BLOODSTOCK 2012 – Live Review
aaamusic | On 27, Aug 2012
BLOODSTOCK produces a triumph of a festival in 2012!!! With Fire, Explosions and Metal!!!
Saturnian (Sophie Stage) are a really good way to start off a festival they are a great up and coming Black Metal band that are just getting their live show into working order. They have a sound that is past their years and are a hot prospect on the metal scene.
Viking Skull (Sophie Stage) are Thursday’s headliner and produce a stoner rock ‘n’ roll explosion of generic rock riffs. This is a drinking band and a good way to start of a festival with to get everyone drinking and spending money at the bar. They just go on a little too long they would have been better keeping it short and sweet.
Malefice (Main Stage) are a cross breed of metal genres and produce a mundane opening spot that makes you wish you got an extra half an hours sleep. This band are very popular but they don’t really deliver anything new and I would like to see them just stepping out the box and showing us why we should buy their CD.
The Commander-In-Chief (Sophie Stage) surprise me because they are not like other bands I have seen recently, they are really doing their own thing with an all-star band she sure can do that. She twiddles on a guitar that is so unique it stands out but that wouldn’t be hard dressed like something out of a Sgt Pepper video shoot. This band are quite unique and worth checking out.
Gonoreas (Sophie Stage) run through a set of forgettable metal songs that you want to remember. They do have some catchy riffs but you just might have heard them all before.
Freedom Call (Dio Stage) are euro metal, that sounds the same as everything else in this genre. They have some nice guitar work but this music is being done so much better by so many other bands and they don’t really have a stage presence.
Primitai (Sophie Stage) produce a heavy set of hard hitting songs that bring up a temperament that should be at a metal festival. They are quite brutal and have some killer riffs taken straight from the school of metal. There are defiantly Thrash and Death Metal influences there.
Grand Magus (Dio Stage) have elements of different styles that are mixed on a metal base. They have a definite groove behind all their music and it keeps coming round and round making you buzz to the songs. This is a band for people that are really into them, if you don’t know the material they are not really the band to get into at a festival.
Iced Earth (Dio Stage) look at ease on the stage today and produce a well polished set for them. This band are massive in Europe and you can see why they have a great frontman and they work as a unit and even have some songs that are pretty kick ass like ‘Slave to the Dark’ and ‘Burning Times’ this is Judas Priest done European style and they do it well, but sometimes you do wonder why don’t you just go listen to Priest. This band are still to win me over and that is something to say so many albums in, I wonder if they ever will I wait with baited breath but to be honest I did quite enjoy listening to some of their set so maybe in the future I will listen back and realise I was totally wrong.
Sepultura (Dio Stage) are on form and the songs are sounding the best they have for a long time. You hear everything you want to from a Sepultura show a brutal offering of classic Max era songs even though some of the Derrick Green songs are pretty good. They seem to need this old Cavalera material to get the crowd going even though half the band are not there to play it. The songs do sound awesome and they do a good job of putting on a show and if you can’t see the whole line-up I can’t think of a better one to play these songs. You hear ‘Arise, Beneath the Remains, Refuse / Resist and Roots bloody Roots’ what more could you want at a festival.
Pythia (Sophie Stage) are an epic sound of operatic vocals with metal. The come from the sound that is behind bands such as Epica and Nightwish. They haven’t really got there whole sound yet but I think it would come in time.
Dio Disciples (Dio Stage) might have members from Dio’s band in them but it’s way to early for a tribute band to the great man himself. They do have Toby Jepson and Ripper Owens on vocals but even this doesn’t make the band less stale. Ripper Owens hasn’t been on form for a couple of years since he has gone out on his own away from the huge bands he has done vocals for. Little Angels frontman Toby Jebson was always an odd choice for a Dio tribute band but he did once front Fastway a position people didn’t even recognise him in, but then again he seems to do a better job than Tim on vocals and at moments looks like him might even deliver the goods. This set though falls on death ears and you realise why they move the band down the bill a bit. I still think they are still in a tour high position there seems to be a whole culture that milks someone’s death even though I don’t think this band are doing that but I just think it would have been a good idea five years down the track and not straight after the legends death and tonight’s poor performance shows that.
Eastern Front (Sophie Stage) are the future of Black Metal they need no gimmicks but they have them all in a nice package which is just them. They blast through a dynamic set of noise which compares them to some Mayhem material and even some of the riffs could be compared to a clash between Behemoth, Watain and Cradle of Filth. The later they have played with recently. This is a band that you will hear a lot about.
Watain (Dio Stage) destroy the main stage with flame and fire and all things nasty. This is the set everyone wanted to see all weekend and they move bands around to make sure everyone did. There are flames, explosions, blood being flung from every orifice, rotting pigs heads and flesh all around the place what more do you want from a Black Metal show. Watain have an outlandish show but they also have some amazing songs from the fast paced ‘Reaping Death’ to the hypnotic ‘Sworn of the Dark’. If you have not see Watain you have to cause they are one of the best live acts you will ever see.
Behemoth (Dio Stage) produce an unexpected delight of a set of brutal anthems, this band have gone a long way from when they first started and the doubt is on everyone’s mind if they can put their live experience into a headline set but they manage it with an ease like they had been doing it for years. The trashing ‘Demigod’ thumps into your conscious and the ‘Slaves shall Serve’ just bangs your subconscious. The band started in the 90’s and over the years have got a loyal following of metallers and there is so much anticipation behind today’s performance. This is the highest point in the bands career since 1999’s album ‘Satanica’, the UK magazine’s jumped on the band wagon when they heard the bands 2009 album ‘Evangelion’ and three years on the album is still standing out for itself and everyone is waiting for a new one. The brutal performance tonight shows why and the band just is going to go from strength to strength in 2013.
Benediction (Dio Stage) are a great opening act this is the Benediction breakfast club and your all invited. Already looking like they have been dragged through a train crash of injury’s they barricade you with punk metal riffs from another planet and smash them in your face to wake you up… you want your bacon and eggs you have them with a hint of Benediction this is a band that influenced a genre and now they have just influenced a festival.
IAMI (Dio Stage) look really cool in the sun but they don’t have the power that Dragonforce had behind them with the two guitarists and seem just a little bit average. ZP Theart is a great vocalist that the band I just mentioned is missing big time and IAMI do have some redeeming features but they are just nothing different from other bands that are around at the moment so just are a nice interlude.
Marionette (Jager Stage) storm onto the Saturday’s bill after they missed their slot on the Thursday night after their bus broke down on the way to the festival. We all don’t miss out though because they launch into an electric set that sadly there isn’t the crowd to witness. This band is really young and full of pretty boys so you are just amazed they can make such a heavy sound. This band can mix up the Swedish In Flames sound with Deathcore, Metalcore, Hardcore and Death Metal which is quite something and they just evolve from album to album so they are defiantly one to watch in the future.
Chthonic (Dio Stage) are a little tame by their standards today and missing drummer Dani but still know how to bring their show to an early morning crowd. I have always thought this band was the Thiwanese equivalent to Cradle of Filth, only difference being they mixed the music with their own culture. Everyone knows they have one thing Cradle doesn’t the beautiful Doris which has managed to get them a huge crowd to play to this morning. For me though I think their music stands out for itself they have some killer songs that Cradle would have been only happy to add to their discography so if you haven’t heard this band I strongly advise you do so.
Mayhem (Dio Stage) seem a little pissed off and who can blame them they are a legendary Black Metal band probably one of the biggest in the genre if not the biggest and they are left so down the bill that someone would need to drag them a long way before they would be happy. Atilla as usual looks menacing and moves round the stage with a skull like it is his best friend as he grips his Jesus cross microphone in the other hand. You hear all the classic Mayhem material ‘Freezing Moon, Carnage, Pure f**king Armageddon’ in a brutal angry way. No stage show this band doesn’t need it they just ozzz evil.
Dave McPherson (Jager Stage) is a little out of place to be honest at the festival I love his style of indie rock and he does have a packed crowd but it is just left a little our in the wilderness being on a tiny stage in the middle of a big festival.
Winterfylleth (Sophie Stage) have come of age and the lighting is amazing as they run through a moody selection of atmospheric metal. The band are brutal but they are also on the crisp of what people want to hear in a Black Metal band these days showing you don’t need gimmicks and face paint to be a good band. This is about woodlands and killing and the evilness of the genre.
Hatebreed (Dio Stage) really get the crowd going in a jumping that hasn’t gone all weekend at the festival. Hardcore and Metalcore is very popular at the moment and this is one of the bands that near enough created these genres and you can see why from the track ‘ Never let it Die’ to ‘Tear it Down’ they are a full on force of brutal metal.
Testament (Dio Stage) are one of the kings of thrash and it is great to have such a band at the festival. They have influenced so many other bands on the bill this weekend and command one of the biggest crowds of the weekend like they are kids in a primary school. ‘Native Blood’ grabs your attention to make you realise you are seeing masters at work and you can even now buy Testament signature guitars so it shows they are getting noticed and respected by other bands in their field. This band are savage this band are thrash and Metallica and Anthrax love them so check them out and see if you do.
Orange Goblin (Sophie Stage) are dragging their heels these days, they have got their definitive sound but I think everyone has seen them a few too many times so you keep forgetting they are actually playing let alone headlining the second set. To give them their dues they do show they can rock out and do a set that is of a good standard but to be up this high on the bill I think we all needed just a little bit more.
Machine Head (Dio Stage) I saw Machine Head a few months early in Belgium and they did not impress but they do tonight with a great aggressive explosive show. The Bloodstock audience had the chance to pick some of tonight’s setlist they could pick five songs of ‘Burn my Eyes’ of their choice and they picked the usual favourites and a few gems. Their set does seem a little short for a headliner even though they are filling the full allotted time. I think that this is because people are loving the fact this is Machine Head’s first UK festival headline appearance. In the last year Machine Head have gotten huge and this is because of their album ‘Unto the Locust’ that a lot of fans say is their best to date. They play songs of the new album a long with five songs from their first album this is a set that shows the beginning of the band to date even though it misses out on a lot of material of other albums. Rob Flynn is having the time of his life he got a reaction from Bloodstock and I think you will see this band coming back time after time to recreate this scenario.
Kobra and the Lotus (Dio Stage) no one would doubt it, she has an amazing voice the sad thing is she is in a band with poor musicians. So it really shows her up and makes a set that should have been memorable into a set that is just forgettable. I think there good things to come for Kobra she has a talent I have not seen for a long time but I think she needs to put it somewhere else.
Corrosion of Conformity (Dio Stage) are past their best and are one of the worst bands of the weekend and slurge through a set of songs that don’t grab your attention. I used to be really into this band in the 90’s so am shocked by the lack of stage presence and ability to grab the audience.
Nile (Dio Stage) are so heavy they make your teeth chatter. Their new album ‘At the gate of Sethu’ is probably the best to date and they have evolved as a band. They still rely on Karl Sanders views of Eqyption mythology. They seem to set a good image of death and the afterlife while produce music you want to smash your head to ‘Permitting the noble dead to descend to the Underworld’ is a song that makes you want to do this. Due to the length of the set they have today they do cut some of the songs short but it doesn’t matter because they do it in their own way.
The Black Dahli Murder Dio Stage) have an amazing sound but do you really want to see a big belly slobbering round the stage in time to the music. This is a distraction from the great brutal music that they make, I think like Killswitch Engage the stupidity should not be there and the music should do the talking for itself.
Anvil (Dio Stage) they have some really good songs but they can’t seem to produce these in a live set. The sound quality of their set is really poor, they might be a cult entity but you need to pull out all the stops on a bill of so many quality acts. There is though so many fun moments when they play their number simply entitled ‘666’ but I don’t think the beast was risen by this performance.
Paradise Lost (Dio Stage) in the sun impress again, Nick might have stole a pair of sunglasses that are too big for him but this hasn’t taken away from how his vocals have really developed in the last year. Today’s set is near enough a greatest hits set merged with some great news songs of their latest album ‘Tragic Idol’ which the song ‘Fear of impending Hell’ is a slow mover but a hard hitter too. This is a band in their finest hour, they do need to pick up the pace a little but Paradise Lost have always been about doom and gloom. If you don’t like the down and out all you need to do is ‘Say just Words’ which is their final song and good finale.
Dimmu Borgir (Dio Stage) are simply a vision, they might have gone symphonic in the last decade but their sound seems to be getting back to its Black Metal roots and the songs have a new edge to them. The stage is white and misty but Shagrath is a towering inferno of a figure with the best stage persona of the festival. The band has probably got the best line-up they have had in a long time and for me are one of the bands I did not want to miss at the festival. Their last album ‘Abrahadebra’ might have been over two years ago but it sounds like it has been released only yesterday. The self titled track ‘Dimmu Borgir’ being a guiding star in their set fitting in like an old slipper with classics like ‘The Serpentine Offering’ the set for me could have gone on for hours and I wouldn’t have got bored they don’t need explosions to be captivating.
Alice Cooper (Dio Stage) has realised that he needs to play more than just his ‘Schools Out’ and 70’s material and is now producing a more mixed set of classic songs. Yes no ‘Schools Out’ twice, three times like he has been playing until we have been sick in the head. He comes on as a spider looking all cool with flames and an iconic presence. He is ‘The black Widow’ and he plays it with pride bother he breaks into a montage of classics including ‘I’m Eighteen, Under my Wheels, No more Mr.Nice Guy’. Alice is back and here with vengeance ‘Hey Stoopid’ sounds as good is it ever has and is met with a great reaction. You have the normal theatrics of an Alice show with swords blood and even his execution he is like Kenny and he seems to kill himself off every night to the crowds delight. Orianthi who was meant to be Michael Jackson’s guitarist is though the only redeeming member of Alice’s live band with the other members being a little average in comparison which is a shame with the great members he has had in the past. The highlight of his set is an Alice Cooper Frankenstein who looks huge on the stage. I like the fact that Alice has taken out some of the stage show and concentrating on the music and rocking. If Alice was up for parliament I would vote for him.