Bloodstock Open Air 2008

Spread the metal:


Saturday starts almost the same way Friday did – blazing hot day and a hangover. Not a good combination. Having missed three bands on the mainstage, including Rise To Remain (fronted by Bruce Dickinson’s son, Austin), time for me to get out of the baking tent and into the arena. First order of the day (for me) was Eluveitie.



I maintain that this is one of the bands that sounds flat and dull on record but is an unforgettable experience when seen live. The Kirder brothers are no longer around (although it was posted on their website that Bloodstock would be their last show), which is a pity. One of the lasting images I have of the Paganfest earlier this year was of the heavily tattooed Sevan giving a blowjob to what looked like a piece of furry roadkill, with his brother Rafi prancing about like a demented elf on crack cocaine. Their boundless energy, incessant activity and humour will be missed, most definitely.


No matter, the rest of the band (they remain eight in number, with replacement bassist Kay Brem and multi-instrumentalist Pade Kistler) still rock hard and rock well. Chrigel, their singer is a compelling frontman, and his quest to burst right out of his skin and splatter all over the audience comes ever closer to fruition with each passing yell, growl and contorted scream. The two lovely gals on violin and hurdy gurdy, Meri Tadic and Anna Murphy respectively, bang their heads with the boys and outdoing them in intensity as well. Meri’s magnificent cascade of auburn hair flowing in the wind is a sight to behold…



Chrigel introduced ‘The Somber Lay’ with a little challenge to the guys: “Hope you’re in the mood for some dancing”, which they were – alcohol aided of course. “Are you guys ready for some fucking BATTLE!!!!!!!” as the call to arms kicked off ‘Your Gaulish War’. The closing song ‘Tergernako’ was preceded by some lessons in ye olde Celtic tongue, the crowd gamely parroting Chrigel. The final product after a minute or two of uncoordinated drunken yells translated to be “Pretty girl, bring me a beer now!” I wouldn’t recommend saying that to a fiery redheaded Irish lass named Rhiannon O’Hara, it’s liable to get you a cuff around the ear…


Great performance by the ever-entertaining Swiss band! This was helped by the great sound, which sounded much clearer than the previous night.


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Inis Mona


Bloodstained Ground

Of Fire, Wind and Wisdom

The Somber Lay

Your Gaulish War



Swallow the Sun


The Finnish doom sextet didn’t excite much, although keyboardist Aleksi Munter was quite active initially. The band kept banter to a minimum, and the songs, being unfamiliar to me, sort of ran into one another without variation. They played ‘Plague of Butterflies’ from their upcoming album of the same title, which will be out later this year. As they played ‘The Ship’, the clouds in the rapidly darkening sky lowered dramatically, and as the light fell away and the wind picked up, the atmosphere seemed to fit better with the funereal songs and gloomy dirges. The moment soon passed though, and I get the impression that this band would be better experienced at home.



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Out Of This Gloomy Light

Don’t Fall Asleep (Horror Pt 2)

Plague of Butterflies

The Ship

Swallow (Horror Pt 1)

Day 2 continues –>