Bloodstock 2014: Hatebreed and Dimmu Borgir

As the thousands of metallers prepare for Down's headline set, they've got Hatebreed and Dimmu Borgir to get through first.

Two years are triumphantly defying the clueless minority who claimed they had no place at Bloodstock, Hatebreed secure another effortless victory. Even by his high-standards Jamey Jasta gives absolutely everything to the performance, exuding enthusiasm with every breath and looking genuinely humbled by the overwhelming reaction, even bringing a diehard six-year-old up on stage to join in the festivities. Whether it’s the metallic hooks of Honor Never Dies, merciless crunch of Smash Your Enemies, old-school bounce of Last Breath or mass singalongs of Perseverance and I Will Be Heard, every word is shouted back with aplomb, as Wayne Lozniak and Frank Novinec’s riffs lay down a wall of sound that’s as formidable as anything else on the stage today. As Jamey again reiterates how honoured he is to be sharing a stage with so many legends, everyone looking on knows his band have today again proved that they deserve a place among them. (910) (AR)

Technical issues mean that Dimmu Borgir are a full 25 minutes late by the time they hit the stage in an explosion of pyro, but before the symphonic black metallers can even launch fully into their second song of the night Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse, further issues put a grinding halt to proceedings once again. With the increasing annoyance of the gathered mass, not even the sight of Silenoz jamming out a quick rendition of Smoke On The Water can lighten the mood, so it’s lucky that the Norwegians get to crack on before things start to turn ugly as tracks such as The Serpentine Offering, Gateways and Puritania are fired off amongst the flames and explosions to quickly get heads banging and horns held high. Despite all of the issues on stage and the shortened set, Dimmu seem to have done just about enough to rescue things tonight. Just. (610) (JH)