Review by Lulu Davenport, photos by Sean Larkin
Amethyst rudely awaken the New Blood stage with a brutally savage and unrepentantly loud set. Luckily, the crowd are ready for the day’s festivities and even though its barely the right side of breakfast heads are already banging and a sea of hair flows like a furry tidal wave. Amethyst are enthusiastic and make efforts to entice mosh pits, but they are met with a stony glaze. Maybe it’s still just a little bit too early.
Pist by name and definitely by nature; the Mancunian mad heads are led by lead singer Dave Rowlands who not only brandishes a spirit bottle, but also knocks back carling chasers while the band run through tracks from their most recent E.P Riffology.
Forged from a punk beginning, Anihilated still retain that punkish feel to their tracks, pulling in a heavier thrash overlay. The scene veterans have notched up 35 years of experience so it’s no surprise their set list incorporates a mix of the old along with some newer material such as ‘Seas Of Red’ off their latest offering Anti Social Engineering.
Next up it’s time for something completely different over on the Ronnie James Dio stage as Finnish Korpiklaani wield their brand of Viking pirate folk with a rock edge. Incorporating a fiddle and an accordion it’s hard not to pulled in to the jovial atmosphere created by this metal band who are clearly enjoying themselves.
Blood Yard immediately defied conventional standards, as female lead vocalist Donna Hurd growled her vocals to the depths of hell and back. Armed with a growl to scare the face off a demon, her band provides the musical back up to this death metal ensemble.
I may be slightly biased but Knock Out Kaine absolutely owned the Jagermeister stage. The Lincolnshire band have been hailed and praised as being a solid rock and roll outfit. Their offerings of rock n roll are dashed with an animated stage presence, each member giving the music their all while concentrating on putting out a show for the crowd. Highlights of the set included tracks from Rise Of The Electric Jester; ‘16 Grams Of Heart Attack’, ‘Flying Blind’ along with ‘Time’ and ‘Riddle’. Being the huge sucker for an animated and entertaining front man that I am, lead singer Dean FOXX ticks all the boxes. His eccentrically crazy behaviour armed with killer rock tracks is quite possibly everything you ever need.
Billed as a heavy crossover of prog rock and post metal, Sumer are a step in a different direction. The band has a Muse/Radiohead style nu atmospheric metal feel. The band focused on playing to their audience by showcasing a lot of their heavier tracks such as ‘Progenesis’. Their album The Animal You Are remains quite varied due to the wide ranges of influences.
Amid controversy Within Temptation take the headline slot closing the Ronnie James Dio stage, surrounded by controversy concerning their metal credentials to play Bloodstock. However, the band succeed in pulling a huge audience for their set; there is no denying lead singer Sharon den Adel has an amazing vocal range, her soaring vocals have added fire while she hits the notes in pitch perfect coordination. Adorning a majestic headdress she cements her status as the high priestess of operatic metal.
The band along with others over the weekend battled through varying degrees of technical difficulties with the more adept and skilled such as WT and Trivium masking their issues without too much trouble. As for the accusations as to whether or not they should play, the crowds will, and did, speak the truth. Their set list covered catchy melodic hits ‘Dangerous’ and ‘In The Middle Of The Night’ early on and finished with ‘Covered By Roses’ and ‘Mother Earth’ as an encore.
Check out more of our photos from the bands that played on the Saturday, as well as band and crowd shots from the other days HERE