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FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Bloodstock Festival 2017

Year in, year out Bloodstock Festival is an absolute must on the metal fan’s calendar. Growing to one of the biggest metal festivals on the UK circuit and now serves as a Mecca for those graving hard-hitting riffs across four days at Catton Park. 2017’s edition of the festival showcases some of the best bands in heavy music; from fan favourites, big names in our scene and a healthy addition of bands that are breaking through. Here, Distorted Sound breaks down this year’s lineup giving you a nice list of the bands we think you should see at this year’s festival!

Thursday 

The festival doesn’t officially begin until Friday but the Thursday Sophie Lancaster Stage bands are what gets Bloodstock goers pumped up and ready to face the pits. RAMAGE INC. will be returning to the festival after their appearance last year and opening Thursday with the burst of energy everyone will need to see them through to Monday morning. Being called ‘party doom’ is a rather exciting mix and adds to the reason why you should check out GURT for their return to Bloodstock. THE INFERNAL SEA should not be missed at all, third on the bill on Thursday this band have been quickly progressing up the UK black metal scene as one of its strongest contenders and will be delivering an absolute treat.

Bringing their music to the UK for the first time will be Italian symphonic metallers WIND ROSE, after supporting the likes of WINTERSUN and EPICA they are ready to bring a storm to the Sophie Lancaster Stage. Closing the Thursday and opening the gates to hell will be Finnish metal band BATTLE BEAST – with crunching guitars and absolutely mind-blowing vocals they are an excellent end to the day and start to one of the best metal weekends of the year.

Words: Jessica Howkins

Friday

With the pre-party on Thursday getting festival goers pumped for the weekend’s activities, the Friday of this year’s Bloodstock aims to take no prisoners with an uncompromisingly heavy full day of music. Headliners AMON AMARTH have been a fan favourite of Bloodstock for years now. The Swedish Vikings have built a solid live reputation and consistently strong studio releases have helped propel the band to the highest levels within the metal world. Now, 2017’s edition of Bloodstock will see the band aim to bring a monumental live show to the UK through an arsenal of the band’s strongest songs and a plethora of props and stage effects to give an expected triumphant performance.

Throughout the day though, there are plenty of heavy hitters which showcase the variety on offer at this year’s Bloodstock. From DECAPITATED‘s monolithic shredding, Dani Filth and DEVILMENT‘s symphonic bite, SOILWORK‘s razor-sharp melodic approach to death metal and TESTAMENT‘s long-standing reign at the top of thrash metal, heads will be banging continuously across the day. However, most will agree that there is an awful amount of excitement surrounding BLIND GUARDIAN‘s performance at this year’s festival. The German power metal masters have been absent from Bloodstock since 2009 and now, eight years later, they return for a sub-headlining slot on the main stage that will be masterful from start to finish. Also on offer on Friday’s Ronnie James Dio Stage is a welcome abundance of newer bands who are making some serious waves in heavy music. From WHITECHAPEL‘s dominance of deathcore, CHELSEA GRIN‘s uncompromising approach to creating chaos in the live setting and FOREVER STILL offering a fresh take on symphonic metal, there is variety in its abundance on offer on the main stage at this year’s Bloodstock.

For all of the quality gracing the main stage at this year’s Bloodstock, the festival’s smaller stages also boast a billing of utter quality. Friday’s Sophie Lancaster Stage headliners INQUISITION are one of the strongest bands in black metal and will bring a venomous performance jam-packed full of blast beats and demonic snarls at this year’s festival whilst LIONIZE will offer the complete opposite with a adrenaline inducing performance of sleezy hard rock. Indeed the strength of a festival is not just the headliners but the under-card as well and 2017’s Bloodstock has that in buckets. From BLACK MOTH‘s enormous riffs, SEASON’S END will immerse the audience with their take on progressive symphonic metal and MORASS OF MALLESESS fit perfectly in with the festival’s die-hard metal legions. That’s just gracing the surface of quality on offer at this year’s Bloodstock and with the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage offering fans a glimpse into the next generation of bands to catch our excitement (we really recommend MANTRA and ENSLAVEMENT), the Friday of this year’s Bloodstock Festival is well and truly stacked up to give you a brutal bangover!

Words: James Weaver

Saturday

GHOST initially wasn’t a band that had money on them to headline Bloodstock but since their announcement the anticipation has been growing. Known for their theatrical stage presence and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT style sound they have amassed a following of fans who are ready to see Papa and his Ghouls smash out what we can hope will be a performance to remember.

Don’t just be sold on headliners though, Saturday at Bloodstock offers some incredible bands to go and watch. After their incredible latest album, Gods of Violence, KREATOR will be absolutely ripping the stage up at Bloodstock and opening the stage ready for GHOST. HATEBREED will be delivering a throat-punching set, MUNICIPAL WASTE will be bringing some the best party thrash and more than likely topping their record for most crowd surfers after their banger of a record Slime and Punishment. ANNHILATOR will be bringing face-melting riffs and adding to the sheer brutality of the day will be KING 810. HAVOK will be the band opening the gateway into the monumental amounts of thrash that will be delivered on the main stage of Bloodstock just after WINTERFYLLETH bring the black metal to the stage. Opening the stage on Saturday will be FALLUJAH who will be setting the tone for all remarkable things to come that day with some of the best progressive death metal that we have seen in recent years.

Same as the day before the quality of the talent that will be delivered on the festival’s smaller stages will be outstanding. Friday’s Sophie Lancaster Stage will be headlined by MACABRE who are labelled as murder metal because of their signature style and gruesome tales. If you’re just checking out something to kick start a good party in you then RED RUM is the way to go offering everything a matey could need. ABHORRENT DECIMATION on the other hand are a band to keep your eye out for, their debut album opened a whole new level of death metal and their sharp performances are building them a loyal following of fans. Birmingham thrashers ERADIKATOR are amongst the masses of talent on the Sophie Lancaster Stage and with riffs to melt your face off they should not be missed. It’s not just on the Sophie Lancaster Stage that offers an impeccable amount of talent though, on the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage there is an array of bands that are ready to show us what they’ve got and headliners DAKESIS are the ones to watch out for as they are quickly and surely climbing up the ladder. Check out who will be our ones to keep an eye out on!

Words: Jessica Howkins

Sunday

Sunday is always a sombre day at Bloodstock because it’s the last day and means that the best weekend of the year is ending. Thankfully, this year’s line up sees a strong Sunday billed for maximum impact. Kicking off the Ronnie James Dio Stage, BROKEN TEETH will be delivering a devastating hardcore punch and then VENOM PRISON will swiftly proceed to continue the dominance. Representing the new extreme metal scene, expect Larissa’s vocals to promptly and unceremoniously obliterate your hangover with terrifying effect. If that doesn’t tickle you the right way then there is always BLIND HAZE on the Sophie Lancaster Stage to ease your morning with a surplus of riffs.

The Sunday line up really balances the breadth of genres on display over the weekend well, with the NWOBHM inspired HELL playing alongside newcomers to the festival and controversial booking SKINDRED, who will likely deliver a party like only they can, complete with the Newport helicopter. As well as all this, PUPPY will take to the Sophie stage and play their brand of grungy noise before WOLFHEART crank out some epic death metal. The diversity of sounds on offer throughout the day is testament to not only the booming music scene but also Bloodstock’s effort to shine a light on all areas of the alternative and heavy music scene.

On the New Blood Stage, HEATHEN DEITY will do their darndest to bring winter in the middle of August with a hefty black metal assault before SENTIENCE represent the incredible tech-metal scene Britain has been curating over the recent years. The New Blood Stage is incredibly strong over the whole weekend and Sunday really isn’t any exception; MIST with their musical worship of BLACK SABBATH, TORQUED with their monstrous grooves and the melodic tinged death metal attack from SHROUDED, these represent just a few of the bands who deserve everyone’s attention.

Of course the main stage boasts the big guns of ARCH ENEMY and MEGADETH topping the bill, the former being one of the best melodic death metal bands ever and the latter being fucking MEGADETH, who really don’t need any introduction after their powerful performance last time they headlined the fest. but if these don’t get you going for whatever reason, the Sophie Lancaster Stage has the progressive musings of BOSSK to look forward to before WINTERSUN arrive, this around time packing some of the most anticipated new material of any other band on the lineup, to blow the roof off of the tent for the glorious final moments of a weekend that will undoubtedly be one of the best in Bloodstock‘s existence.

Words: Eddie Sims

Bloodstock Festival 2017 - July 19

And there you have it! Who are you most excited for at this year’s Bloodstock Festival? Let us know in the comments below!

Bloodstock Open Air Festival takes place at Catton Park, Derbyshire from August 10-13th 2017. A variety of ticket options and bundles are on sale now and can be purchased here.

For more information on the festival like their official page on Facebook.

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Jessica Howkins

Co Editor-in-Chief for Distorted Sound Magazine, Music Journalism student.

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