Bloodstock recently confirmed that legendary British heavy metallers Judas Priest will be joining Gojira and Nightwish as headliners of the 2018 festival.
With the top of the bill now set, attention turns to what lies beneath.
This time last year, we published a couple of articles that looked at which artists could play Bloodstock 2017. This mash-up of guesswork and wishlisting proved quite popular, so we have decided to bring it back. As with last year, part one will focus on the Ronnie Jame Dio Stage. The follow-up article will cover on the other three stages.
We have broken this article down into distinct sections. With the headliners confirmed, we have broken our article up in the following groups:
- Bands that could open each day.
- Bands that could feature in the middle of each day.
- Bands that could occupy the 60-minute slots (sub-headliners/special guests and the slot directly beneath).
Note: Within each section, suggested bands are listed in alphabetical order.
Bloodstock has had an interesting mix of opening acts over the years, with bands from a wide variety of genres warming up the BOA faithful each morning.
Generally speaking, you can usually expect a couple of British-based bands and one fly-in (2015 and 2017 were exceptions where that ratio was flipped). With that in mind, here are some guesses and suggestions for who could open things in 2018.
One of the more interesting bands on the local circuit in recent years has been this fantastic four-piece from Wigan. Boss Keloid combine various elements of metal – technical, progressive, stoner and sludge, to create a sound that feels both unique yet familiar. We think they would make a great choice to blow everyone’s cobwebs away first thing in the morning.
Ever wondered what it would sound like if you took aspects of Slayer and Antrax, added a pinch of Motorhead, a handful of Hell? Wonder no more! Belgian speed/thrashers Evil Invaders are getting great reviews for their latest release Feed Me Violence, and we know BOA loves it’s thrash metal. Get ‘em booked!
The Heretic Order
Bloodstockers love some on stage theatrics, and The Heretic Order certainly bring that. We think the occult themed heavy metallers would be an ideal act to deliver a Sunday morning heavy metal sermon.
Since bursting onto the scene a little over a couple of years ago, London’s Inglorious have been getting rave reviews for their throwback hard rock sound. We think their riffy, swaggery Deep Purple-meets-Bad Company sound would be a fantastic way to start a warm summer’s day.
If bands like Ghost Bath and Agalloch have proven in recent years, it’s that post-metal bands with soaring melodic sounds more than have a place at BOA. Whilst Telepathy aren’t quite the same as those two, the Colchester based quartet certainly are one of the country’s hottest purveyors of instrumental post-metal at the moment, and we think they would make the slot their own.
Whilst the band have had something of a tumultuous history, things seem to have settled down ahead of the imminent release of their fourth album. Having announced their intention to tour in 2018, we can’t think of many better bands to open the day that Judas Priest headline.
Middle of the Day
So, you have been warmed up but there’s plenty of time to kill before the marquee attractions take to the stage. In recent years Bloodstock has booked all sorts of bands in these slots, from old school acts to some of the hottest touring bands at the time. Here are six bands that we think could play in the middle of the day slots.
It’s amazing to think that one of the biggest names in doom metal have only played the festival once previously, and that was way back in 2009. 2018 will mark the 30th anniversary of the Swedes’ third album Ancient Dreams and we can’t think of a better way for them to celebrate than by playing the UK’s premier metal festival.
Technically, Jørn has performed at the festival before, though it was way back in the early 2000s with Masterplan. It’s surprising to think that Bloodstock have yet to book his solo show, and we think it is high time that this oversight is addressed.
Stoner metal is the in-thing these days, and Red Fang are one of the more exciting live peddlers of such wares. Contemporaries such as Orange Goblin have gone down well in the past, and we can see Portland quartet proving just as popular.
Having previously played in 2004 and 2010, it’s probably time to bring back the melodic metallers from Finland. 2016’s The Ninth Hour was a cracking album that spawned a much talked about UK tour with fellow countrymen Thunderstone. Bring ‘em back!
Red Fang aren’t the only band from Portland on this list. American thrash trio Toxic Holocaust blew away the FG team when we saw them at Hellfest a few years back. Given BOA’s penchant for thrash metal, it seems only a matter of time before they are given a call.
Believe it or not, the battle metal veterans last played way back in 2009! Always a great live band and, with a new album on the horizon, surely it’s time to get the red-and-black face painted Finns back.
The One Hour Slots
Just before you get to the headliners, there’s a couple of slots each day where bands traditionally are given a full hour to entertain the masses. Last year, Testament, Blind Guardian, Hatebreed, Kreator, Skindred and Arch Enemy occupied these positions. Here are six bands we think could be there or thereabouts in 2018.
One of the bands that were strongly rumoured in the campsite in this year, the symphonic black metallers were subsequently announced for Wacken. Putting two and two together and, hopefully, not making five, we think these guys could be a good shout to return.
The black metal legends were a bit of a coup for the festival back in 2014, when they celebrated the 20th anniversary of In the Nightshade Eclipse by headlining BOA. Recently the band has been celebrating the follow-up album Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, and have played a number of european festivals. Given that the album isn’t so highly revered, and it would be a relatively recent repeat, we could easily see Emperor moved back to a special guest spot, particularly if it were directly before Judas Priest on the Friday.
The legendary speed metallers are about to embark on their Pumpkins United tour, taking iconic ex-members Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen with them. The tour currently runs from October until April next year as it stands, but if Bloodstock could get in on the action you know they will.
The talented, polarising Swedish extreme progsters have only played once before, when they sub-headlined in 2010. Often cited as influences and up-and-coming prog, tech and djent acts, we could see them going down excellently in a spot possibly third from top on the Saturday.
Here’s our curveball choice. Last year, Skindred showed that, whilst BOA predominantly caters to a handful of metal subgenres, it shouldn’t be considered the be-all-and-end-all. We also know that the BOA organisers like a bit of alternative metal, particularly from the late 90s and early 00s. It would certainly be a marmite choice, but we could see them sub-headlining the Sunday with ease.
The legendary yorkshire metallers went down a storm in 2014 when playing third from top (beneath Amon Amarth and Megadeth). To be honest, they could probably headline the festival, however a sub-headlining slot is entirely feasible.
That brings part one to a close. What do you think to our suggestions? Who do you think could play Bloodstock’s main stage in 2018? Please comment below.
Keep an eye out for part two, where we list a heap of bands we think could or should play on the others stages.