Bloodstock Festival(aka Bloodstock Open Air or BOA) has added five more bands to its already stacked line-up for 2015. New to the bill are reformed sludge metallers Raging Speedhorn, prog-metal exports Xerath, Trepalium, Villainy and Godsized. Taking place August 6th – 9th at Walton on Trent, Derbyshire UK. Tickets are on sale now by phone (24hr ticketline at 0871 230 5584 )or online and include an array of camping and VIP ticket options. Camper van pitches are now all sold out.
Already announced to the bill over four massive stages are major acts such as Friday’s headliner Trivium and special guests Sabaton, Saturday’s headliner Within Temptation and special guests Opeth, Sunday’s headliner Rob Zombie and special guests Black Label Society, also Cannibal Corpse, Ihsahn, Sepultura, Orange Goblin, Death T.A, Nuclear Assault, 1349, Napalm Death, Dark Angel, Armored Saint, Belphegor, Overkill, Ensiferum, Agalloch, Korpiklaani, Pro-Pain, Enslaved, Wolf,Delain, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Godflesh, Lawnmower Deth, Mordred, Ethereal, Onslaught, Oaf, Pritchard Vs Dainton, Conan, Planet Of Zeus, Bast, Saille, Batallion,Destrage with more bands to be announced in the coming weeks.
Bloodstock Fest has started announcing some of the acts taking part on the 2015 edition. British stoner act Orange Goblin, Norwegian black metallers 1349 and LA veteran metal outfit Armored Saint were recently announced to take part. They will be joining headliner Rob Zombie, Within Temptation, Opeth, Death TA, Nuclear Assault, Cannibal Corpse, Ihsahn, Sepultura and Dark Angel.
Once again, Ghost Cult will be there to bring you the action if you can’t go yourself. Check out our coverage of this past year’s BOA:
Ramen is truly some food of the god. I subsisted on all of Friday and most of Saturday with the aid of four of these magick squares. Only a dollar each at —you guessed it— Dollar Tree. Stock up for the apocalypse on that shit.
Ramen unfortunately couldn’t help Diocletian’s very evil brand of blackened death be more than an okay attempt at the sound of canned hell. Dark, swirling riffs and blasts ringing from bottomless pits is cool, but variety is severely lacking. Entrails, however, came to save my life —or end it, rather?— with their sticky, sweet old school Swedish Death Metal, complete with a logo that looks suspiciously like Entombed’s.
Spain’s Machetazo brought yet more evil to the fore with their wicked gore/death inflected grind, en Español. Hearkening to bands like Regurgitate and fellow countrymen Hæmorrhage, they seem uninterested in being unique (and with Grind, that’s quite a feat), just brutal, and they’ve certainly succeeded in that regard.
God Macabre, yet another group of old school Swedish Death heroes long forgotten, made their first appearance in the U.S. here, and probably was in the top three bands most likely given to old ladies if they asked fest-goers what “concert” they were heading to. With only one full length to their name, ‘The Winterlong’, you could probably guess the setlist, plus a cover of a Carnage song. Forget which one, but it was damn near heartwarming when vocalist Per Boder smiled in delight when the crowd reacted positively to the name of their fellow deathheads. “I guess they’re not so underrated after all.” You bet’cher ass, bud.
When one thinks of progressive death metal, Florida’s Nocturnus (A.D.) should ideally be what comes to mind alongside acts like Pestilence, Atheist, and Death, though admittedly I hadn’t heard of them until I saw their name on the line-up. Playing their seminal album The Key in full, Nocturnus prove that synths don’t necessarily have to end up sounding cheesy when used alongside brutal music.
Vocalist/drummer Mike Browning (ex-Morbid Angel) seemed to be having loads of fun blasting and growling simultaqneously for such uplifting tunes as ‘Standing In Blood’, ‘Lake Of Fire’, and even a special cover of ‘Chapel Of Ghouls’, how rad’s that shit, homie? I think they even played a Death cover, but I could just have been imagining it. Setlist.fm isn’t helping my case.
The original Speed Metal Drunks (who’s Municipal Waste?) in Germany’s Tankard were clearly not hammered enough; they could still play their instruments. The crowd was one-upping the fuck out of them, however, with a beer-soaked circlepit despite the blazing sun cooking them through. Songs about zombies, and beer. Party. It’s fun stuff, though not the absolute greatest that thrash, has to offer, nor is it the best that humour has to offer, but these krazy Krauts won’t fail to get a chuckle or headbang out of you.
Finally taking my non-drunk self to the Soundstage to catch DropDead for my third or fourth helping this Gregorian year, I first caught Sweden’s d-beat heroes in Victims. They play a version of the genre that reminds me of Martyrdöd, with more melody than is normally allowed, and less ear-fucking distortion, though weren’t quite as captivating as I would hope. Had they played it straight Swedish and aped Anti-Cimex or even Finnish contemporaries (all Scandinavians are the same, right?) in Riistetyt and Kieltolaki, I dare say they’d be more what I was seeking. DropDead, however, are consistent in their delivery, combining crust punk, powerviolence, and d-beat cooked the right way; raw and still bloody.
Between socio-political and generally ‘wake-the-fuck-up’ rants came short but intense bursts of distilled punk fury, very rarely going below speeds safe to drive on the highway. The setlist seems to have changed, as they are including more new material that, while less speedy than the material of old, still has its fangs, yellowed with age but reddened with new blood as they press on. There was a special guest appearance, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to even mention it, though I will mention that they played a cover of Siege’s ‘Drop Dead’, and as an extra spiffy bonus, a cover of ‘It’s Not What It Seems To Be’ by fastcore/powerviolence legends Lärm. Sweeeet.
With Nocturno Culto finally bringing his drunk ass to America only to not play in Darkthrone was a disappointment to many, but I suppose Sarke is the next best thing. Who knows, maybe Fenriz’ Red Planet will stop by to play material from Engangsgrill in a few years.
At least the crowd hungry to hear one song, any song by Darkthrone got their wish, sorta, since Sarke played a ‘cover’ of ‘Too Old, Too Cold’. Clearly the case since Nocturno is never seen without a leather jacket. A weird mix of black-ish metal, normal-ish heavy metal, death rock, and whatever else Nocturno deems the right thing to do these days, it was interesting, but c’mon. Darkthrone. Not gonna stop saying it ‘til it happens.
True Norwegian Viking Death Metal warriors in Unleashed were something. Among my main draws to the fest this year, it’d be wrong to say I was disappointed, but underwhelmed is the word I’ll go with since their set was noticeably lacking in the glorious potential they are capable of.
Having a staggering 11 full-lengths of Nordic praise, and my having only heard 5 or 6 of them in full (not counting the …Revenge demo), I knew there were gonna naturally be some songs I wouldn’t know well enough to fistpump to. However, the lack of ‘In Victory Or Defeat’, ‘Warriors Of Midgard’, and prime material from As Yggdrasil Trembles was distressing. To add to the discomfort, they stretched out some songs by at least two or three minutes (‘Death Metal Victory’ count: 8+), thus cheating themselves and the audience out of more songs. It sucks that happened, but at least Johnny Hedlund brought out a Viking drinking horn, and the predictable happened. My diagnosis: they were drunk. To Asgaard, their brains flew.
Next up were Dark Angel, who’ve probably got more riffs in a single song than an entire Bolt Thrower album (or two), arrived to show us that indeed, time does not heal, because Thrash is a lifelong disease.
Now recovered from a spine injury that left him unable to move, much less sing, Ron Rineheart is now back in action, and the L.A. Caffeine Machine is back to brewing. With speeds equal to or greater than that of even the fastest cuts on Sepultura’sArise, it’s a wonder how Dark Angel never got up to the Big 4 instead of Megadeth, who stopped being thrash after Killing Is My Business. Oops. They’re as virile and potent as 14-year old sperm after all these years.
Following U.S. fast with U.K. fury were Extinction Of Mankind, who, while not a founding band in crust (having formed in ’92), are as important as acts like Deviated Instinct and Hellbastard when assigning blame to old British guys spreading this filth. Their particular style is that popularised by acts like Misery; slow-churned Thrash infused riffs, barked vocals, and a steady beat to break down the walls of establishment. Naturally, the scent of unwashed dreads is the only perfume to adequately accompany such sounds, what with their LP Baptised In Shit, and all. I saw them again in someone’s basement a few days later, maybe I’ll review that too. Maybe.
I took a little nap during L.A.’s Excrutiating Terror, who weren’t all that painful, nor scary, to be honest. It was decent grindcore, though not too much of a racket, so I caught a few Zs before heading over to catch the real death metal bastards in Asphyx, because what the fuck is a Schirenc? I’d have liked to have caught ‘Shrunken And Mummified Bitch’ live, but The Church Of Pungent Stench would be a much more sensible name, aye? Or even Pungent Stench A.D., in keeping with what seems to be an MDF tradition? Whatever.
So, The Netherlands’ Asphyx, fronted by one of the few aside from John Tardy who can audibly sneer while growling, Martin van Drunen belted out classics like ‘M.S. Bismarck’ and newer ballistics in ‘Deathhammer’ with equal ease and aggression, and the band are no slobs either.
Come to think of it, Hail of Bullets should play next year. Just a thought.
The Sunday started a little bit late due some technical problems with my mode of transportation. But luckily enough Grave was there to cheer me up. Grave gives you a full force band with the strength of a bulldozer. The filled up room might have given them that little bit of extra energy, to give us a hell of a show. Although Grave can sometimes disappoint you because of the typical show they put on, they pumped you up with their well known classics, they didn’t live up to their reputation at all. It was the best show in ages, according to the voices all around me.
Misery Index is a known force at the Neurotic Deathfest and didn’t surprise me at any point. But they did interest me and this is a very good live act! For those who don’t know this band, they are pretty versatile with their sound and play with different styles in the death metal genre. The biggest mistake for me was to stand in front of the pit, that hurt.
Just like Misery Index, Severe Torture is a name that you can find often on the bills from previous years. I am proud we have these kind of bands from the Dutch grounds and we see that we do take part in the death metal scene. I am not proud that the following band named Pestilence comes from the same land. I heard of their bad live reputation but I wouldn’t believe it. I have to admit they were right. I am sorry for being so negative, but I cant find a single positive thing about this band. They sucked, and this needs to be said. If you read this and you are in a band, don’t follow Pestilence’s example. This band was known for their awesome shows and good songwriting, but with this new lineup, they are on the edge of extinction. They only float along on their former pride.
Once again the national memorial of casualties of the second world war fell on the same date as the Neurotic Deathfest. Strange enough this was one of the most epic moments of the whole festival, all death metal fans were quiet for a moment of silence (exceptions for some nitwits that just can’t keep their mouth shut). It gave me shivers. This is the example that it doesn’t matter how brutal you can look, you can still have some decency. The bands also took part of it and that is why Pentagram Chile started a little bit later than they should have. They gave us a whirlwind of a show with a guitar sound that was beyond recognition. Their debut album came out last year which is pretty late for a band started from the 80s. They played a nice mix of thrash/death with a sound that clearly evolved since the early days of this band.
Pentagram were a pretty good lead in to the final band of the Neurotic Deathfest, which is not a death metal band at all, Dark Angel. They gave us some much needed thrash metal. The band around Gene Hoglan seemed to be a welcome guest at this death metal festival, unfortunately the drums were pretty loud in contrast with the guitars which was a bit of a downer for this show. Luckily after a few songs the sound guy woke up and set things straight. After that we were happily surprised by some nice high quality thrash metal. All hell broke loose when the front man Ron Rinehart turned the venue into a party zone where beer was flowing richly. After this we left the festival with a smile on our faces.