What is this? Another perfectly clement day at Bloodstock…it doesn’t feel right, it’s festival season it should rain.
First up at the Hobgoblin Stage were Kettering based hard rockers Switchblade City. They had a decent amount of variety and their guitarist lifting his Flying V triumphantly over his head at the end of the set was reminiscent of a certain Mr Mustaine we shall return to later.
Over on the Sophie Lancaster stage proceedings are opened up by straight up London metallers Gravil. Vocalist Grant Stacey has the voice Phil Anselmo wishes he still had and uses it well. Stand out song featured guest vocals from Metaprism’s Theresa Smith.
On the same stage Blind Haze are on next. If you imagine early 90’s James Hetfield has said to hell with Metallica I want to play music like Motorhead then front man Conan is what you would get! Fine set delivered with humour when Conan forgot his lyrics
Staying put still Canterbury Thrashers Wretched Soul tear up the Sophie Stage. A really impressive set and a huge crowd for this early in the day lapped up the brutal delivery of Chris Simmons. The day just gets better
Courtesans Hold Court
The fourth consecutive band on the Sophie stage is a change of pace and mood. Courtesans brought their brooding doom laden pop to Bloodstock and delivered a mesmeric performance which gripped the audience from the start to the finish of their self-proclaimed “biggest gig yet”. It won’t be their biggest for long that can be guaranteed.
On the Hobgoblin stage were London Metal 2 The Masses winners Sentience with the brand of Tech Metal. The sound seemed jumbled, maybe it was supposed to be but it didn’t work.
Back to the Sophie Stage and Finland’s Wolfheart were delivering their finest slab of frozen metal. The vocal style is not to this reviewers taste but never the less if it is what you like, and many did these guys are technical very proficient.
The first band of this review on the Ronnie James Dio stage were New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends Hell. If you know or care to read up on, you will know this band has at times been through hell. Technical glitches aside, the theatrics and deliver of vocalist Dave Bower are brilliant. The crowd laps up the clichés all set long. Great stuff.
On the yet again crammed Jagermeister Stage (a little bit more room next year if possible!) are blues rockers Silverchild who seem genuinely surprised by the positive reception they are deservedly getting. Simple but executed well.
In the Sophie Tent hailing originally from Chile are Criminal. The only thing criminal today is the sparse crowd to watch them. Skindred are on the main stage at the time but still a shame as these guys put on a good show showcasing their brand of South American styled metal.
Find of Bloodstock – Vorbid
Now on to the find of the festival. Hailing from Arendal, Norway are young thrashers Vorbid on the New Blood Stage. For their age the composition and technicality is something many bands of this genre could only dream of. Is this how it felt when you first saw Metallica or tonight’s headliners Megadeth in their very early days. They are not just mimicking their heroes though there is something very original here and hopefully it gets the chances to explode, literally as their set did.
Arch Enemy bring to a close a 3 year 300+ date touring cycle for their last album and they deliver in style. “War Eternal” and set closer “Nemesis” tear your face off as sub-headliners tonight . Jeff Loomis and Alissa White-Gluz have added something special to this already excellent band.
Squeezed in between Arch Enemy and Megadeth are Mancunian blues rockers Voodoo Blood on the Jagermeister Stage. It is obvious from the outset this band is different to anything you have seen before. Vocalist Kim Jennett captivates / scares the packed stage in equal measure as she prowls and makes use of every possible inch of the small stage. Four incredibly talented young musicians loving the opportunity to play at Bloodstock. Big things to come.
Closing Bloodstock 2017 are veteran thrash pioneers Megadeth. With a back catalogue most bands would give their right arm for half of Dave Mustaine and his charges also use the opportunity to play a number of songs off their latest album “Dystopia”. Long gone are the days when it was said Megadeth could be hit or miss. They are hit after hit now. A great way to finish a great day and festival.