Ronnie James Dio Stage
First up are Evil Scarecrow [4/5] with their rich funny bone at the ready, with robots bursting out of amps, crabs, aliens, barbed wire and enough theatricals to give Alice Copper a run for his money.
Setting a Bloodstock record – over 11 thousand waking up early (11am is far too early to be functioning at a festival) and making their way to watch these crazy loons, easily surpassing last nights crowd for Down.
Not shy of playing bloodstock and finally on the main stage after years of being something of a Sophie stage house band.
Wasting no time, they are ready to harvest the inner souls of the crowd, it’s not long before the crowd are won over with a performance that is both as engaging as it is crazy.
You couldn’t stand still throughout the whole ordeal, and why would you have wanted to? They were mad fun!
Having just played Hellfest, Norwegian Shining [2.5/5] aren’t strangers to the big stage and playing the Ronnie James Dio is something of challenge that they are willing to take on.
The brought the sax appeal with a sound combination falling between Kvelertak meeting Electric 6 in a back alley for a punch up , it’s a brave and ambitious move to be almost ska-Avant-Garde, but it seems to fall flat in the live setting.
Selections from freshest albums ‘Black Jazz’ and ‘One One One’ secure an impressive crowd for an early morning band along with the crazy black-jazz cover of King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” that displayed some sporadic talent.
It’s clear by the end that this troupe are the Marmite band of the weekend, I’m afraid I’ll just leave my toast buttered only.
The One Inside
My Dying Drive
The Madness and the Damage Done
21st Century Schizoid Man (King Crimson cover)
Decapitated [3.5/5] come prepared to lay down the law with a pretty standard set of the typical adrenaline you need after a party set and a mind melting Avant-Garde…experience.
There is one thing guaranteed with a band like this, that they have come to play hard, alike with former touring buddies Aborted.
Opening with the snippet from “Walk” there is an excitement and an expectancy of a good headbang-able tune.Decapitated were extremely tight and delivered their assault of now what can really only be called a blend of technical death metal and metalcore.
Playing a scattering of songs from throughout their discography, they display a great deal of energy, that was the only upside to the energy draining set.
Personal highlight being “Spheres of Madness” for its quick fire power and old school aggression, overall this has been a solid and rich set that is perfectly timed to wake everyone up a bit.
Lying and Weak
A View From a Hole
Carnival is Forever
Spheres of Madness
Orphaned land [4/5] seemed to reach everyone at some level, despite being a stark contrast to those stage sharing with them.
Starting off the set with their almost ritualistic live performance, their blend of Jewish folk music and progressive metal marks them as an intense rarity in music (their earlier days clasped on to doom metal too).
Using “People should be judged by their hearts and inner sincerity, not their religious beliefs.” as an ethos, they give energy to their back catalog of mystical beauty.
As they worked their way through their set it was soon easy to see that the band have been doing this for a long time and are very easy with not only being on stage but being able to grab the attention of the crowd too.
The crowd was gathered for them by the end of the set was comparable to that found within Killing Joke’s live performances that are designed to address the disciples of the band, whose spirits by the end of the set would be refreshed.
With a rich collection of Arabic sounding instrumentation with a System of a down style of vocals that came together for an uplifting effect, brought melodies, all came together for fabulously creatively distinguished set.
Crowbar [4/5] after the performance from Down last night it was a head turner to see the troupe from New Orleans arrive promptly and take on a mid-afternoon set with their own stride with even more energy than their counterpart, if you can believe.
With a good fashioned stage presence that sent the crowd into a frenzy of excitement to their tar like smooth crunchy liquor temptress like lyrics delivered with grunts and growls. With a splitting energy between lyrical delivery and guitar work there is passion in the performance.
The crushing signature sound of Crowbar is at its peak during this set, with strong crowd reactions and adrenaline finding it’s way through the rough southern tunes. With smashing hits like “New Dawn”, “Cemetery Angels“ and “Sever the Wicked Hand“ in their arsenal, it’s no wonder they go down a treat!
As slow paced and un-stage heavy, the metal outfit stick to their spots, that doesn’t mean they aren’t unleashing fine tuned riffs. Just doing so with little fanfare and few paces to refuel on the old moonshine.
For this band’s it’s not particularly about stage theatricals unlike the evening’s headliners, it’s more about the soul of the music, the feel for the music and how that will be perceived by the audience ahead of them, it’s moments during sets like this that make you wish you’d picked up a guitar and just stuck with it.
High Rate Extinction
Walk With Knowledge Wisely
Sever the Wicked Hand
The Lasting Dose
All I Had (I Gave)
Without further ado Lacuna Coil [4.5/5]; a band who have always used the combination of the beautiful and the beastly within, arrive in full on darkened armour, ready to entice, delight and make light work of the performance challenge .
This isn’t a bad thing mind, as Cristina’s live vocals are incredibly strong and soar above the wind that does seem to be taking the speakers for a bit of a journey.
Playing classic numbers such as “Heaven’s a Lie” and brilliant newer tracks from 2012’s Dark Adrenaline such as “ Upsidedown” which goes down equally as well with the crowd, who seem more familiar with the newer material from 2014’s “Broken Crown Halo”.
After nearly 20 years of first release the band are still as strong, enthusiastic and passionate as ever. With stage frolics such as Andrea jumping around to incite the crowd, and Cristina having a great live voice they clearly love what they do.
There is a sure staple sound to this band and that is a rich harmony, a love of the chaos and determination to perform with more energy than a nuclear power plant. That even with a reduced and re-established line up will always be there and will always be impressive.
Trip the Darkness
Kill the Light
Die & Rise
Fragments of Faith
Heaven’s a Lie
Nothing Stands in Our Way
Finland isn’t shy of exporting extreme metal and Children of Bodom [4.5/5] aren’t shy to be proud of their native land with a best of set ready to go.
It’s not long before the troupe get stuck in and making light work of their wholesome variety of metal. Sounding like a wailing thrill of fast keyboards, dancing fret boards and harsh winter infused vocals,creating a defining atmosphere and overall ear drum teaser.
The Finnish masters of speed are comprised of the powerful Jaska Raatikainen on bombastic drums, the thundering bass skills of Henkka Blacksmith , the wizard of all things Keyboard Janne Warman along with the fellow axe man Roope Latvala and of course not forgetting the wild child himself Alexi Laiho on front man/ guitar and sublime vocal duties.
The band’s performance was tight, full on and tonnes better than expected, as they cracked into a variety of swirls, magically fast keyboards and new numbers from latest album “Halo of Blood” to gain a then and now retrospect.
The compelling set filled with classics hits such as “Needled 24/7”, “Hate Crew Deathroll”, “Lake Bodom”, “Angels Don’t Kill”, “Are You Dead Yet?” along with “Silent Night, Bodom Night” and “Bodom After Midnight.” It’s no wonder the crowd were bloody excited!
Wildchild Alexi led the band through a tyrannizing river of songs that trickled down through the excited crowd members. This is a band who knew what that fans would wants and delivered a full on festival set! well delivered and equally well received.
Bodom Beach Terror
Halo of Blood
Scream for Silence
Hate Crew Deathroll
Angels Don’t Kill
Are You Dead Yet?
Silent Night, Bodom Night
Bodom After Midnight
In Your Face
Native Carcass [3.5/5] arrive with a sense of dark humour ”How you doing Sonisphere…oh shit sorry Bloodstock”after the obligatory 1985 introduction the four piece get stuck in straight away with their blend of infectious tones.
Along with a cheeky attitude showing a willingness to possibly offend, they use dark comedy within lyrical bursts and of course create something worthy of a main stage slot.
Playing the vast majority from latest offering “Surgical Steel” it’s no wonder the crowd was pumped and like putty in the hands of front man Jeff Walker.
‘The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills’, ‘Unfit for Human Consumption’ and ‘Captive Bolt Pistol’. are key highlights of crowd chaotic-ness, with the band now nicely warmed up not only from the series of recent tours but from being back in the heart of a metal festival, it had been what like a couple of weeks.
Working their way through a set full of growls, spewing rancid chemical like guitar tones, thunderous drums and a concoction of poison, all put together produced the dystopian fuel to the fire. Carcass leave the crowd a bit dishevelled and happy!
Incarnated Solvent Abuse
Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System
This Mortal Coil
(with Noncompliance to ASTM F 899-12 Standard intro)
Reek of Putrefaction
The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills
Unfit for Human Consumption
Genital Grinder / Pyosisified (Rotten to the Gore) / Exhume to Consume
Captive Bolt Pistol
Corporal Jigsore Quandary / The Sanguine Article
(with Ruptured in Purulence … more)
Emperor [4/5] began in early 1991 as a trio. Featuring Samoth on drums/vocals, Isahn as guitarist and Mortiis as bassist. Now, twenty years is a long time for any artist, most look back and thing “God what was I doing” but “In the Nightside Eclipse” has really stood the test of time in being one album that has shaped the career of the black metal gods.
As soon as opener ‘Into the Infinity of Thoughts’ launches, moshers and headbangers raise temperatures in the crowd, with fond memories of looking into the dark glacier art work and wishing to be transported to such a heroically bleak landscape, it’s odd to be so privileged to be able to hear and witness with album live .
It is notable that album sounds far superior in the live setting that on record with it’s vast and conjuring chords that are clearer without the studio distortions, as the tracks glide rather than hide behind a wax soaked layer of production.
Working their way through the classic album numbers such as “I am the Black Wizards” that boasted more great guitar leads and of course the world-famous blast beats. Along with “ Beyond the Great Vast Forest” whose music and vocals start immediately giving the song a harder hitting feeling then the other tracks. Which in the live setting are enhanced by the adrenaline behind them.
It’s not complete without a flourish of Fantastic growls and demonic licks are the key to the set working as well as it did , Rounding it all of nicely with a best of collection with tracks such as “Wrath of the tyrant”, and a cracking cover of Bathory’s “A fine day to die”.
It’s without question that some metal and otherwise bands write that one truly great album and live off the back of it for years to come, however this album is monumental and means so much to so many fans. It’s also not one that is the sole reason for Emperor’s vast success, they have a significantly valiant rest of career too, its just so happens that this album is bloody brilliant.
Proving themselves worthy of headlining they leave us all in the lurch with an undecided career ahead and the possibility of a few more exclusive performances. Beyond that, the future, as ever, is a mystery waiting to be unraveled.
In the Nightside Eclipse:
Into the Infinity of Thoughts
The Burning Shadows of Silence
Cosmic Keys to My Creations & Times
Beyond the Great Vast Forest
Towards the Pantheon
The Majesty of the Nightsky
I Am the Black Wizards
Inno a Satana
Wrath of the Tyrant
A Fine Day to Die
(Opus A Satana)
The Mercy House [3.5/5]; a five piece that scream hard rock, “We are just five guys fighting against the crime of silence.” After playing Download Festival recently and Having won audiences over across the country with their unique brand of alternative heavy rock. It’s no wonder this troupe have become big, they produced one of the most energetic live shows around, and are full of charisma!