Bloodstock 2015 : Day Two
13th August 2015, 13:00
Posted by Tristan
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Beginning the second day of Bloodstock we see our almost mascot like semi inebriated Jesus wishing Metallers well as they enter into the arena. Though Predator and Alien are yet to be seen and perhaps indulged themselves a little too much the evening previous…

8th August 2015
Bloodstock
Catton Hall
Support Bands: Savage Messiah, Xerath, 1349, Korpiklaani, Napalm Death, Dark Angel, Death, Opeth, Jettblack, Within Temptation, Fleshgod Apocalypse

SLR_2229_Savage Messiah

Heading over to the Ronnie James Dio Stage we see Savage Messiah given the tough challenge of blasting through those cobwebs from the previous night. The hungover horde hobble over to the stage jus in time for the band to begin the aural assault with “Iconocaust”. Immediately its apparent that the band will indeed make short work of any hangover. With a tight delivery the band even inspire the first circle pit of the day with “Scavengers Of Mercy” . At eleven o clock in the morning, believe you me this is no mean feat! Though the more brooding self titled track “The Fateful Dark” gets a brilliant reception, though at times the leads in the band are set just a tad high Savage Messiah have done an excellent job at shaking our public up. Hats off!

SLR_3246_Xerath

Up next we see British up starts Xerath. Combining elements to form a sense of theatrical Meshuggah, the band kick things off with “I, Dominion” having supported Periphery earlier in the year it’s easy to see why these groove merchants are climbing ever higher, with a ferocious delivery of “2053” showcasing some serious guitar aptitude along with the head banger that is “False History” the band are delivering consistently devastating material one after the other until the final section of “Bleed This Body Clean” where there are quite obviously some technical difficulties. Running off stage the audience is left wondering what has happened, a crying after the momentum that was gathered as they return to the stage and race into “Machine Insurgency” all is forgotten announcing they have time for one more, sadly they did not an Xerath exit post haste. Nevertheless boys, that was absolutely brilliant set that you should all be proud of!!

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A stark contrast from our more progressive sounds, we now look back to the frozen winds of the North, in the sun… As the ominous introduction rolls 1349 imperically stride onto the stage. Uttering no more than the song titles the band are defiant in their delivery (syn). A truly brutal “Slaves” from new banger Massive Cauldron of Chaos galvanises the miserable Black Metal on lookers into a frenzy. Often incredibly abrasive the band’s blend of relentless Black Metal is at times tough to stomach yet the sheer power the band employ is admirable. “I Am Abomination” and “Postmortem” prove to be highlights of the set. Made better by the solid sound, meaning that a Black Metal band is actually better live! After having decimated the crowd the band take their leave.

SLR_5016_Korpiklaani

When the sun is out it is rare to not see every pub on the horizon full to the brim with merry Brits celebrating that hour of sunshine, so it’s a fitting soundtrack that we would have the Finnish Koiklaani for Saturday afternoon’s proceedings. With it now being a socially acceptable time for a beer the band are perfect, performing classic “Vodka” along with new banger “Viinamaën Mies” ensured that everyone got into the spirit of the band’s fun loving ethos. Absolutely perfect festival fodder, their only downfall was that there wasn’t more time for the band!

SLR_5211_Napalm Death

And what is always bound to drop up after more than a few pints of mead from our Korpiklaani friends? Politics. And who better to discuss it with than resident lunatic Barney Greenway. A schizophrenic personality of sorts ŵith the charming school boy humour of the singer in between songs before becoming the feral orator of Napalm Death and within minutes leaving no one to question the band. Ripping through newer cuts “Stubborn Stains” and “Cesspits” the band are absolutely full of energy, hard to believe since they have been going for 25 plus years! Yet from the back of the heads of Napalm Death sporting metallers, and believe me, there are a lot the band have done more than satisfactory once again. It’s also ironic that a band playi mid afternoon has the time for eighteen songs, with old school classics like “You Suffer” and “Dead” there’s your answer. When the band pull out “Suffer The Children” and “Silence Is Deafening” this is one set that you didn’t want to miss. Unquestionable king pins of the grindcore scene.

SLR_6126_Dark Angel

With it being twenty five years since the band have played on UK soil, Dark Angel’s performance today is quite the event. From the word go our singer is spritely with a smile from ear to ear, the band deliver classics from their back catalogue. Kicking things off with “Time Does Not Heal” the band are not messing about today. Performing at their utmost the band give it their all, with singer Ron Rinehart hopping all over the stage and as you can see above. Dedicating “Never To Rise Again” for the infamous Hot Rod Roddy the singer jumps down into the crowd and decrees Bloodstock is Dark Angel‘s honorary home. Though the guitar tone might be slightly off the band perform admirably given this is the first time in twenty five years. Judging from the turnout and the whispers heard from punters about the band’s appearance this was no doubt one of the biggest highlights yet! Proving that time might not heal but nor does it diminish.

SLR_6879_Death DTA

As an inspired idea from Death’s manager Eric Grief, Death To All is an assembly of various different incarnations of the band paying tribute to the late great Chuck Schuldiner. Having previously seen the band on their Human stint, since then the band have given the states the once over with Obituary in tow and now performing the festival circuit we see Death To All make another appearance. With this incarnation showcasing the fantastic musicians that were on the Death classic Symbolic the band perform cuts right through Death’s catalogue. Opening with Individual Thought Patterns classic “The Philosopher“, meandering through both “Leprosy/Left To Die” there is much of medley of sorts from “Spiritual Healing / Within The Mind” which given the fact the band are performing for a shorter set than used to make excellent use of. Nevertheless it’s when title track “Symbolic” and “Bite The Pain” are let out of the chamber that fans go wild. It’s also worth mentioning that Max Phelps does an impeccable job of embodying Chuck. Coupled with the history of the band, the smoke machine effects and the delay on Phelps’ voice makes for some truly haunting howls that Schuldiner no doubt would have been proud of. Finishing things off with “Crystal Mountain” and “Pull The Plug” one two punch Death To All finish their destructive yet incredibly poingnant set. No easy feat to make grown Death Metal fan as emotional…

SLR_8058_Opeth

After the ethereal performance given by Death, you would have to have a band more than worth its weight to follow the band up. Good thing the Swede’s are in town for tonight. An incredibly quiet Akerfeldt is on stage with his cohorts as the band enter into “Eternal Rains Will Come” before moving into a devastating “Cusp Of Eternity” proving that though the material might not be similar to their older classics it’s just as heavy. Often drought with issues, ranging from sound to weather outdoor festivals can very much be a double edged sword. However when absolutely magical moments like the slow setting of the sun as “The Drapery Falls” begins its lachrymose evolution there is nothing that would ever let you forget the experience. When a festival becomes one with the music the band are performing. Stating their will be playing something from the more hated Opeth records, the singer introduces “The Devil’s Orchard” which again with the beautiful backdrop works perfectly. Onto Watershed now for their destructive rendition of “Heir Apparent” until the grand finale that could only be “Deliverance“. As with any Opeth show, the musicianship is air tight, the performance executed with precision but it’s the eerie marriage of the death of the day with the coming of dusk that makes this set one of e most memorable for any Metal fan. 

 Before the operatic sounds of Within Temptation can be heard however we move over to the Sophie Lancaster stage for a little bit of a throwback. With things becoming slightly too serious over on the main stage it’s good that we have fellow Brits Jettblack able to stir up the Rock ‘n’ Roll atmosphere. Ensuring that the tent is banging the band perform tracks from brand new album Disguises along with older material that would have the most stubborn of Cannibal Corpse fan jumping for joy. It would also seem that Jettblack are perfect for that festival vibe. Embodying all you need to just have a good time and Rock out!  

SLR_8698_Within Temptation

After tumultuous fun that was had over on the Sophie Lamcaster Stage with Jettblack it’s time to get back to business. With an incredibly adventurous looking stage we welcome Within Temptation. Wasting no time to ensure that all spectators are wowed the band explode on stage with “Paradise (What About Us?)” featuring a gargantuan Tarja Turunen on their light show. Culminating in a climactic final chorus complete with pyro! As singer Sharon Den Adel removes her blackened cloak to reveal a white corset were moved into “Faster” territory. With various different guest artists making appearances “Dangerous” seeing a towering Howard Jones along with “What Have You Done?” with Keith Caputo. All its going well, the sound is playing to the band’s strengths with some tasty solos being delivered. Hard considering the sheer amount of people on stage along with the amount of instruments needed to be able to have the space to be able hear. “The Heart Of Everything” was supposed to be followed by “Ice Queen” yet unfortunately due to technical difficulties the band had to cut the song from the set and instead popped a drum solo in. Nevertheless the sound came back on and the band finished triumphantly with a duo of “Covered By Roses” and “Mother Earth“. To say that the line up today has been eclectic would be an understatement yet Within Temptation have proven that they are without a doubt able to hold the highly contested title of headliner once again after a slightly awry yet no less spectacular performance. 

SLR_9866_Fleshgod Apocalypse

Following our headliners a different kind of symphony. With this being one of the biggest performances of the band’s career Fleshgod Apocalypse take to the stage. Sadly though it seems that their unique brand of classical symphonic Death Metal is not for everyone. It could also be that after twelve hours of bands the audience might have grown slightly weary! Nevertheless the band arrive and immediately launch into their set, making up material from their most recent effort Labyrinth along with some of the more classic Oracles material and of course including the single “The Violation“. Despite a slight technical issue the band perform with aplomb, incredibly difficult again given the sheer amount of what is going on in the tracks. Particularly in the tent where acoustics can play havoc, despite these slight hiccups the band perform an excellent and varied set comprised of different manterial. Brining along Veronica as back singer was also a ballsy move instead of using a backing track to create that air of theatrics. That is if the corpse paint ridden members don’t quite do it for you. The sheer grandiose presence of the band felt this evening would have translated in either a field in Catton Hall or the most lavish of opera houses. 

All photos courtesy of Sabrina Ramdoyal!