Bloodstock 2018: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us!
The Bloodstock Metal Festival is one which personally I have been at a good number of times through the years and always enjoyed. This year for the first time I was going as a reviewer on behalf of Decibel Geek so was excited and nervous as I wanted to give the best account of all the action possible. However sometimes things take a bit of a twist and on this occasion in 2018 events made things a tad more difficult to enjoy and work at. Despite an insect bite which I received on the Thursday night (which caused me to ask for a membership card for the first aid tent and ended in a hospital stay when returning home to my hometown of Edinburgh in Scotland) Decibel Geek can present extensive reviews of the 3 main days of the festival. Nothing can or will stop us reviewing!
Due to the amount of quality on offer the plan is to do 6 articles splitting each day into 2 articles each.
So let’s start with Friday Bloodstock 2018.
It is sometimes worthwhile to head in early to catch first bands and on the Friday that was very much the case.
First 6 Bands Reviews:
TURBYNE – Bloodstock 2018
Hailing from Dumfries in Scotland Turbyne opened the New Blood stage for the day and the weekend. They featured 2 singers, both male alternating in style between clean and growls. Musically they were very good with an ear for melody but at the same time managing some heavy riffs and progressive sections. The second track “Tower Of Rivals” particularly caught my ear on the morning. A slower starting track that built up with 2 sections which got the impressive crowd of early birds clapping along and eventually led to quite a fast ending piece that had even led to good harmonies on the screamed vocals! “The Infinite Black” had a lovely tasty mid break allowing very melodic keyboards and guitar solo moments which went down very nicely. 4 songs in half an hour that caught the attention and got a great response at 10:30 in the morning! Good start.
DIETY’S MUSE – Bloodstock 2018
Next up was Diety’s Muse from South Africa who were first up in the Sophie Lancaster tent. I sadly only caught about 3 songs due to having a band to interview but what I saw was again of good quality. Although not knowing any of the songs personally I found myself nodding my head and tapping my foot along to some tight grooves and lovely harmonies. They had an element of progressive rock going on but seemed more song orientated with none of the tracks lasting too long. I couldn’t see the drummer so not sure he was joining in, but the rest of the band could certainly sing together very well. I bumped into the band in the camp site and they were really nice guys that were happy to natter to a fellow camp mate!
ONSLAUGHT – Bloodstock 2018
By the time I finished not only the interview but having a general chat with the band I was meeting with (Pelugion of which more later), British thrash icons Onslaught were tearing up the main stage (Dio). I walked out to see the first of many circle pits going on in the crowd. They were belting out “Fuel For My Fire” from their last album (IV) and were going down well. They mixed it up going back to their second album The Force for “Let There Be Death” before playing a brand new song possibly called “A Perfect Day To Die”.
Seemed to have not lost their touch. Like the dedication to all the “silver haired” metallers in the crowd from singer Sy Keeler who suits the look! Despite the first rain of the weekend the spirit of the crowd was not dampened at all. I was happy with what I caught and headbanged in the rain.
FAHRAN – Bloodstock 2018
The rain decided to really pelt down when I was in the tent seeing Decibel Geek approved Nottingham based classic hard rockers Fahran who seem to get better on each view. Singer Matt Black joked about how good it was that is was raining as it perhaps meant a bigger crowd in the tent! However even without those sheltering from the weather they had a healthy crowd in ready to sing and party with them. It would be nigh impossible not to warm to the band as they energetically run around (sometimes leaping) with tracks that just kick arse.
“Take This City Alive” is basically their theme song and what they do for a living. For the first time I noticed an AC/DC influence in one of the songs (can’t remember which one as was busy headbanging to take a note of it). Matt said they are “working in the studio and drinking as much beer as we can” and treated us to a new song I think called “Pyre” which had a slightly different feel to it, bit moodier and a touch reflective (or at least that’s what my notes at the time said). My notes also said “sounds good”! Terrific young band that always impress.
PELUGION – Bloodstock 2018
At this point it was back to the New Blood stage for the band I had previously interviewed called Pelugion. I had never seen them but I really liked the 4 tracks that I had heard. The 3 piece have an obvious Black Sabbath vibe but at their grooviest. They reminded me quite a bit of also Pentagram due a little to vocalist (also bassist) Andy Sweeney having a similarity at times to the singer of them (Liebling).
They opened with “Bane Of Humanity” which had a touch of “Children Of The Grave” about it in the riff. Being a three piece meant the bass was often right up front and in at least a couple of tracks led the way intro wise. “Monster” had the most Pentagram vibe about it. The last track “The Calling” even got a circle pit for the bass solo at the start. They have an element of Metallica at times, but with more groove especially the song “Desire” which mixes up things up with the Sabbath leanings. I was certainly impressed.
WEDNESDAY 13 – Bloodstock 2018
By the time I came out of the tent Wednesday 13 was on the main stage doing his shock or schlock horror thing with dancing girls and some little tricks and effects. The songs revolved around words like “scream”, “blood”, “zombie” and “fuck” as expected and despite not being a massive fan I found myself joining in at the appropriate moments.
My favourite thing he did was having a mask or face on the back of his head whilst he sang towards the drummer. The movements looked absolutely bizarre and slightly disturbing like he was double jointed or something. A few folk I spoke to afterward said they couldn’t watch as it was freaking them out. I could see why. Finishing with the Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13’s “I Love To Say Fuck” with the audience shouting “fuck” and waving middle fingers was a good way to end the set.
More Bloodstock 2018 coming soon…
Coming next time, the rest of Friday including Edinburgh’s A Ritual Spirit, Lovebites, Sertraline, Emperor along with the mighty Judas Priest!
For Tom Cornell’s complete BLOODSTOCK 2018 coverage: BLOODSTOCK FESTIVAL 2018 (The Complete Coverage)