Bloodstock Open Air 2017 – Part 2

Day 3.

SATURDAY

If you were one of the first hundred people to enter the New Blood tent on Saturday morning, then first band of the day Ward XVI (8/10) would reward you with a goodie bag full of stuff like CDs, stickers and t-shirts etc. I strolled over to the tent a good half an hour before they were due on, only to find that half the festival was already in there. It’s amazing how people, no matter how tired or hungover, will always drag themselves out of bed on the promise of free stuff. Goodie bags aside, Ward XVI were a great way to start the Saturday fun. Eclectic and fun, they combined chuggy metal riffs with bouncy Psychobilly, creepy gothic melodies, and at one point, what appeared to be Russian folk. The band’s costumes and make-up were interesting, but like vocalist Psychoberrie‘s strait-jacketed ballad (Alice Cooper and ‘The Ballad of Dwight Frye’ anyone?) they all felt a little too familiar. Continue reading

Bloodstock Open Air 2017 – Part 1

Thursday

For anyone looking for early indicators that Bloodstock 2017 would be as ridiculous and over the top as usual, then surely the sight which would have greeted many – a group of people in the field acting as the event’s main car park, cheering on a Red Power Ranger as he gyrated and danced on top of a car – would have been as good a first sign as any. Continue reading

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2017

The time is nigh! The largest and possibly best independent metal festival in the world, Bloodstock Open Air is upon us once again. A year of planning and waiting has come to pass and now the weekend is here, with 1000s of heshers and hesherettes descend on Walton on Trent in Derbyshire, UK ready to celebrate all that is heavy music in the UK over the long weekend. When your motto is “By The Fans For The Fans”, and you can honestly say they have delivered this year in and year out, one needs to show respect. Get hyped with our preview, and check back soon for our full review with photos in case you can’t make it out. Continue reading

Bloodstock Open Air Day Tickets On Sale Tomorrow, Art Show Confirmed

Gojira at BOA 2016, photo credit Bloodstock Open Air on Facebook

Bloodstock Open Air continues to close in with day tickets releasing their at 9am tomorrow, 30th June! Weekend tickets are apparently selling faster than ever this year and may well sell out entirely before the festival weekend, so don’t delay if you want to guarantee a spot at the UK’s best metal festival! Continue reading

Bloodstock Open Air Adds More Bands, Tickets Moving Fast

Havok, by Rich Price Photography

Bloodstock Open Air 2017 is coming up fast with just under 7 weeks to go for the festival first band to plug in and rock! The fest has added more bands to the bill including Havok, Fallujah, Shrapnel, Bloodoath, Criminal and more! Continue reading

Bloodstock Open Air Adds More Bands, Extra Club Nights Leading Up To The Fest

 

Bloodstock Open Air is fast approaching and the fest has added a bevy of new bands. The infamous BOA club nights are also back, and have grown to 26 more nights. Details below: Continue reading

Orthodox – Axis

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Those who are already aware of the strange vagaries of Sevillan heavyweights Orthodox may not be surprised to hear that ‘Suyo es el rostro de la muerte…’, the opening track from fifth album Axis (Alone Records), is layered with husky, mellow horns and a squealing saxophone. Despite Marco Serrato’s hulking yet dextrous bass notes and the careering, joyously expressive rhythms of Borja Diaz, the impression given by this and the bookending horns and strings of closer ‘Y a ella le sera revelado’ is of a Progressive soundtrack to a 70s US cop show, harking back more to second album Amanecer en Puerta Oscura than the Doom fest of 2011’s Baal (both Alone Records).

Having parted with long-time guitarist Ricardo Jiménez last year, this is the first album from the band as a duo, the remaining members seemingly free to indulge their panoply of influences whilst retaining that low-end core. ‘Axis / Equinox’ flings around trumpets, flutes, a sawed violin and atonal piano in a freeform chaos before allowing Serrato to intone over a quelled cacophony, while the rhythmic bass of ‘¡lo, Sabacio, lo lo!’ is graced by delightfully soaring African percussion and choruses.

Single ‘Crown For A Mole’ and the brutal ‘Canìcula’ sees the resonant boom of the band’s more sinister material return to its fullest, albeit enlivened by those syncopated structures. The mournful opening to the fearful ‘Medea’, meanwhile, is laden with Spaghetti Western-style high notes and the odd piano flurry: the subsequent crashing lead effects and cymbals haunting the slow, quaking, pummelling rhythm for what is arguably the most stirring ten minutes in Orthodox’s history. Here Serrato’s unique, warbling bellow is chilling; the roared “There’s nothing there…” ripping the soul from the body while retaining its curious melody.

It is the rhythm department, however, which produces much of the magic of Axis: blending a crushing claustrophobia with those proud Jazz influences, it is often overlooked yet it is the lynchpin of the band’s sound. The portentous groove of ‘Portum Sirenes’, for example, is dictated by bass notes that plough through the solar plexus and warp agonisingly around the loins, whilst pounding drums create mighty patterns for the hypnotic, tuneful flurries to dance through.

The whole, a meld of all manner of naturally rhythmic styles with elements of bright light and a heavy, heady horror, is the dazzling result of perfect alchemy. This most ambitiously unifying project yet is also Orthodox’s greatest statement, and affirms its status as one of the most vital bands from any genre of music.

 

9.0/10

 

PAUL QUINN

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