Yes! We’re back! The UK’s biggest and best metal festival has stormed into Catton Park for another weekend of all things heavy. There’s death metal, thrash metal, black metal, hardcore, deathcore and everything else in between. This is what happened on the opening day of Bloodstock!
The British weather must be planning something evil
Okay, it’s getting weird now. Firstly we had a sunny Download festival, then it didn’t rain at Glastonbury and now Bloodstock is holding up its end of the bargain. Sure, it’s a bit grey and it did rain a bit during Decapitated, but it’s warm and wellies aren’t compulsory! This doesn’t seem right to us. Surely the sky is planning something sinister to make up for the lack of mudfests we’ve had to endure so far this year. Although to be fair, the heaviness of Abhorrent Decimation tomorrow might break open all the clouds anyway.
Deathcore has a home at Bloodstock
While Bloodstock’s main stage might be home to some of heavy metal’s ‘80s icons this weekend (Testament, Kreator, Megadeth), the Friday starts with the newer and more br00tal breed. Chelsea Grin and Whitechapel are two of the biggest names in deathcore and the back-to-back beatdowns shake away all remnants of a hangover.
Metalheads love their beer
Usually when you go to a festival you’re left with a small handful of choices for a beverage. Do you go for the lager, the slightly different lager, the cider or a mixer? Job done. But at Bloodstock there are loads of ales, bitters, lagers, stouts, porters and everything in between for any booze aficionado to taste and (more importantly) get messy with. If you’re not ten super-strength pints deep by the time Amon Amarth come on then you’re doing it wrong.
Devilment fail to reach terminal velocity
While it’s always great to see Dani Filth onstage, today his ‘other band’ struggle to really connect with the Bloodstock crowd. As Dani prowls around the stage, barking and wailing in his signature style, the band rarely get out of first gear, with their usual passion and enthusiasm unable to fully establish itself. The sound isn’t great either, which doesn’t help, with the band’s gothic nuances disappearing in the air. Today isn’t their day.
Decapitated are unstoppable right now
With latest album Anticult still ringing in our ears, the Polish death metal titans bulldozed the main stage to crumbs and dust. An absolutely brutal display of aggression and power from one of the most technical yet savage bands on the face of the earth. One of the best sets we’ll see this weekend, that’s for sure.
Festival food has stepped up a gear
Years ago all you’d get at a festival is an undercooked burger and some soggy chips for the price of a small car. But those days are over, buddy! Not only does Bloodstock cater for all the veggies and vegans (get involved with the nacho chilli bowl), but there’s a bloody OSTRICH BURGER WITH JACK DANIEL’S ONIONS. Yes, that is a thing and it exists at Bloodstock because it’s probably the most metal thing you can do with a flightless bird and bourbon.
Black Moth know a thing or two about riffs
If you don’t listen to Black Moth then you need to change that immediately. Go on, we’ll wait… Wasn’t that good?! Well imagine that in a big tent, with the Leeds riffmonsters’ sludgy riffs blasting into your skull. Vocalist Harriet Hyde is a superstar up there, floating and dancing amongst the stoner metal in her very shiny trousers, while her cohorts worship Sabbath in all their doomy glory. There’s a new album coming. Get ready.
The wind isn’t Testament’s friend
Testament are always solid, that much is a guarantee, but when the sound is lost amidst the gusts of wind circling the festival site it’s hard not to be disappointed. Chuck Billy moves around stage like the giant he is, barking into his microphone (that he doubles up as an air guitar) but at times all you can hear is drums. Damn you, weather!
Amon Amarth are on fire!
It’s no secret that Amon Amarth are fans of pyro and the rumours surrounding tonight’s production have been circulating online for weeks, but we didn’t expect that! Literal fountains of fire shoot out into the crowd, singeing some eyebrows in the process. The explosions, the CO2, the flaming runes, THE VIKING SHIP, this is how headline sets are done at Bloodstock. Step up.
Amon Amarth deserve this spot
Amon Amarth are a Bloodstock band, through and through. Yeah, they’ll pop up at countless outdoor weekenders across Europe, but they belong here, surrounded by dyed-in-the-wool headbangers and lifelong metalheads. This is the place that invented Epic Viking Rowing for Odin’s sake! And as thousands of fans sit on the floor to take part in the biggest row of all time (seriously, it must be some kind of world record) there’s an overwhelming feeling of joy and justification for a band that have built they legacy and reputation on doing things their own way – their very metal way. Long live the good ship Amon Amarth and all who sail in her.