15th April 2018
with Diceratops, Smack Jack & The Many Grams, Septolith, Hundred Year Old Man and Ba’al
Reviewed by Martin Baker
Here comes the next round of Metal to the Masses hitting us with the first quarter final showdown. Unfortunately after one band dropping out there were only 3 bands playing plus 2 guest bands on after.
First up were Diceratops who immediately kicked things off with a punch, giving us a mixed style of classic metal and heavier influences which were both impressive and great to listen to.
Each member of the band brought a great quality to their music and there was a great range of melodies which was performed professionally, but I was left thinking that if these guys sorted themselves out with a proper image they could really hit the top spot and take their music to the next level.
Diceratops Photo: Kevin Gaughan
Next to take to the stage was Smack Jack & The Many Grams, and boy did they have a following! The venue filled up and from the moment they started playing everyone one was pumped and enjoying every minute of their set.
After the initial barrage of swearing and insulting lyrics the music got better and more catchy showing some good songwriting, the very enthusiastic drumming helped to carry the music forward with an upbeat tone. On the whole their performance was great to watch (even if the singer did look like he was high) although a few elements of their performance could do with tightening up which would definitely bring them more success.
Smack Jack and the Many Grams Photo: Kevin Gaughan
Lastly we had Septolith returning with their interesting mix of songs, which makes it hard to pin down a genre or identity for these guys. At first we had what seemed like a black metal opening song, after which the music shifted styles to a rock style and a prog style which didn’t really sound as “proggy” as they claimed.
Each song in itself could have been from a different band and that could be the aim of the game, their set was met with some very happy fans who were headbanging throughout and their performance in general was much improved from the last round. On the whole an enjoyable band to see again.
Septolith Photo: Kevin Gaughan
Once the voting was completed our first guest band came on, Hundred Year Old Man, who came on with a fantastic intro to their set which in my opinion not enough bands do nowadays! It set the scene for an outstanding performance helped by some nice lighting work to go with their dark sound.
Their music, a mixture of intense vocals, chunky heavy guitaring and some great atmospherics from their keyboards, tied together with some great drumming which altogether was impressive. It’s a real shame these guys had to finish because everyone was digging their sound.
Hundred Year Old Man Photo: Kevin Gaughan
The last band of the evening were Ba’al, who brought their catchy sound and headbangable riffs to life with a great live performance. These guys have a great stage presence and are a pleasure to watch, a great end to the evening with some of their best songs on offer for us.
The bands through to the Semi-Final were Diceratops and Septolith, lets hope we see them step it up for then and give us some outstanding scenes!
Ba’al Photo: Kevin Gaughan