Amon Amarth, Me­gadeth and Ghost top off the best Blood­stock ever

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents -

Amon Amarth, Ghost, Me­gadeth and Arch Enemy blast through Blood­stock, Alice Cooper and Mar­i­lyn Man­son make waves at Wacken, plus Elec­tric Wiz­ard, Mar­mozets, Korn and Ar­cTanGent fes­ti­val.


the world has gone mad. Chaos reigns. But one thing is al­ways cer­tain: Blood­stock open air will rule harder than a blood­thirsty Egyp­tian pharaoh. the bars are open. let there be metal! Play­ing the So­phie lan­caster Stage, THE INFERNAL SEA [7] become more po­tent with ev­ery pass­ing per­for­mance. this is one of their best: an im­pas­sioned dis­play of dis­torted, odd­ball treach­ery, be­fore BAT­TLE BEAST [9] turn thurs­day night into a cel­e­bra­tion of metal’s singalong power with wall-to-wall an­thems and Noora louhimo’s ex­tra­or­di­nary voice threat­en­ing to bring the tent crash­ing down. FOR­EVER STILL [3] are main Stage open­ers on the Fri­day, but re­ally shouldn’t be. their over­wrought and flavour­less post-grunge is no one’s idea of a party-starter. CHELSEA GRIN [6] don’t fare much bet­ter. the shud­der of the death­core also-rans’ nev­erend­ing break­downs please a ra­bid few, but fail to wake a sleepy ma­jor­ity. WHITECHAPEL [7] step things up, their grooves punc­tu­ated with an ex­trem­ity and charisma that sets them apart and sets heads bang­ing. Dani Filth’s DEVILMENT [5] do away with the death­core, re­plac­ing it with lack­lus­tre op­er­at­ics that hor­rify for all the wrong rea­sons, but SOILWORK [7] reignite the party with their melo­dra­matic melodeath. they might not quite hit for­mer glo­ries, but they do enough to keep ev­ery­one happy, even with some shoddy sound.

at the So­phie lan­caster Stage, CORPSING [8] pro­vide old-school filth for the malev­o­lent faith­ful. their warped death metal is a toxic tonic and one of the most twisted noises at Blood­stock this year. DE­CAP­I­TATED [9] are on stag­ger­ing form on the main Stage. to dom­i­nate your setlist with An­tic­ult tracks that are barely a few weeks old and still blud­geon the crowd into a dumb­founded mess boasts of the band’s con­fi­dence and vi­cious craft. armed with age­less thrash clas­sics like Into The Pit and new ragers like Cen­turies Of Suf­fer­ing, TES­TA­MENT [7] can do no wrong and are cheer­fully im­pe­ri­ous. BLACK MOTH [7] ex­ude all the hall­marks of a clas­sic band on the Sl Stage, with Black­birds Fall all doomy re­ver­ber­a­tions and swag­ger. this week­end’s thrash vet­er­ans would wel­come a 10th of SHRAPNEL’S [7] vigour, and with

Eter­nal War they have songs to back it up. It’s not just the gold py­ja­mas and funky keys that make LION­IZE [8] stand out, but also the in­dis­putable vibes that en­gulf the crowd.

BLIND GUARDIAN’S [8] long-awaited re­turn to Blood­stock on the main Stage is a pre­pos­ter­ous, bom­bas­tic tri­umph, even if Hansi Kursch looks in­creas­ingly like a well-dressed so­lic­i­tor.

Day head­lin­ers AMON AMARTH [9] de­liver the balls-out Vik­ing spectacle that their rise to head­line sta­tus de­mands. Fire? Bat­tling Vikings? thor’s Ham­mer? all check. oh, and a re­morse­less suc­ces­sion of ra­zor-sharp heavy metal an­thems that re­duces Blood­stock to a pile of thor­oughly de­lighted smok­ing rub­ble. more than a coda, the ev­er­last­ing per­ma­nence of black metal duo INQUISITION’S [8] blast­ing, pared-down sav­agery proves an en­tranc­ing spectacle on the Sl Stage to close day one.


re­cently los­ing their singer does noth­ing to slow FALLUJAH’S [8] ex­hil­a­rat­ing tech-death, their fu­tur­is­tic, whirl­wind det­o­na­tions pro­vid­ing a rude early awak­en­ing on day two. WIN­TERFYL­LETH’S [7] black metal odes to olde Eng­land are de­liv­ered with rous­ing fe­roc­ity, in­spir­ing fist pump­ing chant-alongs in the morn­ing sun­shine be­fore HAVOK [8] at­tack their main Stage slot like ma­ni­acs and leave the en­tire fes­ti­val breath­less with pum­melling pit-fod­der like Hang ’Em High. though miss­ing gui­tarist andrew Beale, the re­main­ing mem­bers of KING 810 [8] step up to de­liver one of the most vis­ceral and vi­tal sets of the week­end. ANNIHILATOR [6] seem ini­tially pedes­trian by com­par­i­son but have the songs and en­ergy to charm both young­sters and old farts alike. MU­NIC­I­PAL WASTE [7] and HATE­BREED [8] are perfect fes­ti­val bands, the for­mer’s ex­ces­sive zest and mis­chievous fire-start­ing chaos tee­ing up Jamey Jasta and co for a bull­doz­ing set of ev­er­green an­thems.

the grime/metal of THE ONE HUN­DRED [8] brings a dif­fer­ent vibe to the Sl Stage, win­ning over ap­pre­hen­sive pun­ters with punchy swag­ger. Few young UK bands have the pres­ence of AB­HOR­RENT DEC­I­MA­TION [8]. to­day they’re a bru­tal, com­mand­ing rev­e­la­tion and must surely be main Stage can­di­dates next time out. the ground shakes when ((OHHMS)) [8] un­leash their first mon­u­men­tal, mind-wob­bling riff and the tec­tonic rum­ble con­tin­ues un­til ev­ery­one is deaf and shell-shocked. Newly fronted by Bull riff Stam­pede’s Jay Walsh, XENTRIX [7] sound like a work in progress, but the old clas­sics still rule. Vet­er­ans of un­der­ground metal at its most hideous, MACABRE [8] slither and churn ma­jes­ti­cally as they close out the sec­ond stage. We will all have night­mares. on the main Stage, KREATOR [8] con­sol­i­date their legacy as god­fa­thers of the nas­tier end of thrash as a sea of heads bangs in the sun­set. an­tic­i­pa­tion has been brew­ing all week­end for GHOST [9], and they prove wor­thy of clos­ing Satur­day’s cer­e­monies. al­ready-great songs like He Is, Zom­bie Queen and El­iz­a­beth are el­e­vated to an­thems amid rev­er­ent wor­ship and mass sin­ga­longs. Ghost have ar­rived.


man­cu­nian upstarts BRO­KEN TEETH [7] stamp Sun­day morn­ing hang­overs into sub­mis­sion with mus­cu­lar hard­core fu­elled by youth­ful ex­u­ber­ance and venomous in­dig­na­tion, while GRAVIL [7] make the most of their Sl Stage opening slot with a po­tent con­coc­tion of metal­lic pre­ci­sion and rous­ing an­them Frac­tured, Di­vided. VENOM PRISON [8] con­tinue to im­press. their hard­core-in­fused death pun­ishes with an in­tense de­liv­ery and vis­ceral time changes. BRUJERIA [6] are daft but hugely en­ter­tain­ing. If noth­ing else, matando Gueros still slams and we’ve all learned a bit of Es­pañol. Vis­i­bly re­vi­talised, Jeff Be­cerra is hav­ing the time of his life as POS­SESSED [9] rip the main Stage crowd sev­eral new bum­holes. Each. Heav­i­est band of the week­end, though? OBIT­U­ARY [8], by a mile. From In­ter­nal Bleed­ing to Slowly We Rot, it’s a mon­strous dis­play of riff-wield­ing de­struc­tion. HELL [7] are as mu­si­cally vi­cious and the­atri­cally wonky as ever, with mile-high pyro and Dave Bower tot­ter­ing around on stilts, as camp as Xmas but way more evil.

PUPPY [8] have an un­de­ni­able bite with their brawny ar­se­nal of Smash­ing Pump­kins-es­que grunge and hulk­ing riffs thrilling the Sl Stage. Har­ness­ing in­sa­tiable en­ergy and sear­ing emo­tion, SKINDRED [9] are on rau­cous form in the open air and that arena-wide New­port he­li­copter is truly a sight to be­hold. live, ARCH ENEMY’S [7] pre­ci­sion bor­ders on clin­i­cal, but necks are snapped glee­fully dur­ing a vis­ceral Neme­sis. From Hangar 18 to

Holy Wars, ME­GADETH’S [6] set is an im­mac­u­late mu­si­cal demon­stra­tion of how to de­liver some of metal’s great­est ever songs, with gui­tarist Kiko loureiro on ex­cep­tional form. It just about makes up for Dave mus­taine’s vo­cals, which veer be­tween pass­able and at times al­most in­co­her­ent.

So it’s up to WIN­TER­SUN [8] to of­fer an ad­ven­tur­ous cli­max to a fan­tas­tic week­end, and the epic folk metal

Finns un­leash a starry-eyed blitzkrieg that lingers long into the small hours.



Papa Emer­i­tus Ghost’s

the in­verted preaches to

us David shows King 810’s

the Gunn the butt of Venom Pr ison: the fu­ture of

ex­treme Jo­han Hegg’s Vik­ing horde is un­stop­pable Chuck Billy le air gui­tar­ing

Sadly, megaDave

doesn’t hav the chops this

time ou

her alissa wears arch Enemy’s


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