The 2023 edition of 70000 Tons of Metal Cruise is here! Setting sail today with 61 other world-class metal bands and 3000 fans on board the Freedom of the Seas, sailing from January 30 – February 3, 2023, from Miami, Florida to Bimini, Bahamas, and back. Ghost Cult will be there! For a last-minute addition to the cruise, Hypocrisy has joined up. The cruise has announced its running order, singing schedule, and more. If you missed the boat (sorry 😂) this year, stay tuned to Ghost Cult for our review of the cruise, and how you can go next year!
From crediting ventriloquist dummies with vocal performances to a former singer whose stage wear involved blue paint and a dress, it’s safe to say that Finnish act …And Oceans has a rather unique history. Starting life as a symphonic black metal act, guitarist and founder member Timo Kontio moved the band towards a more industrial sound before eventually choosing to alter their name accordingly. After releasing one full-length album as Havoc Unit, Kontio returned to the band’s original name and style in 2017, reuniting with former axe partner Teemu Saari along the way.Continue reading
After a studio absence of close to a decade, Israeli act Matricide make a welcome re-appearance with Talking To The Walls (self-released), the rip-roaring follow-up to comeback single ‘Walk Into the Flames’ released in April this year.
Main Stage and Sophie Lancaster Stage
If there are two things we love doing in the UK, it’s complaining about the weather and queuing for things. Well, this year at Bloodstock Open Air, both are freely available and at no extra charge. Not a moment goes by without a comment on the sweltering heat or about having to wait to cross the road to the festival ground. Yes, not content with spending two hours in the main queue, campers have now invented a brand new line to join before even getting that far. For the first time ever, a line has formed for people pulling trolleys and sack carts. Almost a quarter of a mile of people waiting in a surprisingly orderly queue before joining an even bigger queue. England, never change.
With the heat already playing its part, I finally arrive at the Sophie Lancaster Stage in time to catch Italian nutters Nanowar of Steel who send the audience into hysterics with daft costumes and a “Wall of Love” (a traditional wall of death that climaxes with people hugging each other to George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’). Preceding the infuriatingly catchy ‘Norwegian Reggaeton’ with Burzum‘s outdoor recipe for roasted salmon (“you place the freshly caught salmon on a rock and burn down the church next to it”) the band then take the opportunity to use the mighty ‘Valhalleluja’ to build an Ikea coffee table, holding it aloft for the elated crowd. Accompanied by an actual goblin for the duration of their set, US act Nekrogoblikon certainly put on an enjoyable show but find it tough following such a display of irreverent insanity.
Founded in 2006, Finnish melodic death metal overlords Brymir didn’t break ground until their debut five years later. Therefore, it’s easy for them to be overlooked within the bloated landscape from that half-decade. Consider the releases from around that time: Kalmah’s The Black Waltz (2006), Dark Tranquillity’s Fiction (’07), Amon Amarth’s Twilight Of The Thunder God (’08), and Be’lakor’s Stone’s Reach (’09), to name but a few.
Although lockdown was undeniably a desperate time for the entertainment business, for some, the time spent in isolation actually created opportunities. With schedules and timetables suddenly emptied, many long-standing ideas and projects, that for whatever reason, looked set to never get off the ground, were finally able to grow and develop into something more than a mere hopeful nucleus of an ideaContinue reading
It’s been three years since melodic death metal act Horizon Ignited announced themselves with their independently released 2019 debut After the Storm. Now, with the ink barely dry on a record deal signed in March, the Finnish sextet return with a fully-fledged follow-up Towards the Dying Lands (Nuclear Blast).
Having shown resounding and unequivocal support for every single band so far, the Bloodstock faithful are still raring to go after four full days of partying. As battle commences one final time, highlights on the Sophie Stage include the hard hitting Midlands retro-fuzz of Wolf Jaw, Brighton doomsters Grave Lines, the angry sounding double punch of Vexed and Pist, a debut performance from symphonic death metallers Ghosts of Atlantis, and Manchester black metal mob Necronautical.
With energy levels and festival excitement still high, quality acts such as Welsh black metallers Agrona, Norfolk thrashers Shrapnel, Liverpool doom/sludge merchants Conan, and a reinvigorated and retooled Evile invade the Sophie Lancaster Stage, decimating all before them. Birmingham grindcore legends Napalm Death complete the day’s entertainment with a reliably devastating set, the crowd gathered outside the tent almost as huge as the one inside.
Sure, we might be having to follow a series of new Coronavirus safety protocols which may or not become a regular thing for live shows, but we’re back. And judging by the size of the opening day crowds spilling out from the main entrance, car parks and campsites, not a moment too soon. Since its inception Bloodstock Open Air has always attracted early birds who like nothing more than to arrive long before the gates even open, but this time feels different. Everyone seems to be here early. Coiled springs desperate for release. The festival’s twentieth anniversary isn’t just a celebration of metal this year, it’s a genuine escape.