Good morning, Bloodstock!
As much as we’re happy to wake up knowing that there’s a whole day of heavy metal ahead of us, it is quite sad at the same time, as we realize that tomorrow it’ll all be over and we’ll be thrown back into reality.
Despite the fact it’s Day 3 and we’re all feeling a little broken, we’re up early to catch Ireland’s finest thrash metal five-piece Gama Bomb.
As fun, positive and energetic as always, Gama Bomb are the perfect band to kick off Sunday at Bloodstock 2013.
The singer Philly Byrne greets the crowd with “It’s breakfast time! Let’s all get really drunk!” Today he’s rocking a superb outfit wearing a Michael Jackson t-shirt and bright yellow pants invalidating any previous theory that thrash metal has to be all about denim and leather.
Gama Bomb get the crowd going by performing their most epic and ridiculously fast tunes, like “Slam Anthem,” “Three Witches,” “Smoke the Blow With Willem Dafoe ” off their latest album Terrortapes and even getting the crowd to do the good-old-fashioned wall of death to “Mussolini Mosh”.
Today Gama Bomb lads deliver an ass-kicking and fun-as-fuck set and prove that thrash metal has no time for hangover or being tired and lazy on Sunday mornings. (5/5)
The Wrong Stuff
Smoke the Blow With Willem Dafoe
Zombie Blood Nightmare
We Respect You
We Started the Fire
Unravelling with a piano led introduction, you could be led to believe Whitechapel may not sound half as menacing as they do.
Well think again, when it comes to speedy ruptures and ecstatic growling then these guys fit the bill rather well.
As the vocalist screams “Let me see those horns Bloodstock” their second track ‘Section 8’ gushes out with anguish and a constant juxtaposition between tech fuelled guitars, catastrophic drumming and a growl so unyielding you cannot even attempt to keep up with.
‘Possession’ comes swinging in at high velocity in its destructive wake, with its rapid fore drumming carrying the adrenaline forward, before everything comes crashing down from a great height.
However, ‘The Darkest Days of Man’ seemed to be the one to get everyone excited and in its opening seconds its easy to see why.
Merciless in its progression it plays out as the perfect pit stirring number to get arms swinging at any live show.
What impressed me about these guys was the sheer level of energy and ability sustain the constant momentum throughout their set list.
Each track offered something different and they certainly kept the songs sounding interesting and refreshing. (3.5/5)
Make It Bleed
Possibilites of an Impossible Existence
The Darkest day of Man
This is Exile
There’s no such thing as ‘too much thrash metal on a Sunday afternoon’, so we head off to the New Blood Stage to catch the British metallers Kremated.
Today they have managed to gather quite a crowd, as they deliver an intense set of thrash metal with added elements of old-school hardcore and punk.
Their music simply calls for a mosh-pit, but unfortunately, the crowd is a little steady in the beginning of their set.
Maybe the hangovers are finally kicking in?
However, Kremated attitude and musical approach is full-on, as they deliver an aggressive and truly brutal set. As the band shreds away, the singer Pete Dee delivers raw thrash metal vocals and makes sure that the energy level stays up high.
The audience has warmed up towards the end of the set and Kremated really come across as the prefect band to watch before bands like Exodus, Anthrax and Slayer take the Main stage later on tonight. (3.5/5)
Their new material is well accepted by the audience; however the crowd reaction is a lot more enthusiastic when Sacred Mother Tongue performs “Angel on Reflection” and the absolute killer “Evolve/Become”.
The guitar performance by Andy James is technically delightful and makes Sacred Mother Tongue stand out in the market of modern heavy metal bands.
It seems that today the band is holding back a little, but they still prove themselves to be a great hope for the future of British heavy metal. (3.5/5)
The City Is Crying
Anger on Reflection
A Light Will Shine
Soon after Sacred Mother Tongue have finished their set on the Main Stage, it’s time to take the Sophie Lancaster Stage and catch yet another modern sounding metal band hailing from the UK. It’s time for RSJ – one of the most successful metal bands to come out of York.
Bringing along tons of energy, sharp riffs and immense atmospherics, RSJ manage to put on a hell of a show. Once RSJ guys are on, they’re all over the stage struggling to stand still and making a hell of a noise.
They focus their performance on the audience, their stage appearance is astonishing and they play “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John and “Boom Boom Boom” by Outhere Brothers in-between their songs.
What more could you possibly ask from a metal show that’s heavy and fun at the same time?
And once you think that RSJ on-stager shenanigans could not go any further, the guitarist ‘Guff’ Thomas surprises everyone by jumping off stage and joining the crowd for a rather epic guitar performance.
The audience go nuts as the guys deliver a technically ripping and originally sounding set.
The sound by Sophie Lancaster stage has not yet let us down this weekend and RSJ are no exception.
Today they sounding spot on with immense energy!
And come across as one of the best bands we’ve seen on Sophie Lancaster stage throughout the weekend. (5/5)
Fozzy are somewhat of a mediocre offering to this year’s line up.
They fit the bill for perhaps one of the more accessible acts this year.
The guitars had an indulgently smothered grunge vibe that remained prevalent throughout.
At times this sounded fairly standard when met with the vocalist’s interaction with the crowd as well as a more harsher coating from the guitarists grunt style interceptions that contrasted against some of the more high pitched wailing from their front man.
‘Sandpaper’ (a track that when recorded featured M Shadows) also worked its way into their set.
As the performance went, this was quite a catchy number, with some infectious lead and bass lines winding together but it was its strong chorus section that made everything more redeemable.
Meanwhile, the sludgy undercurrent of ‘Shine Forever’ with its melodies was a welcomed addition to their set and kept everything from being sliding into mundane territory.
During their set, the vocalist scaled the metal railings to the side of the stage whilst introducing the crowd to sing back lyrics with himself suspended mid air.
An impressive, yet unsafe manoeuvre to get engage the crowd.
However this ploy failed to contend for the lack of interesting songs that were average at best. (2/5)
Spider In My Mouth
She’s My Addiction
God Pounds His Nails
Shine Forever Sin and Bones
We prepare ourselves for a dose of good progressive metal while Amorphis are taking Ronnie James Dio stage to deliver a melodically and technically mind-blowing set.
Opening with “Shades Of Grey” off their latest album Circle, Amorphis kick things off nice and smooth. They declare their arrival at Bloodstock with pounding drums, the ever so present folk music elements, and raw growls and spot-on melodic vocal parts performed by Tomi Joutsen.
Coming all the way from Finland and going strong for over 20 years, Amorphis are no beginners when it comes to playing outdoor festivals, especially Bloodstock.
It’s been 3 long years since Amorphis last honoured us with performing at Bloodstock 2010 and now they’re finally back to give us some more.
Only two songs into their set and Amorphis have already earned the crowd’s trust with the epic sounding “Narrow Path”.
Thousands of hands are being thrown in the air, multiple heads are being banged and lots of beer is being spilled.
The absolute highlight of Amorphis performance is “Into Hiding” and “On Rich and Poor” when the band proves themselves to be one ridiculously talented bunch of musicians playing progressive heavy metal at it’s best. (4/5)
Shades of Gray
Sky Is Mine
On Rich and Poor
While Amorphis are ripping it up on the Main Stage, Evil Scarecrow has managed to completely pack out the Sophie Lancaster Stage tent.
Gathering possibly the biggest crowd at Sophie Lancaster Stage over the weekend, Evil Scarecrow deliver a set that’s visually entertaining and fun, as much as musically stunning.
The size of their crowd today makes us wonder… Is there anyone really watching Amorphis at this time?
Evil Scarecrow stand out not only because they present themselves as parody metal band or because of the way they dress up on stage.
Greatest part about the band is the way they can interact with their crowd and turn heavy metal performance into a party of synchronized dancing and unbelievable amount of fun.
Coming from Nottingham and bringing along the best sense of humour, Evil Scarecrow are back at Bloodstock festival after playing here in 2011.
A highlight worth mentioning is the performance of their song “Crabulon” when a giant-headed robot walks on stage for a little dance-off and the whole crowd gets their hands up in the air to do the Evil Scarecrow signature “crab” move. (You got to see it to believe it.)
As they blast out the crowd’s favourite “Robototron”, it comes as no surprise that everyone in the audience joins in for a ‘Robototron Dance’ and just to make the grand finale of their set even more epic, they throw in a cover version of Europe’s “The Final Countdown”. (4.5/5)
Blacken the Everything
War and Seek
Thor vs Ra
The Final Countdown (Europe cover)
Next band to take the Sophie Lancaster Stage are Gormathon.
Lunging into the flesh of ‘As We Die’ served as a great starting point for these guys with shattering drum beats and gruelling vocals, they waste no time in tearing their way into Bloodstocks most worthy contenders for this year.
What becomes apparent during the early stages of their set, is a good transition and range in vocals.
With all members providing enough energy throughout their audience to keep a consistent unity going.
A powerful sense of euphoria comes loaded with ’Sky Rider’ as the band break into a procession of impressive riffs and sincere lyrical passages, fortified by a lead guitar so prominent it is elevates their sound to a whole new level.
Most memorable moment from these guys came from ‘Love Is A Motherfucker’ a track that displays a great pace of thrash sounding guitars with infectiously drum pounds.
Overall, a band whose appeal came from their tangibility and energetic performance that was almost impossible not to become sucked in by. (3.5/5)
As We Die
Lens of Guard
Love is A MF
Land of The
Next up on the Ronnie James Dio stage are thrash metal legends Exodus.
Hailing from San Francisco Bay Area and going strong for over 30 years thanks to Gary Holt, who’s not only a ‘shit hot guitarist’ (as cited by a fan), but also one of the most dedicated dudes in heavy metal.
Exodus open with “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” kicking off a full-on thrash metal show that’s everything we predicted – loud, heavy and unbelievably fast.
Gary Holt and Lee Altus make one hell of a team when it comes to playing guitar in Exodus.
Their performance and technical skills just make any other ‘guitar pro’ look a little silly, as they shred away with the biggest smiles on their faces.
Today they dedicate “Bonded By Blood” to Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) and Paul Baloff (Exodus) and invite their friend Kragen Lum from Heathen to join them on stage. Only few seconds into “Bonded By Blood” and the crowd has gone totally berserk.
The singer Rob Dukes admits that Bloodstock’s crowd are the craziest motherfuckers he’s seen on this tour so far and he’s got to be damn right, as the biggest wall of death and circle pit of the weekend breaks out to “Strike of the Beast ” squashing and pushing away even the more peaceful parts of the crowd.
Bruised, bleeding and happy as fuck, the crowd leave the stage to catch some breath after witnessing possibly the greatest performance of the weekend. (5/5)
The Ballad of Leonard and Charles
A Lesson in Violence
Children of a Worthless God
War Is My Shepherd
Bonded by Blood (Dedicated to Jeff Hanneman and Paul Baloff)
The Toxic Waltz
Strike of the Beast
Back to Sophie Lancaster stage and it’s time for Londoners Breed 77 to bring some flamenco infused alternative metal to the fields of Bloodstock.
Currently on tour with Fozzy and just making a quick stop here at Bloodstock, Breed 77 appear to be in high spirits and excited to be a part of this.
However, it is later found out that their drummer Andre Joyzi has underwent an operation just yesterday, when a lump was removed form under his arm. Today he’s back behind his drum kit just a day after the operation and deliver a top class performance.
That’s heavy metal right there for you.
Today they open with “Drown” off their latest album The Evil Inside which goes down exceptionally well, just like “Fear” and “Bring on the Rain”.
Hands-down the highlight of Breed 77 performance is the cover version of “Zombie” by The Cranberries, which they borrowed way back in 2010 and are still rocking it hard. (4/5)
The Battle Of Hatin
Bring On The Rain
Zombie (The Cranberries cover)
La Ultima Hora
It’s now time for Dez Fafara and the boys of DevilDriver to cause some mayhem on the Main Stage.
It’s the first time DevilDriver perform here at Bloodstock and they seem truly delighted to be a part of this weekend long celebration of heavy metal.
Today DevilDriver present some exciting material off their brand new album Winter Kills, like “Ruthless” and “The Appetite”. However, summer festivals are all about the greatest hits and that’s exactly what DevilDriver are here to offer us.
Dez Fafara’s excellent stage appearance suggests that he’s possibly one of the greatest front men in heavy metal around.
He’s got the ability to speak directly to the crowd and demand some of the most ridiculous circle-pits you will ever see.
All he has to do is shout “Get fucking deadly!!!” and the crowd will do the rest…
Kicking things off with “End of the Line” and classic “Cry for Me Sky,” the band are sounding at the top of their game.
Although it takes a while for their crowd to warm up, by the time DevilDriver blast out “I Could Care Less” there’s human bodies throwing themselves all over the place. That’s what we call ‘having fun’ at a DevilDriver show.
DevilDriver once again confirm that they know exactly how to get the crowd going when the better part of the audience join in for a humongous circle-pit to “Clouds Over California”.
DevilDriver are no Bloodstock virgins anymore.
Today they sure did put on a hell of a performance and once again proved themselves to be one of the hardest-working bands in heavy metal. (4/5)
End of the Line
Cry for Me Sky (Eulogy of the Scorned)
Dead to Rights
These Fighting Words
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Before the Hangman’s Noose
I Could Care Less
Head on to Heartache (Let Them Rot)
Clouds Over California
Hold Back the Day
Meet the Wretched
Back to the Sophie Lancaster stage and opening to a late night sky with red stage lights and a crowd of raised arms, Belphegor certainly know how to set the tone with a foreboding sense of tension as the members take to the stage to flex their well refined Black Metal vibrancies.
It’s at this point we totally lose our editor ‘Jo Blackened’ as she runs to stand infront of the crowd, showing her undying support of this band, and who can blame her as the metallic riffs, harmonics and pounding drums carve through the opening minutes as the adrenaline soars high.
The blood drenched vocals and weightiness of their sound is strongly resonating with plenty of sporadic drum work to keep the momentum going.
These guys were a much needed refreshment from many of the other bands playing, with a savage approach to song writing and an unrelenting force of Black Metal fundamentals, indeed they were a sharp reminder to anyone of just how overwhelming and consuming the genre of music is.
It’s just a shame that there weren’t more bands on the bill who were equal in measure to these guys.
Personal highlights included the colossal sounding ‘Angeli Mortis De Profundis’ where the drummer delivers a goose bump inducing assault on the senses to all on-lookers, whilst the guitars remained tightly woven between riffs and lead work.
Meanwhile, the impact of their closure ‘Bondage Goat Zombie’ was as shuddering as it was dense, with enough guitar shred to the strip the paint of an armoured plated vehicle. (5/5)
Feast Upon The Dead
Belphegor: Hell’s Ambassador
Angeli Mortis De Profundis
In Blood- Devour This Sanctity
Diaboli Virtus In Lumbar Est
Impaled Upon The Tongue of Sathan
Justine: Soaked In Blood
Bondage Goat Zombie
Meanwhile on the New Blood stage London’s retro-metallers Amulet are bringing back heavy metal just how it used to sound in the first place.
With a dose of Black Sabbath, Angel Witch and Pentagram influences, great stage presence and authentic old-school vibe Amulet manage to seduce everyone in the room. They’re surely not re-inventing the wheel here, however they’re bringing back the best of what’s been left behind and proving that heavy metal does not necessarily have to be fast, brutal or covered in corpse-paint.
Amulet music is based on groovy riffs, distinctive high-pitch vocals, occasional guitar solos and lots of atmosphere that comes with their appearance and live show.
Songs like “Black Magic Attack” and “Running out of Time” carry so much of the old-school vibe that it’s hard to believe they generate out of the 21st Century, not the early NWOBHM era. Watch this space. These guys will go places. (5/5)
There are only two bands left to take the Ronnie James Dio stage tonight and Bloodstock 2013 will be over…however, there’s no time for sentiment as the next band up are no one else but the mighty Anthrax.
If there’s any band out there who know how to change the band members and get on with it, it’s Anthrax.
With lead guitarist Jonathan Donais of Shadows Fall now as an official member of the band and Jon Dette stepping in for Charlie Benante on drums, Anthrax still manage to sound as tight as ever. Joey Belladonna seems to be in a really good shape, as his vocal parts are sounding clear and spot on.
Anthrax are one of those bands that always leave a positive impression, as they constantly seem to be having an absolute blast on stage.
Today’s performance at Bloodstock 2013 is no different, as Scoot Ian declares that this is their 200th show of the tour since Worship Music came out. This calls for a celebration!
Today Anthrax have prepared a set list of the absolute classics for some crowd pleasing action, like “Caught in a Mosh,” “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.),” “Got the Time,” “Indians” and the list goes on…
“In The End” off Worship Music is dedicated to Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell as the crowd raise their fists to honour the two greats who’ve helped shaping heavy metal into what it is today.
Anthrax lads are definitely not holding it back today, as they throw in yet another surprise, which is a cover of AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” that they’ve included on their covers album Anthems.
If that’s not enough then how about a dude in Judge’s armor who just casually walks on stage during “I Am the Law”? Yea… Seriously.
To mark a successful, fun and absolutely mind-blowing set, Anthrax finish things off with “Antisocial” and show how things are done when it comes to getting the crowd beyond excited. Unfortunately “Madhouse” was left out, but hey… It’s been a killer show and Anthrax have once again proved themselves to be the unstoppable thrash metal pioneers that they are. (5/5)
Caught in a Mosh
Got the Time (Joe Jackson cover)
In the End
T.N.T. (AC/DC cover)
Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t
I Am the Law
Antisocial (Trust cover)
Next up on the Sophie Lancaster stage are the legendary British rockers Wolfsbane.
After Blaze Bayley left to join that one band called Iron Maiden in 1994, Wolfsbane never carried on.
However, they’re now back together and ready to rock Bloodsotck 2013 with the original line-up and a packed –out Sophie Lancaster tent full of HMS (Howling Mad Shitheads).
Today Wolfsbane choose to perform a mix of ‘greatest hits’ to secure a good feedback from the crowd, however “Blue Sky” off their latest album Wolfsbane Save The World goes down better than some of the classics.
“Black Lagoon,” “I Like it Hot,” “Steel” and “Man Hunt” all go down as absolute brilliantly and earn the best of crowd’s appreciations.
Blaze Bayley and the boys prove that they’ve still got it and they show no sign of stopping in the near future. (4/5)
Money to Burn
I Like It Hot
Temple of Rock
Paint the Town Red
But just before we get to the main headline act of Sunday, it is worth mentioning that death metal godfathers Dying Fetus were the last band to hit the Sophie Lancaster Stage on Sunday.
They certainly entertained those who find Slayer ‘not heavy enough’ or are simply and straight forward extreme death metal fans.
Bringing crushing riffs, extreme blast beats and sheer brutality, Dying Fetus sure put on a remarkable show.
They were the perfect act to bring Bloodstock on Sophie Lancaster Stage to an end. (4/5)
From Womb to Waste
Killing on Adrenaline
Your Treachery Will Die With You
Praise the Lord (Opium of the Masses)
Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog
One Shot, One Kill
And it’s finally time for the Sunday headliners.
It’s finally time for the band that’s been going strong for over 30 years and represents a generation of heavy metal.
It’s finally time for the band who’s die-hard fans look up to their music and ideology as a religion.
It’s time for the one and only S L A Y E R ! ! !
They take the stage and kick things off with “World Painted Blood” and “Disciple,” but it’s an instant realization that something’s just not working here.
The crowd is going nuts, the lights are bright, Gary Holt is fitting in brilliantly and Paul Bostaph on the drums is no disappointment.
It might be the fact that it’s not loud enough. Or could it be that the connection between Tom, Kerry and the crowd has changed significantly?
Further into the set of absolute Slayer classics and once again you realize just how good these guys are live, however this time what makes their set astounding is the amount of love that fans have for them as a band.
When to Slayer this might seem like just another show, it represents something a lot more for all the metal heads here at Bloodstock.
The energy in the crowd is unbelievable. Thousands of fans have gathered here tonight to witness their favourite heavy metal band come to some kind of conclusion and pass it on to their audience. However, the energy on stage remains missing and the performance comes across rather impersonal.
When Slayer confirmed that they will be performing at Bloodstock 2013 after Jeff Hannemen passed away, it kicked off a debate on how they were going to deliver the performance.
There were options that they might turn it into a tribute show for the master behind the greatest of Slayer riffs or they would just get on with it and do it because they’re Slayer and there’s a pay check to be received.
Today Slayer remain reserved as they never mention the loss of their fellow band member. Tom Araya speaks to the crowd about letting life happen with “We all think we’re invincible, but then one day you find out that you’re not,” however he never touches the subject completely.
Just before Slayer blast out “South of Heaven,” a massive ‘Hanneman 1963-2013’ backdrop appears and the crowd salute in appreciation.
Slayer close with “Angel Of Death” leaving the audience a little confused. The tunes were there, but the energy was missing, which leaves fans somehow satisfied, yet disappointed. It’s just that you don’t fuck with Slayer fans. …even if you’re Slayer.
We sure had a blast, as it’s Slayer after all. Yes, it might not have been their best performance after all, but that’s not going to make their fans suddenly stop listening to their music. And Slayer is still the only band name you can’t speak, because you have to shout it. (4/5)
World Painted Blood
At Dawn They Sleep
Altar of Sacrifice
Spirit in Black
Seasons in the Abyss
Dead Skin Mask
South of Heaven
Angel of Death
And Bloodstock Open Air 2013 is over.
Four days spent here in the middle of a field with the craziest, dirtiest and sweetest metal heads in the world now seems like only few hours, as the time has flown by too fast.
No matter how exhausted or broke we might be, we find ourselves wanting Bloodstock 2013 to carry on for just one more day. …or a week.
It’s time for the last dance-off in the Serpents Lair VIP bar where the party seems to never end and Metal-Rules.com UK Team share a well-deserved drink after a weekend of pure fucking heavy metal mayhem.
Tomorrow we will wake up, pack out stuff and head back into reality just to wait to return to Bloodstock in a year and do this all over again.
Bloodstock, you have been wonderful to us and the whole heavy metal community!
Long live Bloodstock Open Air!
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Anna Dumpe Reviewed: Oaf, Ravenage, Tragedy, Earthtone9, Death Angel, Dark Funeral, Firewind, Municipal Waste, Accept, King Diamond, Mia Klose, Mitchel Emms, Scar Symmetry, Karybdis, Beholder, 3 Inches Of Blood, Hell, Kataklysm, Gojira, Sabaton, Avantasia, Lamb Of God, Scarab, Mael Mordha, NeonFly, Power Quest, One For Sorrow, Gama Bomb, Sacred Mother Tongue, Amorphis, Exodus, DevilDriver, Anthrax, Slayer, RSJ, Evil Scarecrow, Breed 77, Wolfsbane, Dying Fetus, Kremated, Amulet
Ben Spencer Reviewed: Ex Deo, Fozzy, Whitechapel, Voivod, Gormathon, Belphegor