After yesterday’s Viking lunacy Saturday has to be the most salivating line up with a run brilliant Thrash Metal bands backing up Ghost B.C.’s theatrical headline set. The hangovers are ever present but so are the great bands on a day where world records are broke.
The only tech metal band on the main stage this weekend make quick work of winning over the hungover crowed with their straight ahead approach to the bedazzling sub genre. A great collection of riffs and tinges of melodic death metal helps this band set up an excellent Saturday.
A beautiful triumphant Black Metal band that create epic journeys on record sadly struggle to really engage the entirety of the field with their ambitious sound. Perhaps a later Sophie Lancaster Stage spot would have suited the brilliance of their style, nevertheless they gave a solid effort with many Black Metal fans relishing the fast picked melodies.
The first band to truly get everyone on side and moshing today. The showmanship of bassist Nick Schendzielos (who was having the time of his life) made for exciting viewing. Political messages from frontman and guitarist David Sanchez received hearty applause and the songs from recent album ‘Conformicide’ were well received. On the basis of today’s set it is clear that they are not just a thrash revivalist group but a serious force to come in the metal mainstream with a real voice. The only blight was that their final song ‘F.C.P.’ was cut short due to an overrun set time; however the baying cries for them to return to the stage from a large proportion of attendees will be more than encouraging for the Colorado thrashers.
A surprise addition to the line up given how much ire and negativity they induce in some critics and metal fans. They continue to prove their doubters wrong and even without guitarist Andrew Beal the band still manage to sound as crushing as ever. In the pit people are wearing balaclavas and singing David Gunns lyrics with a similar intensity and desperation. Regardless of your opinion on the group that is a rare feat for a band. ‘Killem All’, ‘Fat Around The Heart’ and ‘Vendettas’ slam the audience into submission as a driven band create a dark brooding atmosphere. While it may have been met with a lukewarm from many spectators, those at the front singed as if their lives depended on it.
Jeff Walters is an absolute hero, he addresses the crowed like they’re his old friends and displays his wonderful Canadian humour throughout. The shredding guitars and relentless thrash riffs go down a storm as Jeff and co show that Annihilator can still hang with the very best young thrash bands around. ‘Alison Hell’ and closer ‘Set The World On Fire’ produce mass sing alongs and help cement an already fantastic performance.
The ultimate festival band, the one everyone’s been waiting for and the breakers of crowd surfing records, Municipal Waste ladies and gentleman. Wherever you’re shouting ‘Municipal Waste is gonna F you up’ or your putting your hand on your head like a shark thin you’ll be having fun when this thrashing party machine play! ‘Headbanger Face Rip’ and ‘Sadistic Magician’ cause huge circle pits in another brilliant thrash metal set from the beloved group.
When Jamey Jasta arrives on stage everyone at the front of the field can expect a sonic battering and everyone in and around the mosh pit can expect a physical battering. Armed with a setlist that boasts titles such as ‘Everyone Bleeds Now’ and ‘Destroy Everything’ the band gives their usual Metallic Hardcore masterclass. Jasta’s stage patter is warm and positive in contrast to their musics chaotic nature. Whilst speaking out about mental health and how we should look out for one and another he receives great cheers from everyone in attendance. The band that helped kick open the doors for Hardcore bands in the Metal community as well as at this very festival, Hatebreed are a brutish unit of the highest standard in the live environment and today’s set further solidified this fact.
If you hadn’t checked the line up beforehand you could be forgiven for thinking that this was the headline set. The opener of ‘Hordes Of Chaos’ explodes into life with red confetti covering the entirety of the stage and front rows. The set design is centred by a giant skull with screens projecting images of fallen music stars ranging from Amy Winehouse to Chris Cornell during ‘Fallen Brother’ in a heart wrenching tribute to those fallen stars. There are giant flames rising from the stage during another new song ‘Satan Is Real’, with everybody chanting its wonderfully over the top title the field is full of grinning metal heads. By the time ‘Enemy Of God’ starts the crowd swells into a mass of headbanging and moshing. ‘Violent Revolution’s gloriously melodic lead guitars and ‘Pleasure To Kill’s classic butchery top off what is by far the set of the weekend.
Questions over their metal credentials have always been asked by elitists and perhaps they’re not a full blooded metal band but, do they have heavy riffs? Yes! Have they got a brilliant stage show? Hell yes! And do they have great songs? Hail Satan hell yes they do! So their place at the top of the bill is more than justified. The set takes a while to start and for the casual fan or cynic the several stops in the show are excruciating, however when they get going it is rock and roll glory! ‘Square Hammer’ explodes out the PA with its huge chorus’s and the softer ‘He Is’ produces a swooning mass choir from the audience. The way the nameless ghouls play off of each other with pantomime levels of silliness and how Papa Emeritus showcases his wonderful humour with the audience is truly magical. Going on after a phenomenal Kreator set isn’t easy but they do a decent job of it by welcoming Bloodstock into the cathedral of Papa and co. Every chorus is infectious and every solo makes you pump your fist. ‘Year Zero’ is the highlight with its apocalyptic Latin chant whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Ghost B.C. are a band with serious potential to become one of rocks biggest names, whilst this may have not been their usual audience they still showed the hall marks of a great rock band and that perhaps there is room for them to get even bigger.