Bloodstock Open Air 2014

August 29th, 2014
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

FRIDAY

With the mouth watering selection of bands to choose from today with the likes of the New Blood talent and acts on the main stage [Ronnie James Dio] and Sophie Lancaster stage. With the inspirational troupe of artists waiting back stage to perform it’s both exciting and important to understand that this is a metal community with lots of talent in every band.

The prevalent performances of the future headlines from the New Blood and the calibre of the Sophie and Jägermeister Truck stage are just as important as the main stage.

Bloodstock 2014

Bloodstock 2014

New Blood Stage

Walking to the arena this morning there are a few misplaced bins, a few used beer cans and of course plenty of bits of silly string, ready to wash the hang over off the early bird crowd made their way to the New blood Stage for Goat Leaf [3.5/5] a four piece from Rotherham.

Opening with a concoction of chunky bass lines, sludge-doom tactics and a comparable tuning to that of doom legends Sleep, working and winning the crowd over is a keen objective for the band and successful they are. Playing tracks from two albums worth of material it’s not too surprising that this band are going to keep striving ever upwards.

Bloodstock 2014

Bloodstock 2014

Having to dip in and out of seeing the bands over the various stages the additional highlight of the New Blood Stage includes South East London’s Darkeye [3/5] who are as corrosive as they are easy to enjoy, using a classic combination of riffs that are more downtrodden than the grass underfoot. From the pure stomps of heavy metal slices that are powerful, ridiculously catchy and overall delivered with a ferocious passion that lingered about the canvas performance area.

Darkeye

Darkeye

With a mix of heavy metal/death vibes and triplet beats meeting with catastrophic moments of Fear Factory with the pro-drilling punches of Burton C Bell’s harsh tones, they play to a good sized crowd, packed with lots of local faces to the band. Overall the band bring the crowd a showcase of really violent tenacity that gains and creates an audio punishment that is  totally worth it!

Darkeye

Darkeye

Over at the Sophie Stage the riff masters of London are ready to attack, Gurt [3.5/5] hit straight away with a wrist hammering of pure clunking rhythms and a cool blend of influence and individuality making the sound bake somewhere between liquid nitrogen lyrics and hardening tarmac musical endeavors.

A set inclusive of seven vicious slices from the band’s back catalogue including numbers such as “Horrendosaurus” from the new album of the same title. Along with greatly named tracks “Soapfest” with none other than the bombastic vocal talents of Diesel King fame. The vocal talents are comparable to each other being the perfect high and low versions of each other. Concluding the set with “Dudes with Beards with Cats” makes for a perfect mess of finely ground gallops of crunch. Nice!

 Jägermeister Truck Stage
The small canvas covered stage is set up with concoctions of ginger beer, red bull and Jägermeister whose fumes plume around like a fine summers day. While on the stage a different liquor is fueling the ideas behind Ten foot Wizard [3.5/5] the band whose sound of Heavy stoner rock with funk tributes instantly rumbles the foundations to the area. With intro music of Ski Sunday the banter begins, with no time to waste.

 

Ten foot Wizard

Ten foot Wizard

The Jägermeister stage needs to be bigger as  the small stage/tent packed out to hear the obligatory wax lyrical about sunshine, women and booze. Overall the bands set was fun, funky and a solid performance. Notably the stage’s offerings this year are of a greater doom calibre, not complaining, it’s nice to see some variety.

Ten foot wizard

Ten foot wizard

Oxford based Undersmile [4.5/5] are up next, the beautiful banshees whom come clad in red bearing a viper look in their eyes. Armed with guitars ready to vibrate the amps to the lowest setting and cause ear drum havoc,and their blend of classic doom drenched tar styled slowness. These temptresses are the perfect summoner of the Hurricane Bertha whose clouds drew ever closer throughout the set, with each chugging chord change another cloud arrived.

The bands performance is the polar opposite to their acoustic counterpart Coma Wall [4.5/5], with high tones and nice chunky riffs that explode across the ears sound ability. After a pure indulgence of excellence that is as refreshing to find as it is tingly to the reverb loving , they have carved out a truly unique sound that is bloody brilliant.

Bloodstock 2014

Bloodstock 2014

V.I.P Tent
Over on the V.I.P stage South East London’s fabulously groovy rockers Zocalo [4/5] turn a head or two with their powerfully infectious rock driven tunes from latest album “Sunrise”. The band bring with them a collection of beautiful re-imagined versions of unique classics, making them sound even more like they need a warm day and a barbecue.

Having played previously on the New blood stage the band are this time back as with acoustic and jazzy tones which suit Sarah’s soaring bluesy vocals down to a tee; the troupe really showed how their mixture of heavy-blues, hard grooving could transcend and appeal to all. Fantastic job!

Ronnie James Stage

With a prime objective in mind to see most of the bands on the main stage, dedicated and named after the legendary Ronnie James Dio RIP, it is time for the bubbling crowd to get their teeth into the masterful Entomed AD [3/5]

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

Explaining the relevance and influence of Entombed is probably as superfluous as pointing out why Slayer rule, Lemmy is bigger than God and the passing of Dio was the greatest loss in metal history.

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

From the outset the troupe work their magic through a series of new and old tracks, which despite the name change;  let  the music speak for itself because at the end of the day, that’s what festivals are all about, right? Heavy music for heavy music fans.

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

Entombed A.D. has all its weapons polished and reloaded for this set and isn’t afraid to use them. As they treat the crowd to one monumental smattering recipe for slick adrenaline after another that all made  you want to break your neck to over a blast beat.

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

The band are down a vital member but have bounced back on the live scene without founding guitarist Alex Hellid, they are sharp and  they’re poised to begin the next phase of their careers. With a very simplistic and accepted traditional front man style the band is led by Petrov’s trademark half-growls/half-shouts.

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

You can  hear the simmering resentment and hostility of what the band have  going through tough times of late, and if anything that has made them play harder, faster and with more momentum to produce the quality music they are known for.

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

The choice to  play older material through this set is a wise move as many fans are there too see the old band  celebrated with a mosh riot through a fantastic set, closing with the incredible two songs in ‘Left Hand Path’ and ‘Supposed to Rot’. Sadly it’s not quite the same band they used to be but at least they made the effort to perform with precision and professional output.

Entombed AD

Entombed AD

The Irish mystical and mysterious tribe Primordial [3.5/5] are next the troupe step away from the shadow of their 2011 performance – during which front man AA Nemtheanga’s vocals were suddenly cut out, today however, they are stronger than ever!

Primordial

Primordial

Back today with a fantastic stage show that provoked an emphasis on their own brand of black metal. With a great sound embellishing a fondness for the use of high end treble and fuzz from just one guitar to create a bleak atmosphere.

Primordial

Primordial

The ferocious grey toned lion was back with the omen of playing the same song as the fatal incident hasn’t hindered the performance and in fact made for an attribute this time around. Dressed like a calmer version of Behemoth, the front man was ready to deliver tales of the Emerald Isle’s woodland.

Primordial

Primordial

Opening with “No Grave Deep Enough” whose dark growls into pure intensity are significantly part of  the bands history lesson set, inclusive of tracks “Bloodied yet Unbowed” and “The Coffin Ships” that all go down a right treat.

Primordial

Primordial

Utilizing the  powerful, epic sounding riffs with the animation of a  stunning  bass performance, crunching drums and whirl of guitars, Primordial gave a powerful sound.

Primordial

Primordial

Primordial

Primordial

Primordial’s sound hints at something far more timeless; the peal of their haunting pagan anthems echo like the Celtic kinsman of Bathory.

Primordial

Primordial

There is sadly only one problem with the set, and that is; that all of the bands songs were eight minutes plus in length and only had forty to showcase them all in, still they made the most of it and for a band spanning three decades, it’s not bad going.

Primordial

Primordial

Ending with “Empire Falls” opener to “To The Nameless Dead” it is a superb way to conclude what has been a journey through the darker ages within folk with a hybrid of cleanly sung darkened metal . Sounding like a cleaner version of Enslaved, it’s not all said and done until a crowd member or two gives them a bubble salute.

Primordial

Primordial

Setlist:

No Grave Deep Enough
As Rome Burns
Bloodied Yet Unbowed
The Coffin Ships
Empire Falls

Back in 1987 when the Arizona thrash five piece Flotsam and Jetsom [4/5] last visited these shores [they began apologising a lot for this]  it was on the eve of departure and switching of characters, but back this year they are geared up and ready to play  a  wide range of their classical fast paced madness.

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

Famous for them holding former Metallica member Jason Newstead in their arsenal, the band carry a heavy chip on their shoulders and don’t let that stop them performing something monumental.

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

Variety is king at Bloodstock and this year there are some truly mouth watering bands to be getting a head band in tune for, but there is nothing quite like a bit of solid thrash to set the course for some real excitement. Especially after being trapped in a trance of folklore, it’s a stark punch that I think the crowd are ready for as it’s only a small matter of time before the middle of the floor space becomes a lot bruisier.

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

Bringing a fresh look on the past the band complete a set to new fans and old that have been dying to see them for the longest of stretches. Similar to the revival of Coroner, the band are strong willed and not afraid to start  pumping their anthem worthy thrash into every audience member .

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

Indeed, singer Eric A.K. still possesses his impressive vocal abilities that put an abundance of younger bands to same. Catchy riffs and an insistence of speed appropriately spawn a flurried mosh pit. All combined with the heavy tuned triumphs of punk and the brash fullness of full headed tunes that mixed to make something resonating of the time era and a heavy advisory to modern music.

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

‘Desecrator’ is a particular highlight to the set as it’s rich blend of  dazzling guitar work that demanded  full focus. Hopefully, Flotsam and Jetsam will return to the UK soon for a full headlining show.

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

 

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

The set today was something of a pure, driven and frenetic thrash nature  which despite a blistering rendition of ‘No Place For Disgrace’, the title track of the newest album, had an old school focus. Defiantly a brave and exciting set from the masters of the old school style. As well as teaching the audience something new about the genre’s problematicmrepetition and convolution that is a mix between the genius and the assembly line.

Flotsam and Jetsom

Flotsam and Jetsom

Setlist:

Hammerhead
Iron Tears
Dreams of Death
Desecrator
Escape from Within
I Live You Die
No Place for Disgrace

Up next are Prong [3/5] who are going to have a hard time topping those thrash legends.

Prong

Prong

Armed with their traditional sounds of industrial, metal, post hardcore blends that come with themes of hostility, personal detachment and seething with the urban paranoia  at the ready.

Prong

Prong

It’s to this, that it is a bit sad to find it falling on deaf ears, after such a monumental performance of thrash before them. Personally they are a band that I was least looking forward too and sadly this bands mix of the not quite industrial tinkles and whizzes of sound are frankly not that enjoyable.

Prong

Prong

Still the sound is strong for them as they work their way through a predominant and exciting set that has the crowd getting more into after a little while of perhaps genre difference re-adjustment. With inspiration to bands such as Nine Inch Nails and the early days of Fear Factory it’s not too surprising that the sound is familiar.

Prong

Prong

For many crowd members this was like stepping back in time, with a  mixture of songs from the band’s back catalog on offer, as the set goes on  however most of it is washed away with the sound levels or the lack of them due to the impending storm from over seas, as if the weather wasn’t bad enough here already!

Prong

Prong

Prong

Prong

Still, unlike the wind, the band work through it and don’t seem to be dampened by the experience. Especially with  a fine display of scissor kicks and catching some air.

Prong

Prong

Prong

Prong

Tommy’s stage repertoire is fresh and innovative, that encompasses the audience and really tried to get them involved, the band are also with a new drummer as of this year; Art Cruz who is also full of the energy and brings dynamics you need in a band like this.

Prong

Prong

Prong

Prong

Despite everything the band have tried to put into the show, I am still personally not sold on them. Unfortunately it’s been a bit  disappointing, probably due to that fact that I didn’t manage to get into them when younger and took the bands who they’ve influenced on instead as teenage heroes.

Prong

Prong

Prong

Prong

Setlist:

Eternal Heat
Lost And Found
Unconditional
Rude Awakening
Turnover
Carved Into Stone
Revenge…Best Served Cold
Whose Fist Is This Anyway?
Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck

The dark lord of blackened doom metal Tom G warrior arrives with Triptykon [4/5] in tow, the mesmerizing H.R Giger inspired metal outfit brace the stage again here for the first time since their debut bloodstock appearance in 2011.

Triptykon

Triptykon

With the dark and savage horizon before them and the same attitude of storm pulling and cold winds its no wonder they are a timeless attribute to the extreme metal scene. The basking beauty on bass and the hollow looking demons around her makes the stage more entrancing as the black cast creatures low tones and excellence soon found their way into becoming masters indoctrinating  the crowd.

Triptykon

Triptykon

Entering with the wailing intro of “Crucifixus” that spun every wayward head towards the rumbling tones of future ear ache, rolling smoothly into “Black Snow”  a new track for the band which led the crowd to be carrying  out one of two motions, slight sway and full on gawk.

Triptykon

Triptykon

 

Triptykon

Triptykon

Triptykon

Triptykon

For those malcontent metal heads that complained Triptykon was too much of a departure from Fischer’s previous works, a cover of Hellhammer’s ‘Messiah’ is aired out and die-hards are ecstatic with this inclusion.

Triptykon

Triptykon

By now the crowd are swept into such a trance that it seems there is no way they’d break free, so it’s a good job it starts to rain so they can move to put a rain coat or two on.

Triptykon

Triptykon

Triptykon

Triptykon

From the ashes of the past bands there is a certain skill and musical prowess that  the master of darkness brings with him that makes the performance fantastic.

Triptykon

Triptykon

Triptykon

Triptykon

 

Triptykon

Triptykon

Setlist:

Crucifixus (Intro)
Black Snow
Altar of Deceit
Messiah (Hellhammer cover)
The Prolonging
Winter (Celtic Frostsong) (Outro)

Hardcore veterans Hatebreed [3/5] return with a heavy sounding punch-to-the-face of ‘To the Threshold’.

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

The heavy bass slams and signature vocals rupture with a strong sense of urgency that sees fans head banging along and raising horns to the air.

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

As their set ploughs on, the band pull out the groove induced ‘Honour Never Dies’.

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Next, the unrelenting prowess of ‘Live For This’ charges onward with solid guitars and deep throated shouts.

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Even though most of their songs fell into similar patterns there is something about Hatebreed’s direct and no-nonsense approach to song writing that sinks in with the gathered crowds and they certainly stood out in their own way if nothing else. [Review by Ben Spencer] 

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

Dimmu Borgir [3/5] have one advantage to them and that is a breathtaking visual power , they strive to be as majestic as they can within the confines of  reason or budget- depending on how you look at it.

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

 

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

It’s sad to see a band that can excel within the live environment not get their full kit to the best it can be, but despite all of this the band still give it a go with a triumph that deserves some credit.

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Working their way through a reduced set inclusive of classics “Progenies of the Great Apocalypse”, the incredibly popular “The Serpentine offering” and the beautifully chaotic “Puritania”. To be honest  there was a sense of annoyance to the set that couldn’t get shaken off throughout due to the faults.

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Still there was a lot of focus driven on what was salvageable and what there was still brought an impact of slick deep tones of the Satanically rich horrors all with a delicately polyphonic burst.

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

 

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

The crowd were still impressed by their symphonic brand of black metal which began to feel quite atmospheric as the light began to fade in the arena. The crowd responded with a wave of devil horns to signal their appreciation.

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Setlist:

Allegiance
Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
Lepers Among Us
Vredesbyrd
The Serpentine Offering
Gateways
Puritania
Mourning Palace

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Down [3.5/5] arrive and it’s time for the southern sounding Bastille to arrive.

Down

Down

Down

Down

With the war worn vocal badges from the legendary Phil Anselmo in their arsenal, its not too surprising that all eyes are on them – bringing with the something far from theatrical and all out metal heavy.

Down

Down

After such a collection and variety of genre’s it was a wonder the crowd still had enough energy to think about rocking out some more, yet with bellies of beasts they are summoned as Pantera famed Phil gives them the order to get more pumped than ever-  the crowd could only oblige.

Down

Down

 

Down

Down

The troupe waste little time with crowd politics and have a “We’re going to play, rock hard and leave!” kind of attitude, making efficient use of the time they have been given to work with, not a second of it is wasted.

Down

Down

Coming from a Veteran front man like him; you pay attention to stuff like that, “Thanks for having us this year, it’s so awesome, look at you!” and somewhat prematurely asks, “I wanna see a circle pit, right there, somewhere in the vicinity.” which is met with some half-hearted fisticuffs between a pirate and a clown and a lot of head-banging, rather than the raucous rift Anselmo requests.

Down

Down

With a full on assault of glazed foundations of groove metal the swinging muscular menace that is every part a front man works up the repertoire with the crowd and conducts the cool as fuck orchestra behind and in front of him.

Down

Down

 

Down

Down

Down are exactly the kind of chuggy heavy metal BOA deserves.The first half was far superior to the the later half of their set, but they redeemed it with “Bury Me In Smoke” to conclude.

Down

Down

 

Down

Down

 

Down

Down

Setlist:

Eyes of the South
We Knew Him Well
Hogshead/Dogshead
Witchtripper
Lifer
Lysergik Funeral Procession
Pillars of Eternity
Hail the Leaf
Ghosts Along the Mississippi
Conjure
Losing All
Stone the Crow
Walk (Pantera cover) (Snippet)
Bury Me in Smoke

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