Full steam ahead
Bloodstock Metal Festival are going full steam ahead preparing a metal feast in August. Hot on the heels of the additions of Kreator as Saturday night main headliner along with Seidrblot, Evile and Bloodshot Dawn come 11 new bands covering a wide spectrum of metal styles. There is a main stage performer for Friday, a Saturday night second stage headliner, a band for the second stage for Friday and a whole 8 bands for the Thursday on that second stage which is topped by The Night Flight Orchestra from Sweden. Of course, for the first time, Thursday will be an all-day event involving both the Sophie and New Blood stages and the customary evening (5pm till late) now being on Wednesday.
First up and making their first proper or pre-planned appearance at the festival is UK rockers The Wildhearts. They have appeared as a fill-in before and they went down the proverbial storm (as always) so at last, they will be on the t-shirts! They recently released a live album called 30 Year Itch: Live (more details HERE) and welcomed back into the fold original bassist Danny McCormack. Frontman and lyricist Ginger is simply one of the finest songwriters that the UK has produced with songs that are so infectious that they should come with a health warning. Expect plenty of singing and bouncing throughout. Catch them live on the Dio stage Friday night!
Heading to the Sophie Saturday night we have the excellent Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons. Their new album We Are The Bastards was recorded back home in Wales during 2020 and is terrific stuff (Review HERE). Of course, there is plenty of Motorhead moments but mixed with AC/DC and even some Southern rock like Blackstone Cherry. It packs a punch whilst still having plenty of melody. They will finish the live-action as headliners on the second stage causing plenty of singing and rocking in the tent.
One band added for Friday on the Sophie are Corby metal band Raging Speedhorn. The band have been around since 1998 and only 2 original members remain in singer Frank Regan and drummer Gordon Morrison. Both guitarists, bassist and second vocalist only joined around 2018. Interestingly there are a few bands added today which have 2 singers, Raging were probably one of the first to do that. They have a comeback album out called Hard To Kill which seems autobiographical in name.
Thursday – Sophie Tent
Hacktivist are a heady mix of metal, rap, hip-hop, djent and nu-metal. They are quite a political band, lyrically a bit like Rage Against The Machine. They are one of several acts with 2 frontmen both of whom appear to rap from what I have seen.
Thunderous Jones also have 2 singers, though this time it is one harsh and one clean. They are a mix of prog and djent and can go from heavy, dark and brooding to sections that have lots of harmony about them. Their debut album Stop The Show is due out this summer. They also have Kerrang Radio DJ Johnny Doom on one of their songs.
Ashen Crown formed 2016 in the Midlands and are a mix of influences including bands such as Bolt Thrower, At The Gates, Benediction and Obituary amongst others. They won a place at the festival New Blood stage back in 2017 having won through the M2TM competition winning in the Wolverhampton area. Their new album Obsolescence is out now and the band are eager to actually play it to crowds for the first time proper as opposed to online!
Luna’s Call are a Lincolnshire band that could be called either progressive metal or technical extreme metal. Their new album Void came out last year and again they want to play it live. Their second is full of early to mid-era Opeth metal, although they are no clones, that is a good point of reference to how it sounds. It merges heavy riffs and sweeping synths exploring themes in a conceptual way.
Urne are a London trio whose influences include Metallica, Mastodon, Death and Alice In Chains amongst others. They play a number of styles they say, but all of them are simply put as “heavy”. Even though they are described as “sludge” or “doom” they are actually quite prog as well. They certainly make some noise for a 3 piece. Which is always good.
Forlorn World is a new project by Bloodshot Dawn‘s guitarist/vocalist Josh McMorran (Bloodshot play Sunday on the main stage). He has an album out called Umbra which is set in a fictional world but is sort of based on our world and the trials we face living our lives. The idea behind the project is to weave epic narrative plots around death metal music. It is heavy stuff (of course) and it will be interesting to see what sort of band he has with him going live.
Seething Akira are a Portsmouth-based band that merge metal with electronic dance and drum and bass. They have played before in 2017 when they played the New Blood stage. They have an explosive stage presence encouraging crowd movement.
King Witch are an Edinburgh band who are old-school metal mixed with doom. There are hints of Black Sabbath and Candlemass of course, but with the new album Body Of Light, they have songs that are almost proggy epics and then some shorter punky tracks that punch you in the gut. The vocal performance from Laura Donnelly is also tremendous. These guys are excellent live.
All this and previously announced and held over bands from 2020 including Devin Townsend (Friday headliner) and Judas Priest (Sunday headliner) along with Dimmu Borgir, Skindred, Paradise Lost, Bury Tomorrow. Black Dahlia Murder#, Diamond Head, Jinjer, Vio-lence, Saxon, Gloryhammer, Dark Tranquillity, Cattle Decapitation#, Bloodywood, Memoriam, Ramage Inc. Green Lung, Conjurer, Orange Goblin, The Night Flight Orchestra, Unleash The Archers, Sylosis, Toxic Holocaust#, Winterfylleth. Nekrogoblikon#, The Crawling, Raised By Owls, Anakim, Acid Reign, Svalbard, Soen, Dog Tired, Bailer, Blasphemer, Black Tongue, Liberty Lies, Pist, & Sharks In Your Mouth.
# Since posting these bands have had to pull out of playing this year. Obviously Bloodstock are doing their best in trying circumstances to make sure they can put on a festival to remember. CGCM will try our best to keep you informed.
In other news, the festival has started to organize Metal 2 The Masses (M2TM) with competition nights being held all over the UK on the weekends of July 3 / 4 and July 10 / 11. See the poster for details for your local area. They are always good nights, a chance to see some local bands, drink some beer and rock out. They are also a chance to shape the New Blood stage as well which is cool.
Tickets are available now from the ticket link HERE