Once again, it’s time to find a promising Irish metal band to send to Bloodstock Open Air, one of Europe’s biggest independent metal festivals, and this year’s Metal 2 The Masses competition is already just four gigs away from choosing a victor. Six heats have narrowed the initial sixty hopeful entrants down to the twelve who have secured themselves slots in the semi-finals which will be held on April 18th and 25th. In a new twist to the previous competition format, tonight is the “Wildcard Final”, where six of the acts who didn’t sway the crowd or judges in the heats have been thrown a lifeline and given a second shot at making it to the semis.
As in previous years, the calibre of acts, even before reaching the semi-finals, is exceptionally high and Alabaster, Chemical Sacrament, Conscriptor, Corr Mhóna, Enshrined and Exzeltic all played their asses off in Fibber Magees tonight. Before the show, we asked each band some questions about themselves:
What would you consider your genre to be, and what or who influences you?
Alabaster: We usually just say metal, but we’re often called hardcore. Either is cool with us. We all have different influences, some of the most important are Sepultura, Metallica, Lamb of God and Rage Against the Machine.
Chemical Sacrament: We have a lot of different influences in our music like thrash, black metal, Death metal, reggae, prog metal which all appear in our songs.
Conscriptor: We’re thrash based, but each of us brings our own influence to the sound in some way. Gary has a strong Exodus/Testament vibe for his vocals. Niall is into his prog. Tom is a punk at heart while Gav is rooted in old school thrash. Personally (Patrick), I’m getting more and more into bands like Psycroptic and Revocation.
Corr Mhóna: We don’t like to consider ourselves any specific genre, and we like to combine a variety of different styles in our music. Most of the riffs could be called black, doom or death I suppose. We sing in the Irish language (Gaeilge), and so are often called Pagan or Celtic metal, but if someone reads our lyrics (all translated on our Bandcamp page) they’ll see that we don’t have much in common lyrically with pagan metal bands, outside a couple of songs. We have a wide range of influences from metal to rock to classical to folk and look for further influences all the time.
Enshrined: We like to think of ourselves as just a Metal band, no strings attached kinda deal because we take influences from so many of the sub-genres of metal and even many genres outside metal. We just aim to express ourselves and not to sound like a certain genre, but for the question’s sake “Melodic Death Metal” is a label we seem to get quite often. Our biggest influences include Gojira, Metallica, Machine Head, Sylosis, Lamb of God, Hatebreed, Trivium, Pantera, Death, Kataklysm, Black Sabbath and then even the likes of Jimi Hendrix and The Clash. The list could go on forever so I’ll leave it at that we all have a lot of contrasting influences.
Exzeltic: We started out as thrash metal but have lately decided to try to diversify so, just say metal! We love all music, but our influences are classic metal bands; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
More discussions with the bands on Page 2