Edited by Mosh, words by [J]ames and [S]ean, photos by Will Tudor. Apologies for the delay on this, Sean’s had to work to fund his metal addiction and James has been travelling here, there and everywhere. Don’t you hate how real life sometimes gets in the way of metal? Grr.
[S] So it was that time of year again. When the first weekend of August comes around, metalheads of the UK (and those travelling from abroad) gather in Catton Park, Derbyshire, in England for the heaviest weekend of the year. Though the main event doesn’t begin until the Friday, there’s plenty of heavy metal entertainment tearing up the Sophie Lancaster stage in the evening to get the new arrivals to the campsite moshing til the morning.
[J] This may seem odd, but I’d never actually been to a festival before. Why, I’m not sure, but I was content to make sure that my first festival would be a good one and not one where heaps of problems occurred. Thankfully, no problems reared their heads but we did have a slightly noisy neighbour who sounded like Lemmy from Motorhead. Without further ado, let the review commence…
Reign of Fury
[S] Opening the festival couldn’t have been a better start with Reign of Fury bringing the thunder with their tight and energetic thrash (note, the UK thrash scene was brilliantly represented at this year’s festival). Their sound was chock full of modern ideas as well as old-skool riffage with plenty of nods to classic Metallica, Megadeth and Exodus, topped off with soaring melodic vocals. There was plenty of heads banging and fists pumping making way for a great start to Bloodstock 2015. (8/10)
[S] Following Reign of Fury was up-and-coming prog metallers Metaprism. They presented something a little different with their tight rhythms and technical riffage topped with a variety of clean and distorted dual male and female vocals. However, their songs didn’t seem particularly memorable to me. I stood in the Sophie tent after their set feeling as if I’d forgotten everything they played.
The sound didn’t help either. It was very mushy and bass heavy clouding a lot of the guitars leaving only the vocals ringing clear above the rumbling noise presented by the band. No discredit or disrespect to Metaprism though, their performance was great and they’re good at what they do. The sound unfortunately killed their set and their music wasn’t really for me. (6/10)
[J] Some good old death metal from Desecration started my weekend off well. Despite having some sound issues, they delivered a good set and had quite a bit of on stage banter between the three of them. I did an interview with them on Saturday which can be viewed here. (7.5/10)
[S] Halfway through Thursday evening’s entertainment was Welsh death metal legends Desecration. Bringing their hyper-aggressive and high-speed gory death metal, as well as great crowd banter and jokes, Desecration were an all-round great appetizer for the more extreme side of the weekend’s metal mania. However, like Metaprism, a really dodgy sound greatly marred my enjoyment of their performance. The slower parts were ball-crushingly heavy but the myriad of fast riffs and blastbeats flew past the ears in a distorted rumbling blur. It’s unfortunate as I’d have otherwise scored Desecration higher. I’d like to see them again though, and I’m sure they’ll blow my brains out with their perverted sonic racket. (7/10)
[J] The popularity of bands like Alestorm has caused a few bands like that to pop up here and there. Whilst they were not quite to my taste, there was no denying that the crowd was enjoying them and the band seemed to be enjoying themselves as well. (7/10)
[S] Based off a review by Moshville’s editor, and a much-enjoyed listen of their cover of an online viral video hit, I was really keen to see Red Rum. Despite being another one of those bands that play a kind of folk/power metal with a pirate theme, Red Rum’s music really stood out among the pack for me. There was plenty of excellent keyboard and mandolin ideas mixed in with the simple guitar ideas to keep the musical brain interested as well as the “drink lots and have fun” brain. Speaking of fun, Red Rum really amped up the fun factor with plenty of crowd involvement (drunken dad dancing mandatory of course) and sing-alongs to the much-anticipated cover tune “They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengard” (naturally a tribute to the late great Christopher Lee R.I.P). Though a fun band, it would be unwise to dismiss Red Rum as something of a joke band – they’ve got the chops and the songwriting skills, as well as the great performing ability. Definitely a band to check out and look forward to in the future. (8/10)
[S] Closing the live music before the usual late night bar and DJ sets in the Sophie tent was Arnocorps. One of two well-known bands who like to pay tribute to one Arnold Schwarzenegger with their rather jokey tunes. Me, however, I just didn’t really get it. There was a lot of mediocre riffing with backing tracks of audio from famous Arnie films such as Predator and The Terminator, in addition to the frontman (give him his due, he seriously did look the part) talking quotes from said films on top of the music. There were plenty of people having a great time with Arnocorps and enjoying the set, but it just didn’t really do it for me. (6/10)
[S] Overall, it was a great night at the opening of Bloodstock 2015 that set us up well for the remainder of what was to be the best weekend of the year. Some people stayed in the Sophie tent to enjoy the usual set from the 4 DJs of the Apocalypse, as well as the late night bar. Others chose to retire to their campsite and continue the party there. Your faithful Moshville team enjoyed a mandatory couple of cans of course but called it a night at a reasonable time before the main festivities (and work) began the following day…
[J] After heading back to camp for a bit, I decided to go and have a bit of a party with some of Sean’s friends and our neighbor. We ended up going to watch the 4 DJ’s of the apocalypse in the Sophie tent (Sean didn’t write about that I see). It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed a good number of drinks. I called it a night at a sensible hour along with Sean and we decided to make our back to camp to get some rest before the main festival (and work) began…
Photos (c) Moshville Times and courtesy of the lovely Will Tudor.