Bloodstock 2016 : Day Two
25th August 2016, 13:00
Posted by Tristan

After the absolutely phenomenal first day’s proceedings the bar was set incredibly high for Saturday. As the crowd thankfully weren’t needed to evacuate their slowly sinking tents owing to the constant beam of beautiful sunshine, save for that terrifying moment when we all woke up and heard rain, the ground had stayed firm. Walking / stumbling / running into the main stage area we were greeted with the roar of approval brought forth from the English take on Death ‘n’ Roll that is Vallenfyre.

VallenfyrePhoto by Katja Ogrin

Fronted by one Gregor Mackintosh of Paradise Lost fame the man is seen in a totally different light from the edificial pillar of Doom that surrounds his other band and instead brings forward a pissed off cocktail of vehemence and true aggression in his vocal delivery with Vallenfyre. Comprised of multiple genius from multiple bands the group are somewhat of a live anomaly. Owing to the logistical nightmare of bring everyone together the band perform sporadically. “Cathedrals Of Truth” is halted in their set by a slightly “fucked snare” as Mackintosh puts it before introducing the world’s slowest circle pit ever, right after calling God a see you next Tuesday in “Breath” sees the larger than life crowd eat up the chunky riffs from the stage. Making the most of their time in the bloodied spotlight Vallenfyre have proven that their performance outclasses many and have well and truly blasted the cobwebs away. Definitely not one to miss particualrly given their rare appearances.

AkercockePhoto by Katja Ogrin

Teasing the Bloodstock goers with “The Monkey is out of the cage” months before their announcement of a reformation, for those uncertain of the band’s mysticism it goes hand in hand with Akercocke. Announcing that the band will not only be reforming but also have a brand new album in the pipeline we were excited for their live return. Making their first live appearance in years at Bloodstock Festival the band performed flawlessly. Renditions of “Verdelet” played to an absolute t, nailing those inflections flitting from the morose cleans to the shrill howls of distortion. The band also made a live premiere of “The Dark Inside” for our Bloodstock goers, who judging by the size of the crowd seems to be everyone here. Among the Antichrist deep track debut the band also performed a brand new track from the band’s forthcoming record which, as predicted, went down a treat. Set for a tour later this year if you did miss out on the opportunity to catch this phenomenal band ensure that you get your calendar’s out and make a date of it.

RottingPhoto by Katja Ogrin

Hailing from the Greek lands Rotting Christ, who seldom make an appearance over on the shores of Blighty arrive on the main stage for their mid afternoon slot. Releasing their brand new album Rituals earlier this year the band have been busy touring the world over in its support. Hitting Bloodstock in a slight exclusive appearance the band bring their brand of Symphonic Black Metal in the shedloads here today and despite the beautiful sunshine cast an eerie dark cloud over Catton Park today. The likes of “Apage Satana” and new ripper “Elthe Kyrie” are released through the speakers at our no doubt sweltering crowd, despite their repetitive nature building on the coupling of atmosphere and heavy riffing the band create a sense of anticipation that bring them forcefully to the front of any Symphonic Death Metal band and with a performance like this afternoon’s the band are firing on all cylinders.

Celebrating its twentieth anniversary Demanufacture has become elementary in the make up of what we deem as Metal from the early nineties. Requested to perform the record in its entirety here today Fear Factory begin their rhythmic assault on the sense with the drill rhythm style of title track “Demanufacture” Despite its old status the album works even better live with many fans no doubt waiting for this day for quite some time. The crooning of Burton C. Bell does just as good of a job as you would expect with Dino Cazares‘ guitar acting as the musical battering ram coupled with the deafening drum kit behind him. Performing each of the songs with accuracy the performance seems slightly, like the band’s aesthetic, robotic. Devoid of humour or emotion the band are somewhat beige. Undeniably tight of course and proficient at their instruments it’s simply the spirit that seems to be lacking today at their set at Bloodstock. Nevertheless the band deliver an air tight set today but seem to forget that you can enjoy it too guys!

Pradise LostPhoto by Katja Ogrin

Moving on to more miserable pastures, as we queued up for yet another Kraken cocktail Paradise Lost emerge from the shadows with a rare sight of Nick Holmes wearing sunglasses! Having been on a double shift today Gregor Mackingtosh shows just how proficient of a guitarist he is as the band launch into new ripper “No Hope In Sight” with sorrowful leads bounding off, resurrecting his rasp Holmes performs brilliantly on newer tracks the likes of “Beneath Broken Earth” or old classics the likes of “The Last Time” always delivered with the singer’s quintessential Yorkshire dry wit. Despite the sunny backdrop surrounding the band’s mournful tones the group succeed in delivering just as good a show as they would be headlining. Inking a new deal with major label Nuclear Blast this seems to be only the beginning to a fantastically exciting chapter in the bands new career. Exiting after a rendition of “Say Just Words” the band prove that the English still do misery at its finest.

GojiraPhoto by Katja Ogrin

Criminally locked away in a small tent at another previous English Metal festival, French borne Gojira are in their rightful place tonight. Releasing their brand new album Magma this year the band have returned with brand new music after four years. From the moment each members bleed out onto the stage to the sound of “Toxic Garbage Island” the audience is transfixed. Despite their opaque delivery there is something inifintely accessible in regards to Gojira’s sound. With the crowd eating out of the palm of frontman Joe Duplantier’s hand “L’Enfant Sauvage” is rolled out with ease before “The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe” appears to metaphorically crush the opposition. Owing to their arid clarity Gojira’s musical weight is manifested beautifully in the likes of new ripper “Stranded” to which our rapturuous crowd bellows back every word making it an instant classic among fans.

Gojira 2Photo by Katja Ogrin

Not to mention the sheer energy expelled from the band with second new ripper “Silvera” bursting through the speakers with intimidating force.With a new appearance of “Only Pain” making its way through the mid section of the set its a testament to the band’s tight quality as a unit. Drummer Mario Duplantier ensure that his deceptive shuffles glide across the bands riffs and with the appearance of inflatable whales that can only mean one thing. Staple in the band’s live make up now “Flying Whales” suitably makes an easy meal of Bloodstock tonight. A small easter egg of final break down in “Rememeberance” makes its appearance before the plodding of “Vacuity” singals the band time to leave. For those unsure about Gojira’s place in the Metal world, tonight the band have proven that not only should they have had the headline spot but this is only the beginning. Able to manipulate rhythm, sparse melody and an absolutely flawless live performance, Gojira are in a sense, the future of Metal.

Mastodon 2Photo by Katja Ogrin

Ensuring that our bellies were full we headed off in search of the mythical Super Taco. Upon our arrival the nine pound wonder was easily sought after by the avid festival goer as mess of colour and spice, a suitable apperitif to our masters of total madness Mastodon. Arriving on stage to the sounds of “Tread Lightly” the band emerge, somewhat perhaps out of sync with the usual run of things the band are currently working on their new album. With a setlist cherry picked to perfection spaning the bands entire career the Prog calling card of “Oblivion” can undulates throughout the grounds as we begin our metaphysical journey.

Mastodon 3Photo by Katja Ogrin

Kicking into a heavier gear the likes of earth munching “High Road” or the twerk tastic “The Motherload” get our crowd into a psychedelic boogie. It’s deeper cuts the likes of “Colony Of Birchmen” that truly get our spirits going as we we tee another realm of Prog. Owing to their somewhat hit and miss sound tonight Mastodon at times miss the sonic mark, no doubt owing to some of the more complex material the likes of “The Czar” which cast a progressive cloak over our audience at times nuances are lost. Switching melody for aggressions the classic Mastodon bangers of “Aqua Dementia” rise from the depths along with the Elephant mangling “Iron Tusk” which retains its ten tonne weight working as a good sense of stodge between the airier passages of the likes of “Sleeping Giant”. Though personal highlight of “Chimes At Midnight” surfaces recalling the otherworldly wormhole theme coupling elements of the bands career throughout.

Mastodon 4Photo by Katja Ogrin

Being a part of a band with three singers each member has a different tonalities, from the Banshee like squeals of Brent Hinds to the Herculean bellow of Troy Sanders or the more melodious singing of Brann Dailor again owing to the mix some of the vocals are lost in their prime nevertheless the instrumentation itself works wonders. Both guitars from a rhytmic standpoint with Bill Kelliher’s riffs coming thick and fast and Hinds’ scorching leads coming through. Currently working on material for their brand new album the band are slowly but surely becoming one of the biggest names in not only Metal but Prog. Despite the ailments of sound and the like their performance here tonight is nothing short of spectacular, understanding how to create a vast tapestry of musical majesty Mastodon are rightful headliners here tonight at Bloodstock.