ‘because we’re awesome’ answer here… yeah it’s a competition, but we’re a bit older now and we won’t get caught up in the game.  There’s a bunch of bands in this and everyone is obviously in it because they think they’re in for a good chance of winning, some believe it more and take it more seriously than others.  We’ll just do what we do with every other show, put together a set, practise it and on the day get up and enjoy ourselves.  It’s all every band can do.

If you do not win your heat, which other band in the competition would you like to see win?

There’s quite a few bands in it that I don’t know actually so I can only go on those I’m familiar with.  Personal music preferences will lean me more towards extreme metal so, Zombified and Ceaseless Blight are two that I’d be happy to see go through. Sinocence as well: those guys have been going longer than us, they’d kill it at Bloodstock.  I’d really like to see Vile Regression win in the southern Ireland competition.  Those guys rule!

And, assuming you do win through, what band at this year’s Bloodstock are you most looking forward to seeing (providing they don’t clash with your set, of course)?

Saille is a band I actually work with behind the scenes and I’ve yet to see them live, they’ve just been announced so I’d love to finally see those guys. Epic black metal!  I’d also like to see Agalloch, Enslaved, Ihsahn, Opeth, Cannibal Corpse… Not a bad lineup this year eh?

ProXist (questions answered by lead vocalist Darryn McCartney)

ProXistCan you briefly tell us who you are, where you’re from and how long you’ve been going? 

We are ProXist (Project Exist) a five-piece metal act hailing from Derry in the North of Ireland. We have been going for about three years now and during that time we have managed to have our song ‘Desensitized Generation’ featured in a popular EA Games cult hit ‘APB.’ Aside from this, we have also had our music featured on hit Northern Ireland Biker-Comedy ‘The Clandestine’ as well as supporting some huge established metal acts such as ‘Malefice,’ ‘Sworn Amongst’ and the mighty Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, former lead vocalist of Judas Priest and Iced Earth.

How would you describe your style of metal?

Speaking on behalf of the band, I like to think that our style represents the influences of our favourite bands. I would consider us in the same vein as Pantera, in terms of that Groove metal vibe and spirit mixed with other recent styles and elements of Nu-Metal and Industrial metal, such as Mudvayne, Soil, Fear Factory and American Head Charge. With songs like ‘Grave Digger’ and ‘Strength’ there can certainly be an argument that there are elements of the NOLA sludge scene creeping into our style with influences such as Down, Corrosion of Conformity and Crowbar having a musical effect on all the members.

What are your collective musical influences?

Pantera, Down, Corrosion of Conformity, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Black Label Society, Soil, Soilwork, Fear Factory, Ghost, Black Flag, Slipknot, Superjoint Ritual just to name a few. Also, on a more local basis, growing up in Derry and the metal scene, we have definitely been influenced heavily by bands and artists, who we have been fortunate to become friends with and performed alongside, such as Libido Switch, Triggerman and Jeanette Hutton.

In no more than a dozen words, why should you win Metal 2 The Masses?

I feel that we deserve to win because of the sacrifices, both financially and personally, we have all made over the last three difficult years to stay together and do what we love in a scene that has struggled recently in the North.

If you do not win your heat, which other band in the competition would you like to see win?

I would love to see our Derry counterparts ‘Pursuit of Ruin’ do well, as not only are the guys great musicians, but are also good friends of ourselves. If we do not win our heat, I would like to see any band in our Heat go on to win it, it would be nice to think that we were edged out by eventual winners and that we went up against the best and gave it our all and could stand toe to toe and be uncompromising with the eventual winners, all in a good competitive capacity of course.

And, assuming you do win through, what band at this year’s Bloodstock are you most looking forward to seeing (providing they don’t clash with your set, of course)?

This year’s line-up for Bloodstock is nothing short of bursting with awesome bands! There are so many awesome bands I would love to see personally, but collectively as a band I would say that we would definitely be most looking forward to seeing Rob Zombie and Black Label Society the most. Every member has been listening to Rob Zombie and BLS since we were early teens and seeing them live would be absolutely mind blowing! I’m pretty sure that Kerry (Bass player) would be itching to go and see her beloved Opeth rip it up, and myself would also like to see the guys in Sepultura and Orange Goblin!

Towers

TowersCan you briefly tell us who you are, where you’re from and how long you’ve been going?

The band started off under a number of different names when we were only about 13 and we just practiced consistently everyday for around two years.  Although just over a year ago we decided to take on Darren as our lead guitarist and focus on taking our music more seriously.  A couple of months later we recorded our debut EP entitled ‘Seasons’ and to our surprise the E.P actually received very positive feedback and allowed us to really launch ourselves into a steady gig stream. In our first year as a band we have been able to release ‘Seasons’, an acoustic version of our song ‘Hollow on the Outside’ and release our summer single ‘Hate and Pride’.  Also we were able to play our debut show in Dublin and set up our own multi-genre gig, which gathered a crowd of around 80 and played a lot of other gigs.  Our combined age is 17, so considering our young age we have a achieved a lot as a band in our short time together and we are all set in trying to get as far as we can playing our music.  We believe we have a lot to offer and this year we are really hoping to get a bigger reputation and be exposed to new opportunities.  We would be ecstatic if we won this competition but we really just want to make an impact and hopefully get noticed by more promoters and we often find ourselves surprising new audiences with our very energetic live shows!

How would you describe your style of metal?

Melodic hardcore/groove with strong influences from progressive metal, metalcore, hardcore and alternative rock.

What are your collective musical influences?

Defeater, Counterparts, Cancer Bats, Thrice, While She Sleeps, Architects, Heights, The Ocean, Mastodon, Brutality Will Prevail, Title Fight, Truckfighters and many more.

In no more than a dozen words, why should you win Metal 2 The Masses?

We are a very dedicated and exciting young band and we truly do believe our music is a blend of everything that’s good about heavy music at the minute.

If you do not win your heat, which other band in the competition would you like to see win?

Donum Dei are one hell of an act they really prove to be one of the hottest thrash bands on the scene at the minute!

And, assuming you do win through, what band at this year’s Bloodstock are you most looking forward to seeing (providing they don’t clash with your set, of course)?

For us it has to be Trivium and Planet of Zeus. We love our metal but also love our stoner rock as well.

The third heat of Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses takes place at Voodoo, Belfast on Thursday (March 12).  Doors are 8pm, and admission costs £5.  Two bands from each heat will qualify for the semi-finals, and the judging will be 50% audience vote and 50% judges vote.  Punters will be asked to award points to the bands in descending order:  four points for their favourite performance, three points for their second favourite and so forth.  Full details can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/1377998045851202.

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff