Ben Does Bloodstock - Review of the 2013 Festival Part Two

Day Three: Saturday – New Blood Stage

Fallen Riot (7) are given the duty of opening up the third day at BOA and they grab their chance in the spotlight by really giving it a go. Their infectious brand of metalcore harks back to Poison-era Bullet for my Valentine, but with more screams. Pissed off cockney boys Dishonour the Crown (7) Blood Stage belongs to modern metallers Skreamer (8) today as the promising young band deliver a smart set.

 Their song-writing ability is as impressive as their technicality and each member looks fully committed whilst having a great time. After a few more years honing their sound, there is no reason why Skreamer can't come back to Bloodstock on a bigger stage.

Day Three: Saturday – Sophie Lancaster Stage

The Sophie stage is sounding phenomenal this year, boasting a new P.A and a plethora of awesome bands. Deathly London crew Unfathomable Ruination (6) kick off the day with an unholy racket and although not lacking in intensity, they could do with some more creativity. Brutality alone is not enough. Travelling all the way from Egypt are Scarab (7), who deliver a superior display of death metal aggression and Egyptian culture. There is some great music popping up from all over this crazy world. Performing their final gig are Power Quest (7) and there is no prize for guessing what they play. Formed from former members of a band that became DragonForce, Power Quest do indeed play synth-laden, uplifting anthems. Whilst power metal is not everyone's cup of tea, it is always a shame to see a band split. But judging by the crowd, I don't think the Southampton lads will soon be forgotten.

Day Three: Saturday – Ronnie James Dio Stage

Good old fashioned balls out riffing is the first sound to emanate from the main stage, courtesy of Stormbringer (7). After only existing for two years, it's impressive to see them so high on the bill, as it is refreshing. Time spent honing their skills in other bands was not wasted and their stomping brand of heavy rock is a great start to the day. Fiercely patriotic metal mob Beholder (7) begin in similar fashion and charge around the stage with their politically-charged ranting. The tunes are great and the music is as honest as anything else you will hear. They took their chance after a dominating set on the Sophie stage in 2011. Canadian true metal wailers 3 Inches of Blood (7) can burst ear drums with the best of them and Cam Pipes is in good voice today. Although foolishly still seen by some as a parody band, they undoubtedly have some great songs up their sleeves and an inspired cover of Rush's classic 'Tom Sawyer' keeps everyone singing along and struggling to hit the high notes. We have treated to some truly memorable moments this weekend but it is about time we had a show stealer.

Hell (10) are just that band and what a show they produce. Not content with rocking up in jeans and a haggard band shirt, Hell take shit to the next level with eyebrow-removing pyro, a trident that shoots sparks, Beelzebub costume complete with stilts and more choreographed headbanging than you could possibly imagine. Singer David Bower is a master at conducting the Church of Hell and all its mad antics and props. Whilst this is all going on, we are treated to some stunning NWOBHM songs. What a phenomenal Bloodstock experience for all lucky enough to be there!

Making their second appearance on the main stage, albeit under a different name, are lightning-quick death metal machine Kataklysm (9). After enjoying their Roman side project, we are treated to the real deal and they don't disappoint. Having 22 years of great material to call upon is a luxury the self-styled Canadian hyperblasters have and their set is amazing. The string of die-hard fans in attendance are left calling for more after what felt like a short 45 minutes. There are two types of band in this world: there is every other band and then there's Gojira (10). Even after having a lot of stage prop 'misplaced' at customs and missing some of their own gear, they steal thee weekend with ease. It looks so effortless too, it borders on ridiculous. It is probably a good thing that they haven't sleep in two days and important gear was lost because with it, I don't think anyone could have comprehended the genius of the French death metal overlords. Heads would have just exploded in awe. They even got Randy Blythe on stage for a quick roar and stomp around. This was a genuine headline worthy set, which is where they deserve to be.

The equipment gremlins are back and messing with Sabaton (7) this time. Joakim Broden is even missing his trademark vest but borrows one from someone in the front row and the chaos can continue. Technical difficulties really hinder the flow of their set as they take long breaks between songs and Joakim is left squirming without anything to say. Chants of 'IKEA! IKEA! IKEA!' began ringing round Catton Park and confused everyone. When Sabaton had a chance to play though, their war-influenced power metal was fantastic fun. Edguy singer Tobias Sammet brings his super-group metal opera Avantasia (7) to BOA. There are many fans eagerly awaiting the glut of keyboards and power metal stars but frankly 90 minutes is a bit much for me. The music and concept is great though and roping in talents like former Helloween singer Michael Kiske makes for a great show filled with over-the-top bombast and style.

The bulk of people in Catton Park are waiting on metal titans Lamb of God (9). The sheer madness from the outset is incredible stopping only during 'Ruin' as the barricade in front of the stage nearly folded in half prompting Randy to call for some calm. It does take some of the venom out of Lamb of God but they are soon back to brilliance closing the set with 'Laid to Rest', 'Redneck' and the wall of death inducing 'Black Label'. It is a successful return to the UK after certain 'legal problems' as Randy put it. Just before the Richmond bunch took to the stage, we were let in on who had been locked in for a headline appearance next year. It's only bloody Emperor! The recently reformed black metal masters will be heading over for a 2014 UK exclusive show. Bloodstock, you magnificent bastards! You have done it again!

Scribbled by:

Metalhead, Wannabe Music Journo, Long-Haired Fool, Thrash Enthusiast

Can also be found at his kick ass blog