All good things must come to an end but Bloodstock festival looks set to go out on a bang with a Thrash centred day which finishes with half of the Big Four of Thrash playing the hits. The main stage, named in tribute to late great Ronnie James Dio, boosts one of the greatest line-ups in Bloodstock history and here’s why:
Kicking off the day are the insanely fun Gama Bomb. Hailing from Ireland, Gama Bomb are bringing the fun back to Thrash Metal, with songs inspired by Robocop, Zombies and the actor Willem Dafoe; they certainly are not a band that takes themselves too seriously. Gama Bomb were the best band at last year’s Damnation Festival and are set to wake up the crowds and get everyone moving. Having also met the band at Damnation Festival at a signing, they are as hilarious as they are on stage, they also gave me a free guitar pick for travelling from Colchester to Leeds to see them, what awesome dudes. The Irish quintet has released one of the albums of the year in The Terror Tapes which includes the song ‘Beverly Hills Robocop.’ This song is a contender for song of the year purely for the lyric ‘call 911 or 90210!’ Gama Bomb look set to be a highlight of the early morning slots for Bloodstock, watch them and see why they are so frequently requested.
Jack’s Live Demand: Beverly Hills Robocop
Every year there is a controversial booking at Bloodstock, last year the bookings of Machine Head and Hatebreed were disliked by sections of the Facebook community, so much that some people sold their tickets in protest at the announcement of Machine Head. When Malefice were announced they were labelled the Chase and Status of Bloodstock (in reference to the British electric group Chase and Status being booked to play Download Festival); despite these threats though no band was bottled or booed off the stage; Hatebreed went on to become one the bands of the weekend, Davidian was one of the loudest sing-alongs of the weekend and Malefice invoked some of the first pits of the weekend. Whitechapel are this year’s ‘Chase and Status’ due to their deathcore origins, a genre frowned upon by some of the Bloodstock faithful. Despite the band moving away from that genre into more death metal territory, their announcement was met with criticism from many attendees. Whitechapel are a gamble, we will have to wait till August to see if it pays off.
Jack’s Live Demand: Make it Bleed
After a successful set at last year’s Damnation Festival, Belphegor return to the UK. While black metal may be better suited to indoors, Belphegor look set to overcome to the sunlight issues to captivate the masses with a spectacular show. Helmuth from the band stated to Bloodstock that “To bomb the UK is always a pleasure for BELPHEGOR. We will celebrate Diabolical Death Musick, and visualize it with a special 20 year anniversary show, full of bones, flesh and blood! At the start of August, our new as-yet-untitled album will be released. The troupe can’t wait to premiere two of these tracks at Bloodstock. An honour, this horror!” Despite being the third band on the main stage, Belphegor promise a killer set at Bloodstock. Hail Satan!
Jack’s Live Demand: Bondage Goat Zombie
Chris Jericho’s Fozzy are often unfairly compared to Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars. But the only comparison is that both frontmen have other jobs as well as being vocalists for popular bands, Leto being an actor who is famous for roles in Requiem for a Dream and Fight Club, while Jericho is famous for his wrestling career. Both bands are different genres as well and Jericho’s band is the only one suited for Bloodstock. Fozzy, who are also playing Wacken, are heavy metal at its purest. After a successful UK tour with Drowning Pool and Revoker, Fozzy’s profile is on the rise and after Bloodstock it is only going to get higher. Jericho and co are set to pummel the crowds into submission at Bloodstock, prepare for Fozzy.
Jack’s Live Demand: Blood Happens
After a critically acclaimed set at Bloodstock 2010, Amorphis have been demanded constantly to make a return to the festival, and when they were announced last year the reaction from the Amorphis faithful was ecstatic. With the very good Circle released this year and a string of dates announced across Europe for after the festival season, Amorphis look set to go from strength to strength this year.
Jack’s Live Demand: The Smoke
Gary Holt looks set to be a busy man this Bloodstock, before his headline set with Slayer in the evening, he’ll be tearing it up with his main band Exodus. With the towering presence of frontman Rob Dukes, expect the thrash heroes to prove their worth as titans of the scene at Bloodstock. With hits such as ‘Bonded by Blood’ and ‘The Toxic Waltz,’ the legendary Bay Area Thrashers look set to make a welcome return to the UK this summer.
Jack’s Live Demand: Bonded by Blood
After a brilliant performance at the Forum in London this year, Santa Barbara’s Devildriver look set to make a welcome return to the UK this year. With new album Winter Kills out later this year, iconic frontman Dez Fafara may treat the fans to some new material. With the prospect of hearing new tracks on UK soil for the first time as well as invoking huge circles pits to crowd pleasers such as ‘End of the Line,’ ‘Clouds over California’ and fan favourite ‘Meet the Wretched,’ Devildriver look set to play an essential set on the Ronnie James Dio stage.
Jack’s Live Demand: Meet the Wretched
After Testament played a blinder of a set last year, the organisers surprised everyone by announcing a band for next year’s festival. After teasing everyone with an announcement video, tension built as the video went on and then a loud cheer rose from the audience, Anthrax had been confirmed. The campsite had erupted in excitement with various festival attendees singing Anthrax songs in celebration. I remember many of my friends discussing the fact Anthrax had been as special guests, leading to exciting speculation which band might be headlining the festival next year. (Many including myself correctly guessed Slayer). If this excitement was what followed their announcement, when Joey Belladonna, Scott Ian and the rest of the band walk on stage at Bloodstock, who knows what might happen. Anthrax are simply living legends and their stage shows are proof of that, with a back catalogue including some of the most iconic songs in metal including ‘Caught in a Mosh,’ ‘Indians,’ and ‘Madhouse’ as well as some of the best covers in metal history, which include covers of Trust’s ‘Antisocial,’ Joe Jackson’s ‘Got the Time,’ and an energetic cover of AC/DC’s ‘TNT’, Anthrax look set to unload their Thrash arsenal on Bloodstock. So grab your ‘I am the Law’ T-shirt and prepare to raise your devil horns to the sky for the mighty Anthrax!
Jack’s Live Demand: Caught in a Mosh
If you’re going to finish a festival, finish it in style and no one is better at that job than Slayer. After being hunted by the Bloodstock team for years, Slayer are finally making their debut appearance on Catton Hall’s hollowed grounds. Slayer have not had the best year in their 30 year career, with the firing of drummer Dave Lombardo over financial issues, the tragic death of legendary guitarist and original member Jeff Hanneman and the hiring of Paul Bostaph as drummer alienating large portions of their fan base. With Jeff’s sudden death still sending shock waves through the metal community, Slayer will give their fallen brother the send-off his deserves at Bloodstock. With recent reviews of their live dates with Bostaph on drums positive (many are quick to forget his excellent drumming on the God Hates Us All album), Slayer look set to give Bloodstock an emotional and powerful send off for the year. Expect the largest mosh pits to the many classics from Slayer’s 30 year discography including the controversial ‘Angel of Death,’ the deafening ‘Raining Blood,’ the intense ‘War Ensemble’ and the anthem of ‘Disciple.’ It’s time to pay your respects to Jeff by singing your heart out and chanting SLAYER till your breath runs out.
Jack’s Live Demand:
Raining Blood (with Bostaph on drums):
Lamb of God has more Facebook likes than all of the bands on the Saturday’s Ronnie James Dio Stage combined.
Despite forming in the 80s, this is Death Angel’s first appearance at a UK festival.
During Mayhem’s set last year, a festival attendee started to wave an aubergine on a stick round in the air, the aubergine now has 82 Facebook fans.
Last year’s festival attendance was 11,500, the highest on record.
The fancy dress theme for last year was Goblins, Demons and Trolls. Past prizes have included V.I.P tickets and alcohol.
There is an annual sport at Bloodstock called bin jousting where festival goers steal the bins and ride them into each other. Icons of the scene include Bananaman (a man dressed as a banana), Cornman (a man dressed as a corn on the cob) and Lionel, (a man who went jousting holding a Lionel Ritchie LP).