This is Bloodstock, through the eyes of Yours Truly… me. Please keep in mind that any views through my eyes during that time period may have been slightly… blurry. I blame the alcohol pixie! Damn you alcohol pixie!
Unfortunately, it is impossible to watch every single band at a festival – that is, of course, unless you have the ability to split yourself into multiple parts and you don’t feel the need to eat. So, since Loucifer Speaks is very much a one woman band, I can only tell you about the bands that I did see. Seems obvious really, but I just thought I’d mention it.
To be honest, I wasn’t planning on writing any kind of review for Bloodstock since it was meant to be a holiday… but, meh, here I am! To keep things nice and simple, I’m going to give each band a score out of 10 and put it next to their name when I mention them… e.g. The Smurfs . Geddit? Got it? Good
My little Bloodstock holiday started on the Thursday (because that’s how I roll… and it’s when the coach was) and so the first band I saw was Achren . Not only was Achren’s set a fantastic way to spend roughly half an hour of your life, but it was also the band’s album launch. Even though the set was relatively short, the band still managed to showcase their talents and I’m sure more than a few handfuls of people left the Sophie Lancaster tent as newly converted Achren fans. Following hot on Achren’s heels were Revoker . At first, I thought Revoker’s brand of Metallic Rock was an odd choice, but festivals are all about mixing things up and Revoker really captured the mood of the crowd. People were singing, dancing, jumping and headbanging. All in all, these are all good signs of a job well done!
Next up were Xerath  who put on a great show in spite of the muddy sound that they seemed to be experiencing. I really do feel that they could have sounded better and this affected my overall listening experience… in fact, I know that they can sound better. Perhaps it was just bad luck, or poor set up, or maybe it was the tech gremlins. Still, I had beer and metal and therefore I was happy. Beholder  put on a great show and were the band of the night for me. Awesome songs, a terrific stage presence and a fantastic cover of Lamb of God’s “Redneck” proved that this is a band who really know what they’re doing!
When I woke up on Friday morning I had every intention of seeing The Defiled – I really did. Unlike some people, I actually do believe that they’re a great band – and an incredibly entertaining live band as well. I still can’t believe the amount of stick they (and the Bloodstock organisers) got when they were announced for this festival. Anyway, as I said, I planned to see them, but I ended up going on a backstage tour instead. No, this wasn’t because I have a nice website, this was because I’m a member of the Rock Society. I may be a member of the press (well, if you use the term EXTREMELY loosely ), but I’m happy to pay my way and support the bands and festivals that I like. The only thing that bugged me was that I didn’t have a photo pass. Maybe next year? *Fingers crossed that someone from Bloodstock-land is reading this*
Instead, the first band for Saturday for me was Wolf . I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing these guys before, but I’m pleased to say that they really know how to work a crowd – especially considering they were one of the first bands to play. A little cheesy in places, but on the whole they were good quality traditional metal. Poisonblack  were on top form – even though Ville was injured and had to spend the whole set sitting down. I still can’t describe how good I thought they were without resorting to high pitched squeaking. But, believe me, they were good. Worship them now!
Triptykon  were awe-inspiring, but I really think that their set would have been even better had it been dark. Byfrost  were amazing and their set really showed that they need more recognition over here. Perhaps a headline UK tour is in order? Blackened thrash at its absolute best! I’ve also interviewed the band and this will be online very soon.
Due to the Byfrost interview (and the fact that Charlotte (my gig buddy) and I got distracted by the bar), the next (and final) band for Friday was WASP . WASP may not have the best track record with albums – I’d be lying if I said that I loved everything they’ve ever released, but they certainly know how to put on a show… and Blackie had the crowd in the palm of his hand. The band chose a terrific set list that included most of the classics. A great end to a great day!
Skeletonwitch  kicked off Saturday in style and even managed to get a circle pit going at 11 o’clock in the morning. The band were full of energy and it was ridiculously infectious – Who needs coffee?
I’m not usually a fan of Power Metal (aside from Edguy and Powerwolf), but I was completely blown away by Tarot . I seriously cannot fault their set at all. The music was amazing and the onstage banter was hilarious. Tarot is a band well worth checking out if you haven’t already. I even ended up buying their most recent album from one of the CD stalls. And… it was completely worth it! I have no doubt that a review of that little gem will be coming very soon!
I have to admit that I’m a little bit of a Finntroll  fangirl… but credit where credit is due – these guys really know how to get a crowd moving. If you can listen to Finntroll without having to jump around, headbang, do a little jig or move your body in some way, I reckon you’re from another planet. Finntroll played a fantastic selection of songs (some new-ish, some old) and – from what I could see – most of the crowd was lapping it up!
I’ve been waiting to see Wintersun  for years… and Jari Mäenpää and co didn’t disappoint! The songs sounded as good as they do on the album and we were even treated to something new. Does this mean that the new album will be released soon? I have my fingers, toes, legs, arms and eyes crossed that this is the case.
Angel Witch  provided us all with an excuse to have a good ol’ sing-along. As much as I wanted to see Immortal , I found them to be pretty boring and we made our way to the bar pretty quickly. I’ll still happily listen to their albums, but live they just didn’t do it for me.
1349  started Sunday in a terrifically unholy way – and their set put Immortal to shame. Amazing stuff – and I’m definitely planning to see them when they come back to the UK in October! Primordial  were incredibly impressive – and even managed to hold the crowd’s attention when AA Nemtheanga lost his voice. Despite playing to a tent that was not at its capacity, Hellish Outcast  were astoundingly good! Hellish Outcast definitely get the Loucifer Speaks Stamp of Approval.
Exodus  were fantastic and have me kicking myself because I’ve never really paid a huge amount of attention to them – this will change now! At The Gates  were mesmerising and I sure as hell hope that this wasn’t really their last gig. Please, sir… Can we have some more?
I have to admit that following “Illud Divinum Insanus” (see my review here), I was a little bit apprehensive about seeing Morbid Angel , but I shouldn’t have worried – these guys are absolute pros and I was putty in their collective hands from start til finish. Even the new songs sounded great live… I think I’m going to have to give the new album another listen. Definitely one of my favourite performances from the whole festival! Loved it! The atmosphere was amazing too
Next up were Motorhead . Now, I LOVE Motorhead. I really do. I love them more than chocolate, but I really wasn’t feeling their set on this occasion… and I don’t think they were either. I noticed that they released a statement following Bloodstock saying that they were suffering from viruses, but I think the fans would have been happier and more sympathetic had an announcement been made before or during their set. As it was, the set was cut short with lots of stops and starts in between. I still love Motorhead and I’m not going to let one less-than-sensational bad gig put me off them (afterall, everyone has their ‘off days’).
If you saw any of the bands I haven’t mentioned, please feel free to post your thoughts in the comments box below… Hell, you can also comment on the bands that I have mentioned too.
Overall, Bloodstock was fantastic and I’m already looking forward to next year. Speaking of which, who would you like to see next year?
Also, next year I really want to make more of an effort to go to the New Blood stage… but Bloodstock need to stop putting good bands on the mainstage so then I have time to do so lol
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