Saturday night brought to a close this year’s first round of heats at the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses franchise in Ireland. It was an interesting evening that had a few line up changes in the preceding week with replacement band Minor Glitch (ironically) withdrawing the day before. This left the final heat with five acts battling for the last two places, excluding wildcards, in the Semi Finals of this year’s showcase. PlanetMosh was once again there to surmise what went down.
The first band of the evening, 12 Gauge Outrage hail from Wexford and their influence is almost 100% indebted to Messrs Hetfield et. al.. Drawing strongly from Black album structures, 12 Gauge Outrage bring a nice crunchy thrash laden start to the evening. The unenviable opening slot is always the hardest position for the evening but the 4 piece performed with a lot of gusto while belting out songs from their About Time EP. Nautilus are up next. No strangers to Metal 2 The Masses, having competed last year, they bring doom beyond doom. After a shake up in the lineup, they seem a lot more focused this evening. Cathal Hughes has transformed into the lead singer he threatened at being last year and alongside Cloaky, Alan and Connor they really hit their sludgy groove during this slot. The sound of Nautilus is so monolithic, that sea creatures below 20,000 leagues, shudder with fear when they unleash their swampy riffs. Personally, these guys are immense and tick all the boxes in this reviewer’s doom check list.
Cork metalcore upstarts, Here We Stand follow with a barrage of high energy that leaves even this reviewer exhausted just watching them. Here We Stand, are the first of our returning bands and as with the others have become much tighter. Bassist Ciaran McKenzie, takes most of the MC duties between songs leaving singer Mark joking with the other band members. The smiles each of their faces as they perform really brings it home what heavy metal should be about; friends playing music they love and enjoying every second of it. They play a fueled set with no respite and at times evoke the spirit of Killswitch Engage. A really great performance that definitely highlights them to those watching. Pethrophia (our second band this evening from Cork), are an unknown quantity. As they take to the stage decked in thrash metal t-shirts and a signature Jackson guitar slung around Danny Lee’s shoulders you could easily be deceived that they are primarily a thrash band but as soon as they start this deception is founded. Lead singer Chris, is a beast of a man and unleashes a fury of vocal and throughout the set alternates from stage centre to crowd centre. When not singing he is a windmill of activity,be it headbanging or moshing. They spew forth a delicious melodic death metal tirade but with a seasoning of Black Thrash. Again, these guys are extremely entertaining and musically, very proficient. The last band of the evening are one of 2014’s finalists. Alpheidae, lead by Calvin (the often shirtless warrior) Singleton, are watertight tonight. They have a large fanbase and a lot of them are in attendance and gorging on the sounds coming from the stage. City of Knives is the highlight of their set as Jake, Ross, Zach and Gavin provide a behemoth of sound over which the aforementioned warrior bellows his emotionally wrought lyrics to the Fibbers faithful. The have the biggest crowd reaction of the evening and close the night in style.
Heat 6 was the final showcase and has once again demonstrated the strength in the Irish Metal scene. A scene that is about everyone who takes part, from every single musician, every single person who has attended a show to the staff in Fibbers who have quenched thirsts and tended to wounds.
PlanetMosh has been proud to be at all the shows from the start of this year’s event and are really looking forward to the remaining 4 nights, when the shit gets even more serious.
On the night, the crowd vote went to Alpheidae and the judges’ selection was Nautilus.
PlanetMosh caught up with both bands in the aftermath and here’s what went down:
Alpheidae – Zach
For people hearing about Alpheidae for the first time. Tell us about yourselves?
We are a metal band from Dublin, we like to play heavy music that hopefully is slightly different to the rest! We all have different musical tastes so we try to incorporate all of them into our music and have a bitta craic a the same time!
This is your second time playing Metal 2 The Masses and last year you made it to the final. How was your experience last year and how is this year’s competition shaping up?
Last years competition was crazy, we had barely been a band six months and before we knew it we were in the final with some of the best metal bands in Ireland, it was all a bit surreal! The competition this year has some excellent bands involved, we’re in for a rough time if we want to make it to the final this year but hopefully we’ll up our game for the next heat!
Alpheidae were the people’s choice at Heat Six, guaranteeing a Semi Final place. How did it feel getting to the next stage and what can we expect in the Semi from you?
It was a great relief, we had all been stressing about for weeks beforehand worrying we wouldn’t be up to scratch but fortunately we were on the ball on the night! And obviously we were all chuffed having been voted in by the crowd(who were fantastic) on the night. The semi final is gonna be mental! There are some really strong bands in our heat so we’re gonna have to have a few surprises in store if we wanna keep up!
Where can we find out more about Alpheidae?
Best place to go is our Facebook page, we have some recordings and a bio up and hopefully we’ll have some new recordings out soon too
Nautilus – Alan
For people hearing about Nautilus for the first time. Tell us about yourselves?
We’re pretty heavy & groovy, taking a lot of influence from bands like C.O.C , Eyehategod, Crowbar, Electric Wizard and also our brothers at home in Ireland that we are very lucky to share the stage with such as Weedpriest, Electric Taurus, Fivewilldie & Astralnaut…We like to have fun
This is your second time playing Metal 2 The Masses. How has your experience been on the road to Bloodstock this year compared to last year?
Well we’re a 4 piece now, down a member since the last competition and to be honest we probably wouldn’t have re-entered this year only for the fact that our creative process is different now with Cathal (Our singer) taking up 2nd guitar duties on top of his Vox. He now writes alot and we’re getting heavier by the song. We decided why not give it a bash as the new line-up?
Nautilus were the judges choice at Heat Six, guaranteeing a Semi Final place. How did it feel getting to the next stage and what can we expect in the Semi from you?
Yeah it felt brilliant being picked as the judges choice. We’re constantly writing at the minute and hoping to get an album worth of material ready to record for the middle of summer all going well. We’re hoping then to have 1 if not 2 new tunes to debut to the crowd at the semi-final. Also we may drop a little surprise online in the meantime to build a bit of hype for it.
Where can we find out more about Nautilus?
We have the usual Facebook, Soundcloud & Bandcamp pages with our first 2 Eps and a couple of write up’s on The Irish Metal Archive & PlanetMosh. On Youtube we have a live shoot of our track ‘Days Turned Dust’ and a studio version of ‘The Old Ghosts’ accompanied by a video that was put together by our good friend Matt Casciani from Electric Taurus & Mother Fuzzers Records. The second EP is on Spotify, Amazon, Deezer & Itunes.
The Wild Card Final takes place this Saturday, April 04th.