Bloodstock is just around the corner and we’re already preparing our drinking horns for the most metal weekend of the year. But there’s more to the festival line-up than the big guns on the main stage, here we investigate the New Blood Stage and choose the ten bands well worth your time.
**HEXIS **It’s not all bacon, pastries and Lars Ulrich in Denmark, you know… listening to Hexis is akin to being stuck in a wind tunnel somewhere between the North Pole and Hell’s gates: this is chilling, scabrous hardcore delivered with the malicious zeal and bleak intensity of the finest black metal. Not to be missed, particularly for those of us that feel the lure of the abyss on an hourly basis.
**PISS VIPER **How could they not be awesome with a name like that? Gargantuan slabs of excoriating sludge, delivered with maximum spite and serious devotion to The Riff. And the bassist is called Miss Viper, which is the blood-flecked icing on the carcinogenic cake.
**VICTORIAN WHORE DOGS **Their name might conjure images of a spaniel in a lacy bra, but Victorian Whore Dogs are even more terrifying than that. Callous, snarling, left-field hardcore with unnerving, malevolent undercurrents and a heart of purest, acrid sludge, Guildford’s nastiest pieces of work probably don’t want you to enjoy their Bloodstock set. But you will, as you howl into the void and succumb to the onset of permanent tinnitus. Fun times.
**CHAOS TRIGGER **Okay, so the new Bullet For My Valentine album is a bit heavier than the last one, but the true sound of angry South Wales is being redefined by these demented destroyers. Chaos Trigger are simply monstrous: a violent and swivel-eyed blend of muscular groove metal and scattershot extremity, they eschew modern metal cliches in favour of a sound that spits flames while threatening to smash your face in. Truly venomous.
**SPIRYTUS ** Dogged veterans of the UK underground, Spirytus’ cross-pollinated clangour continues to prove brutality and the dancefloor need not be strangers. A rampaging mix of vicious groove metal and lissom funk, the band’s sound brims with adrenalised momentum, sharp dynamics, and will be almost impossible to resist once you’ve downed a few shandies in the sunshine. Metal dancing is definitely a thing, just so you know.
**MORTISHEAD ** No, that rubber-faced troll from Norway has not formed a trip-hop collective. Instead, Mortishead are a hideous, mutant metal crew with nothing short of total annihilation on their agenda. Dark, disturbing and laudably groovy, their slamming, bowel-rattling onslaught bridges the gap between state-of-the-art aggression and something more ugly, perverse and arcane. A breath of fetid air to tempt the nostrils of any black-hearted festival-goer.
**KING LEVIATHAN **Purveyors of clattering thrash with a dash of epic bluster and bursts of melodic modernity, King Leviathan have been tearing it up and flying the metal flag in Brighton for some time now. Bloodstock will be the perfect environment for these old school oddballs to flourish: somewhere between the grandiose riffs, explosions of breakneck speed and spiralling, nimble-fingered solos, the spirit of sonic steel blazes powerfully away. Proper metal, folks.
BURDEN OF THE NOOSE As much as we would all love the sun to come out and stay out at Bloodstock this summer, there is always a place for abject misery and disgust at the UK’s most metal festival. Burden Of The Noose sound like your most squalid nightmares brought to life; a sustained barrage of crippling sludge and whiplash-inducing grind that abandons all hope in advance… to save us the effort, presumably.
**AKARUSA YAMI **Gnarly industrial miscreants with a seemingly fearless approach to assimilating disparate influences into their bludgeoning sound, Akarusa Yami will prove to the lager-drenched masses at Bloodstock that man and machine can co-exist in perfect, disorientating harmony. Riffs and electronics have cosied up many times before, of course, but seldom with as much bug-eyed verve as these maniacs muster.
**FORGOTTEN REMAINS **Flat-out extreme metal that cheerfully rips compromise’s nutsack off and wears it as a hat, Forgotten Remains are rampaging metal warriors from Sheffield’s shadowy metallic underground, hell-bent on reclaiming their city’s steely reputation from the sweaty paws of more commercially-minded pretenders. If you fancy banging your head at Bloodstock – and why wouldn’t you? - this lot will provide the perfect soundtrack.
Check out the full New Blood Stage line-up on the official Bloodstock website.
And you can buy your tickets for Bloodstock here.