Bloodstock 2019 – Apology To Readers
I am starting the last news round up with an apology to readers of Decibel Geek. I was hoping that we (it is a team effort, without the guys who correct things and do the attachments etc) would be bringing you all the action from the festival as it happened. That was the plan. However, sometimes things can turn around and boot you hard and square in the tender areas!
Sadly, two weeks ago I suffered a heart attack which resulted in being rushed to hospital (yes, you can hear the sirens inside the ambulance) and having stents put in. It is a truly amazing thing to watch, for me the contraption looked like a little tree working its way around my heart and would have made a marvellous black metal band’s logo. Well that’s what I though, half stoned due to all the meds. Metal is, without doubt, constantly in the hearts and minds of the Geek team. Although I, as the representative, cannot be there now, it doesn’t stop us from telling you all about it and giving encouragement to go and enjoy one of Europe’s best festivals. I will start with the latest news beginning with a couple of band alterations.
Alterations To Line Up
Due to Code Orange having to cancel their UK and European shows, the Saturday now includes the mighty Wildhearts. Yes, Ginger and his crew will lay waste to the festival on the Saturday. With a repertoire of massive singalongs and a million riffs (they did want to release an album called “Riff After Riff After Motherfucking Riff“, but, for some reason, they weren’t allowed to), this is a real treat for all attending the festival. Their new album Renaissance Men is superb and had good things said about it by Rich Dillon on this site. This is a band that can work an audience and have the songs to back it up. Count me officially jealous of those able to go! See them on the Dio stage on Saturday.
A change also on Saturday. In the Sophie tent come Lotus Eater from Glasgow (in place of Shvpes), who describe themselves as “the sound of despair, 5 broken people, when you take all hope away, it is gloom“. The band are, as you may expect, dark gloomy but progressive and brutal. Most songs are quite short, but they do pack a lot into them. They have an EP out called Social Hazard, which you can find at the usual outlets.
One other addition news wise for the Dio stage is that K.K. Downing is going to be special guest to Ross The Boss when he plays on the Sunday!
Jägermeister Stage Additions
Onto the Jägermeister stage where the final bands have been put in place. there are 2 for Saturday and 2 for Sunday, so lets start with the Saturday.
First up are Pemphigoid, who are an old fashioned three-piece death metal outfit. Their name is an actual rare autoimmune skin disease and their songs feature lots of lyrics about medical procedures and disease. Their album called Where Compassion Comes To Die came out last year. Song titles include “Surgery“, “Infection” and “Bite Radius“, to name a few.
Contrasting that are Black Falcon, who are more of a classic rock band from Bradford. It is old school rock with clean vocals, lots of grooves and guitar solos. They have released their debut album Turn Around And Face The Sun which you can check out in advance of the festival.
Sunday on the Jager brings Crimson Tusk from Oxford. They are “sludge metal” and feature slow grooves and growly as a grizzly bear vocals. They sound dirty and fuzzy but I can say that even this old guy could make out the words through the growls. So pretty effective.
Female fronted Jackal’s Backbone from North Herts are also on Sunday. They are a mix of sludge and death metal and singer Beccatron has some voice on her. Their influences include Machine Head and Napalm Death, so you get a bit of an idea of their sound.
New Blood Stage
Moving onto the final announcements for the New Blood stage…
Death By Ki from Somerset are a cross of death metal and thrash, merging the brutality of one but the melody of the other. They also know how to have plenty of changes of pace and time so a tad progressive as well. From Brighton come Gaia, who are progressive tech metal. There is not a lot about them online but they have a single called “Words” coming soon. Coming almost direct from the 1980s are Midnight Prophecy. they are lovers and purveyors of what we knew as NWOBHM. They do mix in some of the European power metal as well in their sound. They have a self titled album out for your perusal.
Moving onto Saturda,y we have Cheltenham winners Grief Ritual, a mix of black metal, hardcore, post metal and grindcore. They are raw, heavy and occasionally bleak and funereal. Their latest EP captures their mood in the title “Moment Of Suffering“. Coming from Bristol are Voluntas. They say about themselves that “brutality reigns supreme” and their music is heavy on riffs, breakdowns, fast solos and a mix of clean and growled vocals. Also added from London are Empire Warning who are groove metal based. They list influences as Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Thin Lizzy and Strapping Young Lad! Bringing some doom/sludge to the day are Voidlurker who won in Birmingham. For fans of Electric Wizard and Crowbar, they have supported amongst others The Obsessed and promise “fuzzy riffs and a dark atmosphere“. One band that have been added who didn’t win their heat is Stormcast. They are originally from Cyprus and have been on hiatus for a few years but have reformed in Brighton. A few years ago they were voted as one of the top 10 bands at Metal Days festival according to some reviewers. They can go from atmospheric to brutal and ugly all in the same song with both styles of vocals to match. They brought out their new album last year called “The Ghost Eater“.
Finally on Sunday, there are two additions to complete the days line up within the New Blood tent. First up are Leicester prog metal outfit Fraction. They have been around since 2010. From the bits I have heard, they have quite a bit of melody about them with clean clear vocals in amongst their progressive music. They name check Parkway Drive (Saturday main stage headliners of course), Periphery, Bury Tomorrow and Devin Townsend as influences. Lastly, bringing some industrial grooves, are Leeds outfit Leadrobot. They are a mix of industrial, thrash and groove. They call what they do in part as “horrific sonic energy“, but it sounds damn fine to me.
So that is all the bands announced. All this and The Scorpions, Powerwolf, Sabaton, Parkway Drive, Queensryche, Rotting Christ, Metal Church, Dee Snider, Anthrax, Dimmu Borgir, Children Of Bodom and many many more. Four stages of music over four days for £152. Being Bloodstock they also have other entertainment going on, whether it be the strongman and woman competitions, fairground rides and apparently those big balls that cover most of your body whilst you run around like a nutter bumping into each other (Bloodstock fans love daft games) happening throughout the festival.
The festival is a great size at around 180,00 which means you are never too far from the action. It also has some of the friendliest folks you will ever meet in attendance. For example, I tend to stand a bit back from the mosh pit (too old for that these days). However, when the odd person flies out of the pit I can hear them shouting sorry before they get to me, as they desperately try to stop from hitting me. Yes, they are that bloody polite! There are a number of camp sites and most are under 10 minutes from the actual entrance gate.
Pre-Book A Tent
This year you can book a tent in advance so you don’t need to carry so much gear. The festival organisers are asking one thing from Bloodstockers this year and that is not to leave tents and camping gear lying around. They ask folks either take their stuff back and reuse or to at least bring the tents down, roll them up etc and hand them to the various points where they will be collected to be reused for others in need.
So there you have it. Less than three weeks to go to the UK’s biggest independent metal festival. Even though I sadly cannot make it this year, I recommend it to anyone else that wants a quality weekend of fun and metal. My fingers are crossed for a return to this festival in 2020. Raise your horns and have a brilliant time if you go.