Bloodstock 2016 – Sunday Roundup
Words by Christopher James Ryan || Photos by Christopher James Ryan & Donna Craddock
So picture this. It’s noon, you wake up in your tent after a heavy night of drinking, it’s hot as hell so your sweating your gonads off, and it’s all peaceful until you hear screaming…with music, yes that’s right.
Kicking off today’s first act on the Ronnie Dio stage is Ghost Bath; Loud screaming can be heard on all corners from the stage to the sounds of metal. Whether this is either a mistake or a cleaver way to market the band, Ghost Bath had everyone talking. Rumour has it that the band does not have any set vocals and there are roughly three types of screams. This is what makes the band more unique as I don’t know bands that do what Ghost Bath do. Now for good or bad, I feel these guys were one of the most talked about bands of the festival. However, in some cases, mocking the screams – I heard someone say, “has someone stubbed their toe?” And jokes like that were said throughout the day, but I’ll give them credit for playing first and having a positive response from the crowd that watched. They will definitely be remembered.
Performing on the Sophie Lancaster stage blasting out heavy stoner rock music which will get you up and in the mood for more rock. These chaps in Desert Storm had drawn an impressive crowd despite it being a Sunday morning. Must have been due to the riffs that instantly attract you to them, which makes you forget about that banging hangover!
Heart of a Coward
Heart Of A Coward is another band I feel was one of those risk it bands especially for Bloodstock but it did pay off big time. Bloodstock yet again showing diversity putting on acts with more variety of metal. Coming onto stage full of confidence, getting the crowd pumped for the set, these guys are full of energy and so are the crowd, synchronized headbanging and big pits, proof that metalcore fits in with Bloodstock. The question is will we see more acts like Heart Of A Coward? I hope so!
Cracking up into the depths of heavy metal with kick ass riffs, Unearth was a great band to follow up from Heart Of A Coward! Unearth are apparently one of many bands under the new wave of metal, which you can’t complain as you’ll get hooked in with the awesome riffs and the heavy drums, getting Sunday in full swing! If you’re into bands like Killswitch Engage then you’ll definitely love these.
Sounds like some secret group to be in, but its no secret. Metal Allegiance is basically a super group of members from well-known bands such as Anthrax, Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Death Angel, and possibly more in the future. They basically honour the deaths from music icons such as the god, Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, etc., and turn tracks into metal, for good or for bad. One track that stood out which got everyone singing is “Suffragette City,” originally sung by Bowie himself. Not gonna lie, I prefer the original but it felt different hearing it metalized, adding fun and laughter during the set.
Spicing up the day with a heavy dash of black metal – because it’s not Bloodstock without black metal. For some reason the members weren’t fully dressed up like they usually are with the set, but fear not, this didn’t affect their awesome performance. I need to point this out. I must say, I know bands can be happy to perform, but I mean these guys were so friendly and happy that the crowd was interactive. Satyricon are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Nemesis Divina, so of course they played the full album, along with a few old songs to spice it up a bit. One of many things Satyr (lead singer) said was that no matter what you are playing so long as it sounds good, you’d always get a pit.
Oh cock, as James May (Top Gear) would say in moments like these. I get the bad feeling they didn’t leave with a good impression with Bloodstock, as they were around 20 minutes late on set, and to make things worse there was technical difficulties. Helping to save the show, and giving us reasons why we love Dragonforce in the first place, are the insane guitar solos, which to the average person would blow your fingers off if you attempted to repeat these power metal riffs. Here’s hoping this set hasn’t tarnished Dragonforce’s name at Bloodstock, as this is, in fact, their first performance here.
They still got it. Dominating the stage with their immense heavy riffs, and with Joey Belladonna jumping around like a mad git – the crowd’s response… Pits, very big pits! In fact, it could be the biggest pit of the festival. Playing a load of new tracks like “Evil Sister,” and mixing it in with some old tracks, like “Indians,” it’s no surprise the pits were big. After all these years Anthrax still sound like they used to. Some people were questioning that these guys should headline not Slayer!
Possibly one of the most well-known bands in the metal world. With the sad loss of Jeff Hanneman, you can feel the band is still getting to grips over the ordeal but they failed to disappoint! Slayer last played at Bloodstock three years ago and are back with a vengeance. Sweet heavy riffs, fire, smoke and strobes along with big pits are a fantastic way to end the festival. They are another band that over the decades haven’t lost their touch, only some hair. The tracks played have a great mix, with a selection of new and old tracks, of which any hardcore fan would approve – playing tracks like “Fight Till Death,” “Necrophiliac,” “Repentless,” and “Raining Blood.”
In all I’d say today has been fantastic and sadly Bloodstock is finished until next year. We’re all asking now who would be next year’s headliners as this year has been an interesting one!