Bloodstock 2014: Biohazard and Avatar

While the Bloodstock site is turned to boggy mud from the intermittent yet intense downpours, the main stage crowd are still ready to party with Biohazard and Avatar.

A break in the weather gives Biohazard a chance to get the party going, and despite the atrocious sound the band grab the opportunity by the balls. Regardless of your opinion on the music, the New York quartet are impossible not to enjoy, never standing still as they cover every inch of the stage through leaping, bouncing spinning and climbing over cabinets, expelling twice as much energy as any other band this weekend and putting bands half energy as bands half their age to shame. Guitarist/vocalist Billy Graziadei in particular is unstoppable, spending half his time playing to the front row as does on stage, laying down his own band’s unique brand of crossover metal. Down For Life and Urban Discipline gets the pit moving, but it’s the finale Punishment that marks one of the highlights of the weekend. Dozens of fans are dragged from the mud to join in the party onstage, slam dancing and grabbing the mic in an unashamed celebration leaving everyone on stage and in the crowd in raptures. Awesome. (910) (AR)

With a last minute change to an earlier time slot as well as a move up to the Ronnie James Dio Stage stage due to an issue with Graveyard, it’s a somewhat sparse mob that are stood in the mud to greet Gothenburg troupe Avatar, but it’s not long before the metallers’ infectious brand of nu-metal vibed melodic death draws the masses in. Frontman Johannes Eckerström conducts the carnival like some evil ringmaster and with a maniacal grin spread across his face he has everyone jumping and fist pumping on command as Black Waltz has people stomping about, dancing and generally causing havok in the mud bath and Let It Burn grooves along to help continue the fun. Bloody Angel and Paint Me Red keep things moving apace, but it’s Smells Like A Freakshow that inevitably gets the best response of the set, its catchy chorus just begging to be sung while heads are banged and shapes are thrown. (710) (JH)