Bloodstock 2017 Preview


What blood will be shed between 10 and 13 August?…

Bloodstock Open Air draws a loyal army of metalheads to Catton Park every year. For many devotees Bloodstock is not so much a metal festival as an annual pilgrimage. Paul Castles takes a look at a few of the acts set to perform in the Derbyshire countryside between August 10-13.

Early arrivals to this year’s Bloodstock can look forward to a plague of blackened riffs courtesy of The Infernal Sea while Bury boys Gurt will not request a second invitation to get the Thursday night shenanigans going.

  • Friday

On the first full day Amon Amarth return to Catton Park, this year as headliners for the first time. The bearded brethren usually come loaded with assorted stage show paraphernalia and it will be interesting to see how the swashbuckling Swedes surpass the fire breathing dragons witnessed on the main stage the last time they sailed their Viking longboat down the choppy waters of Walton-on-Trent.

The Ronnie James Dio Stage has something for everyone on Friday, ranging from the Teutonic torchbearers Blind Guardian to the traditional thrash anthems of Bay Area axe giants Testament down to some whiteknuckle Polish death metal brutality in the form of Decapitated.

Other eye-catching acts RJD performers on Friday include Dani Filth’s latest creative crew Devilment, who will be spraying the Suffolk punch like a Formula 1 racing driver, while Utah heavyhitters Chelsea Grin will bring plenty of youthful hardcore energy for their Bloodstock bow.

On the Sophie Lancaster Stage Reading trio Morass of Molasses will be working the heavy riffs, building on their Jägermeister slot here a couple of years ago. Leicester’s Internal Conflict appear on the Sophie Stage four years after their Bloodstock debut over on the smaller New Blood platform. Friday’s Sophie headliners Inquisition are sure to prove a huge draw for those who prefer a slice of blasphemous blackened metal embellished with a thick layer of Columbian corpsepaint.

  • Saturday

Saturday’s RJD line-up is such that many will be reluctant to pull themselves away with early hitters Winterfylleth and Denver thrash titans Havok setting the wrecking ball in motion early on.

The Bloodstock team are never afraid to challenge and they have potentially laid down a big one this year with the US hardcore crew King 810. The Michigan mob never stray far from controversy as they transport the brutality of the streets to the stage.

More traditional Bloodstock fare comes later in the form of Virginia veterans Municipal Waste, who will no doubt be showcasing a few tracks from new album Slime and Punishment. German thrash veterans Kreator have never been more popular during a 35-year career than they are now and with a blistering album out earlier this year in Gods of Violence prepare to be crushed by the German powerhouse.

Saturday showstoppers are the always entertaining Ghost. Expect more theological talking points than a Catholic convention with Papa Emeritus III preaching to the Bloodstock congregation as the faceless blasphemers transform Catton Park into a cathedral of charred souls.

Ones to note on the Sophie Stage on the Saturday include the mindblowing Ohhms, death metal deviants Abhorrent Decimation and Birmingham’s very own doom diamonds Kroh.

  • Sunday

There are a number of familiar Bloodstock faces performing on the Sunday, including the fireblazing Hell who never fail to entertain with their devilish antics, while Arch Enemy are set to make their first Bloodstock appearance since the torch was passed to Alissa White-Gluz by Angela Gossow.

Closing Bloodstock 2017 on the RJD are Megadeth, who also brought the curtain down three years ago. Perhaps more intriguingly, making their Bloodstock bow earlier in the day, are the ferocious South American death metal crew Brujeria while San Fran legends Possessed will offer up some serious thrash, albeit with a line-up almost entirely different to that the first took the name in the 80s.

For outright unbridled fun you’ll be hard pushed to surpass Skindred whose charismatic frontman Benji Webbe is likely to push Bloodstock audience participation levels to a whole new high. Sunday’s Sophie Stage headliners are Wintersun, expect a few numbers from the atmospheric Finns’ new album The Forest Seasons.

In between all of that don’t forget to check out the next generation of the metal family over on the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage where Birmingham newcomers Ashen Crown will be performing on the Friday. Most of the acts on this stage have earned their tiocket to Bloodstock after appearing in one of the Metal to the Masses heats around the UK.

With the vast Bloodstock village stocked to the rafters with ale, merch, funfair rides, stalls and the ever popular strongman competition this is three days that unite the metal community like no other.

  • For all the latest Bloodstock travel and ticket news click here.