TeamCB are only slightly hungover as we get front and center for the start of the main stage activities of BOA 2015 Saturday. It’s great to see bands make the step up to the next level and having seen Savage Messiah playing pubs to 20 people it’s brilliant to see them opening the main stage.
Great to see them getting a big crowd too !
There’s something different about the band though, with Joff departing, with their guitar roadie stepping in to fill the void. Savage Messiah are at the forefront of the new wave of brit-thrash bands and they go down a storm in the mid day sunshine. Dave even gets an emphatic yes to his question, “let’s see if we can get the first circle pit of the day ?” for Scavengers of Mercy.
From a new-ish British thrash band, to one who’s been around since the dark ages. Our first visit to the Sophie tent of the day was next for UK veterans Annihilated where we enjoyed a spot of early doors cobweb removal to the awesome Antisocial Engineering.
Even if they were introduced as Annihilator.
When we spoke to Martyr De Mona in the run up to BOA they could barely hide their excitement about their date with Metal destiny on the new blood stage, like all of the bands given this opportunity they grabbed it with both hands, and even managed to look like they were enjoying themselves. They did suffer from some fairly horrendous technical issues with the on stage sound in the early part of the set but they powered through those and put on the best performance we’ve ever seen from the midlands outfit.
We’ve only caught three bands so far, and it’s still early in the day, but so far Bloodstock is following on from the awesomeness of the previous day and there’s no sign of the pace letting up. We head back out to main stage next for another of our ones to watch, and bloody hell they were good. The sun is out, the hobgoblin is flowing and the ultimate booze fuelled party band are kicking the ultimate booze fuelled party square in the nuts. Its nigh on impossible to describe Korpiklaani, suffice to say at BOA they hit the spot. Folk/rock/metal.. With an accordion. And a fiddle.
1349 are in the black metal corpse-painted slot today. The batter the crowd with their relentless thunder and certainly look great up there. They don’t quite cope with the afternoon sunshine as well as Belphegor did yesterday though, Their set lacks a bit of atmosphere and falls a bit flat.
Korpiklaani don’t look like a band, every member looks like they’re from a different genre, or even decade but when they hit the audience’s party nerve with favourites like Vodka the whole place bounces.. like it or not.
Something rumbling in the distance has caught our ear; Mastiff are making one hell of a racket in the New Blood tent.The Hull foursome, dare we say it, don’t look strictly “New Blood” as they are (we’re guessing) well into their forties. With the notable exception of their guitarist, who looks a bit fresher in the face.
We’re not ones to discriminate here at CackBlabbath, and Mastiff are a terrific force up there on stage. Sour faces all round, the four sludge punks rampage through a set of down-tuned dirge as if their lives depend on it.The big butch attitude slips for one moment at the end of the set where Hodge dedicates the last song to his departed son.
That was one gig we didn’t expect to have a tear in our eye at the end of.
The gaps between the main stage bands are neatly filled by the small Jagermeister stage, and that’s the next port of call for one of the more laid back outfits of the weekend, blues rockers Pig Iron who somehow squeeze themselves into the small space. The band are a welcome relief from the all-types-of-metal and they definitely hit the spot.
Walking back round the merch stalls for another mooch at the wares on sale, we hear some big riffs coming from the Sophie tent, and it turns out they’re not just big, they’re Godsized.
We’ve been fans of these guys for a long time, but it’s been a few years since we’ve caught them live. Frontman Glenn does a lot more audience interaction than when the band last played here, and by God that man can blast out some amazing vocals.. Well when he’s not ripping up the fretboard on his Les Paul.
We’ve been waiting for Godsized to break on through to the next level for what seems like ages, and judging by the horns in the air response they get it’s still surprising it hasn’t happened yet.
Soul Remover keeps things ticking over but we have to stick around to see if they still finish up with the awesome Head Heavy… Well our necks have almost recovered from the workout they got from Sabaton last night.
They did !!
The New Blood stage has been a happy hunting ground for TeamCB, and the run of good bands in there continues with Bloodyard, another band with a singer who makes you wonder where the voice is coming from.
Don’t think we saw happier fans in the New Blood stage all weekend than the possibly intoxicated metalheads in the three person circle pit.
Bloodstock Festival prides itself on being a metal festival through and through. From New Blood acts that constantly surprise you to legends of the genre who come back on regular rotation. Napalm Death fit squarely into the legends slot.
Completed by Walsall’s answer to Munky on guitar, the whirlwind that is Napalm Death treat Bloodstock to some mid-afternoon grind madness. Barney circles the stage like he’s frantically looking for his car keys whilst Shane pounds out those ultra-heavy riffs by the shed-load. Danny looks as though he’s just up there catching some rays until he starts blasting out the likes of the legendary ‘Scum’ and some fine cuts from ‘Aphex Predator’ too.
They are a real sight to behold in full flow!
Back on the Sophie stage there’s some familiar sounding thrash under a familiar looking logo. Judging by the audience devouring the old school riffs Batallion were going down a storm, but we couldn’t hang about, we had another appointment to keep on the Jager stage,
When we arrive there tough, we can’t get near the bloody thing as Knock Out Kaine pack in a crowd that demonstratee that this is a band who definitely wouldn’t be our of place on one of the bigger stages. Proper guitar driven metal us undergoing a renaissance at the moment, and its hot young bands like these guys that are driving it forward. BOA is their last festival this year, and they sign off on a riff-and-solo-tastic high.
Alas being unable to tear ourselves away from the Jager stage meant we only caught 5 minutes of Mordred who had the Sophie stage bouncing to their upbeat “ghetto metal”, driven on by ” the original DJ in da metal”. The tent is rammed as another band try to prove that pointy guitars and turntables can actually work together.
And work they do, infectious grooves aplenty.
The spirit of seminal metal band Death and the visionary Chuck Schuldiner is being kept alive and well by Death DTA. While Eric is at home polishing the re-issues of some of the greatest death metal albums ever; this lot (Steve Digiorgio, Gene Hoglan, Bobby Koeble and Max Phelps) are out on the road bringing Death’s music to a 21st Century audience.
They do a mighty fine job of ripping through the Death catalogue; just seeing that huge Death backdrop up on stage is something we thought we would never see. Hearing the likes of ‘Leprosy’ and ‘Suicide Machine’ being belted out across the Bloodstock arena however… well, that was ace!
Flattery goes a long way at BOA, and the next band on the New Blood stage shamelessly creep their way into the audience’s affections “Good grief there a lot of beautiful people out there. For those people who don’t know us we’re Victorian Whore Dogs”.
For those people who do know them, they’re still Victorian Whore Dogs…
The band did deliver the intro of the weekend though, “This song goes out to anyone who has a snatch, this is called snatch files”
Back to the Sophie tent next for Planet Of Zeus who purvey some of the heaviest downtuned metal known to man, delivered with the unstoppable inevitability of a weather system. Up against the grandeur and might of Opeth on the main stage they still manage to draw a substantial crowd and provide CBs soundtrack as we take stock as the sun goes down on the second full day of BOA2015.
From the subsonic to the ridiculous next, with HanOwaR facing a sword wielding.. And quite drunk.. Crowd on the Jager stage. No prizes for guessing who they’re a tribute band for, and extra bonus points for the fun-fur ManOwaR underpants.
A lot more entertaining than Opeth in the opinion of certain members of team CB.
With the late evening sunshine gently glowing over a sizeable main stage crowd, Mikael Åkerfeldt strides out to the mellow Opeth intro tape. The rims of his aviator sunglasses send out a flash of light from the setting sun before him; he looks unusually rock star tonight.
Former headliners here at Catton Hall, Opeth are true Bloodstock royalty. Since their last performance here the band have grown and morphed into prog-metal maestros but there is plenty in the set for the heavy-at-heart Bloodstock faithful.
It’s a typical Opeth show from start to finish. No bells or whistles, just a plethora of the very best songs from the back catalogue. The stage lights go into a chaotic flurry in the heavier bits of the set but all in all there is no need for anything but the music. Opeth are just as majestic as we are used to them being. With the setting sun behind us creating a special atmosphere it all makes for one of the shows of the weekend.
Indonesian metallers (and Metal Hammer darlings) Burgerkill have successfully bridged the gap from the Asian metal scene over to the more lucrative European scene after slogging away at their trade for a few years. Last week they were at Wacken and today they arrive on the Sophie stage to a big old Bloodstock welcome. Having the likes of Dom Lawson in your fan base (who pops up to check they’re okay up there in the set) will always help you get recognised but these guys have the music and the stage presence to thrust themselves in the limelight.
Mixing up a strange brew of thrash, death and even a bit of grind; Burgerkill are a rabid bunch of metalheads making a blistering noise. You could say that any band are powerful at Bloodstock, it’s the nature of our music, but Burgerkill have that special energy onstage that you just can’t help getting swept up in.
Within Temptation were another headline band who could have done with a tank to liven things up. We do like Sharon Den Adel and her symphonic metal crew, and although they give it everything they did kind of confirm our pre-fest fears that they aren’t the headline band we’re looking for, and no amount of pyro and stormtrooper corsetry can hide that.
Still, we found Jesus in the serpents lair, and Ben from Orange Goblin made a brave boast.. He said they were going to top their circle pit inducing Hellfest set..
Can’t wait to see them try.
Still, if symphonic metal isn’t your bag, there was always Fleshgod Apocalypse in an absolutely rammed Sophie Lancaster tent. It’s often strange the things we agree on, and there was a rare moment of accord within team CB, Fleshgod Apocalypse were off-the-scale intense and brought our day to a loud, sweaty and utterly brilliant end.
So there you go, three days in and one to go…
Best get to bed then..
Oh, OK, one more Hobgoblin then..