It’s Friday – the day when Bloodstock Open Air 2013 properly kicks off.
Earthtone9 guys have the privilege to be the first band to take the Ronnie James Dio stage with a dose of post metal for the early birds. Formed in 1998 and reunited again in 2010, Earthone9 guys have seen it all, but today they put a show that’s entertaining and surprisingly energetic for Friday morning.
Next up on Ronnie James Dio stage are the legends that are Death Angel coming all the way from San Francisco Bay Area and playing nothing but thrash metal since the 1980s.
Bloodstock Open Air 2013 marks their first outdoor show in the UK, so it calls for a celebration. …and circle pits.
Although Death Angel have been around for a long time, they still put on a show that’s bursting with youthful energy and gets the audience go nuts.
First circle pits open up once Death Angel take the stage with „Evil Priest” and the energy doesn’t drop until they leave with „Thrown to the Wolves.”
Sharp riffs, mind-blowing guitar solos, ridiculously fast drumming and rather impressive vocal performance.
Death Angel have it all. (4/5)
I Chose the Sky
Claws In So Deep
Lord of Hate
Thrown to the Wolves
Dressed in black leather and with a strong roar of applause from the fans, Ex Deo erupt with deep throated growls and double kick pedals and a high level of constant rapport from engrossed crowds who were screaming “Hey, Hey Hey”.
With raised fists back to the sound of ‘I Caligvla’, which was loaded with enough symphonic grandeur to fit a cinematic scale movie production as well as accelerated drums and metallic riffs to keep the distinctive metal sound at the forefront of their style.
‘The tiberius cliff’ also hit a raw nerve with plenty of aggression and good use of keys, woven into the heavier portions of the song, granting the listener a bulkier sound that was both shuddering and rewarding to behold.
Instant hit, ‘Per Oculus Aquila’ forged a vibrant array of metal solos and orchestral undertones into one well rounded wholeness that stood these guys apart from some of the other bands. ‘Romulus’ served as the perfect closure to an already impressive sound, with drums colliding with equal measure to the husky sounding shrieks.
However, it was the constant use of big sounding classical dynamics that never failed to impress and this is something that this band both harnessed and it made it their own. (3.5/5)
The Tiberius Cliff
The Final War
Per Oculus Aquila
Cruor Nostri Abbas
Geared up in black metal armor and corpse paint, they take the stage and blast out “The Arrival of Satan’s Empire”.
Dark Funeral manage to create one hell of an atmosphere with their epic blast beats, moody power chords and ‘larger than life’ stage appearance.
However, the crowd does not seem ready enough for much black metal action at this time of day.
That doesn’t seem to bother the Swedish Kings too much as they march through their set with the devil horns held up high.
To those who are no big fans of black metal, Dark Funeral might have sounded quite repetitive, but it sure was a real treat to those who rise and fall by the flag of Swedish Black Metal. (3/5)
The Arrival of Satan’s Empire
Open the Gates
The Fire Eternal
Thus I Have Spoken
While the Ronnie James Dio stage is being destroyed by a little too serious and scary looking Swedes Dark Funeral, there’s more Swedish action happening on the Jägermeister stage (aka the Jäger truck). It’s Mia Klose and the boys rocking the stage with their ‘it’s 80’s all over again’ look and sound.
Mia Klose leaves an impression of an energetic, passionate and dedicated singer who’s got a great ability to front a rock’n’roll band and attract the audience with her charismatic stage presence.
Mia Klose might even make a nice surprise to those who are not the biggest fans of female vocals in rock music, as her vocal performance comes across clear and persuasive.What works in Mia’s favour is the professional band behind the singer delivering groovy riffs and catchy classic rock’n’roll melodies.
Together they deliver a dynamic set where the songs that stand out are “You Drive Me Crazy” and “Lady Killer”. (3.5/5)
Open Your Eyes
You Drive Me Crazy
Living For Love
Living For Tomorrow
Never Too Late
Their performance intrigues not only Firewind fans, but also those wanting to catch a glimpse of Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist Gus G in action.
While Ozzy Osbourne is busy taking Black Sabbath across the globe, Gus G is hitting the road with Firewind boys.
Today the band appears to be in high spirits and storm the stage seeming delighted to be a part of Bloodstock 2013.
Opening with “Wall Of Sound” fresh off their latest album Few Against Many, Firewind instantly raise the energy level with a catchy chorus, captivating stage presence, banging riffs and, of course, an unbelievable guitar solo.
After a departure of yet another singer, Firewind now present the new front man Kelly Sundown Carpenter who appears to be a fantastic singer and a great addition to the band. His vocal parts stand out on songs, like “Mercenary Man” and “Falling to Pieces”.
However, Gus G remains the leader of the band and he absolutely steals the show. Hell, that boy knows hot to play the guitar! Everything from melodic solos, epic hooks and heavy shredding to an absolute technical abundance and guitar master class in front of your eyes. Ozzy must have known exactly what he was doing when hiring Gus G. (4.5/5)
Wall of Sound
Head Up High
World on Fire
The Fire and the Fury
Losing My Mind
Till the End of Time
Falling to Pieces
It’s time to get ready for the most insane moshing and crowd surfing, because the next act to storm the Ronnie James Dio stage are no one else, but Municipal Waste.
They’ve come all the way from Richmond, Virginia and brought us the most violent party of the weekend.
The band takes the stage as crowd shout the classic line: “Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up!!!”.
It takes only few seconds for Municipal Waste dudes to absolutely own the stage and it seems that once they’re up there, there is nothing that could possibly stop them.
Kicking off their set with “Unleash the Bastards”, they race through their set list and encourage everyone in the audience to join in.
The energy that Municipal Waste manages to transmit from the stage seems to gather the biggest crowd of the weekend so far.
When it comes to crowdsurfing, Tony Foresta and the boys don’t need to ask the crowd twice. As the Bloodstock official Facebook page later reported, there were 673 people that went over the barrier crowd surfing during Municipal Waste set.
The band seems impressed by the crowd reaction, especially the guy in a wheelchair who still managed to crowd surf to the front of the stage.
So there you go… If you say ‘thrash metal show’, you should be thinking Municipal Waste show.
These guys rule and definitely know how to party. (5/5)
Unleash the Bastards
The Thrashin’ of the Christ
You’re Cut Off / Authority
Beer Pressure / Thrashing Biz
Headbanger Face Rip
Drunk as Shit / Sweet Attack
The Fatal Feast
Mnrtr 21 Faces / The Inebriator
I Want to Kill the President
The Art of Partying
Born to Party
Karybdis manage to stand out and come across as a band with a great potential because of their laid back approach to big tunes. Karybdis come from London and perform death metal with added elements of other sub-genres to make their music appeal to those who enjoy their metal with a bit of a modern twist.
After releasing their critically acclaimed debut From the Depths in 2012, Karybdis have developed a decent fanbase and manage to fill up the New Blood Tent just right.
Songs that stand out and demonstrate what these guys are capable of are “Minotaur,” “Without Wings” and “Constellations”. (4/5)
Seasoned Metallers Voivod take the Main stage with a high sense of anticipation from the gathering of their fans whose cheers and chanting reflected the bands enthusiasm and great stage presence.
’Kluskap O’ Kom’ reverberates with energetic tempo and solid drums that got the fans screaming back their name after the first song. ’Tribal Convictions’ plays out with a more gritty essence, with both guitarists driving forward the suspense with backing vocals and head swinging.
Technically proficient and full of versatile song structures, ‘Mechanical Mind’ is ram packed with water tight guitars and a bass sounding groove that kept the audience hooked into their all rounded impressive sound, that only gets better when the lead guitar work takes flight.
Another standout aspect of their performance was in the clean vocals, that are distinctive and never failed to deliver with clarity amidst the instrumentation.
These guys seem to be on a mission to impress, with plenty of eyebrow raising moments and time signature changes, they offer up something special of their own at Bloodstock with their intelligently crafted set and for that they are worth checking out if you haven’t already. (4/5)
Kluskap O’ Kom
Forgotten In Space
And we’re back to the Jägermeisoter Stage where it is time for Mitchell Emms to tear the roof off.
Better known to the public as ‘that rocker dude on The Voice’, Mitchell Emms has had his fair share of time in the spotlight, but now it is time for him to conquer the hearts of true metal fans at Bloodstock 2013.
Joined on stage by A Thousand Enemies and performing different cover versions of rock classics, Mitchell manages to attract quite an audience. Starting things off with a cover of “Drive” by Incubus and “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, it might seem that Mitchell could have picked slightly different songs for this very festival, but all doubts are soon left behind, when he turns to the grunge roots.
What follows is a great selection of songs by Alice In Chains, Foo Fighters and Nirvana, but in the end of the day, it is not the song choices that make this performance such a unique experience for everyone present. It really is Mitchell’s undeniable front man skills and his significant rock vocals.
Rock music industry has been suffering a lack of great singers for way too long, so we can only predict Mitchell Emms a successful career in the future. (4/5)
Incubus – Drive
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive
Alice In Chains – Them Bones
Lose Yourself (Interlude)
Alice in Chains – Would
Foo Fighters – Best of You
Nirvana – Breed
Nirvana – Where Did You Sleep Last Night
Next up on Ronnie James Dio stage are the German heavyweights Accept and it seems like no matter how many line-up changes this band experience, they still manage to rock hard and bring the balls to the wall.
The only two remaining members who have been a part of Accept since the day one are Wolf Hoffmann on the guitar and Peter Baltes on the bass.
However, the singer Mark Tornillo comes across as a great surprise to those who have not seen Accept since he became an official member of the band back in 2009.
His youthful energy and stage presence seems persuasive enough to think that he’s been doing this for way longer than that.
Opening their set with “Hung, Drawn and Quartered” and “Stalingrad” off their latest album Stalingrad, Accept manage to get everyone in the mood for some good old German heavy metal.
But things really manage to kick off as they nail down the first chords of “Restless and Wild”.
Classic songs like “Princess in the Dawn,” “Teutonic Terror” and “Balls to the Wall” get the crowd go slightly crazy as the heads are banging and hundreds of fists keep punching the air.
“Fash as a Shark” is left for an encore, which marks the end of a great set that eventually turned into a celebration of the band, its history and legacy. (4/5)
Hung, Drawn and Quartered
Restless and Wild
Princess of the Dawn
Losers and Winners
Balls to the Wall
Fast as a Shark
While the crowd is getting ready for King Diamond to close Friday at Bloodstock, Scar Symmetry headlines the Sophie Lancaster stage.
Coming all the way from Sweden, what’s known to be the Mecca of heavy metal of our times,
Scar Symmetry deliver an intensive and captivating set of melodic death metal tracks where harmony meets brutality and melody meets complicated song structure.
They managed to bring in a good crowd for their set today.
And it’s finally time for he man we’ve all been waiting for a little too long. It’s time for King Diamond.
A big, red pentagram alights in the back of the stage as the heavy metal theatre is about to kick off.
King Diamond and the band take the stage to open with the classic tune that is “The Candle” and the crowd is caught off-guard.
King’s unique falsetto vocals are sounding better than ever and the band behind him kick off the performance dynamically and sounding real tight. A massive fence covers the front of the stage, as King demonstrates his theatrics behind it.
Classic tunes, like “At the Graves,” “Voodoo,” “Sleepless Nights” and “Shapes of Black” all follow to present the best out of King’s back catalogue and please the fans.
Moshpits and head banging are ever so present at any normal heavy metal show, but will be hard to spot at a King Diamond show.
However, it’s not because fans aren’t enjoying the King as much as any other band. It’s just because everyone in the crowd seems too busy by staring in amazement.
A topic that was raised by fans multiple times before King Diamond took the stage at Bloodstock was how many Mercyful Fate songs can we expect and is he going to perform any of his previous band’s material at all? HELL YES, he did! “Come to the Sabbath” and “Evil” are the absolute highlights of King Diamond’s performance and earn the greatest appreciation form the crowd.
Tonight King Diamond returns to the stage for two encores and finish his set with “Black Horseman”.
It was clear from the beginning that King Diamond’s performance is going to be a treat for any metal fan, but no one had a clue what exactly to expect.
It has been 7 long years since King Diamond played the UK and he sure made his comeback look impressive and convincing.
Friday night at Bloodstock 2013 is officially over, as the crowd disperse and leave the main stage still stunned from what they have just experienced.
All hail the King! (5/5)
At the Graves
Up from the Grave
Shapes of Black
Come to the Sabbath
Eye of the Witch
The Family Ghost
It’s time for a well-deserved drink at the Serpents Lair VIP bar, where the ale is flowing and music keeps playing until late.
Friday night DJ set from Daz & Emma B (Bloodstock Radio) manages to turn the VIP tent into a proper night club with the best of atmosphere where it’s easy to spot rather drunk metal heads going crazy to everything from the heaviest of metal to Phil Collins and “Dancing on the Ceiling” by Lionel Richie. Something suggests that tomorrow morning is not going to be an easy one…