FESTIVAL REVIEW: Tons of Rock 2019

After six years at the Fredriksten Fortress in at Halden Norway, it was clear Tons of Rock needed more space. So here we are in the biggest city in Norway, Oslo, at the new home for the festival. From my American point of view, this was wonderful to see so many bands I have enjoyed but haven’t made it across the sea. With three stages and forty bands, two of the said stages named in honor of famous Norwegian expressionist artist Edvard Munch. The Scream and Vampire had an electric mix of hard and most styles of metal. In addition to the campgrounds, there was plenty of rides, painted art and music for sale to browse on these bright and sunny Oslo days. Continue reading

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Tons of Rock 2019

We are just hours away from the start of Norway’s biggest Rock and Metal Festival of the Year, Tons of Rock! Ghost Cult will be on hand to cover the sights and sounds of the fest and bring you coverage via our socials as well as a full review and photo set after the festival. Check out our preview of the can’t miss bands each day! Taking place from 27-to the 29th of June at Ekebergsletta in Oslo, Norway, the successful festival entered into a partnership earlier this year with Live Nation Norway, for this and future editions of the festival! There was a pre-party last night at the Oslo Opera House where Accept performed with a Symphony Orchestra! In addition to camping, the festival has food, its own craft Beer Tonf of Pils, a metal marketplace and much more. Continue reading

Bloodstock Festival: Day Two- Catton Hall, UK

11745487_10152913814381262_8443426477218036446_n

With the Sophie Lancaster Stage headliners finishing late into the night, as well as other forms of entertainment in the arena or the Serpent’s Lair VIP Area (or for the less brave of course, beers at the tent), you’d be forgiven for thinking the atmosphere would be a little subdued on the Saturday, especially considering the scorching heat the day before. Far from it however, as Saturday greets all with even hotter weather (thankfully there are plenty of water stations and surprisingly small queues) and another day of some of the best and most exciting bands the metal world has to offer.

A relaxed and lazy morning means the days viewing kicks off in the Sophie tent with British death metallers Ageless Oblivion, whose dark atmospherics try to detract from the sunshine outside. Pulling in a strong crowd, they prove why they are one of the most exciting bands on the UK extreme metal scene, complete with unpredictability structures and relentless viciousness with hypnotic majesty.

The small size of the festival arena proves a blessing as Ageless Oblivion wrap up their set just as prog/tech metallers Xerath take to the main stage within seconds. With a large, attentive crowd Xerath prove that they are more than worthy of the upgrade from their last time here on the second stage, as their progressive tendencies hit the mark alongside a tonne of fat grooves, perfectly catering for all. The stage size does not seem to daunt them as they give a confident and crushing display.

Korpiklaani, photo credit Sabrina Ramdoyal

Korpiklaani, photo credit Sabrina Ramdoyal

Normally benefiting from people wanting to shelter from near monsoon conditions, its truly heart-warming to see masses of people supporting those bands that have come from far climes, especially when they are as good as the first of two Indonesian bands on the bill today, Jasad. As they take the stage they are greeted with a near packed tent and a euphoric response which clearly humbles them as the band can hardly contain their smiles throughout. Combined with brilliant death metal and frontman Mohammed Rohman’s sense of humour and this proves one of the most fun and triumphant sets of the weekend.

SLR_5211_Napalm Death

Napalm Death, photo credit Sabrina Ramdoyal

Very few bands are as consistently brilliant both live and on record as Napalm Death so its unsurprising that they are consistently great form today, and the huge response they get from the crowd makes this a no surprises but incredible set.

It has to be pointed out the diversity that, appropriately, the Sophie Lancaster Stage presents over the weekend, brings some of the weekend’s greatest moments. Right near the top has to be the second Indonesian band of the day, Burgerkill as once again a packed out tent and the chaos that ensues proves truly heartening. The massive grins that adorn each member tells the story as the moshpits almost takes over the entire front of the tent. As Oaf’s Dom Lawson makes a guest appearance the importance of today for the band is abundantly clear, and they took it by storm.

Opeth, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

Opeth, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

Opeth are no strangers to the Ronnie Jamies Dio (main) stage, having headlined twice, once in the place of Heaven & Hell who cancelled due to the sad passing of the man for whom the stage is now named. They could play in a nightclub car park and still exude the same amount of beauty and brutality as they do co-headlining a festival. Love their progressive direction or loathe it, Opeth never fail to impress as ten thousand mesmerised fan sway to ‘The Devils Orchard’, then moments later headbang to ‘Deliverance’, showing symmetry with the bands diverse back catalogue.

Within Temptation, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

Within Temptation, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

To quote the mighty Taylor Swift – “haters gonna hate” – and those die-hard Bloodstockers who scoffed or spewed ignorant and hateful babble when Within Temptation were announced certainly did. They can be spotted a mile off, standing with their arms folded waiting for the Dutch symphonic metallers to suck harder than Lars’ drumming. But they don’t – so ha! Each song is performed with heart and soul, with the set culled mainly from the more recent Hydra (BMG/Universal) and The Unforgiving (Roadrunner) albums, and the unity the crowd feel with the band is a testament to their longevity. Sharon den Adel, who seemingly has danced in the blue flame of eternal life, rallies the crowd so that even when technical difficulties plague their penultimate song, the baying masses hang on her every note. Within Temptation bring a touch of flair and class to Derbyshine; utterly sublime.

Within Temptation, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

Within Temptation, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

 

Within Temptation, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

Within Temptation, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

Within Temptation, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

Within Temptation, photo credit Fiaz Farrelly

CHRIS TIPPELL & SARAH WORSLEY