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The Siege of Limerick @ Dolan's Warehouse And Pub, Limerick, Ireland

SINMARA / SLIDHR / DreadSovereign / Abominor / Dread Sovereign / Vircolac / Coldwar Dublin / Slomatics / Dictated / Sinate / Two Tales of Woe / Sinocence / Guttrench / Fuckhammer / AeSect / Animator / Visions Of Apophis / WeedPriest / Gourd / Oh Daith / Brigantia / Venus Sleeps / Preachers Son / The Crawling / Djevara / Conjuring Fate / The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back / Words That Burn / Here We Stand / Unyielding Love / 7.5 Tonnes Of Beard / Raum Kingdom / Aeternum Vale
in Monday, 26 October 2015 at Dolan's Warehouse And Pub
by Laura Cosheril

Ah, once again my favourite time of year. For those of you who don’t know what The Siege of Limerick is, let me explain and give a bit of a history lesson. The Siege of Limerick is a biannual mini-festival put on by Bad Reputation Ireland, one around Easter and one around Halloween. The Siege of Limerick started back in 2008 and has since then evolved from showcasing a few local metal bands to 30+ of the finest Irish metal bands and even some smaller bands from foreign lands. To top this all off, this event has, and according to Bad Reputation, always will be free.

Now, after that history lesson, onto the show! After having been looking forward to this Siege since the last one in April, it goes without saying that I was pretty stoked. We arrived at the venue at around 3pm (not by choice, we were unable to check into the hotel until that time which unfortunately, made us miss a few bands). The first band we saw of the day was ATHEOS, a little band from Mullingar, Ireland. I was quite surprised, having attended my fair share of Sieges I know all too well that the first few bands that play don’t get nearly as much of a crowd as the bands that play later. I walked into the warehouse stage and within minutes of getting on stage and starting to play, a pit had already opened up, their energy was that infectious. Their instruments sounded completely on point and really got the crowd going, even for so early on in the day!

No sooner had ATHEOS left the stage, local legends BRIGANTIA took their place; spewing out classic Doom Metal, they fit right in. I’ve seen this band play a fair share of times and they get better and better with each performance. I’m not a big fan of doom metal but something about BRIGANTIA stands out from the rest, the mix melodic with the dark and alluring feature that doom metal has. Everyone around Limerick know who these guys are and that was evident by the way the room filled as soon as they played their first note. All eyes in the room were fixated on them and nothing else. Unfortunately I was only able to catch half of their set so I missed a good chunk of it.

The next band on my agenda was Northern Ireland sludge metal quartet FUCKHAMMER. The name alone lured me into checking these guys out. I listened to one song of theirs the night before and fell in love so I had to squeeze them into my agenda. The vocalist donned a very comical “Salad Dodger” shirt, (which is the best thing I have ever seen and I need one); I knew right from that point that I was going to be in for a treat. The stage was the upstairs Bloody Kisses stage which is very small, so I felt that they were limited as to their stage presence but that didn’t bother me one bit, the music alone spoke for itself; it was fast, dark and heavy – everything you ever needed! The crowd seemed to really like them, there was the odd straggling headbanger at the front and everyone else seemed to be just standing there content with the music.

Now at this point I had a little while to kill before the next band on my agenda, so I decided to go to the downstairs stage and get myself a beer. I was at the bar and I looked up at the stage and saw a laptop in the centre of the stage with a projection on the screen behind. I thought nothing of it. I was standing at the bar chatting to a friend of mine when I felt someone brush against me from behind, naturally I spun round and looked behind. What I saw was a figure dressed in a black, demonic-looking, oversized monk outfit (complete with the cowl) walking through the crowd holding a pillar candle up to the stage. My interest was piqued, so I walked up closer to the stage. The name on the back of the laptop informed me that the act that was currently on stage was OHDAITH. I’d never heard of him before, so this was all new to me; little did I know this accidental discovery would be the highlight of my Siege experience. The music kicked in, it was dark and atmospheric, but nothing could prepare me for what would happen when he picked up the microphone. His voice was dark and haunting, think TYPE O NEGATIVE’s cover of Black Sabbath level of dark and haunting. All throughout there was a visual display being projected onto the back screen of the stage (well, between the technical difficulties which made it switch back to the title screen every now and again). I couldn’t take my eyes off of his performance; so much so that I couldn’t even tell you how the rest of the crowd reacted – I wasn’t even looking! His performance only lasted around 20 minutes but it was the most phenomenal twenty minutes of the entire day. Definitely the highlight of the Siege for me!

The next band on this stage was the ever-awesome Dublin Black Metal act AETERNUM VALE. After what seemed like an hour long set-up they finally started to play. I first heard these guys a few years ago but seriously started listening to them after I saw them support BEHEMOTH last year. They were great then and they’re even better now. Their instruments were exceptionally played. The crowd seemed to love them, there was the odd bit of hair flying around, as usual. Everything worked together and the sound was top. They all had that dark, mysterious air about them which definitely coincided with the music.  The small, dank chamber that was the downstairs stage was full of people to just see them – people have great taste in music! I was sad when their set ended, I wanted more!

Now, at this point my age was showing (I can’t do Sieges like I used to) and I started to get sleepy and my energy was at an all time low. The last band on my agenda was Icelandic Black Metal band SINMARA. They played on the biggest stage of the venue so they definitely had the ability to move around and really show us some personality and they definitely used it well. Their energy was phenomenal. I was right at the front for them and right on the edge of the pit (unfortunately) which opened almost immediately. The floor was like an ice rink with all the spilled beer from previous sets so there was bodies slipping and sliding all over the place, but that didn’t stop anyone! I think I even saw a guy with a bloody nose waltzing around! Their sound was phenomenal and their energy was that of a band who really enjoyed what they were doing. They interacted with the crowd constantly and made sure that the crowd’s energy was as high as theirs; true performers! I really look forward to seeing them again, hopefully they make their way to the Emerald Isle again soon!

At this point I was absolutely pooped so we left. The entire Siege was a great day out. It was a fun filled day of metal, beer and friends. If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Ireland around Easter or Halloween any year, make it your mission to attend this festival. You won’t be disappointed!

Interview with Aeternum Vale

Hi Guys, thank you for taking the time to talk to Metal Temple today. How are you?

Hi Laura, we’re very good thank you. We’re looking forward to getting back on stage because we’ve been away for a few months writing new material.

Let’s start with a little history lesson, what can you tell us about Aeternum Vale?

Vocalist Colin Byrne and guitarist Dave Gibson had played together in other bands and shared a similar musical philosophy, work-rate and professional vision and so, decided to continue working together on a new project.  Owen Ryan Hanbury and Dave “Tipper” McCarron joined a little later and both brought their own unique styles to the band and in 2012 we named the group Aeternum Vale. Our debut album, Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges, was released in late 2013. We worked hard on the live circuit, playing numerous shows throughout the country and based on that hard work and the success of the album we’ve gotten a few brilliant support slots. Cory Annatar joined us this year and his experience in some of Ireland’s biggest metal bands has brought us to another level.

So, you’re just about to play at the Siege of Limerick festival, how does it feel to share the stage with not only Ireland’s finest bands, but some from abroad also?

This is our second time to play the Siege and we were delighted to be asked once again. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the standout dates in the Irish metal calendar and it’s a pleasure to play such a well-run, professional show.  The lineup for Sunday’s show is phenomenal and the promoters deserve huge credit for organising it.

Is there any difference to you between playing the Siege of Limerick in particular rather than some of the smaller shows you’ve played?

The main difference that we’ve noticed between playing festivals and smaller shows is that the crowd at festivals tend to be more willing to check out new bands. The Siege in particular attracts a huge variety of metal heads so it’s an opportunity to attract a different kind of fan, one who maybe wouldn’t go to a night of solely extreme metal music.

Who has been your favourite band to share the stage with?

Supporting Behemoth and 1349 were huge highlights for the band. We’re all fans of both bands so it was a great experience to get to play with them in our hometown. The energy from the crowd at the Behemoth show in particular was something that will long live in the memory.

You’re working on a new album at the moment, how is that going?

The writing process is going really well. The most important dynamic in this band is that everyone is important in the writing process, all members are encouraged to bring in riffs and ideas. There is no release date yet but we are confident that we’ll deliver the album in the first quarter of 2016. There’s a short clip of a new song entitled “In Silence Triumphs Burn” on our YouTube channel:

Cory, you’re back and forth between countries a lot, does that put a strain on the band in any way?

Not at all Laura. I get advance schedules so both I and the band are easily able to work around the dates when I am out of the country, and so far so good.

You’ve just made a new logo, which is very different from your older one. What made you change and what was the thought process that went into the change?

The old logo had been around since the band’s creation so it was time for change. It had served its purpose. We also felt that we needed to make something that would be more visually rewarding for audience members at our shows. We never stop trying to add to our on-stage presence. If someone is paying in to see a band, they should expect not only a tight, professional musical performance but they should also be treated to a visual show.

What do you think the future holds for Aeternum Vale?

After the Siege we have 2 more shows confirmed for this year. They’re with Polish black metallers Det Gamle Besatt and Brazilian legends Crucifixion BR on November 6th in Dublin and 7th in Cork. We expect 2016 to be a big year for the band. The album will be released early in the year and we’ll support it throughout Europe. We’re playing an Irish mini tour with Norwegian metallers Incipit in February and we’re confirmed for Eradication Festival in April. We’re in talks with promoters about a tour through Eastern Europe too so it will be a very busy year.

And finally, what can we expect from your set at the Siege of Limerick?

You can expect an aggressive furious assault on your senses!! It’s 4 months since we last played live and we want to show everyone what they’ve been missing.

That’s all I have for you today. Thank you, again for taking the time to talk to me and best of luck with the show!

Promoter: Bad Reputation
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Edited 03 February 2023

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