10 bands you can't afford to miss at Bloodstock this year

Bloodstock 2016

The UK’s most proudly metallic festival kicks off again on August 11, and this year’s lineup is looking pretty damn great. No one will want to miss headline sets from Slayer, Mastodon and Twisted Sister (their last ever UK show!), Behemoth and Satyricon performing classic albums in full or, of course, the mighty Gojira, but the rest of the bill is crammed with potential moments of steel-plated glory, too…


Friday, Ronnie James Dio Stage

If you’re old enough to remember the 90s you may still not remember this lot. Misery Loves Co. should have been huge, with a sound that welded enormous metal riffs to the cold, snarling power of industrial rock. Their self-titled 1995 debut is simply an industrial metal benchmark, and the Swedes’ two subsequent albums were killer, too. But then they disappeared… until now!


Friday, Ronnie James Dio Stage

The UK’s silliest band might as well be Bloodstock’s house band, such is their enormous popularity at Catton Hall. The last time they played at the festival two years ago, they had one of the biggest crowds of the entire weekend, despite coming on at 11am. Well worth watching for the inevitable outbreaks of drunken audience participation alone.


Friday, Sophie Lancaster Stage

Every festival needs a few moments of total chaos. Meta-Stasis specialise in such things, as last year’s album The Paradox Of Metanoia noisily demonstrated. Somewhere between the extreme metal avant-garde and the irresistible rhythmic oomph of Slipknot, this London, Reading and Brightonbased circus of madmen are conjuring terrifying new forms of mutant metal.


Friday, Sophie Lancaster Stage

Do you like riffs? Do you like beards? Do you hope to achieve an altered state of consciousness at Bloodstock? Of course you do (and yes, that last one was a euphemism for getting wasted). Well, the mighty Boss Keloid are clearly the band to fulfill all your festival requirements. April’s Herb Your Enthusiasm album took sludge to new levels of psychedelic ingenuity and, as a result, Wigan’s finest look destined to become standard-bearers for the UK’s increasingly healthy doom and stoner rock scenes. Bongtastic.


Saturday, Ronnie James Dio Stage

Not content with performing with Paradise Lost later in the day, guitarist Greg Mackintosh will also be letting rip with his filthy, old-school death metal crew, Vallenfyre. An instant hit with fans of grimy brutality when they released the emotionally charged A Fragile King in 2011, they upped the ante with 2014’s Kurt Ballou-produced Splinters.


Saturday, Sophie Lancaster Stage

Jørgen Munkeby’s warped jazz-metal mob were never the likeliest of smash hits with the metal faithful, but these Norwegian revolutionaries have gone down a storm pretty much everywhere. Apparently metal fans really, really dig a well-played saxophone. Not to be missed if you like your metal weird.


Sunday, Ronnie James Dio Stage

With a lineup boasting Testament’s Alex Skolnick, Megadeth’s David Ellefson and ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Metal Allegiance already have the credentials to disprove the usual cynicism about metal supergroups. Last year’s debut album was a belter, too. Dark Angel frontman Markm Osegueda will be leading the charge at Bloodstock, but don’t be surprised if a few more famous faces make an appearance for their set.


Saturday, Sophie Lancaster Stage

One of the most enjoyable moments at Download festival this year was the sight of The King Is Blind playing to a packed-out tent and looking thrilled by the experience. With a thunderous sound that straddles everything from vicious black metal blasting to infectious, mid-paced crunch, these burly Brits are one of the most promising new bands in the UK right now, and Bloodstock is the perfect place to see them consolidate their growing reputation.


Sunday, Sophie Lancaster Stage

If the idea of insanely violent, progressive thrash with songs based on intricate sci-fi concepts doesn’t appeal to you, we don’t know what you’re doing with your life, frankly. Nonetheless, we still recommend you go to Bloodstock and check out Vektor: this year’s Terminal Redux is one of the most ambitious and batshit crazy things we’ve heard in a while, and few things go down better with a pint of foaming ale than some balls-to-the-wall thrash.


Sunday, Sophie Lancaster Stage

Quite possibly the greatest thing ever to come from Slough, Divine Chaos deservedly received rave reviews for their 2014 album A New Dawn In The Age Of War: a tour-de-force of ultra-modern brutality with tons of old-school melody thrown in. Oh, and loads of blistering guitar solos. Always a pleasure. Catch them at Bloodstock if you fancy having your face ripped off. Not literally. As far as we know.


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Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.