As we continue to live in one of the most challenging times in history, one this for certain: music lovers are relieved to have somewhat of a return to normalcy. The return of live music, especially heavy music, provides the cathartic relief we have all been looking for. After over a year of postponements, cancellations, and livestreams, it’s a relief to get to experience live music, and return to experiencing art in the best way possible – together!
In the time since its 2005 inception Damnation Festival has grown to into a four-stage affair that has become a mainstay of the UK metal scene. 2021’s festival on 6th November was significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, it marked the event’s return after a year off due to COVID restrictions. Secondly, it sold out in record time; as soon as the UK government announced the end of all restrictions (back in March), all tickets were swept up within a matter of weeks. Thirdly, the lineup had to be dramatically changed, with many major international acts such as Wolves in the Throne Room and Pig Destroyer having to have their appearances cancelled due to then-ongoing uncertainty surrounding travel restrictions. Fourthly and finally, 2021’s Damnation marked the end of its 14-year tenure at Leeds University: 2022’s festival will return to Manchester (where it first took place for two years) at a larger arena venue.
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 (BOA) 2021 here! The festival kicks off today after much planning with sdafety and security in mind, considering the current state of the world. With weekend passes selling out, there might still be a few day tickets left, but check in advance before heading there. Starting today, August 11th -15th at Catton Park, the main stage headliners are Devin Townsend (Friday), Kreator (Saturday), and Judas Priest (Sunday). The festival will also feature sets from Skindred, Paradise Lost, Bury Tomorrow, Diamond Head, Therapy?, Jinjer, Vio-lence, Saxon, The Wildhearts, Gloryhammer, Dark Tranquillity, Bleed From Within, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, Memoriam, Ramage Inc., Green Lung, Conjurer, Orange Goblin, The Night Flight Orchestra, Raging Speedhorn, Unleash The Archers, Sylosis, Winterfylleth, Hacktivist, The Crawling, Raised By Owls, Acid Reign, Svalbard, Soen, Blasphemer, Pist, Sharks In Your Mouth, Seidrblot, Noctem, Mother Vulture, Bloodshot Dawn, Evile, and many more. Get your tickets at the link below!
Bloodstock Open Air (BOA) 2021 is approaching at just 3 weeks away and news is ramping up! Weekend passes have sold out, but day tickets are still avaialble but selling out fast. The fest has added a gang of new bands, the Metal to The Massess bands, and much more! The fest takes place from 11-15,August, 2021 at Catton Park! The main stage headliners are Devin Townsend (Friday), Kreator (Saturday), and Judas Priest (Sunday). The festival will also feature sets from Skindred, Paradise Lost, Bury Tomorrow, Diamond Head, Therapy?, Jinjer, Vio-lence, Saxon, The Wildhearts, Gloryhammer, Dark Tranquillity, Bleed From Within, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, Memoriam, Ramage Inc., Green Lung, Conjurer, Orange Goblin, The Night Flight Orchestra, Raging Speedhorn, Unleash The Archers, Sylosis, Winterfylleth, Hacktivist, The Crawling, Raised By Owls, Acid Reign, Svalbard, Soen, Blasphemer, Pist, Sharks In Your Mouth, Seidrblot, Noctem, Mother Vulture, Bloodshot Dawn, Evile, and many more. Get your tickets at the link below!
Those of you who tuned into our 2020 Album of the Year podcasts will be very aware that both Da Ed and I have a serious amount of admiration for British post-hardcore artists Svalbard, whose When I Die, Will I Get Better? (Church Road) caught our attention with the subtle expansion revealing an icy Black Metal core, most prevalent in the proliferation and development of tremolo-picked motifs. Guitarist Serena Cherry goes one step further with her debut Black Metal solo outing, Wretched Abyss (Translation Loss), released under the Noctule banner, indulging her frozen soul and frostbitten inspirations. Continue reading
In some heartbreaking news for this summers’ UK festival circuit, Arctangent Festival, the best fest for Progressive Metal, Tech-Death, Djent and related sub-genres is canceled for 2021 and postponed until 2022. The festival made the announcement on social media today. Bands returning in 2022 include Opeth, Cult of Luna, TesseracT, MONO, Amenra, Maybeshewill, Alces, Perturbator, Leprous, Enslaved, Caspian, The Locust, Agent Fresco, Oathbreaker, Intronaut, AA Williams, Bell Witch, Jo Quail, Svalbard, Mass of the Fermenting Dregs, and Bloodlet.
Bloodstock Open Air (BOA) 2021 is a go and is about two and half months out at 85 days until the fest. In addition to adding a stacked extra night on Wednesday, the fest has announced some additions. Replacing Dimmu Borgir, who have vowed to return in 2022, Cradle of Filth joins the madness. Hot on the heels of their stellar livestream even, this promises to be huge. For the Wednesday bill, joining the fest are Onslaught, Beholder, Ward XVI, as well as Raised By Owls, RAISED and Anakim, both move across to a Wednesday slot, from their previously announced Thursday.