This Bloodstock Open Air article was written by Jack Press and Shannon Lockett, GIGsoup contributors. Lead photo by killerbongley

With hangovers in tow, the Bloodstock faithful gather in their masses for day two of this year’s extravaganza, jam-packed with Fear Factory’s Demanufacture set, a festival-defining Gojira show, and Mastodon’s first ever main stage headline slot in the UK. Did they take their chance and blow us away or did they blow it first time round the sun?

Considering the fact it’s only just turned ten-thirty in the morning when Northamptonshire death metal outfit Black Ink Sun take to the Hobgoblin New Blood stage, they’ve surprisingly attracted a steady crowd who are willing to throw themselves about in some of the weakest pits the weekend has seen so far. Whilst Bloodstock is the stomping ground of heavy metal, vocalist Jamie Barker’s death growl is somewhat lost amongst the lowly crowd, who despite their efforts in the pit, are clearly still recovering from Friday nights antics. (JP)

Following up Black Ink Sun are the more time-friendly Bearfist who go claw to claw with the Bloodstock faithful with their Unearth-inspired brand of metalcore. Firing on all cylinders, Bearfist throw punches sonically here, there, and everywhere with frontman Rob Murray cannonballing himself across the stage with the energy of Bruce Dickinson. Whilst they’ve got the energy of the bear, and throw punches like them, it falls a little face first on the crowd who at 11am are still searching for the right brand of metal to push their senses to waking them up. (JP)

Bloodstock Open Air - Day Two - Saturday 13th August

Following Bearpit are Ireland’s answer to Orange Goblin:  Ten Ton Slug, who won Ireland’s Metal 2 The Masses (Bloodstock’s annual UK-wide battle of the bands) .Ten Ton Slug produced slimy, sludgy and groove heavy metal that fits well alongside their beastly name. With changes of pace and vocal ranges, the band kept the crowd interested and impressed, alongside their witty and humorous personalities on stage. The crowd chanted “Slug”, much to the bands approval, who welcomed it with wide smiles and joining in. Ten Ton Slug also included a giveaway of a carefully wrapped Slug pipe that was tossed into the crowd of eager fans. (SL)

When you think of death metal acts, you don’t often associate them with unwavering assaults of heat, a shining sun, and a roar of cheers however the death-metal playing doom super-group Vallenfyre are greeted with the opposite of their origins. Frontman Gregor Mackintosh – who is pulling double duty on the main stage today with his day job Paradise Lost playing later – tackles the plights of British Summer Time with his very own tinge of darkness, throwing waste to all manner of things he dislikes including every chav in the world and Donald Trump – whom is the butt of almost every band’s jokes this weekend. Playing on intimidation, Vallenfyre rattle through their doom-laden death metal, playing dominantly from their second effort ‘Splinters’, whilst the more poignant parts of the set come from their debut in the shape of ‘Cathedrals Of Dread’ and ‘Desecration’. The Bloodstock faithful eat fruitfully from Gregor’s hands, even slowing down their circle pit to a light jog at his request, however the shining of the sun and the intensity of their death metal misfires ever so slightly. (JP)

In a weekend filled with comebacks and album celebrations, industrial metal veterans Fear Factory’s mid-afternoon tour-de-force through their twenty-one year old sophomore classic ‘Demanufacture’ is one of the festivities more potent sets of the weekend with the genre they helped pioneer – industrial metal – riding a new-found wave of popularity. The crowd is one of the biggest of the weekend, hordes of fans frothing at the mouths in anticipation for the set they most likely missed on its initial tour the year prior. From the opening moments of the title track ‘Demanufacture’, it’s a flash-in-the-pan blink-and-you’ll-miss-it run-through that squeezes out the importance of the record’s legacy. It’s a shame considering the anticipation of this set that it falls a little flat, frontman Burton C. Bell’s little and not often attempts at interaction quashing the exemplary execution of classic cuts such as ‘Replica’ and ‘Body Hammer’. Perhaps they’ll look to resurrect this failed mission with the soon approaching anniversary of ‘Demanufacture’s’ commercially successful follow-up Obsolete. (JP)

Bloodstock Open Air - Day Two - Saturday 13th August

Whilst the brightness of the sun saw Gregor Mackintosh firing off into the far distant with Vallenfyre, the opening death growls of his day-job Paradise Lost’s ‘No Hope In Sight’ from off-the-wall vocalist Nick Holmes lands like a hitman’s headshot. Despite their hour set consisting of a long list of sun-centred complaints from the cheerfully melancholic Nick Holmes – as well as a cat-and-mouse game of teasing the audience through the miniscule task of walking on forbidden speakers – Paradise Lost deliver a doom-painted death-tinged gothic masterclass. Whilst their fan-favourites in the shape of ‘The Last Time’ and ‘Say Just Words’ echo through the voices of the crowd, it’s the cuts from their 2015 magnum opus The Plague Within that reign supreme far more than any other song in their rarity-filled set. (JP)

For the first time since Twisted Sister’s all-conquering headline set last night, the Ronnie James Dio stage is rammed from the very front of the barrier all the way to the back, with members of the Bloodstock crew and an overly excited Daniel P Carter, enthusiastically preparing themselves for the onslaught to come in the shape of France’s heavy metal heavyweights Gojira. Kicking their set off with the bass-heavy hard-hitting ‘Toxic Garbage Island’, France’s finest really got the crowd going from the get-go. The security deserve a congratulations on how they managed the amount of crowd surfers coming over the barrier while enjoying this set! From start to end there were endless amounts of fans riding the waves of the crowd again and again. The band only slowed down on ‘Terra Incognita’ – executing the melodic guitar riffs perfectly, leading into the following song ‘Only Pain‘ where the tempo sped up once again in their progressive, individual style. With a set as chaotic, courageous, and as conquering as that, how could headliner’s Mastodon possibly top that? (SL/JP)

It’s been sixteen long years of blood, sweat, and tears for the unofficial kings of sludge metal, Mastodon, to reach the higher echelons of the British festival circuit and it is safe to say that within just half an hour of their hour and a half headline set on the Ronnie James Dio stage, Atlanta’s A-Team have well and truly blown their motherlode to oblivion – and that isn’t a pun-based compliment, either. Whilst the likes of old-school gems such as ‘Aqua Dementia’ and ‘Megalodon’ are welcome treats for the Mastodon masses situated throughout the Bloodstock faithful, the bands decision to base their biggest set in sixteen years on a level of risk so far in the stars not even their fantasy-themed tunes could rescue it is a bizarre one, even for them. Whilst drummer and leader Brann Dailor nails the crowd-pleasing ‘Motherload’ word-for-word, its off-the-rails guitarist Brent Hinds who – pardon the pun – hinders their headline set with dog-locked-outside vocals, the butchering of ‘Blasteroid’ via screaming the wrong lyrics, and a general lack of interest. It is worth noting that whilst Mastodon are known for their hit-and-run no thrills stage show, when they’re on a bill that boasts Twisted Sister and Slayer as their fellow headliners, you’d of thought they’d feel somewhat compelled to take their music to the next level. Maybe it’s time for them to go once more round the sun in search of something else. (JP)

Tasked with picking up the unexplainable mess that was the Mastodon headline set, over-the-top cannon-balling frontman Howard H Smith lets the crowd know of his stand=up comedy skills throughout Acid Reign’s in-your-face headline set on the Sophie Lancaster stage, beginning with a pink short suit and top hat during ‘Phantasm/Creative Restraint’, name calling the audience and calling out the Facebook Livestream for not buying tickets and being there to enjoy the set – however, this was all light-hearted fun. The reboot of the band is back from their split in 1991 with an all new lineup other than the original vocalist, Howard. The band’s crazy and upbeat presence was met with H’s ability to run left to right of the stage, crowd surf mid-song and climb a tower of speakers. They greeted ‘new-school’ fans and treated ‘old-school’ fans to a song they had not played in over 20 years, ‘Thoughtful Sleep’. (SL)

This Bloodstock Open Air article was written by Jack Press and Shannon Lockett, GIGsoup contributors. Lead photo by killerbongley

Bloodstock Open Air - Day Two - Saturday 13th August

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