Hot on the heels of the Irish rugby team obliterating English dreams at the Aviva stadium, we shuffled down to Fibber Magees to see the next quartet of bands going head to head at Metal 2 the Masses Ireland. Would one of the outfits begin an unbeaten streak tonight on the way to Bloodstock? Let’s see.
Opening proceedings this evening are the surprise last minute addition, returnees The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back. With new guitarist Damien bolstering their sound, they break through the imaginary crowd/stage barrier and smash the front row clean in the face. This is a first round knockout of which a hardened UFC fighter would be proud. Non stop fury, with new material like ‘End Game’ proving that TDWHSB are one of the top young metal bands in this country. The crowd reaction is immense and a warning has been laid before the 3 remaining acts. Top quality stuff.
Alpheidae are back again to lay their shrimpin’ goodness in our ears. It’s the testament of a good band that I’ve never seen them give a weak show and tonight is no exception. Alpheidae are tight and their stagecraft is professional. Lead singer Calvin still commands the crowd’s attention as all great frontmen should and his between song banter is relaxed and fun. I’ve always loved ‘City Of Knives’ but new(ish) song ‘Altruist’ steals the show for me in their set tonight. Special mention has to be made to the beautiful guitar tone that Ros Coghlan uses in his solos. Alpheidae put in a solid shift and have a strong reaction from the audience.
Third band on tonight are Catastrophe and with different members sporting boot runners and bermuda shorts, it’s no surprise that thrash metal is the order of the day. This is only the second time that I’ve seen the guys play and the last time was not so impressive at On The Rox. Tonight is much better and they have brought a sizeable amount of fans who lap up the thrashy goodness like cocaine. Thrash metal is in its element in the live environment and Catastrophe are led by the feral eyed Jamie Murphy who spends as much time in the midst of the audience as he does on the edge of the stage berating them. They close their set with the galloping ‘The Eyes Of Kryon’ and from the response it is pretty obvious who the crowd is here supporting tonight. Kudos.
On last tonight are Carlow’s Subsist whose crushing metalcore breakdowns are completely lost on the venue as it unfortunately empties with people vacating the room. It absolutely sucks in this day and age that people can fill the room one second and just fuck off on a whim the next. Dublin audiences are fickle but the five guys just get stuck in and plough through their set giving it everything. Some minor tuning difficulties definitely steal momentum but when Subsist lock in a breakdown they are obviously loving what they do. If I could make one suggestion, I would like to see them take a risk and step outside the metalcore formula and bring in different elements much like how Parkway Drive did on ‘Ire’. For a first time at M2TM it’s a good showing and hopefully a learning experience for a young band with potential.
On the night the crowd vote was Catastrophe and the judges selection was The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back.
PlanetMosh caught up with the progressing bands in the aftermath.
For people hearing about Catastrophe for the first time. Tell us about yourselves ?
We formed in 2014, we are a 5 piece crossover thrash band from Dublin, Ireland. We love war songs, beer, Pepsi and Arnold Schwarzenegger!
This is Catastrophe’s first time playing Metal 2 The Masses and it’s great to see thrash metal alive and well. I know some of you have participated before but what made you decide to enter?
We want to play at one of the best metal festivals around, we have all been there as fans but we wanna be there to play and let people hear what we are all about! We want to play a lot of shows this year and Metal 2 the Masses competition is a perfect way to get our name out there. We’re happy to be in Metal 2 the Masses because it’s opening doors for us and other bands and drawing outside attention to the Irish metal scene.
How has the M2TM experience been for you and would you recommend it to other bands?
We loved it, we had a great crowd and we got to share the stage with some great bands, if you are in a metal band you should strive to be part of competitions like this and aim to get your music out to everyone. 10/10 and we hope it continues!
Catastrophe were the crowds’ selection on Saturday night. How did it feel getting to the next stage and what can we expect in the Semi from you?
It felt really good, we knew it would be hard to get through but we did it! So expect us to be very intense for the semis because we have to up our game even further!
Where can we find out more about Catastrophe?
You can find us on the following social media sites!
The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back
For people hearing about The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back for the first time. Tell us about yourselves ?
A riff driven 5 piece metal band from Ireland. Drawing influence from Metallica to Slipknot to While She Sleeps and everything in between.
You are no strangers to Metal 2 The Masses but this year you were a last minute, surprise addition. What made you decide to enter?
We took the opportunity last minute because we originally thought we wouldn’t be available to take part due to our Russian tour but it worked out in the end that we could do both. It’s a great opportunity not to be missed and is the heart of metal in the country right now.
How has the M2TM experience been for you over the years and would you recommend it to other bands?
M2TM has always been fantastic for us, getting through the heats and making it to the finals in our first year, every time has just been a blast, win or lose we always have a good time and it helps us connect with more and more people and only helps to further ourselves and push us as musicians. We would definitely recommend every band to do it!
TDWHSB were the judges’ selection on Saturday night. How did it feel getting to the next stage and what can we expect in the Semi from you?
It felt great as it always does to progress. As for the next set it will have to be bigger, stronger and more powerful and we will deliver as we always do our best to do.
With the release of ‘End Game’ and the announcement of a Russian tour, it’s a very busy time for the band. How did the Russian tour come about and when are you heading east?
We were contacted by a booking agency to go and do a tour of Russia and we just jumped at the opportunity, at our own expense pretty much but it’s something we couldn’t turn down. The only way to make it is hit the road and we do that as often as possible. Theres a lot more to come of that too! We are heading on the 6th of April and we’re all really excited for it!
Where can we find out more about TDWHSB?
All our links are on our website http://www.thedevilwantsherswaggerback.com/
We also have a mailing list that you can sign up to there for news delivered straight to you as well as discounts on merch and other stuff.
All photos by Steve Dempsey of Down The Barrel Photography
All bands are encouraged to download and use the photos where needed. Full permission is granted from Steve because that’s what this whole M2TM beast is about. Flickr Page.