Bloodstock 2014: Orphaned Land and Crowbar

As the sun beats down on Catton Hall, Bloodstock are treated to some delicious morsels of heavy metal from Orphaned Land and Crowbar back to back.

It’s a fairly sparse, but appreciative crowd that meets Israeli folk metallers Orphaned Land this afternoon as they continue their quest to champion peace between the religions through music. While the message is certainly performed well enough today, with tracks such as The Simple Man and The Kiss Of Babylon being belted out with plenty of sincerity, a terrible mix unfortunately loses a good part of what is a great vocal delivery from Kobi Farhi, while an overpowering rhythm section makes a good job of drowning out what’s left. It’s perhaps not surprising given that the band come from Israel that Farhi brings up the current conflict waging between his country and Gaza. “I told them that the only conflict between us is who is going to buy the next beer, and that’s the way it should be,” says the frontman talking about sharing the bands recent Global Metal award with with Palestinian friends and recent tourmates, Khalas at Hammer’s Golden Gods. If only it could be that simple. (610) (JH)

With such a breadth of extreme metal bands on offer there are many contenders for heaviest band of the weekend, but it’s hard to look past Crowbar for the top accolade. An overused cliché it may be, but when the waves of riffs and Kirk Windstein’s agonised roar connect it truly makes for an incomparable, cathartic bludgeoning. Whether the low-end riffs and twin harmonies are sped up by Tommy Buckley’s double-bass drumming or slowed down to a glacial pace, the New Orleans sludge legends’ sound is utterly without equal, and backed by the likes of Walk With Knowledge Wisely off this year’s formidable Symmetry In Black the band prove they’re as vital and relevant as ever. The devastating finale of the oppressive Planets Collide lives up to its moniker and sends the crowd into raptures, with no doubt a few necks sore and a few souls purged in the process. (810) (AR)