BLOODSTOCK FESTIVAL 2012

September 9th, 2012
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Bloodstock Festival 2012

@ Catton Park, Derbyshire, UK

9th – 12th August

Review by Joffie Lovett

Photography by Jamie Hunter




Thursday 9th August

First of all apologies to anyone who was hoping for reviews of the Thursday night warm-up bands, after such a long day of driving and being cooped up in a boiling hot, by the we got all our tents and everything sorted we were pretty exhausted, so we’ll be starting the review from the Friday, which essentially is the first full day of the festival. Game on!

Friday 10th August

Having been to Bloodstock 2 or 3 times in the past, but not camped (what can I say, I like having a comfy bed to actually get some sleep in and a shower) I was interested to see what the campsites at Bloodstock would be like and the nice thing I can say about Bloodstock is how laid back it is, compared to some other festivals I’ve been to.

With a friendly atmosphere and whole families attending, with older and younger kids it has a nice holiday feel to it.

It certainly is a beautiful thing to see an entire family enjoying some kick ass Heavy Metal in the sunshine! I certainly don’t think half my family would enjoy watching Behemoth though!

So, after waking up pretty early and watching the morning mist burn away, we made our way into the festival site.

It’s kind of eerie walking round the site that early in the morning with practically no one else around and all the stores just starting to open up, and I can imagine most people at festivals who sleep most of the day don’t get to see it that way, but it really gives you a sense of just how much work goes into putting on even a smaller size festival like Bloodstock.

So after a few hours of checking out the various things that the festival has to offer it’s time for the first band of the day…

Malefice

I personally have not heard of the band before, but right from the get go this is a band that you can’t help but groove to.


With songs like ‘An Architect Of Your Demise’ that fuses elements of Melodic Death Metal like Dew Scented, At The Gates and more modern melodic Metal of bands like Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage & Pantera, this song alone certainly got my head banging and the slow breakdowns of the chorus are just the kind of down tuned, chugging, groovy, face gurning, foot stomping, ass kicking kind of music to really wake you up on a Friday morning, after the noise of the Bin Jousting (don’t ask, just imagine two of the largest bin containers on wheels you can imagine being run into each other at full throttle by a large group of pissed up Metalheads).  


Malefice certainly would have been an excellent soundtrack for the Bin Joust though and their live sound today came across very well, especially considering it was the first band of the day.


They also dedicated one of their songs to Sophie Lancaster and in support of the Sophie Lancaster foundation which I personally thought was a nice touch and a fitting reminder of the love and respect for each other that I see at Bloodstock each and every time I’m there from all the people that attend.


I’m sure that they’ll be a few Metal purists on the Bloodstock forum who’ll say that Malefice shouldn’t be playing Bloodstock or the main stage or whatever for musical or aesthetical reasons or whatever else they want to punch a hole in. I personally think this band did a killer set to kick off the day on the main stage and I always love to discover new up and coming bands like this, especially those that seem to have a good mixture of influences.


This is a band that clearly deserved their spot on the bill and took it with both fists and destroyed it!

Nicely done guys!

Set List:

Delirium

Nothing Left

Dreams Without Courage

Omega



Freedom Call

Just when you thought it was time to relax after the onslaught of groovy down tuned riffs from Malefice, it’s time for one of the bands who I was really looking forward to seeing right from the start. It’s time for the awesome and epic Power Metal cheese of Freedom Call!


Now whether or not you take this band entirely seriously (and lord knows I’m sure there’s a lot of people who don’t) you can’t listen to a song like Land Of Light or Warriors without having a smile on your face by the end of it!

 

I absolutely love this band and I always wanted to see them again at a festival. I think the decision to put them on right after Malefice was a really interesting one, as if these two bands don’t display the two different ends of the spectrum when it comes to the world of Metal, then I don’t know what will!

Whilst Malefice may have woken up the crowd with music to punch them in the face, Freedom Call on the other hand get everyone singing, clapping, dancing, air guitaring, you name it and there isn’t a single frown in the entire crowd!


This is a band that gets the crowd woken up as well whilst everyone has their first beer or 12 of the day with some proper feel good Power Metal with no pretensions, no over-bearing message being forced on the audience, it’s simply about enjoying some kick ass uber-epic traditional Power Metal cheese the likes of which are hard to topple.


The live sound was really great and despite using a backing track of layered backing vocals, I think this can kind of be forgiven for this genre of music, and especially considering each band member was singing backing vocals on TOP of the backing. Chris Bay also had a bit of a struggle with his German to English translations of what he was saying to the audience at times, but in all fairness I’m sure his English is a lot better than my German, but the real Faux Pas came when he was talking about the English weather (as we had baking hot sunshine for pretty much the entire festival).

He said something along the lines of “I’m surprised by this sunny English weather…last time I was hear and playing, I got the rain in my mouth!” which was literally one of the most hilarious moments of the entire festival, and you could just see the awkward smiles throughout the crowd slowly turning into people cracking up.


Despite this little piece of humour though, and the crowd doing lots of elbow raised skipping and dancing through the set, I don’t think a single person there could deny that these guys really did put on a blindingly good live show, and the live sound was brilliant!

Chris Bay’s vocals were powerful as ever, the guitar playing and solos were absolutely spot on and kicked ass and say what you will about Freedom Call’s music (I personally love their music) but my GOD do they know how to right some catchy songs! I absolutely loved every minute of their set and it was such a privilege to see these guys live at a UK festival once more! Come back and play again soon!

 

Set-List:

We Are One

United Alliance

Rockstars

Tears of Babylon

Power & Glory

Warriors

Land Of Light

Freedom Call



Grand Magus

Grand Magus have always been a band that I’ve wanted to see live again after seeing them on tour with Cathedral a few years ago and hearing such great albums from them as Iron Will, Hammer Of The North and of course the self-titled album and the band certainly didn’t disappoint the Bloodstock crowd today.


JB took to the stage looking quite different to how I last remember him with a much larger beard then before and also just about starting to grow some longish hair back again, I almost didn’t recognise him until that unique signature wailing power-house of a voice came through the PA.

The live sound of the band and stage performance during Hammer Of The North and the rendition of Valhalla Rising that they did was absolutely jaw droppingly good and JB’s vocals never cease to be strong on stage as always. The low end chugging of the riffs kicks through the PA so nicely and each member of the audience can’t help but nod their heads to the immense power of these Swedish Metal Gods.


On top of that I’m pretty sure with the crowd in the kind of semi-drunk stage of the day that they are that a few powerful songs about Vikings and Norse Mythology wouldn’t go down an absolute treat and they all seem to be lapping the music up!

These aren’t just riffs and vocals that are good, these guys kick out grooves that would make the average metal head such as me easily start pitching a tent in their pants when hearing the absolutely AWESOME performance of Valhalla Rising that these guys did today!

JB, Fox & Ludwig you I take my hat off to you guys once more for putting on what can only be described as an immensely kick ass show once again!



Set-List
(in no particular order and that I can remember):

Like The Oar Strikes The Water

Iron Will

Ravens Guide Our Way

The Hunt

Valhalla Rising

Hammer Of The North



Moonsorrow

I’ve not seen Moonsorrow live before and only heard the odd song here and there by them, but I wanted to give them a listen on the main stage to see what they would be like. The band did seem to be on top form but given the genre that they are which is your typical Finnish Pagan/Folk/Battle Metal and for me personally, I’m not a huge fan of this particular style of Metal.


That’s not taking anything away from these guys personally though as they did do a pretty epic show coming on stage mostly shirtless and in full Battle War Paint as they launched into a good long set of epic battle anthems with a range of Folky Keyboards & Synths.

 

All I could think about for the most part during the set was how nice it was to see Toki Wartooth and Skwisgar Skwigelf playing in a different band, but in all seriousness though, as the lyrics to the music are all in Finnish I did of course find the music somewhat hard to follow in places other than standing and grooving to what the back line of Guitars, Bass, Drums & Keyboards were doing.

 

For me personally Battle & Folk Metal is not massively my thing but I wanted to check out Moonsorrow as I had heard good things about them and they definitely put on a good show for the crowd that turned up to see them.


I hope that I can see Moonsorrow live again sometime, possibly once I’ve heard a few more of their songs but I think it’s more the catchy melodies and the folky melodic vocal parts that really do this band justice over anything else. Good set Moonsorrow! I shall raise a wooden Grog container of Mead to the hall of Valhalla in your honour…

Set List:

Ukkonsenjumalan Poika

Huuto

Sankarihauta

Kivenkantaja

Sankaritarina

Iced Earth



Iced Earth; now this is a band that I’ve has been following pretty much ever since I first got into metal and seen live on many occasions with a variety of line ups, so seeing them confirmed on the Bloodstock line-up and especially with new singer Stu Block meant that they were an absolute MUST see for me (and not to mention getting to interview them too!).


The band immediately launches into Dystopia; the title track of their latest album and despite a few sound problems to begin with at the beginning of the song, these get ironed out fairly quickly and Stu Blocks vocals, especially on the high notes of the song, sound pretty killer and the band sounds as together and tight as ever.


After Dystopia, comes The Burning Times and Angels Holocaust, and it really is quite scary on the low register singing of  both songs just how well Stu Block manages to nail the Matt Barlow vocal styling of old Iced Earth. During the middle section of Angels Holocaust, as well when John Schaeffer does his signature fast rhythm picking, and you can see the crowd are a bit less familiar with just how ridiculously fast Mr Schaeffer likes to pick with a look of awe on their faces.

 

Stu Block also had a bit of an amusing  microphone fail during one of the songs, but whilst in the middle of a verse he turned to run across the stage and the Mic just flew out of his hands and across the stage. Thankfully he and the rest of the band could see the funny side of it, and carried on regardless and the crowd was all too happy to fill in on vocals!

They also did a pretty killer rendition of the song V from the latest album Dystopia as well whereby Stu Block got everyone in the crowd to replace the typical Horns Up routine with everyone making V signs instead, which was pretty cool and unique to say the least.


The show then carried on with songs like the always emotional Watching Over Me, My Own Saviour and finishing the set off with a very cool rendition of Dracula from the Horror Show album and of course the namesake song of the band Iced (fucking) Earth.

I was hoping that they would have picked Wolf from the Horror Show album as that’s my particular favourite but that’s neither here nor there.


Say what you will about Iced Earth with the line-up changes over the years but I personally think Stu Block is the most charismatic front man that I’ve ever seen with Iced Earth. His vocals seem to be just the right blend of the low notes of Matt Barlow, some of the high note sound of Ripper Owens and of course his own very awesome vocal styling’s too. Schaeffer and the rest of the band sound as solid as ever and the songs from old and new Iced Earth all come across with the same power as I remember.

Despite all the obstacles and challenges that come their way, it appears that the legacy and institution of Iced Earth lives on and is certainly not going away any time soon! What an awesome and face melting show!

Set-list:

Dystopia

Burning Times

Angels Holocaust

Watching Over Me

V

My Own Saviour

Anthem

Boiling Point

Damien

Iced Earth

Sepultura

As a fan of the old Max Cavelera era Sepultura material and not really having heard any of the newer Derrick Green line-up material I was curious to see Sepultura’s live set as I had not ever got to see them live before, either with Max or Derrick. It sounded at the beginning as if there were a few sound hiccups going on in the mix as despite playing two of the older Max era songs to start off the set I couldn’t really tell what songs they were at all. Which is a shame as I’ve now found out that the opening song was Beneath The Remains, but being there and hearing it you wouldn’t have really known as the sound was fairly muddy to begin with before coming good for Refuse/Resist, but the crowd soon started to get into the groove of things a bit more.


Eloy Casagrande was doing a damn good job at thrashing out the drums from the get go and once the sound problems had been sorted Andreas Kisser started knocking out of the PA with authority, although through most of the set the sound was still a bit ropey in places.

During Refuse/Resist I couldn’t help but want to hear Max’s old vocals over the top (but that’s just me being an Old School fan) but I have to say Derrick Green did do a damn good job of firing out the lyrics and getting the crowd’s adrenaline going. It has to be said, that hearing some of the new stuff like the title track Kairos, from their latest album, you can hear that the material is still kicking ass and could easily have been a song that could have come from any one of the previous line-ups of the band.

The heavy percussive guitar grooves are still there and the drumming is still thrashy and punchy as always as well as Derrick Green’s vocals being pretty killer it has to be said!

The band then closes up the set with the usual fan favourites of Territory, which featured a guest vocal appearance by none other than Tim Ripper Owens of all people! I wasn’t sure how he would handle the harsh vocal style but he went for a more shouting/Thrash Metal style vocals than the normal lower Death Metal style and it sounded awesome from where I was standing!


After Territory came Arise and Roots Bloody Roots, which I’ve always wanted to hear live and from the first opening seconds of Roots Bloody Roots the crowd seemed to absolutely erupt into a complete storm of headbanging, fist pumping and just general growling along with the lyrics!

I’m glad that I finally did get round to seeing Sepultura, even if it wasn’t so much with the line-up of Max & Igor that I grew up listening to, but the band can still go on stage and do a pretty damn kick ass show like they did today! I’m definitely now interested to catch up with their more recent material!

Set-list:

Beneath The Remains

Refuse/Resist

Kairos

Convicted In Life

Dialog

Mask

Territory

Arise

Roots Bloody Roots

Dio Disciples

As a metal fan, I felt massively moved by what seemed like, at the time, a pretty sudden and untimely death of,  in my opinion; the greatest legend in all of Rock and Heavy Metal music, Mr Ronnie James Dio. 

So after seeing the band Dio Disciples (a band consisting of ex members of Dio’s solo band) confirmed for the Bloodstock line-up I was interested to say the least to find out exactly how the band would come across live, but also then discovering before-hand that Tim Ripper Owens was one of their singers, meant that if there was anyone that could even come close to filling the immense void left in the wake of Dio’s passing then Tim Ripper Owens is certainly a man up for the job!


They also had a 2nd guest singer called Tony Jepsom (if I’m not mistaken) who joined Ripper Owens on stage and shared vocal duties on some songs as well as each singer having their own songs to sing as well. At first I wasn’t quite sure who this second singer was and secondly why they even really needed a second singer when they had the incredible voice of Tim Ripper Owens fronting the band in the first place!? But Tony did have a really good set of lungs on him and sung the songs well.

 

Watching Ripper perform the opening song Stand Up And Shout and Holy Diver and hearing just how well he can get his sound as similar and as good as Ronnie James Dio is something really quite amazing to see, and Tony Jepsom’s vocals on tracks like Egypt and Kill The King were equally just as powerful and inspiring. During the middle of the set they also did a nice musical montage of songs with Magica Theme/Lord Of The Last Day & All The Fools Sailed Away, now during Dio’s lifetime hearing All The Fools Sailed Away was pretty emotional to begin with but in the context of remembering his life now it seemed to become even more so for me and the folks around me watching the show and got us welling up a bit I think (but I’m sure Dio was looking down with a smile).


The band continue to play a variety of songs from throughout Dio’s long and illustrious career in bands like Rainbow, Black Sabbath and of course his solo band and really showcasing just how much incredibly inspirational music this man has given the music world for decades of his life.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the last part of Dio Disciples set as I was scheduled to interview Stu Block from Iced Earth and given that Iced Earth have been another massive inspiration on me for many years and one of my favourite bands I most certainly did not want to arrive late to meet them! So I apologise that I’m not able to review these guys in a bit more detail as I would have absolutely loved to have seen Ripper Owens performing Rainbow In The Dark and Heaven And Hell live but sadly it was not to be. What I can say though, is that these guys really did put on a brilliant tribute to Ronnie James Dio and I’m sure that if he was there he would have been incredibly humbled!

Set list:

Stand Up and Shout  (Dio cover)

Holy Diver  (Dio cover)

Egypt (The Chains Are On) (Dio cover)

Kill the King (Rainbow cover)

The Discovery (Dio cover)

Magica Theme / Lord of the Last Day / All the Fools Sailed Away (Dio cover)

Neon Knights (Black Sabbath cover)

The Last in Line (Dio cover)

Guitar Solo/Catch the Rainbow / Stargazer (Rainbow cover)

Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll (Rainbow cover)

Man on the Silver Mountain (Rainbow cover)

Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath cover)

Rainbow in the Dark (Dio cover)

Watain

It’s then time for the Swedish Black Metal band Watain, andas they said in their show “Bring Down the Sun!”. After hearing Watain’s Lawless Darkness album for the first time I knew that Watain was a band that I would definitely have to see live and I was eager to see them perform a full length set today!


Well, Watain certainly didn’t disappoint, arriving on stage just as the sun was beginning to set over the main stage (although still too sunny to watch Watain for my liking to be honest! We needed darkness) They were dressed in their traditional Black Metal costumes of ripped up leather, corpse paint and of course a lot of blood to go with it.


The stage set up that accompanied them was a mixture of banners showing their symbol of the Wolf and of the Trident (watch their recent Live DVD/Documentary if you want to know the proper meanings behind them) as well as an assortment of burning Tridents across the stage and massive pyro flames going off during the show.

The live sound for Watain is honestly something to behold as well and once again after seeing them for the 2nd time at Bloodstock the sound was absolutely perfect as always, and I will never get tired of hearing Malfeitor live!

 

The drum sound that they have on this song’s outro even during the live performance is so well done with just the right amount of reverb and delay that to say that it sounds incredibly impressive would be a massive understatement! Even if you’re not that much of a fan of the band, you need to see them play this song live for yourself so you can understand what I mean, it’s just incredible!


In all seriousness though, this is one Black Metal band that you can see live that really seem to get every little detail of their shows right, whether it be the visuals in the stage set up, costumes, their general awesome stage presence and character or the incredibly good live sound, which can be heard on the powerful outro of Malfeitor or the chorus to Sworn To The Dark. Even if you’re not a fan of Black Metal, you can’t help but be in awe of Watain’s performance and especially so on this occasion.

It’s clear when looking around the crowd that this is the case and that for many Watain is one of the bands on their ‘must see’ list.


The vocalist, who from what I can gather simply goes by the band member name E, dedicated Total Funeral to the guys in Destroyer 666 which the crowd definitely appreciated, then going for the more mid-tempo song The Serpent’s Chalice, which again shows one of the more unique things about Watain being able to stick to more traditional slower rhythms as opposed to relying more heavily on fast blast beats like other Black Metal bands.

I think this is why a lot of the crowd seem to enjoy Watain more than some of the other heavier bands on the line-up for the festival, as its music that they can still groove too and it almost has an air of old school aggression to it which I love.

The set pretty much consisted mainly (or I think entirely, I could be wrong though?) of songs from the latest two albums Sworn To The Dark and Lawless Darkness which I guess any more Old School fans of the band could possibly criticise them for, but for me personally as they’re my two favourite albums by the band and that I consider them to be some of the best modern Black Metal albums of recent times you won’t hear me complaining!

Watain then finish up their set with the two longer masterpiece songs from each album with the 8 minute long Stellavore complete with huge flames firing out the stage for the chorus of ‘God of Death’ which followed by the even longer Waters Of Ain which leaves the crowd clapping and screaming for more, but sadly that’s all the set time allows for, but a sign of a truly good performer is to leave the audience wanting more and in this case Watain did that and then some!

Set-list:

Malfeitor

Sworn To The Dark

Total Funeral

The Serpent’s Chalice

Hymn To Qayin

Reaping Death

Stellavore

Waters Of Ain

Behemoth

So now it’s time for the big one, I had waited for so long to see Behemoth and was of course disappointed a few years ago when going to Bloodstock and hoping to see them but due to the immediate health problems of frontman Nergal being diagnosed with Leukaemia then understandably the band had to bow out of all touring and recording commitments until he was fully recovered, and what a return to form we had from Nergal and Behemoth tonight!


Just as the sun is fully set to bring darkness across the festival site, the eerie build up feeling starts to travel through the crowd like the glowing dry ice which slowly creeps throughout the stage and the crowd is greeted by Inferno on drums making an inverted cross with his drum sticks whilst being surrounded by blue lights.


The band then takes to the stage in their full armoured costumes and launches into an almighty rendition of Ov Fire And The Void which gets a lot of the audience (myself included) wind-milling their hair like there’s no tomorrow! I had waited a long time to see these guys live and it’s moments like this that make the wait all worth it!

The band has the full pyro setup going with large plumes of smoke rising up from the front of the stage and mixed with the red glow of the lights and large flames throughout the stage it really gives a true vision of the Fire & The Void of Hell!


They then launch straight into Demigod and every member of the band is on fire, as well as the stage pyro for that matter! Inferno is smashing out the drums at speeds that I can barely comprehend with the guitar playing and vocals are all together so tight that you could say it was tighter than a Dolphin’s butthole… …watertight!

The harmonised Egyptian/Eastern style guitar parts in the song ring out throughout the festival site in truly epic fashion as well!

Next up is a track for all of the Old School Behemoth fans in the form of Moonspell Rites from the And The Forests Dream Eternally album from way back in the day, but the material still sounds just as kick ass and awesome live now as it ever has done and really shows the awesome progression of music that this band has accomplished over their history. The song plods through with a crushing 6/8 guitar riff and nice keyboard layers over the top of the music and the live sound is great and the tempo of the song is just right to really start getting people moving and headbanging! The eerie slow drumming section comes across brilliantly with all the stage lights synced up perfectly with Inferno’s drumming.


Nergal then announces to the audience “It feels fucking good to be alive! Never give in and Conquer All!” and of course the next track is Conquer All, and it’s during this song that you can see that despite everything that Nergal has had to go through recently. He is still by far and away one of the greatest front men of the modern Metal era and he is backed up by a band that for all intents and purposes know their material absolutely back to front as the music is performed pretty much note for note perfect.

The band sound so brilliant during this song and every element of the band kicks through the PA with authority and most of the crowd at this point are just standing in sheer awe of the performance they are seeing. Every band member at some point during this song is pretty much shredding the shit out of their respective instrument and everyone in the crowd was head banging during this song!

After Conquer All, is Christians To The Lions, quite possibly one of my favourite song titles I’ve ever heard, as the song is brought in by a sinister intro matched with red glowing lights on the stage as each band member returns to the stage with a flaming torch, which is then used to light an inverted cross in front of each band member. Nergal then announces “We are about to give you a lesson in history, 2000 years back in Ancient Motherfucking Rome!


They used to say… …CHRISTIANS… …TO THE LIONS!!!” and at this point the crowd erupts into an almighty deluge of headbanging, moshing and general face gurning metal goodness! If this song doesn’t sound like a big punch in the face for the listener then I don’t know what does!

The only disappointing thing for myself though, is that I think many of us were expecting the inverted crosses to burn for quite a while or at least most of the song, but in fact the spectacle of them being set on fire only lasts for a few seconds at the very most before the crosses are put out and it all looks quite lacklustre.

One member of the audience who I have to salute had the guts to scream “HEALTH AND FUCKING SAFETY!” once the crosses were extinguished and to whoever that person was, you are a genius my friend!

Next up is one of my personal favourite tracks Alas, Lord Is Upon Me (although I always thought it was supposed to be called Alas, The Lord Is Upon Me?) and during this track there is a really awesome eerie noise that resonates over the whole band throughout the song to give one of the coolest live sound atmospheres I have ever heard. I can’t really describe the noise other to say that it’s one of those things that just really helps to get you to escape yourself and your surroundings during a live show with it’s almost hypnotic quality and to understand it fully you’d have to watch the live footage. Sufficed to say though this live performance of Alas The Lord Is Upon me was worth every single day of waiting to see Behemoth live and it’s something that simply transcends a mere live performance, this is something that had real sheer power to witness.


Decade Of Therion comes next and Nergal asks the crowd “Are you ready to rise!? We also rise in the Decade Of Therion!” and any hint of a moments rest for the crowd and indeed the band is completely gone as they launch into an almighty maelstrom of blast beats and kick ass Death Metal shouts before Nergal finishes the song with a sinister laugh.

Then the Eastern acoustic guitar lines of At The Left Hand Ov God plays out of the PA and in front of each band member sits a snakes head symbol which is then lit aflame during this song which again just brings another cool atmospheric element to an already awesome performance. The band sounds absolutely perfectly in sync during this song which is no small feat considering the amount of syncopated and extra fast blast beat and stop/start slow segments during this song. Each band members vocals combine together during this performance to form a wall of aggressive noise which is then counteracted by the angelic female vocals and choral chanting towards the end of the song which is accented by Inferno’s awesome drumming (although he was joined by a strange bald drummer for the end of this song).

Just when Inferno looked cool enough doing the outro drumming to At The Left Hand Ov God he then launches into Slaves Shall Serve which is even faster! I don’t know how this drummer does it but he is the true Energiser Bunny of Extreme Metal, he just keeps going! The rest of the band don’t seem to be lacking in any energy either as Nergal screams “Are you with us!!??” during the middle section.

There’s a short pause at the end of the set before the band comes back to perform Chant For Eschaton 2000, which is one of my all-time favourite Behemoth songs and to hear it performed live was an absolute honour! This song got every single person in the place going mental and the pyro really started kicking off during the intro (which of course it had to for a song as epic as this). If you’ve never seen Behemoth live then it’s worth seeing them for this song alone! It just crushes and destroys as it comes out of the PA system!

There did seem to be one guy in the audience that was having an even better time than me, as there was a naked dude who got up on some guys shoulders right in front of the stage where Seth was and he proceeded to start ‘pleasure himself’ to the band whilst they perform the song! Now I’ll admit I am a big Behemoth fan and I like their music a great deal but I’m not entirely sure that I would go that far to show my appreciation for their live performance and you can see on the face of the band members that they find it equally as hilarious as it was confusing at the time, and continued on with the show.


At the end of the song the pyro flames were going off, left right and centre and Nergal says “You guys stay strong and we will return to the UK!”

After a brief pause the band then returned to the stage to perform the Encore of 23 (The Youth Manifesto) and Nergal takes to the stage, with a headdress costume that looks like nothing short of something you’d find one of the Cenobites from Hellraiser wearing. I couldn’t quite make out exactly what it was but it looked pretty cool and evil looking whatever it was!


It’s then time for the final track of the night, their epic 8 minute long song Lucifer which many audience members including my friends thought was a strange song to end on but as it is possibly the most epic song on the Behemoth catalogue of songs despite it being a slow one.

Nergal played the whole song wearing the Head Mask on his face that’s featured on a few of the Behemoth music videos which looked really awesome on stage, and the band then took the night into a slow and evil sounding close for Day 1.


At the end of Lucifer the crowd was treated to a shower of what looked like Black Snow Paper Clippings and the stage was completely engulfed in smoke at the songs finale and red lights bathed the smoke to create an almost hellish vision of red fire. As the lights slowly faded down and the band disappear into the smog, the eerie sounding outro of Lucifer builds and builds out of the PA until its inevitable sudden stop… …and just like that, the band is gone…

Despite all of the problems with Nergal’s health and now finally getting Behemoth to Bloodstock in a headline position, the performance was something really spectacular to witness for anyone that was there and I can’t wait to see Behemoth bring their dark magic back to the UK and destroy our ears and necks once more!

Set List:

Ov Fire And The Void

Demigod

Moonspell Rites

Conquer All

Christians To The Lions

Alas, Lord Is Upon Me

Decade Of Therion

At The Left Hand Ov God

Slaves Shall Serve

Chant For Eschaton 2000

Encore:

23 (The Youth Manifesto)

Lucifer

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