FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2019

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.

The weather.

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

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2019

The time is nigh! Bloodstock 2019, the best major independent music festival in the world is here! Ghost Cult’s crack team will be on-site as we have been every year in our existence, bringing you this vital heavy music event and experience! Featuring Sabaton, Parkway Drive and Scorpions, along with Anthrax, Batushka, Children Of Bodom, Code Orange, Cancer Bats, Powerwolf, Soilwork, Cradle Of Filth, Thy Art Is Murder, Tesseract, Metal Church, Soulfly, Death Angel, Dee Snider, Queensryche, Eluveitie, Swallow The Sun, Evil Scarecrow, Ross The Boss, Grand Magus, Krysthla, Rotting Christ, Aborted, Skeletal Remains, All Hail The Yeti, Incite, Hypocrisy, Taake, The Lazys, Xentrix, and many more on the Catton Park stages this August. More bands are still being announced, but see the line-up so far here. Check out our day by day list must-see list below and everything else you need to know! Continue reading

Bloodstock Open Air is in 8 Weeks, Adds More Jager Stage Bands

Bloodstock Open Air, the best independent Metalfest in the world has added two more bands to its 2019 bill. Skypilot, Graves, Beggar, Black Shuck, Foul Body Autopsy, Jailbirds and Womanowar have all been added. More Jager stage bands will be announced next month. BOA also announces more Metal 2 the Masses winners: Grand Elder, Blind Divide, Scars of Remembrance, Elyrean, Fear Bound, Lost in Lavendar Town have all joined the fest. Bloodstock boasts headline bands Sabaton, Parkway Drive and Scorpions, along with Anthrax, Dimmu Borgir, Children Of Bodom, Code Orange, Cancer Bats, Powerwolf, Soilwork, Cradle Of Filth, Thy Art Is Murder, Tesseract, Metal Church, Soulfly, Death Angel, Dee Snider, Queensryche, Eluveitie, Swallow The Sun, Evil Scarecrow, Ross The Boss, Grand Magus, Krysthla, Rotting Christ, Aborted, Skeletal Remains, All Hail The Yeti, Incite, Hypocrisy, Taake, The Lazys, Xentrix, and many more on the Catton Park stages this August. More bands are still being announced, but see the line-up so far here. Continue reading

Bloodstock Announces First Metal 2 The Masses Winners, Day Tickets on Sale This Week

Gojira, photo credit Bloodstock Open Air on Facebook

Blood Stock Open Air will release their day tickets this week. A limited amount of day tickets for 2019’s event go on sale at 9.00am this Thursday 30th May, priced at £65 (+ fees) for adults and £20 (+ fees) for children aged 4-11. Children under 4 go free! Head here to snap them up! You can still also pick up 4-day ‘weekend tickets with camping’, priced £145 (+ fees) and children’s weekend tickets at just £35 (+ fees). VIP tickets are expected to sell out shortly, including limited Podpads, Bellepads and Octopads, plus limited remaining VIP upgrades (for those who’ve already purchased a standard ticket). Camper van plots & Luxpads are already sold out. Links below for more details. BOA also announces the first batch of New Blood winners from their ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ finals, who all bag a slot to perform on the Hobgoblin New Blood stage! The finals are still taking place around the country. Saturday’s New Blood stage bill welcomes Coventry winners Djinova, Glasgow victors Inferiem, and Deformation Of Man, who took top prize in the Sheffield heat. They’ll be joined by Belfast top dogs, Lock Horns. Black Country band Masters Call also win a New Blood slot after impressing the booking team via their CD submission. Sunday brings Dublin champions Aesect, Norwich leaders Bastard, and Take Refuge, having clinched first place in the Milton Keynes final. You’ll also get to see 28 Double, who took Leicester’s gold medal! Continue reading

Bloodstock Open Air 2019 Adds Xentrix, Karybdis, Control The Storm, Helheim and More

Bloodstock Open Air has filled the last few slots for the Ronnie James Dio main stage and Sophie Lancaster stage bands, as the Metal 2 The Masses finals roll through the UK to find the best of the grass roots to flesh out the New Blood stage. The dest also announced a limited number of day tickets for 2019’s event will go on sale at the end of May. Joining the stacked lineip are Xentrix, Karybdis, Control The Storm, Helheim, Guardians of Time, and Odd Crew. Bloodstock already includes headliners Sabaton, Parkway Drive, and Scorpions, with Anthrax, Dimmu Borgir, Children Of Bodom, Code Orange, Powerwolf, Soilwork, Cradle Of Filth, Thy Art Is Murder, Tesseract, Metal Church, Soulfly, Death Angel, Dee Snider, Queensryche, Eluveitie, Swallow The Sun, Evil Scarecrow, Ross The Boss, Grand Magus, Rotting Christ, Aborted, Skeletal Remains, All Hail The Yeti, Incite, Hypocrisy and many more on the Catton Park stages this August. With more bands to come, stay tuned for even more artists to be announced soon! Bloodstock will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 8th-11th August 2019. Get additional information and tickets at the link below. Continue reading

Shrapnel – Raised On Decay

I think it’s fair to say that Britain does not have the greatest depth of pedigree when it comes to Thrash. While there have been a couple of notable exceptions, other than the unassailable Sabbat, Xentrix (one of my favourite bands as a teen) are still, probably, the first name on anyone’s mind when asked to discuss said niche market. Twenty years after Preston’s finest slipped quietly into the ether and, an Evile or Savage Messiah aside, very little has changed in that regards. Continue reading

Angelus Apatrida – Hidden Evolution

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I have a slight issue with albums like Angelus Apatrida’s Hidden Evolution, their third for Century Media and fifth overall. See, I know that if I’d have picked this up in my teens, I’d have loved it and adopted them as a pet band, bought the T-shirt (providing it had a skull on it, which it surely would have) and I’d probably still be returning to it now – it has all the requisite elements, thrashed riffs, pace and power but with Skolnick-ian melodic leads to spice up the chugs, as well as melodic choruses, such as ‘Wanderers Forever’. But the issue is, that I don’t know if I can be wholly comfortable with reconciling an album that I’d recommend twenty years ago to an album I’d recommend now. But these Spanish thrashers are making a damn good go of convincing me.

Vocalist Guillermo Izquierdo flits from Dave Mustaine to Phil Anselmo territory within the space of ‘Architects’ and elsewhere calls to mind both Matt Barlow and modern day Zetro in delivery and phrasing (indeed, Iced Earth jamming with Exodus is an early impression that stays with you throughout repeat visits), and, at heart, this is thrash with its roots firmly in the Among The Living’s of our world, with worthy metal song-writing and some sanguine touches, such as the outro to ‘Tug of War’.

Alongside Izquierdo, his brother in guitaring arms David G. Alvarez finds the balance between raging, cutting loose and adding clever melodic guitar touches, little guitar licks that are reminiscent of Xentrix at their best, or some slick open chord embellishments to keep things interesting. Whilst staying within the (at times restrictive) confines of the genre, AA keep things fresh by varying their attack – capable of “heads down and see you at the end” numbers in the shape of the slamming ‘Serpents On Parade’, locked down spiky riffing, such as ‘End Man’, chugging out ‘First World Of Terror’ or bringing the hooks with the anthemic variants of ‘I Owe You Nothing’.

There are criticisms in that Hidden Evolution is a touch lengthy, and, despite playing with the various shibboleths that are prevalent within the “Serious Thrash” boundaries, these are still tropes that aren’t particularly new. But all that said, Angelus Apatrida have pulled together a very credible, consistent and enjoyable modern thrash album to be proud of. Despite my initial scepticisms, its over-riding “Proper” metalness and proliferation of hooks and actual songs has won me over. Fair play.

 

7.5/10

Angelus Apatrida on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY