WORDS: James Weaver
Bloodstock Open Air has become a driving force in recent years. Now in their tenth year as an outdoor music festival, the Gregory family have brought together a stellar lineup covering all aspects of heavy metal for 2015’s edition of the festival. With the festival due to kick off next week, we at Distorted Sound dissect the lineup and decide what are the top ten bands you must see at Bloodstock Open Air 2015!
Whilst they may sound more progressive these days, OPETH are still incredibly respected in the extreme metal community. Serving as the sub-headliners for WITHIN TEMPTATION, OPETH have more than enough time on the main stage to deliver a set full of musical experimentation and to cover their extensive back catalogue, it will make for one relaxed spectacle to enjoy on the second day of music at the festival.
9: NUCLEAR ASSAULT
Performances from the New York thrashers are rare these days so catching NUCLEAR ASSAULT on the Friday of Bloodstock is an absolute must watch. The thrash titans have been consistently solid since their inception in 1984, and with the recent Pounder EP demonstrating that the band still have what it takes to create the riffs that incite chaos, their performance at Bloodstock will be chaotic from start to finish.
8: CANNIBAL CORPSE
CANNIBAL CORPSE have been at the summit of modern death metal for decades now. Last year’s A Skeletal Domain proved that the band still have what it takes to create music that pushes the boundaries of extreme music and their live performances have become infamous for the brutality that is demonstrated both on stage and off. Serving as the festival’s closing sub-headliners, CANNIBAL CORPSE return to Bloodstock after a five year absence to further prove that they are the kings of death metal.
7: NE OBLIVISCARIS
The Sophie Lancaster Stage has grown immensely over the past few years, welcoming bigger and better bands. NE OBLIVISCARIS are testament to that statement. The Australian six piece are known for their heavy reliance of varying instruments and experimentation and their performance on the Friday of the festival will be one of the more interesting watches of the weekend. Blending both brutality and melody is achieved with absolute precision and if technical ability and experimentation tickles your fancy, then NE OBLIVISCARIS are a band that really should not be missed!
Perhaps one of the most impressive booking for 2015’s edition of the festival, AGALLOCH’s immersive black metal sound is set to be one of the most immersive and mesmerising performances of the entire weekend. Whilst there are questions as to whether this can be achieved on the main stage in daylight rather than in the darkness of one of smaller stages, there is no doubting AGALLOCH’s musical quality.
5: DEATH DTA
The recent DEATH DTA tours over American and Europe have given fans the closest experience to watching the legendary death metal band perform live. The tragic demise of frontman and musical wizard Chuck Schuldiner in 2001 stunned the metal world and DEATH DTA serves as a tribute to the father of death metal. The band’s performance on the Saturday of Bloodstock will be a moving affair, with a tribute on a huge scale. Expect classics across DEATH’s entire back catalogue and one more chance to watch the closest thing to the legendary death metal band of old.
As Bloodstock has expanded over the past several years, the festival have opened the doors to metal’s biggest exports. LAMB OF GOD, MACHINE HEAD and ALICE COOPER have all graced the festival’s hallowed ground over the past several editions of the festival and this trend continues in 2015 with TRIVIUM headlining the festival on the Friday night. From the classic Ascendancy to newest single Silence in the Snow, the band are still incredibly prominent in the modern metal scene. Whilst they won’t necessarily appeal to metal’s underground, the band will certainly draw a large crowd to bare witness to massive riffs, incredible solos and anthems from start to finish.
3: FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE
Long overude to grace Catton Hall, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE finally make their debut to Bloodstock. The Italian five piece are known for their enormous riffs, guttural vocals and reliance on orchestral backing to create an epic sound. With album number four on the way next year, the band have more than enough material to create a varied and wonderful headlining set on the Sophie Lancaster Stage on the Saturday night, giving a more brutal experience than the ballads of WITHIN TEMPTATION.
Austrian blackened death metallers made a lasting impression back in 2013 on the Sophie Lancaster Stage and now the band are making a return in 2015 with a high spot on the Ronnie James Dio Stage on the Friday of the festival. With their blackened death metal sound that has been fine tuned over a 24 year career, BELPHEGOR will bring their brutality to the Bloodstock masses and create chaos throughout their entire set. A must see indeed.
Folk metal always has a tendency to be the most enjoyable sub-genre to watch at a festival and whilst KORPIKLAANI rely on cheese and humour to their performance, Finland’s ENSIFERUM will provide one of the most enjoyable performances across the entire weekend. The band’s most recent record, One Man Army which was released earlier this year, was incredibly well received and joins a back catalogue jam-packed full of tracks to get the crowd moving. From the rapid Twilight Tavern to the epic Victory Songs, ENSIFERUM will inject energy and life into the crowd, making them the absolute must see band at Bloodstock Open Air 2015!
Don’t agree with our list? Have your say in the comments below!
Tickets are still available for Bloodstock Open Air 2015. Get yours from the Bloodstock website.