However, it is worth a line or two to congratulate the bands from Norn Iron for tearing up Dolan's, causing geological faults across the west or Ireland and tsunamis to roll across the Atlantic...
As your trusty editor managed to take the 'longer route' to Limerick we missed what is reportedly a great set from Altus. We also learned that our colleague in reviews Mel has a road rage issue when caught behind traffic...
But when safely booked in, with our bellies filled through the excellent fare in Dolans, we ventured forth into the increasingly packed venues.
Wandering around we perchanced upon the eclectic Rather Be Alive who were entertaining, with a mixture of deathcore, funk and System of a Down...it shouldn't have worked, but it did.
Leaving that aside, we were mainly focussed on the Norn Irish contingent.
There was meant to be a timing clash between War Iron and Maverick, but owing to the main stage running a bit late we were able to enjoy the deathly rumbling and sludge of War Iron; however seeing as they had a guitar on stage it was a little unusual for regular viewers. That didn't detract from the bottom end destruction of many people's internal organs.
With guts churned into liquefied jelly we made our way to where Maverick were rapidly converting the crowd. On paper Maverick shouldn't have had a chance amidst a crowd mainly consisting of fans of the more extreme end of metal spectrum.
Did they fuck - Maverick won over the crowd with their hail and hearty rock, as infectious smiles beamed across the audience. Beside us two men wearing Carcass and Cannibal Corpse t-shirts began headbanging and throwing shapes that displayed sheer enjoyment.
'Rock 'n' Roll Lady was bellowed out by the Northern Ireland fans; 'Got It Bad' was as infectiously dangerous to the cerebellum and central nervous system; 'In Our Blood' got underneath everyone's skin in a good way; and, 'Paint by Numbers' wove patterns of light and shade across the blackened venue. God help The Poodles because Maverick are going to give them a serious run for their money when the Northern Irish rockers go on the road with them. Grins on band and crowd alike - job done!
With the representation from the province of Ulster well and truly established yet more was to come.
Astralnaut have been gradually building up their 2015 presence after two plus years of steady growth and development.
In Limerick the Armagh monsters brought their mighty sounds to life, with a set that straddled the earliest to the latest. It was as if from the mists the titans of the ancient Ulster knights had grown tall and brought the power of mysticism, gave it muscles and applied it to a musical brutality that gave birth to groove.
From the bottom end of Astralnaut to the sound of windows breaking across the entire country as Joe from Rabid Bitch of the North hit note so high that they induced a resonance wave fit to fracture even the sturdiest glass. It is as well that most pints were being served in plastic containers...
Undoubtedly even Joe, Chris and Gerry could not have expected the response from the crowd as mini-mosh pits emerged and stage diving got to such an extent that a queue formed to be the latest to launch themselves from the stage.
The contrast of Joe's Rickenbacker bass, Gerry's riffage and soloing alongside Chris pounding the kit into submission with the high-pitched singing brought a sheer joy to all in attendance.
'Us Against Them' and '...1999' were just two of the many excellent songs as Rabid Bitch proved that 'Defending Two Castles' is not only possible, but inevitable when this trio take to the stage.
From the NWOBHM inspired of RBOTN to hardcore....
|It's Belfast hardcore...do|
you have a problem with
By Any Means are not only experienced, but still have the joy of taking up musical arms writ large upon their attitude.
Quickly they had madness spreading across the audience. Keep Paul on stage? Not likely. Keep Paul from riffing out? Impossible. Chris and Gavin from laying down a rhythm that roared? As per usual...
But, there is nothing 'as per usual' about any By Any Means set. The passion of the band spreads to all present. 'Built on Respect'. Too fucking right!
From there as Panic Cell once sang "Black Juice down, it's gettin' a little bit hazy; I look at you and I don't know what you're saying". Well we weren't there to review the Siege...
Overoth were as always excellent by all accounts, and Alunah brought their Brummie take on contemporary metal with spirit and verve.
Siege of Limerick was a delight, heralding the bridge between the Celtic seasons of Cutios and Giamonios. [Yeah - drink may have been taken, but we still do our research.]
The whole thing can be summed up in a words from our colleague in metal, Donal: "Mighty!"
|Lost in the moment|
|Have drums, will hit 'em|
|Guitar wank face level eight achieved|
|The roar and the riff|
|Paul proves he can out-pose Zakk Wylde...|
|Apparently people enjoyed themselves at Siege...|
|How to hit the high notes, Joe explains to eager listeners that you need|
to have really, really tight jeans to sing the chorus of ...1999.