Bloodstock Festival Preview : Rob’s Top 5 Unmissables!

There’s just over a month to go before we get to head back to Catton Hall for the big event of the summer. Bloodstock is my favourite festival of the year by far (despite what I say in other festival previews) and I always feel very honoured to be able to cover it for CackBlabbath. It is the fully grown adult version of Christmas for this particular metal head. Plus, working at the festival stops me getting too drunk (which I’m very good at) so I can come away remembering what a great weekend it’s been.

Which is more than I can say for Download. Where did those three days go?

Despite my sensible intentions, I do like to sample the real ales in the Serpents Layer of an evening. There’s always a monstrous choice and if you are buying I’ll have a pint of the blackest stout going or a cloudy looking cider.

Ta.

Anyway, when I’ve finished on the ale and fed my slight hangover at the Texas Smoker (foot-long sausage with more jalapeños than is wise in a festival environment), I will be mainly looking forward to….

Annihilator

It’s pretty easy to dredge the Main Stage for highlights, the headliners speak for themselves and there are several Top 5’s worth loaded into the undercard. So I’ll just pick out one band from the RJD Stage.

That (very prestigious) honour goes to Annihilator!

I’d never really paid much attention to Annihilator until Trivium brought them out on tour with them. That seems like just a few months ago but I expect it was the best part of a decade or more in reality. Anyway, even though they weren’t amazing on that support tour, I was hooked when I delved into the back catalogue and having not seen them for a while; these Canadians top my list!

Blood Oath

There aren’t many people, journalists and fans alike, who can claim to know all the bands on the New Blood Stage. Maybe the Metal 2 The Masses crew have a good idea, but to most of us, the New Blood Stage is err… New!

I went down to the Leicester M2TM final and Blood Oath were mighty impressive and I’d wholeheartedly recommend them to any fans of Amon Amarth et al. with their death metal bomb blast.

The guys are Bloodstock through and through and are bound to give their all on the day!

Bossk

Bloodstock is crammed full of blistering bands that will hardly give you a moment to take breath. Three full stages of sheer mayhem can take its toll, so it’s nice to have the occasional change in pace.

Although undeniably heavy, Bossk might well be that change in pace I need to have a mini break from the face melting thrash and death metal on offer. Their post rock, doom, stoner and general atmospheric metal is wondrous for putting you in a bit of a trance for a while, and will no doubt lead to a bit of slightly drunken swaying once they get going.

There’s always a blast of heaviness to snap you out of it now and then, so don’t get too comfy in there.

Shrapnel

I’m pretty open minded when it comes to metal. I’ll listen to anything, within reason. Apart from Disturbed, of course. They are bloody terrible.

My two real loves are Doom and THRASH, and while the doom might be a bit thin on the ground on the main stages, the thrash is colossal. It’d be really easy for me to say “Woo, I’m looking forward to seeing Kreator, Testament, Annihilator, Municipal Waste and Havok”. Mainly because I am, but then that’s too obvious! So I’m looking forward to seeing Shrapnel, who are also just as thrashtastic and I’ve not seen them live in ages.

The new album, Raised on Decay, is about to drop and I’m gonna get down the front (take some photos) and get involved. I spoke to Jae in advance of the festival and he seems pretty pumped too:

“It’s usually a great weekend for catching up with friends from around the country and further afield so we will for sure be making the most of the whole weekend. I’m a huge Megadeth fan and love the new album and think the line-up right now is stellar so I’m looking forward to seeing them close the show Sunday night, not that I’m wishing away the rest of the weekend. It’s going to be a blast!”

Ohhms

I said that the doom/stoner is a bit thin on the ground (compared to thrash) but one gem on the line-up in that category has to be Ohhms.

They have delivered one of the albums of the year so far in ‘The Fool’ and almost criminally, I have never seen them live. So that has to change at Bloodstock this year and hopefully I’ll have to change my underpants afterwards too… because they should be pretty damn brilliant. That’s what everyone keeps telling me, anyhow!

If you haven’t got a ticket yet (you best have a very plausible excuse) > GO HERE GODDAMMIT <