A quick band round-up today as I managed to rattle round all three stages a couple of times. I didn’t get to the festival as early as I’d hoped as I was writing up the last couple of days’ events!
When I arrived, Saille were giving it large on the second stage, but I was focused on getting to the New Forces to see Germany’s Supreme Carnage who didn’t disappoint. Some lovely brutal death metal, “One Human – Four Pieces” being a highlight of their set.
Tremonti proved that they’re as metal as anyone else on the bill with a crushing set, though I left partway through to check out Chinese act DreamSpirit – and I’m very glad I did. They were absolutely superb. Despite all the lyrics being in Chinese, they had the crowd singing the melodies and dancing like loons. While definitely not a comedy or parody act, they played with good humour and it was hugely infectious. Consider them on my “I need to check these bands out when I get home” list.
Back to the main stage for Rage who still have it after all these years, then back to New Forces for the final band of the day there, Armahda – all the way from Brazil. Their songs focus on Brazilian history and have a slightly piratical twang to them. Good fun as well as good music.
Before heading back to the hostel, I soaked up some Gruesome. Old school death metal of the purest strain washed over the hordes at the second stage despite the sun still shining brightly.
I took a break to stretch my legs and get some dinner (the Metal Burger from one of the houses that had turned its yard into a fast food kitchen was absolutely delicious), and made it back in time to watch a little bit of Sorcerer‘s modern-day doom. I bumped into Sean from Ten Ton Slug again and we watched Igorrr from the elevated press platform. They’d dragged in a huge crowd who were responding very enthusiastically to the operatic/avant-garde/techno/stuff being produced by the four-piece.
Sorry, but it did absolutely nothing for me. The best bits were the heavy guitar / drum breaks… but the band had no guitarist. Instead, all of these good sections were rattled off by one man pressing “play” on a laptop. If you’re going to play live, play live. I’ve nothing against a bit of techno/metal colliding (check out Seething Akira for how to do it right), but this was painful. The operatic sections bored me, though I’m not disputing the vocal talents of the singer – it just isn’t my thing.
It comes to something when the best track they played was the final one… and the entire length of it was a sample coming from a laptop. Even the drummer was at the front of the stage dancing away so the whole thing was a recording. SorryNotSorry, but I’m not sold on Igorrr at all.
On a positive note, I finally got to see Soulfly live after missing them on so many other occasions. Their UK dates frequently clash with things I’m already going to, or I’m off elsewhere. In fact their upcoming UK dates are around the same time as Bloodstock so I’d be struggling to fit them in! A great, heavy, brutal set from a master of the art and his crew. Tributes were played during the solos to Sabbath and Slayer, and the set extended all the way from their first album (“Bleed”) to a brand new track which will be on their new release, coming in October (“The Summoning”).
I did leave a little early to catch some of Sinistro, but again they’re not a band for me. Very atmospheric, not something I can get into. Again, though, they had a decent crowd watching them. Each to their own.
The final main stage band was another I’d not yet had the chance to see live – Kataklysm. I’ve seen their alter-ego Ex Deo before and loved them, but Kataklysm are a different beast out of their leather armour. Faster, thrashier, and roaring with energy, they relied on the music and the lights with no other “headline band” special effects.
A massive circle fit filled half the main stage area, and crowdsurfers by the dozen flowed overhead to the front at Maurizio’s behest. As a bonus, he brought his wife Suzie on stage to announce that they are expecting baby in the near future, something they only just found out themselves recently. Huge congratulations to them!
As the final notes died out, I walked around the corner to find a spot for Belphegor at the second stage. Being the only band playing, there was a very large crowd though the set started a few minutes late. Fans of the evil darkness will have been impressed with the performance, complete with costumes and inverted crosses on the stage.
Overall another great day at a festival I’ve already decided I want to come back to. It just can’t be for the next few years as I missed my little girl’s 6th birthday to be here today. Maybe every other year until she’s old enough to come with me!
Photos by Iain Purdie