BLOODSTOCK 2018 – Friday, August 10, continued
Continuing with the review of Friday at Bloodstock Metal Festival leads us into both smaller New Blood stage bands. And up to the main headliners for the day in local heroes Judas Priest. It also continues to be affected by a bite that I received on the Thursday night. Which led me to the first aid tent from where I ended up listening to the first lady of metal Doro. However nothing was going to stop this Decibel Geek reviewer trying to give the best coverage possible of the UK’s premier metal festival!
Onwards to the action,
A RITUAL SPIRIT – Bloodstock 2018
On the New Blood stage Edinburgh representatives (via Glasgow’s Metal 2 The Masses competition) A Ritual Spirit played for the first time at Bloodstock. Having interviewed them earlier in the day I knew they were up for the gig, and so it proved to be. Wasting no time and smashing into “Set Us Free” which has the opening line of “rise up” leading into “wake up” got exactly the right response. I particularly always enjoy the song “The Ever After” which is a very menacing sounding love song. Great grooves and a disturbing yet infectious chorus and a tasty guitar solo. This is a belting song which folks seemed to get well into.
They finished with “The Way I Died” which had a riff and sound that made me think a little of Alice In Chains. Which is no bad thing at all. Singer Oli Bowker even had time to joke over a “fuck up” at one point. And how the band had brought the weather down from Scotland with them. Great job all round.
LOVEBITES – Bloodstock 2018
When I left the tent I was surprised to see ladies on the stage and not Suicidal Tendencies. Seems they had been delayed. So Japanese outfit Lovebites had at the last minute moved over onto the main stage to play a couple of hours before they were due to.
I had been impressed by the songs I had heard by the band, fast quite technical power metal. The guitarists were very good and played some great solo’s. But the sound wasn’t what it could be whilst they were on. Whether it was the sudden change of stage or a touch of nerves or even problem with the monitors the singer seemed screechy and not as spot on as on the recordings. I did change spots a few times hoping to get a better sound. But it seemed to be the same everywhere I stood. Bit of a shame as it was their first exposure to a bigger audience in the UK. I saw enough to suggest that in different circumstances they would be very good indeed.
SERTRALINE – Bloodstock 2018
Then it was time to again hit the New Blood tent (Friday was particularly good in my view in there) to see a band called Sertraline from Leeds and Manchester. This female fronted band proved to be heavier than what I expected. Not that I was or am complaining! They had an almighty kick about them. In Lizzie, they have a frontwoman who never stops. At times it looked like she was going through a physical workout (I confess that I can only guess as I have never done one of those in my life but have seen video footage of similar). I was almost shattered watching her. How she can still hit notes at the same time is beyond me.
The first track “Guilty” had a good stop/start style ending to try and headbang along to. The second song “Dead Set” showed the versatility in the singer’s voice, she can growl but also sing very sweetly at points. The fourth track was a new song to show “what you can expect in the future”. Going by my notes I expect more intense and perhaps even a tad proggy! I really liked it. At the end of the song, the band gave a t-shirt to a lass in the crowd who’s birthday it was, which was a nice touch. The crowd sang along rather loudly to the last song “Mean To Me” suggesting that more than their own audience had been won over on the day.
…time to check on the wound…
It was at that point I took a breather and went back to the tent to take the strain off the leg which had been bitten the previous night. What with the mighty Priest to come I didn’t want to end up in first aid and miss them!
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES – Bloodstock 2018
By the time I got back into the arena Suicidal Tendencies were on in the Sophie tent. I can only say it was heaving! It was a fight to get into it at all (well they were due on the main stage of course). The place was going mental. I only caught the second half but by god, they were tearing the place apart! I think I caught a glimpse of singer Mike Muir from between folk’s shoulders (sometimes being short is a pain) as he ran back and forth across the stage. It was a shortened set but they made the most of it. The crowd singing on ending song “Pledge Your Allegiance” was outstanding, with the “S T” section no doubt being heard some distance away. They came late (due to the airport), they saw, they conquered. Brilliant stuff.
EMPEROR – Bloodstock 2018
By the time I got to the main stage Emperor were in the process of a play through of their magnificent 1997 album “Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk”. It seemed strange watching and listening to this whilst the sun was shining but as a piece, it was beautifully played. They still managed to capture the mood of the piece and it was great to hear it all performed in one go. I did enjoy hearing the vocals more and Ihsahn sounds better in the live setting than on the studio version where personally I cannot always make out the words in the mix. Personally, I do prefer his solo output due to how progressive it is, not to say there is no prog in Emperor, but it is still good to see and hear such challenging stuff at a festival.
JUDAS PRIEST – Bloodstock 2018
I decided to chill for a short while until the headliner was ready. The forums for many years in the “who do you do want to play/headline Bloodstock” have had folks screaming for (not vengeance) but Judas Priest. At long last, they were playing. In the biggest crowd I have witnessed for a headliner at the festival Priest came on and did what they do. In their own words “delivering the goods”. The anticipation was palpable. During “War Pigs” their intro song the place was singing its collective heart out. The setlist was full of classics we all know and love creating a party spirit and Rob Halford was in excellent voice.
They did some tracks perhaps less played including “Tyrant” from Sad Wings of Destiny and “Saints In Hell” from Stained Class. The cheer that went up when guitarist Glenn Tipton came out was deafening. Was interesting to see Rob making sure he was ok and looking so happy to have his friend there. Very moving and an honor to be there to see them together perhaps for the last time. They threw Bloodstock a party. What an end to the first day on the main stage.
INJURED REVIEWER – Bloodstock 2018
It was at this point my leg was hurting so badly that I popped into the first aid tent. I was there a while. As it was near the Sophie tent I could hear Doro but not see her. She sounded great as always. The medics had to start scraping into my wound as they thought I had some form of tick. I would have cried like a little girl but instead found myself at that point screaming “All We Are” chorus with the lady in the next tent! Not sure who was in more pain, me with my leg or the medics with me singing my head off! Not quite the way I planned to finish the day but hell what a day of music.
Still, 2 more days to come. Read about them here at Decibel Geek very soon.
For Tom Cornell’s complete BLOODSTOCK 2018 coverage: BLOODSTOCK FESTIVAL 2018 (The Complete Coverage)