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Posted on Wednesday, September 07 2011 @ 22:07:11 CDT by Duncan Glenday
Bloodstock Open Air Festival
Catton Hall, Derbyshire U.K
Nestled in the middle of the English countryside the 2011 edition of the
festival keeps the same ethos as it did when it started from its humble
beginnings, book bands by fans for the real fans and take the odd risk.
Sea Of Tranquility's Mark Davies reports:
With many nursing Thursday hangovers, The Defiled were regarded by many as lambs to
the slaughter opening the mainstage. However they ripped through Bloodstock with
an adrenaline fueled set leaving as conquering heroes and watching skeptics
recovering their jaws from their drinks. Wolf are no strangers to this
festival and once again in a criminally early slot belted out their German metal
to an appreciative audience, closing the set with Voodoo sound problems were
Forbidden powered through a tight set but
something was not right (it later transpired that drummer Mark Hernandez had
left the band on Monday). The delivery of the songs was spot on but you could
sense a certain atmosphere.
Essex hardcore's Romeo Must Die ripped the
SOPHIE LANCASTER tent a new exit with their raw aggressive set ensuring an
invitation for next year is in the mail. Tom G Warrior ensured any sunshine was
quickly extinguished with a dark broody set from Tryptikon, with some
original & Celtic Frost material it made for an intense experience.
Coroner certainly welcomed old and made some new fans with a storming
set. Ron Broder now sporting the sleek head look has lost none of the hunger and
fat bass lines that drew people to them all those years ago. Next up German
titans of thrash Kreator, with a set that was destructive to the senses and
pleasure to the ears, they certainly proved that to headline Bloodstock was
certainly within their grasp someday.
A young fan throws the horns at Kreator
'Flag of Hate' was chanted and waved by
the hordes of metal lovers on the site, many say they certainly should have
headlined and judging by Mille Petrozza's shit eating grin don't be surprised if
they come back soon.
After last year's technically plagued set Devin Townsend
was here to make amends and put on a special performance. Ziltoid's presents
were soon felt when he proclaimed "welcome to Bloodcock" and so Devin launched
into 'Truth', 'Supercrush', 'Juular' and 'Vampira' which was getting its first
ever live airing. Devin, gurning his way through an awesome set with his witty
off the wall banter and exquisite guitar work was Fridays true festival
highlight and certainly ensured his fan base on these shores expanded a truck
WASP on the other hand were a masterstroke to headline, with
everyone well and truly refreshed and tanked up what better way to ensure an
excellent end to the evening by a good old sing along to L.O.V.E Machine, Blind
In Texas and I Wanna Be Somebody. With a back catalogue longer than route 66
Blackie Lawless still has the voice and the ability to command a crowd and
proved to be a worthy choice. After a metal soaked day we all trundled back to
our tents awaiting another day of metal mayhem to come.
My first band of the day was German stalwarts Grave Digger, who put
in a workman like performance on a very rare outing to the U.K. For such an
early slot the Bloodstock faithful were full of noise for the German metal
outfit. Finntroll on the other hand went down an absolute storm with
their folk infused melodies washing lingering hangovers clear in preparation for
more alcohol. What can I say about Ihsahn? Apart from using the words sublime
dark power, an awesome set is delivered to our throbbing skulls which includes
'Scarab', 'Invocation' and a blistering 'Frozen Lakes on Mars' completes a truly
emphatic performance; Bloodstock is left Bloodshocked as we amble to the bar
like holocaust zombies.
Therion had a difficult job from the start, their
over the top symphonic metal fails to ignite apart from the truly faithful
followers. Yes, they are very good at what they do but four singers who just
look like they are waiting for a cab until their part to sing comes up, does not
make for an entertaining set. Rhapsody Of Fire on the other hand put in a
sterling performance, and who would have known their last one with the present
line up. A quick shuffle to the tent to catch Angel Witch proved to be
worth the effort.
Playing to a packed tent the hunger for old school metal and
one of the godfathers of the NWOHM movement certainly treated us to a solid set
that soon got the place chanting 'She's an Angel Witch'. Headliners Immortal
on the other hand missed an opportunity to shine. With an awful mix coupled by
too many drum triggers it all seems as superficial as their face paint, the
faithful lap it up however but for most of us it's like rolling a turd in
Sunday morning, and what better way to
start the day but to be preached to by Hell! The crowd is large for 11am
and thankfully the sound is spot on. 'Welcome To Hell' sees Andy Sneap and Kev
Bower trading solos but its vocalist David Bower who is the focal point
delivering a magnificent performance bordering on Shakespeare meets metal,
Poor old Primordial, having gained a place on the bill
replacing Nevermore their set comes crashing to a halt when three songs in
vocalist A.A Nemtheanga totally loses his voice. The band plays on with audience
participation but the look of pure frustration overshadows what should have been
a triumphant set. They certainly deserve an invitation next year to vanquish the
demons of 2011. Napalm Death soon bring things down with a shuddering
bump, delivering their grindcore to the masses. Barney stalking the stage like
an epileptic on steroids and Shane Embury getting the bass thunder shuddering
through the festival site you can always guarantee a storming set. Hammerfall
deliver a strong power metal interlude to the day before
Exodus cover us
all in thrashtastic riffs and sweat! Getting their set cut short they rip
through the place like a bad burger. Rob Dukes owning the stage and filling it
whilst Gary Halt taught us some thrash history ripping it up old school.
to my band of the weekend, At The Gates. Not being too cynical but last
time they played here was their 'farewell show'. Tomas Lindberg and the band put
their all into this gig and it showed, with the sun beating down the set
steamrollered along leaving a trail of total devastation, the band were tight,
the sound was tremendous and a set closing 'Blinded By Fear' brought Bloodstock
to their corpse painted knees. Over at the 'New Blood Tent' the sound emanating
from the stage was dirty heavy and powerful. Lifer, from South Wales were
bringing their own version of the deep south to the Midlands to a surprisingly
large crowd. A pure no nonsense face ripping set ensured promotion to one of the
larger stages is inevitable.
And so to Motorhead, having seen Lemmy and
the boys countless times this was by far the strangest performance I've seen.
Not talking much to the audience, disappearing for long periods between songs it
seemed all was not right in the Motorhead camp. However when they did play it
was impeccable, 'Iron Fist', 'Ace Of Spades' is what we wanted and it was
delivered. A few days later an apology was posted onto the festival website
stating the band were suffering from some sort of bug which inhibited their
So we come to the end to another very successful
BLOODSTOCK, which gains more credibility and notoriety every year for putting on
the very best metal in the best run most friendly atmosphere ever witnessed for
a festival. Other festivals could learn a lot from these guys, horns up for
August 10–12 2012, save now it's worth the trip.
Words & Pictures
thanks to the noise cartel)
© 2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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