Bloodstock Open Air 2008

Spread the metal:


It’s hard to believe that this is Destruction’s first appearance at BOA, and Schmier lost no time in thanking the crowd and hoping that they would be back. Destruction did not get off to an auspicious start, as a foreboding of the sound problems that would continue to plague the festival over the weekend first reared its ugly head. Things got so frustrating that Schmier, visibly pissed off, kicked his amp mic and repositioned it himself midsong when getting no joy from the sound crew. The normally cool Mike showed his displeasure on more than one occasion as well; sound problems are one thing but the apparent apathy from the sound crew must have irked the Germans.

However, the sympathetic crowd more than made up for it. There was a superb moshpit for ‘Eternal Ban’ and ‘Thrash til Death’, after which Schmier pointed out the historic location in which Bloodstock is situated – the industrial city of Birmingham nearby in the British Midlands, and the birthplace of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Napalm Death, as well as some NWOBHM bands like Cloven Hoof. “Anybody go to church on Sundays?” introduces ‘Soul Collector’, the answer being an emphatic NO.

Schmier then remarked on the profusion and variety of national flags on display, affirming his belief in the universality of metal, and he wondered if BOA would be the British version of Wacken. “Where’s the German flag? I saw one here just a minute ago. Fucking pussy!” as Schmier bemoaned the loss of his home country’s representative. “One more song, one more moshpit!” challenged Schmier, as the band played their last song “dedicated to the new generation of metalheads”, ‘The Butcher Strikes Back’. They are back in December, and I can’t wait to see them again.



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Curse The Gods

Nailed To The Cross

Mad Butcher

Eternal Ban

Thrash Til Death

Soul Collector

Total Desaster

Bestial Invasion

The Butcher Strikes Back

Primal Fear


I solemnly promise to go through this review without once mentioning JP or RH. Primal Fear play a solid form of power/traditional metal that is well in the vein of other great German bands like Accept, Grave Digger, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Sinner. Blending some great guitar work and awesome ear-piercing singing, Primal Fear were one of the bands I was most eager to see.


Starting off with an almighty scream on their classic ‘Angel in Black’, vocalist Ralf Scheepers strode the stage, singing with great enthusiasm. The power and range of his vocals has to be seen to be believed, and never having seen this band live before, I could only stand and watch in awe. As a frontman, he is impeccably confident, playing the crowd and urging on his bandmates as well.




Reeling off old favourites like ‘Nuclear Fire’, ‘Battalions of Hate’ and ‘Chainbreaker’, it was time for a newer track off their latest, NEW RELIGION, called ‘Fighting the Darkness’. A dark and emotional song, Scheepers had the chance to show off his rich powerful voice, showing that he is not merely a high-register screamer. This song sounds even better live than it does on the record.



Ralf needed a lyric sheet for ‘Final Embrace’ but we won’t begrudge him some assistance; it’s been ten years since JAWS OF DEATH. The final song of the afternoon got the biggest cheer: ‘Metal is Forever’ is the perennial favourite as Ralf busted some ribs reaching those insanely high screams. Primal Fear didn’t disappoint, with a superlative performance from a great frontman, the guy who once had ambitions to replace Rob Halford in Judas Priest.

Ah fuck.




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Angel in Black

Battalions of Hate

Nuclear Fire


Fighting the Darkness

Final Embrace

Metal is Forever

Day 1 continues –>