Bloodstock 2011: [Saturday]
Despite my early[ish] night, I still managed to wake up late, slightly hung-over reaching for the paracetamols aswell as my camera to start another day of METAL viewing!
First band for today was DRIPBACK playing in the Sophie Lancaster Stage.
Being a slightly new band these guys have an impressive band history including TED MAUL guitarist, LUCA GDRAX who invited ex band mate, drummer HELLHOG (currently of PURE NEGATIVE), Ex-LABRAT bass player ADAM DA RAT, and the duo of RIVER FRESHNEY’S LEE4 (guitars) and WEZ4 (Vocals), so it is no surprise these guys have already formed an impressive fan base!
Dripback are certainly a band who can clear any hungover, with Hardcore/death/grind, fury vocals blasting through your head, they could clearly wake the dead!
They have such a fun, energetic stage presence I was really impressed with their set!
Even with an earlyish lunch time set these guys managed to fill-up the tent with metal fans and there was pretty much every photographer there snapping away, which was no surprise really considering Bassist Adam Da Rat, organises all the press passes for Bloodstock!
But I’m glad to say I did really love this band, I loved WEZ4 with his impressive vocal range with his low and high growls and screams, with the band having some really impressive guitar riffs and amazing fast drumming; these guys were awesome live and definitely worth checking out!
Even with a 40 minute long set I could’ve easily watched for longer, until my ears bled or head imploded but I have to say these guys are fantastically, brutally, aggressively AWESOME!
I will definitely check them out when they play in London in December.
On The Cross/No God, No Master / Stig / Whimper / Kick Out Time / Distrust / High / Dilapidated Soul / Under The Floor
Taking a short stroll to recover after that set, we went over to the main stage for IHSAHN!
I was looking forward to seeing this Black-progressive metal band from Norway as the stuff I’ve heard previously I have really enjoyed, but I have never seen them live and missed them when they played in London.
After a long sound check, with a pretty patient crowd, they finally arrived on stage.
Despite my anticipation for seeing these guys I have to say I was pretty disappointed and not impressed with their performance.
Maybe it was my enthusiasm for seeing them but they seemed to lack the energy on stage, compared to the bands that played previously and given the crowds reaction I don’t think I was the only one thinking this.
Despite a slow start, they did seem to pick up towards the end of their set, playing some great tracks but they just never showed the same stage presence or excitement expected on a stage this size.
The crowd did seem to warm up to them too, as they picked up and by the time their set had finished they were received by a large applause and cheers.
I’m still glad I got to see them perform, but think I would have preferred to have seem them play live for the first time at a gig, rather than at a festival!
The Barren Lands/ A Grave Inversed/ Unhealer /Called by the Fire /Misanthrope /Frozen Lakes On Mars
We pretty much stayed on the main stage all day given today’s line-up which was great as it was less running around, and it wasn’t long until WINTERSUN took to the stage!
I was so pleased to have seen these guys this year, especially as they pulled out of Bloodstock in 2009.
Again starting with a long sound check and some technical probs, the crowds’ impatient cheers & chanting were strong behind me as myself and other photographers waited patiently for Wintersun to arrive on stage!
But they were worth the wait!
I absolutely love this Finnish-Folk-Metal band and I’m so happy I finally got to see them live!
The cheers were strong and loud behind me as these guys stepped onto stage, which could be heard throughout the whole arena!
This is definitely a band worth seeing live, they have such a strong bond with each other and have amazing energy, which is no surprise really given their history.
Jari Mäenpää vocals are amazing live and so strong, with the crowd uniting and singing along with other band members Kai Hahto on Drums, Jukka Koskinen on Bass and Teemu Mäntysaari on Guitar clearly showing their talent!
Constantly thanking the crowd for their support in between their songs you could tell the band members loved being up there playing on stage, and I was so pleased they played one of my faves songs ‘Winter Madness’!
Playing some new tracks aswell as some older ones, their set list was epic, playing an extremely strong and tight set, ending on ‘Starchild’. I enjoyed every minute of their 45minute set and the crowd never stopped showing their support with the crowd running around enthusiastically, with metal horns high up in the air followed with some plastic swords!
This was another highlight of today’s line-up!
Beyond The Dark Sun / Battle Against Time / Sleeping Stars / Winter Madness / The Way Of The Fire / Starchild
With a 30 minute break, it was soon time for THERION to take to the Stage!
Therion aren’t just a band that needs to been experienced live, but they a theatrical performance that needs to be experienced!
Tonight they introduced a new vocalist member, making this now an 8 member band with the following members: Christofer Johnsson, Thomas Vikström, Johan Koleberg, Nalle Påhlsson, Christian Vidal and current collaborators: Lori Lewis, Snowy Shaw, Katarina Lilja, Waldemar Sorychta
So it was a good job they were on the large main stage tonight, just so there was enough room for them all!
From the moment these guys stepped onto the stage there was no doubt these guys know how to put on a show, with such strong orchestral vocals which sent goosebumps up my arms & throughout my body, which never stopped through-out their 60 minute set!
Taking turns to front the stage they sang in perfect harmony with one another, with their impressive harmonies they were a pleasure to watch.
You could tell they had rehearsed their routine well with every member knowing where to stand and when to take front stage so despite there being so many members they always looked in place & professional constantly watching each other and keeping in time!
Their outfits were just as dramatic as they vocals & stage presence but I wasn’t too sure about their face masks they decided to wear in the middle of their set, it kind of game them a childish feel which wasn’t needed but the rest of their outfits were amazing with the men in tight leather trousers and frilly shirts and the women in feminine gothic dresses.
This may have been my first time seeing them live but I certainly hope it isn’t my last!
Sitra Ahra /Hellequin/Nifelheim /The Perennial Sophia/Clavicula Nox/Call of Dagon/Typhon/Ljusalfheim /To Mega Therion /The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah
Next to take the stage were Italy’s Symphonic Powerhouse Metal Band…
RHAPSODY OF FIRE!
It was clear from the start and the amount of people running to the front of the barriers that many metal fans had come to see these guys play tonight!
This is a band that is clearly loved and has an extremely strong fan base, playing tracks which included ‘Emerald Sword’ and ‘Holy Thunderforce’ they have such energy and enthusiasm on stage it’s hard not to get caught up with the excitement which made me suddenly want to prepare for battle!
Their fan base was strong and the field was packed with screaming fans wearing their t-shirts, singing along loudly to every word with plastic swords held high in the air!
With vocals so loud and strong, showing such great vocal range, these guys played flawlessly throughout their 60minute set.
This is definitely a band that needs to be experienced, they are truly powerful and play perfectly together it is incredible to watch and wow can Fabio Lione hold a note!
Rhapsody of Fire Setlist:
Triumph Or Agony/Holy Thunderforce /The Village Of Dwarve /On The Way To Ainor/Dawn Of Victory /Lamento Eroico/Unholy Warcry/The March Of The Swordmaster/Reign Of Terror/Emerald Sword
If this wasn’t enough excitement for one night then the next band certainly would be….IMMORTAL!
Despite them being a less-serious band in the black metal genre and having the resemblance to the band KISS, this was their first time playing in the UK in ten years and I was excited seeing them perform tonight!
Due to their dramatic entrance on stage which featured, pyrotechics…you name it, they had it, and with every photographer there wanting to shoot them, we were split into groups and unfortunately we missed their entrance on stage and due to only being able to shoot for one song I was only able to get a few shots in before we had to leave (trust me to stand at the back!) So sorry for lack of photos =/ But I can tell you how amazingly awesome they were!
I have never seen the festival as packed as I had tonight, with so many fans dressed up in full black metal gear and the infamous white corpse paint on, and with a full-moon to accompany the night’s atmosphere which was a perfect setting for them!
It was no doubt these guys were the most anticipated band playing this evening, with everyone buzzing about them in-front and behind the stage!
I couldn’t help getting slightly excited myself seeing them so close on stage, they have such a presence to them it’s hard not to get mesmerised! They played so well with each member swapping sides so everyone could get a good view, unfortunately the only view I got was of a large speaker in my face!
But once outside the photo-pit I was able to move into the crowd and get a good proper view of the band! Their humour and silliness is always on show, especially with Abbath‘s crab walking skills, they certainly show off their strange sense of humour.
But saying that, they played flawlessly and with a sound that was so loud and intense I don’t know how the audience in the first few rows managed to keep their ear drums intact!
They played a great set, and of course came back for an encore.
Immortal are a truly fantastic band and seeing them play live tonight just showed me how immense their sound is! After their encore the stage went black and as the crowd dispersed, with everything being lit by the full moon tonight, it really did make for the perfect ending to their set!
All Shall Fall / Sons Of Northern Darkness / The Rise Of Darkness / Damned In Black / The Call Of The Wintermoon / Solarfall / In My Kingdom Cold / Tyrants / One By One / Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark) / Grim & Frostbitten Kingdoms / Withstand The Fall Of Time /
Encore:Beyond The North Waves / The Sun No Longer Rises
Well being a Saturday night, the night had only began so we soon hit the Sophie Lancaster Stage to witness some funny metal karaoke which followed again with the 4 DJ’s of the Apocalyse!
After quite a few drinks we decided to hit the stalls, which to my delight was pretty cheap, then it was off to the fun fair which ended up with us spinning around up-side down, with myself loving every moment and my mate screaming that he was slipping into another dimension and was going to be sick! Luckily he wasn’t, but I still don’t think he has forgiven me for making him go on it!
This was such a fantastic day, with some amazing bands playing and it was back to the coldness of our tent for yet another day of METAL!