Just when you thought there were no genres left to combine, up pops Ohio act Untamed Land with Scandinavian riffs and a cowboy hat, delivering an album that sounds like the soundtrack to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly if it had been written by Satyricon.
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.
Bloodstock Open Air is making plans to return in 2021 and every year festival founder Paul Gregory curates a selection from other heavy-metal-friendly artists, both established and new, who has caught his attention the previous year. In 2021, Paul wants to give a chance to artistic newcomers to win the opportunity to hang a piece of their work alongside his own and other respected creatives in the on-site RAM Gallery, so he’s devised an art competition. To enter you need to design and create your own piece of artwork, based around and inspired by one of the bands performing at Bloodstock 2021. Paul will jointly judge the competition alongside friend and fellow artist, Mark Wilkinson (illustrator of album sleeves for Marillion, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, The Darkness), and the winner will have their work professionally framed, lit, and hung in the RAM Gallery on-site next August. In addition to this honour, the winner will bag a pair of weekend festival tickets, a personal tour of the RAM Gallery on-site with Paul Gregory, and the potential to watch 3 songs from the side of the stage of the band they’ve chosen to create their artwork for (subject to closed stages).
Even though the two main members of Anaal Nathrakh – Mick “Irrumator” Kenney, and vocalist Dave “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” Hunt – haven’t actually recorded in the same studio together for around ten years, the pair have still managed to spew more bitterness and agonized rage than can surely be healthy. With over 5,000 miles between them for latest album Endarkenment (Metal Blade), Kenney pushed buttons and twiddled knobs in his California studio, while Hunt recorded his vocals in far less sunny English climes, cathartically venting his spleen a few rooms down from where an S&M porn film was being shot.Continue reading
Bloodstock Open Air, rebooked for 2021, has announced a new headliner! The great Heavy Metal legends Mercyful Fate, featuring King Diamond, will headline the Ronnie James Dio stage on Saturday, along with Dimmu Borgir as special guests. Watch a new trailer now!
Honest question: Who started the whole let’s get an orchestra or symphony type shit behind extreme metal? I know Dimmu Borgir has made some serious bank behind it with the fabulous Death Cult Armageddon and Fleshgod Apocalypse has obscured their lack of riffs with said gimmick, but can we let that trend die? I think I’ve had my fill. But what the hell do I know as Necronomicon has an album worth in Unus (Season of Mist) of synths and faux orchestrations designed to elevate death metal from simply crushing to the upper echelons of the avant-garde.Continue reading
Now in its nineteenth year, the annual metal pilgrimage to Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Hall in Derbyshire was joined this year by a very special, but highly unstable, guest.
Yes, I know it’s England in August, and we should be more than accustomed to inconsistent weather conditions, but this really was something else. Tents too hot to be inside one moment were waterlogged the next. People soaked to the skin by sudden, torrential downpours were suffering sunburn minutes later. Grass turned to mud, mud became rivers, and the unprecedented winds would go on to cause problems all of their own.Continue reading
Last month Dimmu Borgir continued to book 2020 tour dates as they added an EU run with Amorphis. Wolves in the Throne Room will act as direct support. Watch the trailer for the tour below. Tickets go on sale on August 14th at 10:00 CST. The band continues to tour in support of their 2018 album Eonian (Nuclear Blast). Continue reading