Any night spent at the WARPARTY is always going to deliver chaos, drinks and a rake of great tunes from one of Ireland’s leading metal bands. Tonight though, the mighty Warpath are getting support from sixteen other Irish groups, all playing varying styles of metal. Everything from Thrash, Death metal, hardcore, punk and Groove is catered for tonight and the drinks are flowing! Almost eight hours of metal, played out over two stages for the amazingly cheap price of €5. Fibbers, are you ready?
Things are in full swing when TT arrives. Clurichan are courting the upstairs crowd and sounding much stronger than this time last year when I last saw them. Their bassist (Tommy Buckley) still looks like a member of the Stone Roses, but no harm seeing one person stand out. After drinks are reigned in, it’s time to leg it downstairs and catch the end of By Conquest or Contest. These guys come from Belfast and TT is interested in seeing how they progress over the next couple of years. For now the lads sound good, play well and keep the crowd happy. Next time i hope to say a lot more about them, but right now it’s time for Psykosis!
Psykosis were a late addition to tonight’s line-up, but the lack of notice doesn’t phase the lads. Even repeated sound issues, a missing microphone and lack of backing vocals doesn’t stop them shredding their way through an abbreviated set packed with crowd favourites. ‘Toxic Fugitive’ gets the mosh pit off to an early start while closers, ‘Terror At 3am’ and ‘Driller Killer’ send bodies, drinks and any thoughts of paced drinking out the window. Excellent performance as always; capped by the promise that they’ll be back to play their own headlining show soon.
The next few hours are filled with wandering between stages, great music, the bar and Fibber’s overly appealing catacombs and smoking area. Upstairs Aesect are thundering through an impressive set. Having never seen them live before, their show is an attention grabber. They have a great sound and are definitely worth a second, third look. After that we get treated to some hardcore courtesy of Galway’s finest, Only Fumes & Corpses. TT first discovered these lads back in the MySpace Review days and after some initial hesitations, we grew fond. OFAC put on a strong show, blaring out positivity, killer riffs and energy by the bucket load. At this stage though, drink is needed.
With some lineup changes, the order of things starts to misalign and instead of Spitting Bones, TT stumbles upon Murdock, a noisy punk hardcore three piece from Offaly. Unfortunately these guys just don’t do it for TT, but their show is undeniably full on and becomes more difficult to walk away from as it goes on. Both guitarist (Aidan Cunningham) and bassist (Michael Keyes) spend copious amounts if time playing from the crowd, wrecking mic stands and generally keeping things interesting. The music may not be our thing, but the show is fun.
Back upstairs Vile Regression punish their fans with a blistering show. These boys have been around long enough to perfect their stuff and tonight there’s no doubt their fanbase will increase. Next up is Dead Label and they’re just what’s needed to keep things going more than six hours into this show. The floor packs up as they take stage and lead us closer to tonight’s headliners. Dead Label pack their set with tracks from their debut album, Sense of Slaughter which they released earlier this year. New single, ‘Are You Ready to Kill?‘ Adds an extra boost of energy towards to end of their set before things finish off with just one band left to go.
It’s been said before and it’ll be said again; Warpath are a juggernaut on this country’s metal scene. It’s only been a little under two months since TT last caught them onstage and that’s far too long to go without. After recently performing in Norway at the Inferno Metal festival, Darren, Dario, Karl, Eoin and Joe are back and ready to raise hell, fists and pints in their mission to blow all the other bands away and end the night with a vicious assault on the ears. With the downstairs stage now closed, it’s time to party!
‘Munting Season’ opens a set evenly packed with crowd favourites from their two studio albums (2007’s Gorefare and 2010’s Malevolent Reprisal), as well as a couple of new tracks to whet our appetites as we wait for album number three. ‘The Red Mist’ and ‘Extreme Rendition’ continue to punish the swelling crowd and the fatigue from those first seven hours seems to wear off. As the heat rises on and off stage, the band treat us to ‘Brutal Paralysis’ before performing a new track entitled, ‘Shackled to the Chains of Command’. Two more trips to Malevolent Reprisal follow before 2012’s ‘preview song’, ‘Infectors’ gets an airing. Judging by these tunes, there is nothing about Warpath’s material that shows any hint of slowing down…as if anyone expected it to.
Taking a break to down some luscious Buckfast, Darren remarks on the appearance of the band’s old bass player up the front and the heat of the venue, before kindly instructing us to form the biggest pit of the night and tear the place apart! Of course we all oblige as the band belt into ‘Skinned and Salted’, ‘Point Blank Execution’ and ‘Gorefare’ which bring us closer to the end of the night, extreme alcohol poisoning and chronic dehydration…but they’re not done yet. Darren reflects on the passing of Hate bassist, Slawek “Mortifer” Archangielskij (R.I.P.) last week and dedicates a cover of Deicide’s ‘When Satan Rules His World’, which sees another pit explode in front of the stage and Warpath bassist, Eoin Dunne, get in on the action (losing a t-shirt in the process). The band get the go a-head for one last tune and bring the house down with ‘Demonic Possession’, wrapping up more than eight hours of incredible music from some of the best groups you could spend a night listening to. Excellent, excellent show that would be hard to beat, even form the most accomplished bands in the industry.
..and apologies to Eoin, I owe you a t-shirt