Bloodstock Metal Festival are continuing to set up a bill for metal fans to enjoy all being well in August this year. There have, as already mentioned here on the news pieces at CGCM, been some changes to the bill due to travel problems for some acts, but the organizers are working hard to try and ensure that there will be a fantastic and rocking event to enjoy this year. They are focussing on as many UK bands as possible so even if any other restrictions should arise for foreign travel that it won’t affect the festival too much. In this raft of announcements, we have a Sunday second stage headliner and a whole host of acts for the “New Blood” stage with 2 on the Friday, 3 on the Saturday and a whopping 13 for Sunday. Now many of these bands are unknown to the vast majority of attendees as of this moment (including this reviewer) as they are newer artists, however, I have tried to check out each band so that I can make a comment or 2 on each to give an idea what to expect. Some bands have more information online than others which is reflected a little on space given to each one of them.
Sunday Sophie Headliner:
Firstly headlining Sunday night in the Sophie Tent and finishing the whole event off is Nottingham nutters (I don’t think they would disagree) and Bloodstock regulars Evil Scarecrow. They have caused mayhem and hysterics every time they have played and are a band that entertains. Also, one that positively involves the crowd, whether having the audience do robotic dancing or even moving en masse as crabs from side to side with pincers in the air (a sight to behold). The band put out a press statement which was a lot of fun, saying…
“We haven’t played as a band for a year. Not even a practice! We closed and abandoned our rehearsal room. Our van is gathering moss on a driveway. We have 2 new members who we have never played with. One of them was our main stagehand and we have not replaced that position. Basically, EVIL SCARECROW are, in reality, unconscious in stasis, floating through the void of space until we clear the disease-ridden Van Allen radiation belt. Along came the good ship BLOODSTOCK, who nudged us awake to see if we will come and play with them. “No”, we mumble, “No band yet. More sleep”. They return with a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich. “It’s headlining the Sophie Stage” they whisper. Shit. So, we’ve sprung back into life! We are dusting off our props and may even have a band practice or two. So, if you want to see the most shambolic, unpracticed, unprepared EVIL SCARECROW show ever, then join us! We can’t promise our usual super-polished -ahem- performance. But we promise to bring the biggest, messiest, stupidest party yet.”
Anything for tea and a bacon sarnie it seems. Very rock n roll! Expect a load of laughs to finish the night/festival.
So onto all the New Blood bands…
Friday New Blood Stage:
Friday we have Colpocleisis who are brutal death metal from Liverpool. For those wondering, the name of the band is also the name of a medical procedure for the closing of a vagina in case of prolapse! So far they have released an album back in 2017 and 3 singles in 2020 and have a song with the title of “Masturbational Burnout” which gives some indication of what they are about! Also, Friday from Gloucestershire come punky metal outfit Broken Jaw. They have 2 seven-string guitarists and 1 five-string bassist and have covered “Breathe” by The Prodigy.
Saturday New Blood Stage:
Saturday brings 3 bands the first being Hanowar who are a tribute to a well-known American metal band who used to wear loincloths. This band promise they are bringing “plastic weaponry of steel” and warning that “wimps and poseurs should leave the field“. Expect lots of classic metal anthems and some silly stage (and no doubt crowd) antics. Their Bandcamp page describes them as “cheesier than a cheese factory“. Bringing some melodic hard rock and metal to the day are Devilfire. The band has a couple of albums out and one of the tracks from the latest Black Soul Vendetta has a song that won “track of the week” on Classic Rock magazine/webpage. The song in question features Eric Drover (ex-Alice Cooper guitarist and ex-vocalist for Slash) and is called “Chasing The Pain“. Finally, also on the Saturday from Ireland come Grey Stag. Described as “proggy sludge” this 3 piece have won awards and recognition back in their homeland getting EP of the year on Irish Metal Radio. New one “The Boats” has 3 tracks of intensity and riffs and pleasingly (one of the reasons to love 3 piece bands) the bass is right up in the mix hitting hard. The title track is 12 glorious minutes long.
Sunday New Blood Stage:
First up is clown metal outfit The Injester who say that their music is shaped by artists such as Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Faith No More amongst others. They are all anonymous portraying characters on stage and having a very theatrical show based on horror themes. They released their first EP Halloween 2019 and the 2 songs have classic hard rock elements along with eerie synths and keys. They say that the stage will definitely be a “big top” circus tent when they play. Also playing that day are Ghosts Of Atlantis from Suffolk and are a mix of gothic, symphonic and black metal. Lyrically quite dark yet featuring big infectious choruses making them very accessible. They have released an album titled 184.108.40.206. which apparently signifies something but they are not saying. Clues are apparently on the album for those who care to delve deeper.
Strangle Wire are 4 guys who have been around in other bands for several decades who have recently got together to make groove-laden death metal. Calling themselves “psychological death metal” they have an EP from 2018 available to check out called The Dark Triad. They say there is an album coming this year perhaps in time for Bloodstock. Staying with death metal we have Frozen In Shadows from Manchester who formed in 2018 and have out a self-titled EP. However, since then the band has expanded having added keys to their sound and more progressive elements. The band features members (and ex-members?) of Footprints In The Custard so some of them know the festival quite well. They say about playing “we are horrendously disappointed we cannot drink ourselves into a coma on the Saturday night due to playing Sunday, not all heroes wear capes“. Indeed!
Continuing Sunday come black metal sonic terrorists Deitus. From my reading/investigations, they have been around for a few years and are the idea of one man called A G (if incorrect please let me know in the comments section). There is a single out just now called “Via Dolorosa” which is Latin for “way of suffering/sorrow” and is apparently the road Jesus walked on his road to death (for those Bible scholars amongst us!). From listening it is rather atmospheric and melodic in parts. From Bournemouth come South Of Salem who are classic rock with hints of NWOBHM. Their songs are anthemic with hooks aplenty and plenty of nods to artists like Alice Cooper (again), Motley Crue and Murderdolls. Their album The Sinner Takes It All came out last year and is a fun listen.
Going all power/symphonic metal are Fellowship from Essex. With a name that screams “Lord Of The Rings” they are wandering minstrels who from their videos hang around in forests and are happy to sing Disney songs when the mood takes them (check out their version of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight“). They have a few singles out, the latest “Glint” has a video as well. This Is Endless feature folks from Akercocke, Ted Maul and Onslaught so have some pedigree. With a blend of death metal, hardcore and grind they make an unholy noise. They released an album last year called Formations Of A World Below.
Hybridize are a groove metal band from Exeter and Devon area. The 5 guys have been around in other bands (it seems most if not all of them have played the festival in other guises in the last 10 years) so this is a new venture for all of them. They have managed to get an EP out called Evolve Or Die which came out in 2019. Son Of Boar are a mix of 70s hard rock mixed with stoner and doom metal. They formed a couple of years ago and have released a self-titled 5 track EP. In a change of style again from Ireland come Words That Burn. their last album Pyres hit number 1 in the Irish alternative charts. They are quite melodic with a mix of vocal styles and seem influenced by 90s rock and metal. At the moment they are working on album number 3!
Getting to the end of a mighty list of bands we have 2 more bands to talk about. Firstly Sorceress Of Sin are melodic power and symphonic metal who formed only last year and have released an album called Mirrored Revenge already. This band from Cambridge features a husband and wife (drummer and singer respectively) and the first song I heard “Empyre Of Stones” made me think musically of early Dio in sound and style. Finally, last but by no means least are Wired. This Midlands-based thrash and hardcore band only formed in 2019 although the members have known each other for years as they all have gigged locally before with other acts. They have supported a few bands including Ashen Crown and Agnostic Front showing that they can impress anywhere and fit any bill.
All this plus previously announced bands: Devin Townsend (Friday headliner) and Judas Priest (Sunday headliner) along with Dimmu Borgir, Skindred, The Wildhearts, Therapy, Napalm Death, Paradise Lost, Bury Tomorrow, Raging Speedhorn, Bleed From Within, Diamond Head, Jinjer, Vio-lence, Saxon, Gloryhammer, Dark Tranquillity, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons, Memoriam, Ramage Inc. Green Lung, Conjurer, Orange Goblin, The Night Flight Orchestra, Unleash The Archers, Sylosis, Hacktivist, Winterfylleth. , The Crawling, Raised By Owls, Anakim, Venom Prison, Borstal, Acid Reign, Svalbard, Soen, Dog Tired, Bailer, Blasphemer, King Creature, Primitai, Black Tongue, Liberty Lies, Pist, Terra IV, Internal Conflict, Thunderous Jones, Ashen Crown, Luna’s Call, Urne, Forlorn World, Seething Akira, King Witch, Sharks In Your Mouth, Mother Vulture, Famyne, and Party Cannon.
Full CGCM Bloodstock Coverage: Bloodstock
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Festival takes place the weekend of August 11 to 15 at Catton Park Derbyshire!