Home Festivals Gig Review : Bloodstock Open Air 2022

Gig Review : Bloodstock Open Air 2022

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Review by Tammy Lomax for MPM

I have a huge smile on my face and buzzing bubbles in my belly. Bloodstock 2022 is knocking on my door and I am beyond excited.

My laptop is shut down and my last day of work is done! My bags are packed and the sun is absolutely blistering. Off I trot to spend 4 days in a field with wonderful people and a shed tonne of metal music.

Here we are again, our big metal family rejoicing.

My wristband has been collected and I am walking towards The Sophie Lancaster Stage. The feelings of nostalgia began instantly as I heard Basment Torture Killings pounding from the stage.

Opening any festival is a huge task for any band and what better way to do it by assaulting teddy bears alongside annihilating music.

I have been privileged to witness this band perform before, they are consistently brutal whenever they set foot on stage. Bringing their snuff grind to the table, their performance was full of intensity and of course ridiculously fast.

Vocalist Millie moves around the stage with elegance as she erupts the deepest gutturals towards the crowd. Bloodstock 2022 is all go and what an excellent opening to the festival.

Italian band Nanowar Of Steel moved the atmosphere in a slightly different direction. Their style of metal music is all about having fun and they held enough riffs to keep a decent sized crowd very pleased.

Their upbeat humorous power metal was projected with so much brilliance and energy. Overall their performance was flawless, tight and smiles were beaming everywhere.

Dark Tranquillity headlined and the festival was assuredly in full swing by this point. They brought their melodic ambience to the stage.

Although this is not my usual preferred style of metal, they had total control with their performance. It was gripping and powerfully emotional.

Herds of metalheads stand with a drink in their hand and I think to myself, this is literally the best place on earth.

The heat is scorching on Friday morning, it’s going to be a hot one. The main stage is now open. The mighty stomping Red Method opens and my oh my what an entrance. They indeed got the party started with their ridiculously heavy music.

Watching this band progress over the years has been an absolute honour, passion and art are just snippets into what the band are all about. The sextet gave a colossal amount of energy and the turn out at that time in the morning was incredibly impressive.

The samples of mixes and guitars were amplified and performed with miliantancy. It was confirmed the group had come prepared. Vocalist Jeremy takes us to hell as he reads his take on the bible, ripping it and throwing it at the crowd. Meaningful words that are relatable. We all take a moment until the carnage of industrial metal hits us all over again.

Heart Of A Coward took to the stage next and sounded without question, unbelievable. Every instrument was showcasing a perfect sounding balance.

The meaty riffs and tech metal grooves hit the spot and as soon as the massive clean vocals were incorporated, a wallop of emotions surfaced. Stage presence is key and the Milton Keynes group were inspirational.

You could feel their bond on stage, it was obvious as their set was concrete tight. They were having the best of times. Ferocious breakdowns, chunky tones and fast paced stretched vocals demonstrated their versatility. These fellas are not a one trick pony and deserve some serious credit for what they brought to the festival.

Swedish group Sorcerer took to the stage next and brought the best rock vibes you could imagine. Their metal is full of melodies from the guitars, old school sophisticated rock. Their performance highlighted exactly everything they stand for, true rock and roll.

Maintaining the original power metal alive, they had plenty of style with their music. The vocals came through clean and crisp with catchy riffs and beats that were additive. I couldn’t help but bob my head to their rhythms.

All Hail Dog played the Jägermeister Stage in the afternoon and I was determined to catch their set. Starting their set with chilled flows before vocalist Armandine aggressively growled her passions at the crowd.

What a monstrous angel. Their beats were easy to follow, it felt like a story from the heart and soul was being shared to us all.

Exodus left me totally speechless. This performance was an absolute pleasure to watch. Old school thrash metal is where it all began for me and this band particularly moulded my metal taste in music.

They were fast and militant as ever, giving it 110 percent. Their sound came through perfectly, it was heavily combined with accelerated drums, insane explosions of riffs, down tuned bass tones and vocals to match.

I felt everything negative float off my shoulders as they battered the stage. An excellent show.

Another day down and Saturday is among us all. The heat is pretty extraordinary, everyone is gasping for shade as the sun blisters everything. I can never remember being this hot in my entire life.

Lost Society was flavouring the main stage with their American take on metal.

There were hints of thrash metal in paces and some real beefy breakdowns. Owning their position, it was total carnage.

We all were desperate for some breeze but as soon as this came into check, it did make their set sound slightly tinny on occasion.

Sylosis Was another band I was really eager to see. I was introduced to this band many moons ago and I never had the opportunity to witness them live, until now. They brought everything back for me on a personal level and they sounded amazing.

The balance between all the instruments was leaking through perfectly and the vocals just ripped everything to shreds. They totally owned their stage presence and they achieved an outstanding high quality performance. Modern thrash and heavy metal was captured and the layering of the shreds made the sound feel full of girth.

Brighton new band Tribe Of Ghosts set sail and played the New Blood Stage, they were so impressive. They have already made a positive impression as a new band. Earning a respectable slot on the stage. The turnout was decent considering they were clashing with Ingested and Dimmu Borgir.

I witnessed the best vocal ranges I have heard all weekend, they were astonishing. They had an Evanescence kind of vibe as both vocalists were entwined and against each other.

It was harmonising in places but with a serious fierce edge. Drummer Danny held some weight behind the kit, the guy is an absolute hero, a huge talent in himself.

Getting a marching stomp on and heading back to the Sophie tent as quickly as I could so I could catch the second half of Manchester metal band, Ingested. It was a fair turn out and they brilliantly destroyed the stage as always.

The electric lights added further weight to the performance, everything offered was pure filth. Their brutal death metal spin on their new material was destroying. When their occasional trademark slam breakdowns took to the stage, the whole place went up in flames.

Metal core band Bury Tomorrow was a great watch. They offered and exemplified themselves with their huge tech vibe. I thought they were fantastic.

They were full of melodic elements and still projected some real heavy layering in between. They had some good grooves and the talent behind both guitarists particularly was genius.

Danish band Merciful Hate do not get enough praise for what they do. They went full out with a marble styled altar and stairs.

A goat head mask was worn in style by King Diamond. The guy is an inspiration. His range in itself was enough to murder anything in the way, most excellent.

Their music was so tight and on point, how can some not appreciate this band?. Their sound is unique and their style is totally different to your normal gothic black metal band, that is to be admired and will be remembered.

Malevolence was one band I could not wait to watch, one of the reasons I couldn’t wait to get to the festival. Since their new album, ‘Malicious Intent’ they seemed to have gone from strength to strength. It highlights after all the years and years of dedication and perseverance, it really does pay off.

The Sophie stage was packed to the brim with eager listeners waiting for this band to flare their magic. They opened their set with instant massacre and even spiced us with some of their old stuff, which was a delight.

Their music is not just hardcore metal, the have combined a few genres together and a monoamount of riffs that slip in like butter. This band is extremely talented. They are very clever with their paces and they bounced from awesome breakdowns to fly kicking thrash metal.

They closed their performance with the mighty track ‘On Broken Glass’ and the whole crowd, including myself, sang along to the chorus. The Sheffield group are not just a one trick pony and I am excited for their future ahead.

Sunday is upon us and wow that has gone so quick. Non-stop running around in the lava of heat. I get some shade at the Jägermeister stage and catch thrash band, Violence. There was a shift change in the lineup as there was a slight delay but that didn’t bother me.

The bass was loud and beautifully sounding. These thrash titans are professionals at what they do, they put on a fantastic show. The American band has been around the block many times and knows exactly what the crowd craves, pure extreme thrash excellence.

Cattle Decapitation baby! Their onslaught of music is not a match for anyone that can not handle it fast. They managed to pull off a set which was beyond belief.

There was some incredible layering before slamming us all to the floor with disgusting dirty breakdowns. They have some interesting elite dynamics, the more I listened, the more excited I felt. My scrunched up face said it all.

Their musicianship highlights some extreme talent and is bound to give anyone a reality check. The deathgrind group is full of twists and turns and rhythms were popping out continuously with barely any time to breathe.

London rock band Killing Joke was so awesome! I can not believe this is the last band I am reviewing for Bloodstock 2022.

They brought everything they had to the stage and totally rocked their performance. Their set was tight and the sound was great.

Easy to follow beats and rhythms but still offered a punch in the face. Overall their delivery was an easy listen and full of flowfull motions that made you want to get up and bounce about.

Sunday is done and I head straight to the bar for my first well deserved alcoholic beverage. My feet are on fire and I have sweated, sweated more than ever in my whole life! The happiness I feel is undenying. Watching Lamb Of God was a huge lift for me and they were brilliant. It was nice to relax and take the whole vibe in after running about trying to capture as many bands as physically possible.

This year’s Bloodstock for me had to be the best, I have made more memories that will last my entire life. I feel very lucky to be able to express my thoughts and opinions. I always ensure it is reached on a positive level, no neg heads allowed.

I have mentioned on more than one occasion my style of writing is about passion, energy and positivity. I will always be honest about how I feel and it will only be genuine. All band’s work so hard and this needs to be more highlighted, not slated.

Thank you to everyone who made this festival one of the best. Thank you to the medics, bar people, sound engineers, cleaners, organisers, literally everyone.

Without any of this we wouldn’t have one of the best metal festivals. The hard work never goes amiss and is massively appreciated. This is a time of year where we can be ourselves, watch incredible bands and be with all our friends in one place all at the same time. Roll on next year!

Tammy’s Top 5 Bands:

  1. Behemoth
  2. Sylosis
  3. Exodus
  4. Malevolence
  5. Heart Of A Coward

Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM

Enter- the day of anticipation…. Thursday 11th August 2022, a day where my town of residence (Burton Upon Trent) is absolutely BRIMFUL of the metal community – a sight that we only get to see around once a year around here – prepping to head towards Catton Hall, a mere 15 minutes journey away, for another year of one of the biggest metal parties in the UK.

It goes without saying that this year was matched with an equally huge heatwave. Mother Nature had played a cruel joke on those of us whose entire wardrobe contents mainly consist of black.

HOWEVER… the community we are in is made of hardcore stuff. Never underestimate the power and love of music.

Already bumping into several faces we’d missed since the beginning of the Pandemic on our way to the arena, looking around the huge field of people laughing, drinking, fighting with tent poles in the scorching sun, there’s a familiar feeling of excitement and energy filling up the place. A great start into the first band of my review…

The Sophie Lancaster Stage was already packed out. A vision I was most pleased to see as on came the much missed Bournemouth lads Thuum – the last time I saw Thuum was at a festival in Brighton i was working for some 5 years ago. Then came a long break for Thuum in 2018, though we can all agree that Bear (vocalist Ryan Mills) has very much been present in other endeavors of keeping the scene alive.

Blasting through in true Thuum energy, Worthless echoes through the stage and twists in with the winding groove riffs and low, booming bass beats. Bear’s vocals open to us in hardcore gutterals and Ewen’s sludgy but BRUTAL drums are the glue to the tempo and bring forward a reminder of why we are absolutely loving the return of Thuum.

In the groove tempo’s of Thuum, particularly near the ending of Worthless and Through Smoke Comes Fire therein lies a small part of me that gets an almost Gojira vibe in places.

The feeling is wonderful, the lads get the crowd fully submerged and already the first circle pit of Bloodstock is awoken. What a way to kickstart this weekend!

Staying in the realms of extreme metal, next taking to the Sophie Stage is Californian goblins of Death Metal Nekrogoblikon.

Looking around me, I see many MANY goblin masks echoing the vision of these guys. Having never seen Nekrogoblikon before, having my ears opened to the absolute weirdness that my ears witnessed was something out of a warped and funny dream.

We’re talking the sounds of a Buleador and Mozart-esque pianism with black metal vocals and synths one moment and then absolute BRUTALITY mixed with melodic vibes. It’s clear these guys are serious about their comedy, addressing the crowd in one of their tracks “It’s nice to see our friends Dressed As Goblins. Do it all again.” 

By the Gods, Nekrogoblikon are as fast as the Roadrunner on unmentionables. Folk vibes also manage to lace it’s way through the offering of these guys and it’s honestly the weirdest and most fun set of the day.

Friday is here and as expected, in the heat of that blazing ball of gas in the sky, Bloodstock was in full force. After witnessing the glorious exorcism of Red Method, next on the magic list is India’s New Delhi legends Bloodywood. 

Now, Bloodywood have long been one of the wonders that I have always wanted to witness since the day I first saw their rendition of Ari Ari featured on YouTube in 2018.

So back then, I took a little dive into their music and had seen that they started out as a covers band. The likes of Linkin Park’s Heavy and Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You are two of my most favourites – head over to YouTube to see why! Soon after, Bloodywood drip fed their fans across the Globe with Singles released that are now found on their long awaited (blame Covid) full length album Rakshak (meaning “Protector”).

The sheer feelings that emulate with Bloodywood are an experience to behold and I can’t begin to tell you how intoxicating with pure emotion and energies they are.

Ranging from the fun and fast vibes of favourites like Ari Ari. Machi Bhasad and newly released Dana Dan to the wholesome vibes of most loved Jee Veerey infused with the messages of support and hope towards those struggling with mental illness and suffering at the hands of abuse and discrimination, Bloodywood have more than made their footprint amongst today’s new inspiring bands.

Mix it all together with the abilities to create beautiful, raw and in place some heavy listening laced with several traditional instruments including Karan’s wind instruments native to India plus Jayant’s stunning vocals that range between brutal growls and beautiful notes… and you get a breathtaking set. Truly deserved to be asked back in the future.

Let me tell you… getting into the Sophie stage for the Surprise Band was a job on it’s own. Soooo many people rushing to get crammed in and to see who could have possibly been brave enough to be the secret of Bloodstock… and without further hesitation, after snaking my way through the piles of metal heads cooking in the sun, we found a pretty nice spot by the bar and all 5’4 of me couldn’t yet see the stage… so when “MACHINE F*CKING HEAD* chants echoes through that tent, all the people outside got a slight inkling.

I mean… MACHINE HEAD!! First show since before the Pandemic and they chose BOA to be their comeback. The absolute VIBE floating around was magnetic.

They’d come armed as a 3 piece as Vogg was playing Brutal Assault with Decapitated – still nonetheless powerful, opening with Become The Firestorm.

As soon as it started, the place went nuts. Imperium guitars filling the stage, the dark chimes wisp through the air and then WHACK here comes the riff… i’m back in a vortex of Robb’s unmistakeable raw vocals and the riffs that created so many memories back in 2003.

The beats are on point and everyone… the HEADBANGING around me… literally everyone… is having the time of their lives.

Nostalgia fills the air with Halo and Ten Ton Hammer – one of the heaviest older tracks in my opinion. Getting to vibe live with this track in my now later years since this came out in 1997 isn’t something I thought I’d get a chance to do.

The rush of energy combined between Machine Head and their audience is something to behold.

Having gotten myself right down the front in anticipation for the mighty Testament, already the crowd started getting hyped and more and more filled spaces around me gathered.

Before long, the atmosphere was filled with chants of “Testa-ment!” and Chuck Billy appears before everyone. Absolute wizard.

We’re treated to Dave Lombardo on drums and the guy, as ever, wields his kit like an absolute machine. Launching into Catacombs, you know you’re in for a ride.

Huge riffs and a huge presence worthy of a headline slot in my humble opinion, Testament took us down the nostalgia path with so many tracks from way back to the Legacy days.

Over The Wall, First Strike Is Deadly, Alone In The Dark were amongst the selection of early tracks to power into their set and smoothing into newer tracks such as Children of the Next Level and WWIII from 2020’s Titan’s of Creation thus, displaying four decades of utter brilliance.

Day made, Testament are still a force to be reckoned with and show no signs of a slow down any time soon.

It’s a little hard to believe that Blackened Death Metal lords Behemoth have been forging their way through us for just over a whopping THIRTY years. 

The Polish quartet are an entity all on their own and as such, have created an environment at every show they play to reflect their rife of (non) biblical proportions. Bloodstock is no exception.

Wolves ov Siberia, Ov Fire and the Void, Off To War! are just a few of the favourites that vibrate through the field.
Flames reaching high to the sky, always donning head turning props and theatrics, Behemoth put on a show that visually, is just hard to beat.

The atmosphere is dark into the flames, a vortex of pure energy and from where I’m standing, takes no prisoners. 

Encore track O Father O Satan O Son! leaves their audience with the ending of Friday’s main stage at Bloodstock left in a cataclysmic heap. 

With upcoming album Opvs Contra Natvram  fast approaching to celebrate 30 years of Behemoth, I think it’s safe to say that we have a hell of a lot more of Nergal and his tribe of apocalyptic horsemen to come over the next year.

After the rush of such a show, I decide to head over to the Sophie stage again to check out the elusive Progressive Rock masks of Sleep Token.

Not knowing what to expect from a live viewing of Sleep Token, really is part of the charm to be honest. The intro of Atlantic was an eye opener, the melancholy and peaceful echo of Vessel’s vocals amongst the keys melts together to make the audience float…and then kicks in the euphoric height of the song three quarters of the way through. Shoots your soul right into the abyss. 

Much can be said the same for Hypnosis and Alkaline. The vibes here are intimate, visceral and ambiguous which creates space for the sturdy guitars and haunting synths to connect with the audience.

Full throttle Saturday! 

Armed with more water than you can shake a camel at, my first endeavour for the day was Las Vegas’ offering SpiritWorld – which took me completely by surprise. 

In true L.A Country get up, these guys do NOT sound how they appear – which leaves you with the reminder that labels… are a thing of bygones. 

Frontman Stu Folsom refers to Death Western which, if that genre even exists, is now something to take full notice of. With elements of punk, thrash, hardcore and rock n roll, SpiritWorld may just fit in to about every metal lover’s bag.

Not yet knowing any of the songs didn’t matter. The whole point of discovering new bands is to roll with their vibes and honestly these guys had me moving throughout their whole set.

Catchy, thrashy, a little sludgy in some places, vocally extreme, these guys deliver anarchic riffs and chaotic drums with a lyrical plethora of North American Paganism entwined with angsty gutturals and clean chants. 

Stu tells us that he decided that whilst the mundane wave of staying home during the Pandemic took place, he wanted to create something out of it and thus, Pagan Rhythms was born. Count me as a fan. I cannot recommend these guys enough.

I decided before the next main stage offering, that I’d creep over to the New Blood Stage to have a peek and see what new talent our scene has to offer and that Bloodstock is currently harbouring. 

Suffice to say I was pleasantly surprised that upon entering the stage to chants from the Manchester local 0161 crowd, their favourites Portrayal of Ruinn were just being announced. I’d seen these guys once before and they know how to blow the roof off of any stage that they grace. 

Calvinn’s deathcore gutturals provides the initial atmosphere to what is about to come. The different ranges and tempos he holds throughout…what a set of pipes!
This is entwined with the, quite frankly, DIRTY blast beats and glorious breakdowns from the lads should not go unnoticed by any fan of extreme metal. Absolute shenanigans. 

Can’t Break What’s Broken is one of my favourite Portrayal tracks and witnessing it in all it’s stunning glory put me right in the mood for my wander over to Lorna Shore. 

If you’ve been paying attention to the New Jersey favourites, you’ll maybe have seen recently a YouTube video where vocalist Will Ramos has a camera popped down his throat whilst performing his vocals to the max. 

ALL sorts of crazy happens in that black hole of magic and this is evident when the likes of Sun//Eater echoes through the main stage field.

The guy is a vocal sorcerer. Any Lorna Shore fan can tell you his range is incredible… and live, it’s no different. The depths of hell rises with his calling and with the tidals of the sickening blast beats from Austin and multilayered strings, they go hand in hand with the orchestral synths and waves of atmosphere laced through their set.

Cursed To Die is without doubt, one of my favourite tracks of today’s performance from these guys. The ethereal and fast paced energy that snakes out into the crowd creating breakdown headbanging and body surfing galore. 

Let’s be clear… Jinjer are absolutely one of the most ambient yet heaviest when it comes to their craft. Kicking right into Teacher, Teacher!, I couldn’t help but mirror the vibe that the Ukrainian legends thrashed out.

I have always thought that Jinjer are one of the most talented live bands, never straying far from their studio sound whilst on stage. Letting lose to them was quite an experience.

Listening to Tatiana speak so deeply about the troubles that their country is facing and how humble they are to be doing what they are doing was a hugely moving moment for a lot of us watching them from that field.

This is a moment where we all share unity and good vibes to those that are facing the pain of Putin’s actions and it shows how many people want to – and do – support Ukraine in their fight to stand against the horrors.

Tatiana’s vocals are beautiful, ranging from brutal and disturbing gutturals to melodic and calming. Twinned with the blast beats and gentle touch of Vladislav’s drumming provides the backbone to the absolutely EXQUISITE strings of Eugene and Roman.

Combining the ebb and flow of gentle and brutal vibes is what makes Jinjer a favourite amongst many fans of extreme metal. As Pisces vibrates from the stage, although one of the most well known tracks, is a complete example of that. Stunning. 

It’s time for a slice of Black Metal – and none other than Norway’s very own Dimmu Borgir of course make their appearance!

As I find Dimmu quite atmospheric in many places (being one of my favourite elements) I was intrigued to try these guys – and yup, this is a DISAPPOINTMENT FREE ZONE.

Gateways gave us that major needed dose of atmospheric Black Metal. Multiple riffing styles and Choir like synths, battering guitars and drums takes us on one heck of a thrilling journey through the darkness.
“The core principle of freedom is the only notion to obey.


You know, I get elements of spiritual references in a lot of Dimmu’s delivery, yet of course anti-Christian… and weather or not that is purposely, I am not sure. But, the beauty of music is what you interpret it to be, as I’ve said before.

Mourning Palace offers a more traditional twist on Black Metal. Shagrath’s vocals are harsher and wailing compared to a lot of the other tracks today and the synths that are entwined with the hard thrashy riffing don’t falter. A storm be brewin’…

My last review of Saturday ends at the wonderful Ferocious Dog over on the Sophie stage. Celtic infused punk-folk – fun, full of life and so many layers of feeling.

The six piece were a breath of fresh air and with that said, so many Bloodstockers agreed. The tent was packed out completely with dancing bodies, a celtic folk pit and people clapping along to the down to earth vibes.

The instruments used in Ferocious Dog are what roll the punches with their unique vibe – fiddles, banjos and Sam Wood’s occasional accordion. 

Story telling is the height of topic for these guys – with tales of whiskey, War, mental health and love. Time to take your shoes off, feel the grass under your bare feet and dance…

The last day of what is a killer weekend is upon us… and bright and early, i’m there in time to catch brand new Iowan band Vended take to the stage as Life of Agony had pulled out.

I really think it needs to be said that even though the obvious similarities between Griffin Taylor and Corey are present, Griffin has more than incorporated his own style into his delivery of vocals and range.

His energy and enthusiasm is not up for dispute. Donning black body make up and a presence demanding you sit the hell up and listen, his vocals are fast paced, raw and his growls are deep and monstrous. 

The band musically are outstanding. The hardcore death-esque tones from these guys have my approval, the drumming from Simon Crahan is on point, the double pedals work their magic providing the backbone to Jeremiah’s slapping bass and Cole and Connors’ crazy riffing. 

Burn My Misery and Asylum provide monsterous energy with breakdowns that don’t keep me sitting still at all.

There’s no denying the sheer volume of Butcher Babies.

Carla and Heidi have long been a duo of a forcefield and today’s set proves that they stay forever strong.

The Californians’ insatiable energy and djenty riffs get the crowd moving. Vocals are vicious and enticing, laced with industrial vibes. 

It’s Killin’ Time, Baby! brings forth so much energy and almost horror vibes that you’d find in a Rob Zombie movie.

The guitars and drums are incredibly fast, the blast beats are present and unforgivable. If you’re not thrashing yourself around to this track, get yourself to the Red Bull tent…

I took some time to go and take a look at Deathcore Nottingham/Gibraltarian lads Draconian Reign on the New Blood stage.

Now then… i kid you not… you NEED to go and check these guys out if you haven’t yet seen what they’re about. I’ve seen them previously and honestly, they have never presented a show anything less than spectacular.

The FILTHY vocals of James is something wholly unsaintly… the great Alex Terrible would have a run for his money. Do not underestimate what these lads can do.

Kelsey’s blastbeats and that double pedal is like no other… the man is talented as hell and provides the shape to Andy’s bass and the fast asf strings of James and Cal.

If you’re looking for heavy then this is it. Hand on heart. It Came From Hell and Crown of Despair are the tracks reeking with energy in a live setting.

HOWEVER, the whole set of their newly released EP Necromantic is laced with the heaviest, filthiest riffs and melodic deathcore to give you that injection of dirty metal that you want. After listening, I am absolute mashed potato.

Venom Inc have long been legendary pioneers of Black Metal, with many bands citing them as a main influence.

They waste no time in displaying yet another outstanding show starting off the penultimate main stage set on Sunday evening of Bloodstock with Black Metal, a track that Mantas wrote in ‘82.

Favourites Don’t Burn The Witch, To Hell and Back and Raise The Dead were included in this set with ferocious energy and winding riffs.

Old School Black Metal is a thing of the very here and now – the vibes are amazing and the time for letting loose is now. The drums are killer, absolutely killer. The sheer power that goes behind that kit is insane.

We’re left with At War With Satan – another trip down memory lane with 80’s infused style guitars and drums, a biker’s tune to play, with what reminds me of an older Motorhead vibe. Party is well and truly still going…

The final main stage show is here… and this is one I have been most looking forward to. Starting off in darkness, Randy Blythe’s silhouette emerges from behind a sheer white curtain with the quiet lyrics kickstart:
“By the darkest river, beneath the leafless trees

I think I’m drowning, this dream is killing me

(Wake up, wake up, wake up)

In the coldest winter, between the fading lights

I feel I’m falling into a frozen sky

(Wake up, wake up, wake up)

Past the blackest heaven, above the dying stars

I watch me breaking into a million shards

(Wake up, wake up, wake up)

But through the hardest hour, below the cruelest sign

I know I’m waking up from this wretched lie…”


…and the curtain drops to reveal Lamb of God in all their brutally alight glory.

Memento Mori takes us into the rabbit hole of Lamb of God and therein starts the chaos. What a start!!!!
Ruin is then abruptly smooshed into the next lines – a track i haven’t heard play live for years.

The carnage around me is very very real. Everyone is sucked into the magic these guys constantly weave and the whole place is going nuts again.

Lamb of God have long been one of my favourite bands and most favourites to watch. Their energy never falters and brutality is never amiss.

Always encouraging to keep eachother safe, Randy addresses the crowd and acknowledges it’s been a brutal heatwave for us mere Brits who, unlike these guys, he says, are not used to the HELLFIRE.

With that said…” continues Randy… “It’s time to WALK. WITH. ME. IN. HELL!!”
Oh, YES please!

The circle pit starts and the familiar and OH so loved riff and Art’s drum beats starts off and I find myself absolutely possessed.

We’re treated to the same with my other favourite Omerta and some newer tracks such as Resurrection Man.

Of course, referring to Randy’s time “away”, we’re reminded of what life can throw unto our mentality and how we cope within those moments of lost time. 512 starts and I think by far, this is one that the crowd responds to most.

The strings are undeniable, Phil Demmel Mark and John are a force to be reckoned with and provide the breath to Lamb of God’s soul that Randy and Art are in the middle of.

You simply cannot deny how tight these guys are. I always come away with a sore neck and the biggest smile…

This year, Bloodstock outdid themselves. 

Machine Head Photos by Bloodstock Official

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