Bloodstock Open Air 2016 : Sunday Review

Right it’s Sunday, TeamCB are all present and correct and there;s a shitload of stuff to get through before the day is out. Bloodstock Open Air 2016, let’s do this !!.

Ghostbath 05The first band on the last day? Well that honour went to Ghost Bath who certainly brought us something different to the table. Before lunch is no place for Black Metal, and judging by the spartan crowd we weren’t the only ones thinking that.

Was it our thing? Probably not, to be honest… but they certainly made an impression on us.. Actually they must have made an impression on more than just us, There were people making demented seagull noises all over site for the rest of the day!

A quick trip over to the New Blood Stage is compulsory in the morning. Today we have Visions Of Disfigurement kicking off proceedings. A blast of death metal to go with our morning coffee!

Always a pleasure  to catch up with the Desert Storm chaps. The usual treat of booming stoner awaits us in the Sophie tent and the band seem slicker than ever today. Whether it is just seeing them on the big stage for a change or they have upped their game, we have no idea. But they are a smashing first band on stage in the tent, that’s for sure!

Ptero 05Jimmy Macgregor and is Pteroglyph “eagles of tech metal”  arrive on the New Blood stage to a chorus of cheers from the attentive crowd. The Great Unseen (part1) gets us underway, although it takes us a few moments to catch up with proceedings and for the sheer awesomeness of what we’re seeing to sink in. The tight, technical percussion from Stephen Wilkinson on drums threatens to pulverise internal organs at 20 paces, and any thoughts of beating a retreat are soon vanquished… whatever else is on right now THIS is the place to be.

Of course the frontman is the center of attention but for sheer energy he’s more than matched bu Bassist Richard Barnes who throws all the photographer-pleasing shapes.

Unaccountable Deceit of Choice sees Jimmy in full screaming demon mode, whatever the elusive “it” is that great frontmen have, well he certainly does as he trades laser guided riffs with Ainsley Prothero. It’s definitely tech metal, but it’s the good kind. Red On You keeps the tempo high (maybe an ode to the frontman’s hair ? We don’t know, have to ask). This is where guitarist Prothero really comes into his own. You’d never pick him out of a lineup as “awesome metal guitarist” (I mean they’re NEVER called Ainsley, are then ?), but then you see him letting rip and  unleashing some killer riffs while headbanging and stomping about like a loony.

HOAC 04Heart Of A Coward scorch the early afternoon from the main stage with their blast of aggression. Frontman Jamie is going to burst a blood vessel one of these days…

HOAC impressed us a lot when we caught them out with Trivium earlier in the year and they obviously struck a chord with Team Bloodstock too. Not your typical Bloodstock band by any means, but variety is key to keeping us on our toes.

Another band who made it to Bloodstock the hard way were south coast tech-metallers Kahtet. Now as you’ll probably know we’re not the biggest fans of tech metal (and that’s a bit of an understatement) but we did quite enjoy Kahtet’s more melodic and restrained bits.

“Supergroups” come and go, some deserve the prefix “super”, while others frankly don’t. Well as far as CackBlabbath is concerned Metal Allegiance are one of those which definitely does deserve that tag. Their debut album was on repeat here at CB towers for ages and their recent Tribute E.P. Fallen Heroes only served to further whet our appetite for their main stage appointment at Bloodstock Open Air.

Metal Allegiance 06

Things get underway with one of the band’s own tracks, the anthemic Can’t Kill The Devil which suffers from sound issues at the start but soon gets itself sorted out ans the band settle into it and really start enjoying themselves. Mark Menghi is the main man behind the project and it must have been fun for him to be facing the Bloodstock faithful on his first trip to the UK.

Metal Allegiance are an unashamed celebration of all things Metal, and their homage to the genre continued with Menghi belting out the distinctive bassline to Iron Maiden’s Wrathchild. Maybe not the most obvious Maiden song to cover but no one seemed to mind..

Cue much headbanging as the well chosen covers-heavy set went down a blast with the main stage faithful. OK, it was a bit chaotic in places byt by god it was good fun !!

Satyricon 011Sunday’s Black Metal main attraction is the mighty Satyricon. They were one of the highlights of Hellfest last year so we were keen to catch up with them again. Main man Satyr has had an “interesting” year so it’s great to see him back on top form.

This show sees them playing their Nemesis Divina material for us which puts a new spin on their live show. Once again the sound isn’t great for the first part of the show (unless you like lots of drums) but things improve as the set goes on. They drag in a big crowd and don’t disappoint at all. Roll on that new album they are working on…

Must be lunch time surely ? At Bloodstock there are always a load of great food places to fill the hole but inevitably we end up fonding one that we like and sticking with it. In 2016 that was the chunky chip place which must have made an absolute fortune over the weekend, there was always a bloody queue!!

Misanthrope-Bloodstock-CackBlabbath-2After Satyricon (and chips) we take the chance for another mooch around the excellent RAM gallery. Besides the awesome paintings this year there was an amazing bass guitar made as a tribute to Lemmy. Honestly, the detail and craftsmanship that went into this has to be seen to be believed, it’s a definite “photos don’t do it justice” objects.

The passing of Lemmy did lead to a long conversation about where the next legends are coming form, and who they’re going to be. The passing of the likes of Dio, Lemmy and Bowie have left a hole in the musical firmament that maybe no one will ever be able to replace.

There’ll be big stars, mega stars and headline bands but is the age of the Legend at an end ?

Anyway, we digress, on with the music !!!

Art Of Deception trudged over the mountains of Scandinavia to Bloodstock. Well, that’s possibly not true; they probably flew over or came on a tour bus.

6 Art of Deception.BOA

Whichever way they arrived, the Norwegians delivered a blistering set of of Euro death metal to the New Blood crowd. We could pick out some Entombed, some Carcass, In Flames and plenty more in the influence department. They looked as good as they sounded too!

Well they kept us waiting for a bit, but eventually Dragonforce hit the stage with all guns blazing. Some power metal for the Bloodstock traditionalists and a rollicking good time for everyone!

Screenshot 2016-08-24 18.28.34There seems to be a thing at music festivals these days to have sideshow entertainment on. Now we don’t always see the point of that but it’s undeniably the way things are going. Download had its wrestling tent and here at BOA we have the traditional knoghs of old battering the shit outof each other and this year, for the first time, a Bloodstock’s Strongest Man competition which saw rather large chaps carrying rather large weights over short distances to find out who was the best-est.

Not sure I’d want to try and carry 50 stone on my shoulders for fun. Nah, scratch that, I know I wouldn’t.

Ok, Ok, Couldn’t.

The side shows were attracting a decent crowd, and the bonus was that the strongmen had an epic live music soundtrack coming from the adjacent Sophie Stage.

TeamCB would have loved to show them how it was done but, erm, we had work to do.

Screenshot 2016-08-24 18.28.58As well as all the big, muscly blokes they had a competition where some of the spectators got a chance to show off. The blokes held out two buckets of that bodybuilding powder shit to their sides with arms straight, while the ladies held one out in front of them. The winners got a box of flapjacks though, whihc is worth it as one member of TeamCB finds the word Flapjack hilarious.

No, we don’t get it either.

And it made our arms hurt just watching !!

Keeping the power on, Symphony X were next up on our list for the day. Now we’ve not caught these guys live before but having played their debut to death “back in the day” it was good to finally get a long-overdue date with them live so, with beer in hand, we headed down the front and prepared to be impressed.

And were we ?? Well, kinda. If that sounds like damning with faint praise then that’s about right. They were OK, but not entirely what we were expecting, so we took our leave and headed off to the New Blood tent for one of the most deserving New Blood bands of the weekend, followed by one of the most mental

The next couple of bands turned out to be two of the New Blood stage highlights of the weekend. We’ve known Valous for yonks, and it was great to see their mercurial frontman Matt getting the chance to strut his stuff on the big stage in front of a big crowd. There’s always a place for proper Heavy Metal in amongst all the sub genres and Valous unashamedly claim that territory.

Proper. Fucking. Metal.

Our last New Blood band of the day were one that just about everyone told us we had to go and see. We knew bugger all about Footprints In The Custard before the gig, and we’re still totally bewildered after it. Things started off with a legion of fans marching down to the front holding inflatable swords aloft as the band bounce about the stage to an extent that is generally not wise for anyone wearing a mankini.

It’s like someone looked at Evil Scarecrow and thought “Not bad, but it’s a bit too serious”. The overriding memory of this set will always be getting down the front and being hit on the head by..

A crowd surfer in a paddling pool

An inflatable cock (large)

An inflatable cock (small)

A lilo

A crab

A sheep

Another crowd surfer in the same paddling pool.

Mental, just mental. Utterly brilliant, but definitely mental.

Playing the same slot as they did just two years ago, Anthrax are back at Bloodstock once again. This time on the back of their brand new album ‘For All Kings’ which has been on heavy rotation in the CB car.

The final few hours of a long four day jaunt of a festival can be a struggle. Livers and limbs are aching like a bitch and it’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm that you had on Thursday evening. Unless it’s Anthrax time of course…

Anthrax 02Exploding onto the stage with ‘You Gotta Believe’ and then straight into ‘Caught In A Mosh’ which turns the photo pit down the front into a scene from Saving Private Ryan, just without the guts and severed limbs. Bodies flying everywhere, testing the Showsec security (who have worked their socks off all weekend). It’s bloody chaos.

But, our aches and pains are gone. Magic! The energy pouring out of these old-timers is contagious and you can’t help but get swept along in the madness. Thrash’s original good time bringers are… bringing a good time!

It’s not just us that are rejuvenated by Anthrax, the circle pit that erupts during ‘Indians’ swallows up half the arena and an hour set flashes by in the evening sun.

Scott Ian excitedly promises to come back to the UK next year with a full headline tour (which we are told back in the media tent isn’t officially confirmed yet!). That sounds like fun to us!

What a blast.

Anthrax 06

Our plans to sample ALL that BOA had to offer didn’t originally include the medical tent, but one of us  wanted the whole experience. So just for good measure, checked themselves in to the EMS tent. The staff there do an amazing job, especially when a band like Anthrax come on and there’s a race to see which of the crowdsurfers can injure themselves first. In 2016 the winner was a fractured elbow about half way through the opening song !!

CB’s wounded soldier got a few stickers, an inflatable wrist band and a clean bill of health. When asked if the medics enjoy the music, they all had the same response…

You get used to it.

Take it that’s a no for metal then?

Must add that Anthrax sounded phenomenal from the Medical tent. Excellent acoustics and a nice bed to lie on.

Scottish heavyweights Attica Rage were the final band on the Jagermeister stage, and although they were sandwiched between the might of Anthrax and Slayer they still managed to draw the biggest jagercrowd we saw all weekend. Great stuff but it’s time for the main event.

Slayer 06Now if we’re totally honest the news that Slayer were headlining BOA (again) didn’t exactly fill us with delight. OK, OK, they’re undeniably legends but it just that of late they’ve seemed to be a bit past their best.

And then we saw them at Hellfest and.. wow.. just wow.

The chant of Slayer Slayer that goes up from the crowd before Tom, Kerry & Co. take the stage is just about the loudest we’ve ever heard at Bloodstock. The stage lights go down, the band walk on and BANG!! we’re off.

I think the big difference between Slayer 2016 and Slayer 2013 is that Gary Holt has made himself right at hoe and it’s his phenomenal lead guitar licks that have given the band back their Hannemann-esque edge.

Slayer bring ALL the big thrash tunes, but the highlight is (as always) the awesome Angel Of Death that threatens to kick a hole in the night sky.

We’ve all written them off before, but by god (or satan) this was an awesome headline set and a fitting way to draw down the curtain of flame on Bloodstock Open Air 2016.

And that’s your lot. Another Bloodstock, another contender for “best festival ever”. Over the weekend we’d seen a load of bands who genuinely blew us away, and it’s nigh on impossible to do the usual band of the weekend thing.

So we won’t bother. If you were there you’ll know who that was and if you weren’t, go next year and make your own mind up.

See you down the front in 2017 !!!