We are little over a week away from the annual pilgrimage to Bloodstock Open Air in southern Derbyshire. Over the next few days, we will be posting Bloodstock themed articles to both aid you in your preparation for the festival, as well as to get you in that heavy metal party mood.
To kick things off, we have our Bloodstock Primer. We have listened to all 100+ bands on the bill, and put together this handy cheat sheet highlighting a band per stage per day that absolutely should not be missed. Check ’em out below.
Folk Metal | Thursday | Sophie Lancaster Stage
Since 2010 Bloodstock has provided revellers with a handful of bands on the Thursday evening to kickstart the festival mood. Hospital of Death, Vikings Skull and Tragedy are amongst the bands that have had memorable performances in previous years. For 2014, the band to look out for is ‘Heraldic Templar Metal’ act Jaldaboath. Lead by Grand Master Jaldaboath himself, this six-piece would probably be more aptly described as Monty Python Metal – it’s a bit silly, some of the lyrics can be crude, and – most importantly – it is generally quite a bit of fun. Oh, and they are ‘knights’.
Celtic Metal | Friday | Ronnie James Dio Stage
Friday sees Primordial bring their unique, celtic-flavoured take on extreme metal to the Ronnie James Dio stage. Lead by the powerful, oft-haunting vocals of Alan Averill, the Irishmen will be hoping for better luck than last time out, when their frontman lost his voice in the first song or so.
Melodic Death Metal | Friday | Sophie Lancaster Stage
Fans of Children of Bodom should really dig these guys. Like CoB, Deals Death are purveyors of riffy melodic death metal, who also occasionally dip into Dimmu Borgir territory with backing from symphonic keyboards. If you like shreddy guitar solos with your moshing metal, then these are the guys to watch.
Progressive Metal | Friday | New Blood Stage
Headlining the third stage on Friday evening is this talented London-based quartet. Musically, there’s definitely some grungy influences (maybe the filthier sounding end of the Soundgarden spectrum) blended with some Tool-like progressions, by way of early-Coheed & Cambria. Intrigued? You should be.
Ten Foot Wizard
Stoner Rock | Friday | Jägermeister Stage
Imagine Orange Goblin, Monster Magnet and Clutch melted down and combined with ZZ Top and Cream. Ten Foot Wizard are that resultant alloy – one that straddles the boundaries of heavy blues and riff-laden stoner rock. Their excellent debut album Return to the Infinite is one of three we’ve been constantly spinning in preparation for the festival (along with Amon Amarth’s Deceiver of the Gods and Orphaned Land’s All Is One). If they are good live as they are on record, then you can give them the Band of the Weekend title right now.
Oriental Metal | Saturday | Ronnie James Dio Stage
All Is One was one of the best albums of 2013, and is set to play a prominant part of the Israeli prog veterans’ set. Truly one of the more interesting and thought-provoking bands on the bill.
Conquest of Steel
Heavy Metal | Saturday | Sophie Lancaster Stage
As with Power Quest last year, Bloodstock will be the final venue for one band on the bill. Yorkshire traditional metallers Conquest of Steel are calling it a day after 15 years, and are looking to go out with a bang. Check ’em out if your a fan of Manowar or acts of a similarly epic ilk.
Heavy Metal | Saturday | New Blood Stage
Fans of classic 80s heavy metal should get a kick out of Phantom. Citing Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Dio, Canadians D.D., J.J., and Necro form this retro sounding trio that are set to lay waste to the New Blood Stage.
Rock | Saturday | Jägermeister Stage
The Jägermeister Stage really is the place to be for up-and-coming British acts this year. Lancastrian quintet Massive Wagons are the pick of the bunch on Saturday. If Phantom are for fans of 80s metal (see above), then Massive Wagons are their rock’n’roll equivalent. Straight up, no frills heavy rock. We wholeheartedly approve.
Melodic Death Metal | Sunday | Ronnie James Dio Stage
Sub-headlining the main stage on Sunday are Sweden’s own vikings crusaders, Amon Amarth. Having steadily built their reputation up over nearly two decades now (and with nine albums of material to select their set from), you can sure bet that this will be a show to remember. Look out for the longboat!
Post-Punk | Sunday | Sophie Lancaster Stage
If you’re up early enough on Sunday morning, make sure you head down to the Sophie Lancaster stage for one of the best politically charged post-punk bands around today. Killing Joke fans should particularly take note. .
Thrash | Sunday | New Blood Stage
If you like your thrash in the vein of early-Metallica, then Eradikator are going to be your the band for you. Sprinkle in some Motorhead-like solos here and there and you’ve pretty much got what these Brummies are all about. The perfect band to clear away the inevitable alcohol induced cobwebs from the night before.
Melodic Metal | Sunday | Jägermeister Stage
For one reason or another, there is very little symphonic metal on the bill this year. If you’re looking for a fix, check out this promising young band fronted by the operatically-trained Elina Siirala. They’ve just released their debut album Tears of Lust to positive acclaim, and may just be the next group to crack that corner of the metal market.
Stay tuned for more Bloodstock related content over the next few days.