This is James’s view of the Friday. Photos are by Will Tudor Photography and Bukavac Photography. For our overviews of the weekend, you’ll want to check any of the following: Mosh / Ross / Sean / James / Zach (aged 11).
As is obvious, we had a group of people down at Bloodstock this year (Brian will chuck his oar in for Saturday and Sunday) and as a result, we’ve got some crossover reviews with the major bands. This is a good thing as there are acts that some liked and some didn’t, some of us watched from the sidelines and some from the pit. Hopefully this means a more balanced review that just one person raving about everything!
We did our best to catch all the bands, but even with us spread out around the place there were acts we missed. Thursday, in particular, was a write-off due to traffic problems meaning that none of us made it into the arena until almost 9pm when we’d hoped to be at Bloodstock for mid-afternoon. Anyway… Friday…
Unlike Ross, I have been to Bloodstock before. I was there last year, however spent most of my time in the media tent and not watching many bands. This year however, I was photographing bands across the Sophie and New Blood stages. That meant that I got to sample some of the finest metal/rock that’s both up and coming and also relatively well known.
I’ll be filling in the gaps where Ross and Sean didn’t see a band and I did. I’ll also provide my thoughts on a few bands that really grabbed my attention across the weekend.
The first band I saw of the weekend was actually one of the best I saw. Having an infectious grooving style to their music, Witch Tripper (8) had one of the largest crowds in the tent that weekend. I could tell that the band were loving every minute of their performance and judging by the crowd’s reaction, they were too!
I’ve been hearing good things about Boss Keloid (7) for a while now. Given that no-one else was really playing at the same time as them, I figured I might as well go and check them out. Whilst their style isn’t really for me, there was no denying that the band were owning the stage with their unique brand of metal.
It’d been nearly 18 months since I’d last seen Brutai (9). I was suitably impressed by them when they played in Glasgow with Centiment and have been following the band ever since. When I heard that they would be playing the festival, I figured I would go and have a listen to see whether they’ve changed much.
I unfortunately missed the first half of their set due to photographing Seed of Sorrow (6), however what I caught of their set was very impressive. The band seemed to be very comfortable on the stage with frontman Felix engaging with the sadly small crowd very well. I look forward to their debut album, which according to Felix will: ”Be released very soon!”
Upon checking my timings schedule, I noticed that Husk (7) were playing on the new blood and figured I’d pop over and catch a bit of their set. Whilst their style of music wasn’t really for me, there was no denying that the crowd present in the tent was thoroughly enjoying them.
After having a wee chat with some folk, I meandered over to the Sophie stage to catch a bit of The Charm The Fury (8). Like Ross, I was equally impressed by the harsh vocals on show from the frontwoman. Yes. Frontwoman. She had a style almost reminiscent of Alissa from Arch Enemy yet with much heavier music. So in my book, that’s always a good thing.
I’ll be honest and say that I’d never heard of Foetal Juice (8) prior to witnessing them at BOA. Without knowing to expect, I was taken by surprise when the band started some of the most aggressive music I heard all weekend. The crowd seemed to be suitably enjoying them, with banging heads and moshpits galore.
Whilst I only manage to catch a little bit of XII Boar (7), what I did see was rather good. Having more of a hard rock feel rather than a metal one, the band gave it their all and the crowd responded in a suitably enthusiastic manner. Yet, I felt as though there was something missing in the performance. Whether that was due to their being only one guitar present and the sound seeming a bit thin, I can’t really say.
After hearing the last few songs of XII boar, I meandered over to the New Blood tent to catch the last bit of The Crawling (8). Having a kind of doom sound mixed with death metal vocals, I was suitably impressed by them. The crowd present for them seemed to be too with a lot of folk banging their heads or fist pumping the air.
Given I had some time before Behemoth, I figured I’d pop over to the New Blood stage to catch a bit of Agrona (8). Whoever decided to bill them right before Behemoth was quite clever as there were a lot of similarities between both bands. Whilst the crowd might not have been as big as Behemoth’s, the energy was still there and the band fed off it giving one of the best performances of the day.
Behemoth (9) were one the bands I was really looking forward to seeing on the Friday, particularly as they were playing The Satanist in full. Coming on with ‘fire-sticks’, the band immediately decimated the place with just the first note of “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”. Upon speaking to folk across the weekend, they all agreed that Behemoth were on of the best bands that played that day, not as good as Twisted Sister, but still really damn good.
Beyond the Black (6) were a band that I was sadly disappointed with. Their style was reminiscent of Within Temptation, yet sadly didn’t really catch me. Whilst the singer of the band was giving it her all, the same can’t really be said for the rest of the band. The sound for the band probably didn’t help matter either…
Everyone’s written something about Twisted Sister (10) so I initially though I would leave them out of my review. Then I remembered that they were the best band of the weekend so I had to mention them. Sean and Ross have gone into detail on how they were amazing so I’ll let them describe how awesome they were but I want to draw particular notice to their stage show. The lights, the pyros, the sound, everything was just perfect. It’s very rare that you get all them perfect as 9 times out of 10, one of those things is slightly off but on that night, everything was just right. Smashing.