Metal 2 the Masses Heat 5 – MOLARBEAR, Korvid, Selene, Heel of Achilles
Saturday March 26th, Limelight Belfast
After a rather breathless few weeks of both local and international artist gigs, Bloodstock’s Metal 2 the Masses is approaching the pointy end, with the second to last heat hitting the Limelight on Saturday March 26th. The lineup was yet another varied one, proving yet again just how rich and fruitful the local rock and metal scene is here in Northern Ireland.
First up for the evening was stoner/sludge metallers MOLARBEAR; those in the crowd expecting slow and ponderous sludge were to be sadly disappointed as the band play a particularly lively and groovy version of the genre, interlaced with pleasingly raspy vocals and giddily silly song titles (‘Fierce Brosnan’, ‘Slabyrinth’). Their downtuned, bass-heavy riffs immediately set every stick of furniture in the place vibrating and eardrums rattling as they charge their way through their half hour set. And although their songs can be a bit meandering, bringing a rather ‘jam session’ feel to the set, they are also heavy and attention grabbing enough to hold the crowd’s interest throughout, as the huge response they receive can attest to.
Doom metal youngsters Korvid follow: again, there is nothing slow or deliberate about their music as they fire through their set at a million miles an hour with the boundless energy of both youth and a touch of nerves. They really have nothing to be worried about however, as the crowd is rather impressed with them, as well as frontman Jonny Gault’s quite astonishingly deep death metal style roar, which he intersperses with the odd startling and drawn out scream that is equally as impressive. Musically tight and clearly well rehearsed, there is an abundance of promise on show; they need only to work on their nerves and their rather desultory song endings to really unlock their potential.
One band that have done just that is third act Selene, who stood in the very same spot last year and sadly fluffed their chance, largely down to front woman Shonagh Lyons’ visible stage fright. What a difference a year has made though, as tonight her genuinely beautiful voice soars confidently over the band’s lush and classy symphonic metal. Tracks such as ‘Neverending Silence’ and the bombastic ‘Blood’ showcase her goosebump-inducing vocals to perfection, as well as the just-right level of brawn and power of the drums and guitars, while final track ‘Piano Black’ from their recent album The Forgotten (you can read our review here) is a true epic, majestic and theatrical and the perfect way to wrap up their glorious set.
Finally, metalcore newcomers Heel of Achilles take to the stage and fire up with an impressive ‘core style deathly growl from vocalist Patrick Scanlon. Their set is polished and well performed, and their songs certainly tick all the metalcore boxes, but…metalcore. At Bloodstock. Can you picture it? Still, it’s a thoroughly entertaining set and they will undoubtedly go on to make a great name for themselves, both here and hopefully further afield.
So, three genuine contenders and one that’s probably not really ‘Bloodstock material’ as such. And the victors are: Selene first as clear winners, followed by those scamps in MOLARBEAR. Well done to all involved!
The final Metal 2 the Masses heat will be on Friday April 8th in Voodoo, starting at 8pm and featuring five acts: Donum Dei, Oracle, Sinocence, The Crawling and Towers. It’s sure to be a tight contest, so come along to see what happens!