Home Gigs Gig Review – 2 : Bloodstock Festival 2023

Gig Review – 2 : Bloodstock Festival 2023

24 min read
Comments Off on Gig Review – 2 : Bloodstock Festival 2023

Review by Tammy Lomax for MPM

Gosh, that zoomed round so quickly! Bloodstock 2023 is here!

There’s something really exceptional about this time of year. Everyone on my news feed is utterly buzzing to get in that field, be free, listen to a phenomenal variety of metal music and be united once again. The metal scene is indubitably one big massive family, I am honoured to be part of this tribe and feel a sense of belonging.

It warms my belly as I begin my journey to Bloodstock, seeing flocks of metalheads with the same agenda. When a metalhead crosses paths with a metalhead, a mutual understanding and a nod of respect is non verbalised. Music is blasting through my headphones and I am bursting beyond excitement to witness our community merge back together.

Let’s do this!

Wristbands collected, we are skipping about with huge smiles on our faces and utter thrill as it all kicks in. We got our stomp on and here we are, Bloodstock baby! We proceeded forwards towards the Sophie tent, settled our bums in and got some water! Oh my days, it was indeed hot.

Frozen Soul took to the stage shortly after new supergroup The Violent Inzident, who I must say, got everyone eager to go. They stamped a tone in the atmosphere for all systems go, GO!

The Texas death metallers inflated the whole place with their pure death metal force. I was totally high and overwhelmed with the force of energy coming from the crowd. Yes, mate.

Their blend of metal is pure in your face, straight up death metal. They played some tracks from their latest album release Glacial Domination and a cheeky “Arctic Stranglehold” from the album Crypt Of Ice. Chad Green is an absolute beast on vocals. Deep, raw and shake the inside of your stomach. They were positively disgusting and so very deathly.

Austrian symphonic metal band Visions Of Atlantis floated in and the atmosphere totally changed at this point. They held a mass of power on stage and the crowd paused in the moment, the tent was packed right out.

The official Suffolk pirates were enjoying every moment, powerful emotions were elevated as the melodic side of the music was delivered. They have many elements to their sound and their set was a victory.

Coffee in hand, check, and Friday is upon us. The weather is golden, a nice breeze weaves through. It’s easily tolerated in comparison to last year’s heat, which was pure lava.

Doom metallers Witchsorrow have the privilege to open the Ronnie Dio stage. Their slow riffs and deep tones are the perfect way to get things started.

Not overly heavy and their paces are easily spread, slowly dooming you into wake up mode. Rooted to true doom metal, the Hampshire three piece should be proud as they delivered a smashing set.

Necroskull’s guitar solos captivated a feeling from within, he is an incredible guitarist and played those sections beautifully.

Angel rockers Wytch Hazel lit up the main stage in their pristine white attire. They were perfectly fitting following from Witchsorrow and they looked like they were having a sheer blast.

The Christian rockers had beaming happy faces as they bounced their way through their set. They are keeping classic rock alive with their soft beats, good riffs and positive lyrics which have a mighty positive impact.

Due to some issues with timings, I missed watching Sacred Reich. I was so gutted about it but Pest Control quickly distracted me as they were next on the list.

Their energy was pure get up and go and they made use of every single bit of the stage, taking ownership and mastering it down to an absolute tea.

These excite me a lot. The sound structure was balanced with the bass and guitars, they were insane in all fairness.

This band is definitely one to watch, they are popping out from everywhere at the moment and I feel there’s a position on the main stage for them next year. Hardcore/punk/crossover thrash metal is how they describe their sound, yeah they were incredible and more importantly smashed the consignment into a million bits.

Bossk, woah what a performance, talk about lifting those emotions and allowing them to smack you full belt in the face.

The whole aura in the tent was stunningly injected with intensity as they dispensed a crisp, clean performance. I have loved this band since the release of their 2016 album Audio Noir.

They were consistent in their technique and expelled every single instrument LOUDLY. The Ashford post-metal group progressively built tension and a spiritual journey was had, astounding accomplishment.

Swedish heavy metal heads In Flames were definitely a strong contender for my favourite band on the Friday.

Their set was so heavy and it was an absolute honour to watch them play the main stage. This is the band that has experimented with so many genres and morphed them all into one since the release of their latest album, Foregone.

They are known to be one of the most fluid metal bands by offering listeners an assortment of flavourings and toppings. The drums were perfectly timed with the guitars, they were belting. The cleans were virtuous and the heaviness was enormous in the instrumental sections.

Saturday morning was a special one for me, it was an emotional moment as I walked towards the main stage. I can hear Seething Akira playing the track “Gravity” and the feeling inside was excitement met with overwhelment.

I’m all for these dudes, there was something real magical watching them give it their absolute all on the main stage. They projected an awesome set.

The sound on the main stage this year for me, was the best. Their ‘chav’ metal got everyone up and you could see they were totally blown away with the feedback from the massive crowd.

They slipped a new track into their set and as a fan, I am shocked this band can get even better. The Portsmouth group are inspiring, everything they have created is genuine and meaningful, and full of a tonne of wallop, incredible guys, absolutely outstanding.

Another highlight for me was watching London metallers Urne. I had never heard of them before, however, they were remarkably exceptional.

Their music is stomping and the riffs coming through rattled your insides, they were so deep and deafening.

A combination of stoner, sludge and metal slapped together to bring a slaughter of a sound. I can totally understand why they have caught the interest of Gojira’s Joe Duplantier.

He has offered Urne to use his studio Silver Chord to record their upcoming album A Feast On Sorrow. There is a bucket full of emotions, soul and passion gone into this band and it shines monumentally.

Employed to Serve are everywhere at the moment and have massively surged over the last couple of years. They mean business and their performance was good.

They smashed through their set and were full of all the heavy. They have flexibility within their core sound and the delivery was fierce and full of edge.

Crowbar were absolutely brilliant, militancy is the only way. They are solid blocks of steel and were concreted into the main stage.

They projected a hefty, lean performance. These fellas have been around the block a few times and know exactly what is required when delivering a set. They are sludge metal through and through and total tanks.

Gutalax brought their trademarkchaos’ to the party and were downright carnage. We had poo, donuts, more poo and there was a vast amount of adrenaline surfacing from the crowd. It was total mayhem but so much fun to watch.

The Czech bunch brought annihilating music to the table, unblemished gore grind and they were totally ruthless. Their pace is ridiculously quick and vocalist Martin Matouŝek was back and forth barking at the crowd with a violent attack, they were pumped and very entertaining.

SQUEAK! Meshuggah! Ah, the band that brought a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat. I have been wanting to see this band since I can remember so when I learned they were headlining on the Saturday, I was beyond worked up.

Their music has always been respectably tenacious and they are the unrestricted masters in the creation of their sound. Jens Kidman is indeed an absolute god on stage, they are living proof that experience is everything.

These time signature lords have been going since 1987, rightfully and respectfully earning their position within the metal scene. What an annihilating performance, every single note played was efficient and ridiculously tight.

Their 2022 album release Immutable has a tremendous amount of meaning behind it. It is exceptionally passionate as to where they are at now in their career as people and a band.

They did the album proud and played every track to actual perfection. Executed with precision and only perfection, they were my highlight of the whole festival. It was an absolute honour to watch them, seriously impressed.

By this point I am carrying a litre, yes a litre of coffee with me! Meshuggah twisted me up in the most beautiful way. I felt a little tired but we shall go forth, Lets smash Sunday!

Melodic metalcore band Beyond Your Design won the Nottingham Metal To The Masses and were playing to a decent crowd on the New Blood stage.

It was clear they were enjoying the moment and were giving it their absolute all. Their sound was full of bounce and Chayce Swain is a fantastic bass player, dude has some huge energy.

They have been building up their reputation throughout the last 7 or 8 years and have relentlessly released a strong run of music. “Saints And Sinners” was potent and strong and I’m optimistic about their future after this.

Tuskar, unexpectedly blew me totally away and has made a memorable indentation in my brain. I take my hat off to these pair of legends and applaud their performance with the highest of respect, totally. They are just two people, that’s correct, two.

Coming from Milton Keynes they have combined doom, sludge and black metal together and it is colossally loud. They played to a huge crowd with Tyler Hodges on drums and vocals and Tom Dimmock doing his magic on guitar. Check them out immediately.

North Wales winners of MetalTo The Masses Dystopian Sun took to the New Blood. They are the band that has it all. They offer tons of variety with their music. Mainly deathcore but there is an array of assortments in every track they played.

Varying from metalcore, death metal and even hints of good old rock and roll. They injected the decent crowd with a full belting, bouncing dirty riffs, down toned breakdowns and a selection of vocal ranges.

I have been listening to metalcore band InVisions a lot recently. Their performance was relentless and full of deathcore and metalcore.

The layering to their sound is vast and they did an incredible job projecting it towards the crowd. I felt it was a little tech metal with the guitars and grooves in places, meaty chunky riffs that will get you bouncing.

The melodic elements floated in the distance and the vocals just ripped everything to shreds.

Brazilian heavy metallers Sepultura was another Tam Tam woah! What a fantastic performance. They totally nailed their sound and in all fairness brought a powerful force which left me speechless, it was an absolute pleasure to watch them assault the stage.

Sepultura are the inventors of this along with a few others moulded my taste in metal music and their thrash style will never get boring. Accelerated drums, insane explosions of riffs down tuned bass and vocals to match, refined excellence.

Sepultura invented this style of metal and totally annihilated everything in their way.

Dublin quintet LaVein performed on the New Blood stage and brought instant massacre in the tent. What an absolutely energy bomb they were, barbaric. They were beyond extreme and deserved their place at the festival.

They are about to embark on an Irish tour with Burner and Worn Out and are definitely one to keep an eye out for.

I was so excited to see American hardcore band Biohazard who ended the festival with an absolute thump. The Sophie tent was crammed, full to the brim.

I think literally everyone was in that tent. One last celebration before our reality eats us all up again. They showcased adrenaline and carnage and the whole place went off, beers flying everywhere, huge mosh pits.

Their songs were energetic and supercharged. Hardcore, punk infused with heavy metal and hip hop, everyone loved it. The Brooklyn group recently reunited last year and it was scorching to watch them play again.

Much coffee was drunk. I was known for drinking a quadruple, yes quadruple espresso and being a water connoisseur. I ate the most chips I’ve ever eaten, had a few cheeky shots of vodka on Sunday evening. I cried, I danced, I sang, I was indeed in my perfect place and it was quite dejected knowing reality was only a sleep away. I had missed this atmosphere so much, my friends, the incredible music, it was amazing.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard, organisers, staff, bands, just everyone, making those memories last a lifetime.

Photography by Pete Key & Artur Tarczewski for MPM

Load More Related Articles
Load More By admin
Load More In Gigs
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Latin Nu-Metal band SAINT DIABLO drop “Cosmic Inferno” lyric video

Saint Diablo is a brutal Latin Metalcore powerhouse known for their explosive blend of dri…