Metal 2 The Masses Ireland – Heat 2 – 24/01/2015 & Interviews

Black Svan
Black Svan

Metal 2 the Masses Ireland had its second heat on Saturday night and it turned out to be another belter of a showcase for Irish Metal. Six bands went head to head on a night that was filled with excitement, aggression, technicality, camaraderie (yes, camaraderie) and damn good fun.

Black Svan delivered a set of crushing rock anthems with vocalist Keith Caffrey’s enigmatic and forceful delivery filling every inch of the venue. It’s pretty clear from their stage presence that they have benefited immensely from performing on tours with Fozzy and Kerbdog. Thrashers, Saint Slaughter ploughed through a set that was hampered by a broken guitar string. Kudos to Jagger from Black Svan for being on hand to help with a replacement. The lads regained momentum and are a band that show a lot of promise. Soothsayer were a revelation and they dealt with a second string break of the evening with consummate professionalism. This was their first show in Dublin and their brand of menacing doom was lapped up by those in attendance with a proclivity for the early sounds of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. Special note has to be given to their frontman Liam whose presence on and off the stage during the set was delightfully unsettling.

Vile Regression
Vile Regression

Vile Regression brought the performance of the evening with an intensity that pulled the crowd emotions from their chests. The last time I saw these guys was at the Unleashed Festival and tonight was an escalation in violence. Pummelling the punters with songs from Empires, Vocalist Padraig Croke was a fireball at times hanging one armed from the rafters. Vile Regression are on the top of their game at the moment and 2015 has the prospect to be massive for them. Awaken Dominion brought technicality and fun. Unfortunately they are on the search for a new drummer which took some of their power away. Guitarist Darragh carried the percussive torch for the evening in exemplary fashion. Shane is a riff machine and when these guys get a solid line up, they will be an even bigger force on the scene. Corr Mhóna were the second band of the evening to make the journey from Cork and they were given the task of closing the show, a task that they revelled in. Playing songs from Dair, (read the PlanetMosh review here) their very unique blackened doom was a personal highlight of the evening, an evening of very contrasting styles brought together by the quest to play Bloodstock.

On the night, the crowd vote went to Vile Regression and the judges’ vote went to Black Svan. I would be surprised if one (at least) of the other bands were not selected for the upcoming Wild Card Final. Time will tell. All in all it was a belter of a show with bands enjoying themselves and feeding off each other’s performances and the energy of the crowd -everything that the Bloodstock brand stands for.

PlanetMosh had a quick word with Vile Regression and Black Svan in the aftermath. Here’s what they had to say.


For people hearing about Vile Regression for the first time. Tell us about yourselves?

We have been active in some form since 2007, but in the current incarnation for less than two years. Like most bands we do shy away from subscribing to genres, but we’d like to think of ourselves as playing modern death metal with a technical and progressive approach, designed to challenge ourselves and listeners, and that above all, we put on one hell of a live show….. And we have beards… The beards are important!

This is your first time playing Metal 2 The Masses. How was your initial experience of the first step on the road to Bloodstock?

The experience so far has been superb. Everything from signing up to M2TM, to the scheduling and promotion of the events to the coordination on the night has been run extremely professionally by Kevin, Oran, Robbie, M2TM, Overdrive and all in involved. It’s been a real pleasure to be involved with this. We’ve also played with a few bands we’d not shared the stage with before and we had a great time catching up with them.
The fact that it is run so well is really lighting a fire in us now to pursue it with the same level of professionalism as those running it, and hopefully we can take that approach all the way to the final and get an opportunity to fly the flag for Irish metal at Bloodstock.

Vile Regression won the crowd vote at Heat Two, guaranteeing a Semi Final place. How did it feel getting to the next stage and what can we expect in the Semi from you?

The reaction from the crowd at Heat 2 was superb, and we certainly were able to feed off of it and really enjoyed the performance. It was incredibly humbling to receive the crowd vote given the amount of talent in heat 2, we were hugely impressed by every band and each one could have progressed, so that was really gratifying.
In many ways we were also relieved to get through and it’s given us a vote of confidence. We’ve put a lot of time and investment in over the past year, in recording our EP, promoting it in the press and being voted the Irish Metal Album/EP of the year on Irish Metal Archive was a big plus. We really want to now take Vile Regression a step further internationally and Bloodstock would be a huge honour. There’s a lot to do to get there, so for the semi final we are hoping to debut some of our new material which is at a different level again and have a few secrets up our sleeves for the live performance!

Again thanks for all the support, playing Bloodstock would be a huge step for us to making Vile Regression an international metal act, we can’t wait to play again and look forward to seeing everyone there.


For people hearing about Black Svan for the first time. Tell us about yourselves?

We are a 5 piece band based in Drogheda formed in 2009. Since then we’ve released an album –16 Minutes – via M&O Music a French distribution deal. In 2010 we went on a European tour with FOZZY and Stuck Mojo that helped us develop our own style and stage presence. Because we are all into different styles of music we try to get all of our musical influences into the music we play to try and mix things up and maybe give people something different that they haven’t heard before.

This is your first time playing Metal 2 The Masses. How was your initial experience of the first step on the road to Bloodstock?

It was amazing! We had no idea what to expect but the level of musicianship was amazing. Every band got on great helping each other out having respect for each other. It was more like a final than a heat. Tough call for both the judge’s and the crowd to vote for their favourite band.

Black Svan were the judges choice at Heat One, 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 were very honoured to get the judges vote. It was very tough going on first and we felt the pressure but gave our all to put on an amazing show. When we found out that we won the judges vote we were all delighted that all our hard work had paid off! For the semi-final we have to up our game! We have more songs from our album that we’ll throw into the set and hopefully we’ll have a few surprises up our sleeves!


Heat 3 of Metal 2 the Masses Ireland takes place on Friday February 13th. Follow this link for details

Full photo gallery supplied by Down The Barrel Photography for Metal 2 The Masses Ireland and alternate review from the show is available at Overdrive

About Steve D

Dublin based editor, photographer and reviewer for PlanetMosh