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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Festival ’17 – Saturday

Distorted Sound‘s coverage of Bloodstock Festival continues! With yesterday’s bands setting the bar extremely high, the billing of the Saturday of this year’s festival had a tall order to face. Covering a wide range of genres and styles, here is Distorted Sound‘s coverage of the Saturday of Bloodstock Festival 2017!

FALLUJAH – Ronnie James Dio Stage

Fallujah live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
Fallujah live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

Being the first band on the main stage at Bloodstock is never an easy affair but technical metal wizards FALLUJAH aimed to shake off the hangovers and wake up the Bloodstock crowd and they achieved that in fine fashion. Earth-shattering blasts from Andrew Baird‘s drums threatened to level the stage and the chemistry between guitarists Scott Carstairs and Brian James was nothing short of spectacular. From the blistering aggression of Cerebral Hybridization to the hair-raising melodies of Amber Gaze, FALLUJAH were on excellent form and set off the Saturday of Bloodstock Festival to the best possible standard.

Rating: 9/10

Words: James Weaver

WINTERFYLLETH – Ronnie James Dio Stage

Winterfylleth live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
Winterfylleth live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

WINTERFYLLETH graduating at Bloodstock from the Sophie Lancaster Stage to the main stage is a cause for celebration, as the only true black metal band gracing the outdoors this weekend. Black metal outside can be notoriously difficult to pull off, but WINTERFYLLETH manage it with ease. Their compositions have their intricacies but are still crammed with riffs thick and primal enough to not be lost to the wider space, and a lack of corpse-paint trickling down their faces in the heat goes a long way. Most importantly, the songs are brilliant. They play only five due to their lengths, but WINTERFYLLETH have amassed one of the strongest back catalogues in modern black metal. The sweeping movements and lush textures of The Swart Raven and Whisper of the Elements mesh well with the confident and full clean vocal parts of Defending the Realm and The Wayfarer Pt. 1, and they leave people wishing they’d had time for a few more.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Perran Helyes

ERADIKATOR – Sophie Lancaster Stage

Eradikator live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Down The Barrel Photography
Eradikator live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Down The Barrel Photography

Saturday morning has arrived, the hangovers were undoubtedly in full effect but fortunately ERADIKATOR were on hand to revitalise the crowd and blow the cobwebs off. Inciting many a circle pit throughout their set they had the Sophie Lancaster Stage bouncing, especially when they debuted a new song appropriately dedicated to the memory of Sophie Lancaster herself. Armed with a barrage of riffs and an unrelenting tempo ERADIKATOR showed that the heartbeat of British thrash metal is very much alive and healthy.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Dan McHugh

HAVOK – Ronnie James Dio Stage

Havok live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
Havok live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

HAVOK‘s set felt shorter than anticipated but despite this from start to finish they absolutely ripped up the Ronnie James Dio stage in style. Opening with Prepare For Attack the entire crowd just went wild and it cemented why so many people love thrash metal in general, the energy is next to none. Conformicide has only been released for a short while but already fans knew every word and when watching HAVOK‘s performance it was easy to see why they have such a dedicated following to have that. They put everything they had into their show, there wasn’t any faffing around or taking the time away from the music, they just give it their all with one of the most energetic performances of the entire weekend. They 100% got the entire crowd up and pumping for the day with only some of the best music in today’s thrash.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Jessica Howkins

KROH – Sophie Lancaster Stage

Kroh live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
Kroh live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

The second of the weekends female fronted doom bands on the Sophie Lancaster Stage KROH faced an uphill climb after the impressive BLACK MOTH show the previous night. The band however didn’t seem fazed and brought their all to an impressive performance. Featuring cuts from the band’s debut album Altars as well as tracks off the upcoming EP Pyres their set felt like it was over in almost no time at all. Crushingly heavy tracks such as Living Water and Stone Into Flesh set heads moving across the tent and the passionate and surprisingly energetic performance on stage made for a perfect atmosphere. KROH‘s brand of catchy yet heavy mid-tempo doom went down well amongst the crowd and the band can look back on the performance with pride as there is no doubt it will have made them several new fans.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Tim Redman

RAISED BY OWLS – Hobgoblin New Blood Stage

Raised By Owls live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Down The Barrel Photography
Raised By Owls live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Down The Barrel Photography

Next to hit the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage at this year’s Bloodstock Festival is RAISED BY OWLS – a Derbyshire-based grindcore (or ‘party grind’) band whose focus is unlike any other. Engaging with the crowd throughout, vocalist Sam Fowler cracked jokes between songs, and included a dance session to Chuckle Vision, the likes of which few from the crowd were expecting. Gimmicks and fun aside, RAISED BY OWLS’ set was very strong, with all members performing exceptionally. Alex LeGrice and Mark Bainbridge delivered frantic riffs whilst Tobias Cope gave us excellent bass work, with Lee Deane holding the backbone of the band on drums. Filling the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage to the brim, with more people coming to witness them is testament to how strong of a band they are. Few bands manage to pull off being both comical and seriously professional while keeping the crowd entertained and performing to a high standard, but RAISED BY OWLS have shown they can do just that. They may be new to Bloodstock, but the band clearly have a bright future ahead of them.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Jordan McEvoy

KING 810 – Ronnie James Dio Stage

King 810 live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Down The Barrel Photography
King 810 live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Down The Barrel Photography

With guitarist Andrew Beal arrested on gun charges before they left the ‘States, it’s a depleted KING 810 that make their way across the pond to Catton Hall, but they aren’t about to let it affect them. Plenty of teeth and aggression are on show and the audience in front of them responds in earnest to the likes of Fat Around the Heart and Give My People Back. Sure, they’re not firing on all cylinders, but it’s certainly a gnarly, unsettling display, and the screens depicting violence, pornography and news headlines from their home of Flint in Michigan merely add to the overall spectacle. By the time they finish with Killem All, it’s clear that a band who were greeted with derision when they were announced for Bloodstock have proved their critics wrong.

Rating: 7/10

Words: Elliot Leaver

THE ONE HUNDRED – Sophie Lancaster Stage

Over the years Bloodstock has been considered as one of the key festivals to visit for your share of extreme metal which has created an air of narrow minded negativity surrounding its occupants and a band which does not fit this preconceived mould is THE ONE HUNDRED, a bunch of young musicians harbouring incredible talent and boundless energy which proved every single one of their doubters wrong sending shockwaves through the Sophie Lancaster Stage. Unleashing all their heavy hitters in the form of Monster, Boomtown and Disengage amongst others to a rousing reception as their lethal amalgamation of grime, electronica and metal went down a treat. Frontman and puppetmaster Jacob Field had the crowd in the palm of his hand with his flamboyant on stage antics and rapid fire lyrical delivery and THE ONE HUNDRED purposefully put their unique and mesmerising stamp on the festival.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Dan McHugh

ABHORRENT DECIMATION – Sophie Lancaster Stage

Abhorrent Decimation live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography.
Abhorrent Decimation live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography.

Boasting a new album in The Pardoner, ABHORRENT DECIMATION arrive to Bloodstock with an abundance of energy, clearly ready to tear the Sophie Lancaster Stage to the ground. The band’s death metal roots are on full display with blast beats raining almost non-stop throughout their set, intermittent with musical segments that require no vocals, and whilst they are impressive, they do affect the momentum of the show. When the band hit their stride the set becomes violently triumphant, giving glimpses of just how far ABHORRENT DECIMATION could take their brand of abusive death metal, if only the band can strike a more even balance between their technical wizardry and thunderous riffs

Rating: 7/10

Words: Eddie Sims

ANNIHILATOR – Ronnie James Dio Stage

Annihilator live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
Annihilator live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

Since the shocking departure of Anthony Padden back in 2015 the future of ANNIHILATOR was left on shaky ground and with the copious amounts of thrash on display on this years lineup Jeff Waters and company really had to bring their A game with the risk of becoming an afterthought. To the delight of the crowd they delivered in spades. Plowing through classics like King Of The Kill, Set The World On Fire and the unmistakable Alison Hell with clinical proficiency as well as giving all in attendance an enticing preview of their upcoming album with the rapid fire riffing of Twisted Lobotomy, ANNIHILATOR made a clear statement that there is still a lot of fuel left in the tank and this could quite easily be one of the most exciting arrangement of members the band has showcased in quite some time.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Dan McHugh

MUNICIPAL WASTE – Ronnie James Dio Stage

Municipal Waste live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
Municipal Waste live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

MUNICIPAL WASTE are the thrash band to see wherever you are and their absolute destroyer of a performance at Bloodstock only proved that fact even more than they probably ever could. From some of the tastiest riffs out there and the wildest crowd of the weekend the Slime & Punishment band absolutely smashed it, even once again taking over the Guinness Book of Records World Record for most crowd surfers at a staggering 711! In a MUNICIPAL WASTE song that is not a lot of time but that just shows how mental these guys play to achieve such a goal. They’re the party thrashers that just get everyone pumping and let go of their pent up problems and Bloodstock was one of their strongest performances to date giving thousands of goers the opportunity to just have fun and thrash. Without a singular doubt they were and will remain a highlight in Bloodstock history.

Rating: 10/10

Words: Jessica Howkins

HATEBREED – Ronnie James Dio Stage

Hatebreed live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Katja Ogrin
Hatebreed live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Katja Ogrin

Judging from the reaction from the first time HATEBREED were announced, guessing they’d be back for their third performance would’ve been a laughable statement. Yet, here we are, HATEBREED delivering yet again another untouchably confident performance complete with songs across their entire back catalogue, including some cuts off their incredible debut as well as two opening songs from their equally excellent The Concrete Confessional. Frontman Jamey Jasta oozes positivity and optimism and it rubs off on the crowd who keep the energy at maximum levels for the entire set. HATEBREED are, simply put, one of the most consistently great live bands on the planet and today was no exception.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Eddie Sims

OHHMS – Sophie Lancaster Stage

OHHMS live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
OHHMS live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

Listening to OHHMS on record is a very different experience to witnessing them live. Their moody, doom influenced post-rock is delivered in songs that all sit above 7 minutes long, and yet despite the length of the songs the band are able to inject ample energy into their set, refusing to not immediately find traction with the crowd. Vocalist Paul Waller show his Iggy Pop worship through his dancing on stage but it creates such a visual draw that it does nothing but elevate the music whilst watching him contort and lose control to his own music. The newer songs offer ample dynamic changes for the prog fans, and when OHHMS decide to go heavy they simply become apocalyptic. The Fool was a fantastic album but it will be on the stage were OHHMS truly make a name for themselves.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Eddie Sims

KREATOR – Ronnie James Dio Stage

Kreator live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
Kreator live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

Serving as special guests to GHOST, thrash metal titans KREATOR graced the Ronnie James Dio Stage and gave a truly gripping performance. With a menacing stage set up, KREATOR opened their performance with a bang (quite literally through a flurry of confetti to opener Hordes of Chaos) and set the pace at top gear straight from the off. From there, the German thrashers ploughed their way through a incredibly strong set featuring some of the best tracks from their established back catalogue. New songs from this year’s Gods of Violence held their own against the classics, with Satan Is Real being a true highlight, and the band’s aggressive sound was heightened through an abundance of pyro. Plenty of guitar licks, emphatic percussion and fantastic vocal deliveries from Mille Petrozza fused together to make KREATOR‘s performance one of the strongest at this year’s festival and set the bar incredibly high for those who followed.

Rating: 9/10

Words: James Weaver

GHOST – Ronnie James Dio Stage

Ghost live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Katja Ogrin
Ghost live @ Bloodstock Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Katja Ogrin

It’s a general rule of thumb to never leave your audience waiting for to long, and despite things probably being out of their control, GHOST take the stage 25 minutes late to a visibly annoyed crowd. Even with the audible annoyance from the crowd, the opening keys of Square Hammer simply remove all doubt that GHOST don’t belong in a headline slot. Continuing with the trio of opening songs from their three albums, with the epic grooves of From The Pinnancle To The Pit, then Con Clavi Con Dio rides it’s evil bass line before the seamless transition to Per Aspera Ad Inferi displays just how tight the band actually are. The amazing thing about GHOST is their ability to connect with a crowd who cant even see their faces. The body language and expression from all the Nameless Ghouls is second to none and the set benefits from it no end. Papa Emeritus is of course the main attraction here though, with his dry banter in between songs and generally awesome performance throughout the night cementing his claim for best frontman in recent memory. By the bittersweet closing tones of Monstrance Clock, GHOST have more than proven themselves to be competent and confident enough to not only cope, but dominate the larger stages.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Eddie Sims

MACABRE – Sophie Lancaster Stage

One of the most out of nowhere bookings at this year’s Bloodstock this side of KING 810 is MACABRE headlining the second stage. They pull a respectable crowd considering the first portion of their set clashes with the end of GHOST, and in their own twisted way manage to be highly entertaining. Their grindcore-come-nursery rhymes themed exclusively around serial killers is an acquired taste to say the least, and there’s certainly an air of moral dubiousness as those in the front row cheer the detailed and excruciatingly drawn out descriptions of the grim events inspiring each song that are delivered beforehand, giving the feeling of a late night murder documentary interspersed with brief blasts of vicious noise. Some woefully low budget stage actors depicting the likes of Albert Fish and Ed Gein are in especially bad taste, but really that’s part of MACABRE‘s and indeed this sub-corner of extreme metal’s appeal. Crucially, the band are incredibly tight, with their savagely precise riffing topped with legitimately demented vocals, while slower songs like Scrub a Dub Dub are the sonic equivalent of developing a stomach ulcer. It’s not a show for the faint of heart, but there’s a sick glee in it all the same.

Rating: 7/10

Words: Perran Helyes

And there we have it! If you haven’t already, read our coverage of the Thursday and Friday here and be sure to keep posted to Distorted Sound as we bring you our final day of coverage of Bloodstock Festival 2017 very soon! 

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