Irish metal fans have truly been spoiled this week, having already welcomed Gojira just a few nights ago, tonight we have the master of “low mid-tier prog metal” Mr. Devin Townsend.
On Sunday night Dublin welcomed back to its shores one of the heaviest bands on the planet. Gojira returned to Ireland after a two year absence in support of their acclaimed album Magma, which the band released last year.
“Abusing music’s worthless genre boundaries since 2003”, this is how Enter Shikari introduce themselves and I couldn’t think a more accurate description. The band catapulted themselves into the spotlight with their debut single ‘Sorry, You’re Not a Winner’, its blend of post-hardcore and trance was something almost unheard of at the time and it was just the start of the bands journey.
Swedish progressive rock/metal band Katatonia released their 10th album The Fall of Hearts last year to much acclaim from fans and critics. Embarking on a European tour later that year, many were disappointed when the band announced a single UK show. However, the band were quick to rectify that by announcing their return to the UK and Ireland for a longer tour.
underOATH in their prime were one of the biggest metalcore/post-hardcore bands going, releasing several acclaimed albums before calling it a day in 2013. Fortunately for fans, the band re-united in 2015 and welcomed back long time drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie to the fold. Since last year the band has been embarking on their ‘Rebirth’ tour for which the band are performing arguably their two biggest records, They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line, now the tour has brought them over the ocean for their first ever Irish headline show.
When Chelsea Wolfe released the first single, ‘Carrion Flowers’, from her fourth album Abyss I knew I was onto something special; the album subsequently went on to become my top album of 2015, and her Dublin show that same year was also one of the year’s highlights. Fast forward almost 2 years and Wolfe returns to Ireland as part of her European spring mini-tour.
The mighty death metal pairing of Polish legends Vader and US juggernauts Immolation took over the Voodoo Lounge for a night of crushing heaviness.
A couple of years ago the power metal scene in Ireland was almost non-existence with fans begging for bands to come over only to be met with the response that the demand simply wasn’t there. However, Sabaton’s show in 2012 started to kick up interest in the genre meaning that the band have since enjoyed subsequent visits (in bigger venues no less) with other giants of the genre coming to our shores such as Kamelot and more recently Blind Guardian.
For those that follow the metal shows in Ireland the name of Grand Magus is one that is instantly recognisable. The band have been frequent visitors to our fair shores since their first visit way back in 2012 as supporting Amon Amarth and every subsequent year since then. Their most recent visit was as the opening act for Amon Amarth and Testament this past November and they were quick to announce their own headline show quickly afterwards.
Opening up tonights show were grindcore behemoths Aborted. The band played in Dublin just last year as support to Kataklysm and tore up the stage despite being the opening band then as well. Tonight the band prove that they can match the raw intensity from the much smaller Voodoo Lounge in the Vicar Street, no stage is too large or too small for these guys.
While it’s become a somewhat common sight to see the bigger, older bands announcing tours to celebrate those monumental and influential albums (think Fear Factory’s Demanufacture which turned 20 years old in 2015 or Anthrax celebrating 30 years of their classic Among the Living), it’s still a commodity for younger bands. However, these bands quickly remind us that they aren’t those young kids anymore with more than a handful of noughties bands starting to celebrate 10 years of their ‘classic’ albums.
Trivium’s last show in Dublin was back in 2014 when the group were still supporting their album Vengeance Falls. A couple of weeks before the show vocalist Matt Heafy was taken ill after blowing out his vocals and was advised against performing. There were fears that the show would be cancelled but the band persevered and Matt was backed up by his fellow bandmates to finish the tour run. The band now returns as part of their final Silence in the Snow support shows and hopes are that they can push out a killer performance this time.
Taking a look through your music collection it would be hard to find a band that had not been influenced by Black Sabbath in some way. The Birmingham natives released their seminal self-titled debut more than 45 years ago paving the way for the genre of heavy metal, becoming a household name even among non-metal fans.
Belgium’s Oathbreaker have set the hardcore scene on fire since their formation in 2008 with their albums Mælstrøm and Eros|Anteros. However it’s their third album Rheia and their foray into the metal world which has made music lovers sit up and pay attention to the young band. Touring in support of their newest album has brought them far and wide including tonights show in Dublin, it’s their first time coming to our shores and they managed to attract a healthy crowd.
They say good things happen to those who wait, well after years of people begging and clamouring it was finally announced that metal giants Meshuggah would be making their return to Ireland more than 20 years since their last visit. The show was more than halfway sold out from just one day of ticket sales and had to be quickly upgraded, not something you hear too often with a metal show here.