Download Festival announces next wave of acts for 2019

Download Festival, the world’s premier rock event, has announced a further 23 acts including Slayer
with their last ever UK show, The Smashing Pumpkins, Dream Theater, Lamb of God, Eagles Of Death
Metal, and more. The three-day festival takes place 14-16 June 2019 at the spiritual home of rock
in Donington Park, Leicestershire. Tickets are on sale now at downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.

Metal royalty Slayer will be making their final UK appearance at Download 2019 after 37 years of
mayhem. Their impact on musical culture cannot be overstated and fans should prepare for yet
another legendary performance which will include a barrage of classics as they make one last
celebratory sweep of Donington.

The Smashing Pumpkins will make their first appearance at Download Festival next year. The altrock and grunge legends have stunned crowds worldwide on their 30th anniversary tour and are as
ageless and seminal as ever. Loud, quiet, dreamy, stirring and everything in-between – The
Smashing Pumpkins debut Download performance is not one to be missed.

Prog-metal titans Dream Theater have been at the top of the game for 33 years. Having inspired
countless bands along their storied career, their performance will be no less grandiose as they return
to Download after a 10 year absence. They will be joined by the groove-laden modern metal
heavyweights Lamb of God, as well as Eagles Of Death Metal, who invite fans to revel in all their
rock’ n roll glory on their second ever Download appearance.

The prodigally powerful Maori-metal trio Alien Weaponry have carved their own sound somewhere
between Sepultura and Silverschair and are in good company with the heavy-metal powerhouse
Anthrax who will give fans a performance to remember. Brooding rockers Badflower are hotlytipped after the success of their poignant, powerful single ‘Ghost’, and joining them are industrial
noise-punks Black Futures who have been making seismic waves and will take the crowd on a trip
of a lifetime.

Atlanta southern rockers Blackberry Smoke will be on hand to serve up a truck load of raucous
country-infused good times. Detroit post-hardcore band I Prevail have proven that they are the real
deal and will whip the crowd into a frenzy, and so too will Los Angeles natives The Interrupters.
Ukrainian tech metallers Jinjer, led by their incredibly powerful frontwoman Tatiana Shmaylyuk, are
also added to the line up and will bring their all-powerful live performance to Download.

Man With A Mission are jumping on board with their pulse-racing hooks, riffs and giant wolf heads
in tow, and are joined by fellow genre-melder nothing,nowhere. who has taken the world by storm
with his hybrid emo-rap, pushing both genres forward as the most exciting force in the ever-growing
scene. Our Last Night whose rapid rise to success shows no sign of slowing down are also added to
the bill, as too are Riding The Low who are making the pilgrimage from Burton-on-Trent featuring
Paddy Considine on vocals.

Swedish sensations Royal Republic will also join the Download 2019 line up alongside Pop-punk frontrunners State Champs who’re fresh off the back of the release of their third album ‘Living Proof’.
Rising Nepalese metal disruptors Underside will turn up the volume and are in good company with
the well-oiled deathcore machine Whitechapel who will steam roll in to lay waste to the fields of
Donington.

Australian up-and-comers Yours Truly will be flying in with a freight of huge choruses with them, and
last but not least Floridian party starters Zebrahead are bringing the fun with no shortage of anthems
and antics to get the crowd going.

Download Festival is the home of rock music and takes place on the sacred grounds of Donington
Park, which have been associated with rock since the eighties. The festival attracts icons of rock to
its main stage, plus some of the best and hottest new acts in the world. AC/DC, KISS, Metallica,
Black Sabbath, The Prodigy, Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot, Linkin Park and many more have
all headlined the main stage.

 

Bloodstock Open Air 2017 – REVIEWED!

FRIDAY

It’s day one of BOA 2017 and we’ve got our obligatory black band tees on, grabbed our wristbands and are headed into the arena for a weekend of pure metal fun.

Friday sees Swedish metallers Soilwork take to the main stage with classics ‘Nerve’ and ‘Stabbing the Drama’ but the sound doesn’t seem quite settled yet and most of what you can hear is distortion and cymbals. Luckily the Kraken tiki bar is on hand with cocktails and you can get your mitts on a Black Kraken ice-cream again, but be warned, it stains your teeth like you have scurvy. Maybe pirate emulation is the point? There’s also a pretty extensive merch stand this year at BOA, taking a leaf out of the Wacken book perhaps, you can now dry your bits with a Bloodstock towel… drink from a Bloodstock flask… don some fabulous branded leggings… the list goes on! This of course is in addition to BOA’s Exploding Ape collab which includes gym wear and an onsite Strongman/Strongwoman competition.

Over at said competition, a whole host of incredibly hench and serious looking women are taking turns lifting incredible amounts of weight to see who can complete the most clockwise rotations on the turnstile. It looks insanely tough and there’s a decent crowd cheering them on. Just to the side we spot The Motley Brew – which is possibly the most British thing ever. A tea tent, serving almost every tea under the sun (and free biscuits, bonus) out of proper mugs, with puns everywhere. We drank ours out of “Sweet Chai of Mine” and “Love in a Percolator” mugs… narf.

Nearby on the Sophie (Lancaster) stage, Denderq are busting out melodic but heavy harmonies and shout out to the BOA crew for “such a well run festival”. Following them, another UK band (and veteran Bloodstockers) Season’s End take the stage after an extremely long hiatus. It doesn’t seem to have done them any harm however, and lead vocalist Becki Clark is absolutely belting it, their symphonic style is fairly rare in UK bands so it’s nice to see them back on the scene.

Over on the main stage a guy dressed as a bloody Patrick Bateman is staring blankly into space and starting to creep the security guards out, but it’s time for Cali thrashers Testament to take control of the arena. Now, I always take it as a good sign if a metal band decides to rep their own tshirts and Testament have no problem doing just that, tick one for Metal-bingo. They’re also playing what can only be described as just good solid chuggy metal, to a pretty huge crowd, who are more than happy to jump around a bit as it is absolutely bloody freezing outside now. Goth girls in jorts are freezing their goosepimpled pale legs right off, and I bet come nighttime they actually have a faint eerie glow being almost translucent. In contrast there seem to be a lot of men rocking a leggings/fur coat combo, looking extremely pleased with their fashion choices this weekend. Bloodstock welcomes all. Testament are a testament (geddit) to old school metal, there’s loads of hair-windmilling and epic guitar solos, and one extremely tiny child with bunches and a mini battle-vest is bopping around to them as if it was tots tv.

On the Sophie stage, Shrapnel are getting all screamy with a crowd ready for some rioting, and the penultimate main stage band Blind Guardian come to the fore with an electric blue-lit entrance. They’ve always been a band with a lot of presence, but I will never not giggle that lead vocalist Hansi Kürsch is so unassuming that he looks like he could be doing your taxes or offering you legal advice. Nevertheless their uniquely symphonic sound is well received here at Bloodstock and the crowd joins in when asked “you will be our backing vocals… we have full trust in your skills… this one’s called Nightfall”. Kürsch is also keen to add “We are going to dedicate this one to Amon Amarth because it’s thanks to them we are here, we lost all our stuff” as the band is playing on entirely borrowed equipment.

Last up, Swedish Viking metal in the form of the mighty Amon Amarth, with an absolutely amazing headline show. They have fire, they have drinking horns, they have ever so much hair… they have a giant headbanging serpent on stage and dance moves (yes, I am claiming the rowing as a dance move) but above all else they are just furiously brilliant at what they do. Click HERE to read our complete headline review.

SATURDAY

Saturday sees the tiny but loud Jager stage fired up with UK scamps Bangover who have gathered a frankly massive crowd then incited them to create a circle-pit around the entire stage, only to then crowd surf (well you know… be ceremoniously carried) from there to the main stage at the end of their set.

Annihilator are rowdy good fun on the main stage, yelling “We are from that racist terrible country called… Canada… I know I’m sorry, I’m sorry eh” and joking “Our money has the Queen on it, so thanks for that guys”. With an album due in November it’s nice to hear some new stuff too “…finally back to early thrash roots… it’s called Twisted Lobotomy” which is absolute shredsville and the crowd is clearly loving it.

A little punky, a little rocky, a little classic metal… Spyder Byte on the Jager stage are just downright decent and judging by the crowd they’ve gathered, they could really play a bigger stage next year with no problems. Municipal Waste are determined to smash shit up with a giant circle-pit from the outset, even before they’d dropped a note, screaming “We’re Municipal Waste and we’re fucking back!”. Calling out “I’m all fucked up on buckfast right now… we play buckfast thrash” and the topical slew of hatred “Fuck Donald Trump! This song’s called ‘I wanna kill the president” only serves to amp up the already rowdy crowd even more, and a record 711 crowd surfers were recorded going over the barrier during this set alone.

Florence Black have pulled a decent crowd over on the Sophie stage, but we’re off in search of sustenance. Yet again Bloodstock have upped the ante when it comes to food, for a small festival there really is a more than decent offering. After looking into stalls selling Paella, Ostrich burgers, Vegan wraps, smoked meats Texas-style and some heart-stoppingly sugary doughnuts, we settle on a gigantic chicken offering from Burrito Boys which was fantastic.

Back at the main stage, Hatebreed enter to the laid back Bad Boys theme to emphasise the juxtaposition of their immediately screamy harsh metalcore flow. Lead vocalist Jamey Jasta stops for a breath and to say “You guys never disappoint man… this is why people come from all over the world to Bloodstock! Thanks for the positivity guys” as a pack of fluffy unicorn people march through the crowd throwing horns.

As the sun goes down you could be forgiven for thinking that the stage was being set for a headliner, but no – the insane amount of props and settings belong to penultimate act – Kreator. Heralded onto the stage by two demonic people brandishing red flares and a giant explosion of red tickertape, it’s clear Kreator mean business. There is a bit of unfortunate-ness with the curtain snagging on the giant devil horns at the back (a man dutifully tramped out with a ladder about halfway through the first song to unhook it… so rock n roll) but the band are absolutely killing it. There’s tonnes of pyro during ‘Satan Is Real’ and the massive church windows are actually screens providing more visuals to light up the stage, it really is a huge undertaking for a non-headline set. ‘Violent Revolution’ and ‘Pleasure to Kill’ go down a storm and it seems like the arena is shoulder-to-shoulder packed, as a huge silver and white streamer explosion rains down over the crowd.

Kids wrapped like tiny Egyptian mummies are streaking around the place as Bloodstock gives their two headline announcements for 2018, Gojira elicits an enormous roar of approval but the reaction to Nightwish is mixed at best.

Onto the actual mainstage headliner for Saturday – Ghost. Despite a technically good set, and a hardcore set of fans down the front they just don’t have the wow-factor we just experienced with Kreator, it’s maybe a shame for them that they followed such a great show. Read our full review of Ghost’s headline show HERE.


SUNDAY

Sunday finally brings the sun and we’re on the hunt for the best tattoos of BOA 2017 – check out our gallery on Facebook to see if we snapped yours! Possessed and Obituary are both shouty good times on the main stage, and Prognosis are absolutely ripping up the New Blood Stage, to a packed tent.

Local Derby lads HELL are predictably mad, with their stained glass window backdrops, crown of thorns and underlings lighting burning sconces. After a little technical difficulty with his headset, vocalist David Bower, armed with a handheld mic is now creeping around the stage amongst the eye-watering amount of pyrotechnics criss-crossing the pit area, calling out “How’s it going bloodstock? It’s been awhile…”. After a brief exit he returns to the stage dressed as a demonic Mr. Tumnus (read: Narnia meets the ninth circle) clicking his hooves as he sermonizes the crowd with a flaming trident. It’s all very surreal, particularly when he makes the ultimate metal Dad-joke “You should have told me bloodstock you were wearing black… we would have changed”. Groan.

Welsh ragga-metal band Skindred are much beloved by the UK metal scene and they absolutely do not disappoint, heaps of banners and backdrops do nothing to distract from the fact that they are completely unique and amazing at what they do. With a tribute photo of Roger Moore on the drumkit, mash-ups of the Imperial March and Benji’s signature spiked sunglasses you could be forgiven for thinking Skindred are all about the gimmick, until you hear them bust out the likes of… er… “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”… oh.

No worries though, Benji soon yells “we stand together as people who love fucking rock music right now… this song is about people coming together and living as one… Doom Riff” which is exactly the kind of wild, raucous metal we came here for. With a barrage of strobe lighting for ‘Sound The Siren’ he asks “…you like the new songs? Yes or no don’t fuck about!” before launching into ‘Pressure’ which gets everyone up and bouncing. Benji jokes about “Anyone want a tshirt? On this side? Twenty five fucking quid go and buy one you cunts” before getting serious mentioning the death of a friend, and noting “…none of us are promised tomorrow, just like Sophie (Lancaster)” and urging everyone “if you love someone go and fucking tell them”.

‘Kill The Power’ is huge, but it’s the firm favourite ‘Warning’ featuring a mass twirling of tshirts… bras… one giant inflatable t-rex… for the Newport Helicopter, which is really impressive. Skindred walk that fine line between being cheesy Butlins comedy and just really fucking awesome. Obviously as Brits we love everything about that.

Up next, Arch Enemy destroy the stage with vocalist Alissa White-Gluz, who is a force to be reckoned with. Her Frozen-esque locks, shredded leather and fringed jacket make her look like some kind of ethereal warrior, and that raw bloodcurdling roar earns her a mark of respect amongst the death-metal crowd. As three people on microlights soar above the arena, Alissa addresses the crowd “This is a very special show… about 3 years ago ae released an album called War Eternal… since then we’ve been touring, we’ve done about 300 shows…and this, Bloodstock, is the last one of this War Eternal cycle!”.

Next up on the Jager stage, Voodoo Blood are giving a belting classic metal show to an increasingly large crowd, but as they finish up the arena is filling for finale headliners Megadeth. What a way to close Bloodstock 2017 – Megadeth are true masters of their genre and the crowd is loving them, out with a raft of Marshall amps and some serious shredding they are the perfect sound to end what has been an exceptional weekend. Check out our full Megadeth review HERE. The Bloodstock blues will hit hard next week but for now we are riding out on a serious high, this festival really is family, and it seems pretty strange to be going back to our normal lives for another year. With two announcements already down, we can’t wait to see what else BOA has in store for 2018.

All photographs © A. Hyams – Do not use without permission

Ghost headline Bloodstock Open Air 2017 – Are they the marmite of metal?

Night two at Bloodstock and we’ve seen a whole host of spectacular bands already. It’s with little surprise that we see the arena considerably less full than yesterday, Ghost are one of those marmite-type bands who seem to divide people pretty cleanly into love or loathe.

The loathe crew really do have a point though, there is just no necessity for a twenty minute introduction of classical piano pieces and a choral arrangement. Honestly not even the actual Pope requires that kind of ceremony. The stage is set pretty sparsely with only some stained glass window banners as a backdop, but the nameless ghouls are sporting their metallic demon masks and darting about the place to make the most of the vast bare space.

Papa Emeritus emerges in his traditional Pope garb and painted face, in the midst of a huge cloud of smoke and it’s straight on with ‘Square Hammer’ and ‘From the Pinnacle to the Pit’. Yelling “Bloodstock are you with us?” it’s clear from the crowd reply that minds are not being changed tonight. Ghost fans are fans, but the margins who are there simply because it’s a headline act, aren’t convinced. It’s not that Ghost are awful by any stretch, they’re good musicians, it’s just they’re not actually that exciting.

Out of the robe now, Papa is leaping around the stage in some sort of cross-emblazoned 90s shiny bomber jacket and there are some rather sombre nuns pacing around during ‘Cirice’. ‘Year Zero’ serves to amp things up a little, only to be sabotaged with the comedic sermon preached by Papa, swinging a censer ball around and trying to look ominous. Yeah sure there’s some pyro, strobe and flash bangs going off, but the atmosphere in the crowd just isn’t there to back it up.

In the crowd someone dressed as Papa Lazarou is yelling “I’m the real Papa” to the mirth of those around him, and Papa Emeritus appears to reply with “I want you to say loud in your British English voices… NOOOO! In you life… say no to shit.” which seems fairly apt as the area has thinned considerably with more people saying no to Ghost (and the fact that it’s cold as balls tonight).

Closing with ‘Ritual’ and ‘Monsterance Clock’ there’s actually little ceremony at the end and people are walking before they even strike the last note. It’s hard to judge this Ghost performance without conflict – they’re good, but they’re not great. They’re capable, but they’re not exciting. I guess the biggest thing to recognise is that they were preceded by one of the most insane Kreator shows we’ve ever seen, and unfortunately for Ghost, their slower more melodic style is sort of like throwing a bucket of water on all that built up fire and fury.

All photographs © A. Hyams – Do not use without permission

BLOODSTOCK reveal ten more bands for 2017

As Spring creeps into Summer, BLOODSTOCK HQ is a hive of activity.  The ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ finals are well under way and plans are on track for 2017 being the biggest and best BLOODSTOCK yet!  Here’s ten more bands for starters…

 

BLOODSTOCK is delighted to now reveal that nefarious Nuclear Blast group DEVILMENT will join the bill at Catton Park this Summer.  Featuring the unmistakable vocals of Dani Filth, catch the band on the Ronnie James Dio main stage on Friday.  DEVILMENT declare, “Obviously the band are really looking forward to playing the festival, and as a English band it will definitely be an honour to play the main stage on what is tantamount to the best British festival out there. Hopefully festival goers will come and check DEVILMENT out, we intend on putting on quite a raucous heavy metal spectacle!”  If you’re not a loyal disciple already, get to grips with their most recent album, ‘Devilment II: The Mephisto Waltzes’, via their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/devilmentcorps/ and watch the video for ‘Hitchcock Blonde’ – https://youtu.be/tQbZ-tQycEY.

 

Thursday’s headliner over on the Sophie Lancaster stage will be Helsinki’s own BATTLE BEAST!  With ferocious riffs galore, BATTLE BEAST are both heavy AND metal, perfect for opening night party shenanigans!  Bassist Eero comments, “We're psyched to be taking on BLOODSTOCK for the first time. We had a great time playing in the UK this spring, and it's really neat to be returning there so soon. Looking forward to seeing all our friends again soon!”  Check out the video for ‘Bringer Of Pain’, the title track from their most recent album, at: https://youtu.be/pBpv_pcUEIQ.

BLOODSTOCK can also announce the first batch of additions from the ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ finals!  Friday welcomes Coventry winners DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, who combine hardcore vocals with power melodies (https://www.facebook.com/devil.playground) and modern metalheads MERITHIAN, who took top prize in the Swindon heat (https://www.facebook.com/MerithianOfficial).  Check out their lyric video for ‘Grow’ at: https://youtu.be/vnsGwZTJMgk.  Also brutalizing Friday are Brighton’s death metal victors ENSLAVEMENT (https://www.facebook.com/EnslavementUK), influenced by classics like Suffocation, Immolation, & Devourment.  On Saturday, Sheffield champions BA’AL add their blackened doom (www.facebook.com/baalsheff) plus Dublin’s top dogs ZHORA bring some progressive sludge a long way from Tipperary (https://www.facebook.com/zhOramusic/).  Sunday sees Slovenian doomsters MIST roll in, as part of the band exchange with MetalDays (www.facebook.com/mist.doom).  Originally all-female, the group builds on the legacy of acts like Black Sabbath, Candlemass, & Pentagram – hear it in ‘Phobia’ at: https://youtu.be/u7QwIwGk28w.  CD application conquerors HEATHEN DEITY join Sunday from the Midlands (https://www.facebook.com/heathendeityofficial).  Get into their esoteric lore and absolute blackness via ‘Gut The Church’ at https://youtu.be/414Y6aG-RUo.  Last but not least, melodic death metallers SHROUDED also join Sunday’s bill (https://www.facebook.com/shroudedband), having clinched first place in Belfast’s final.

 

Planning your travel to BLOODSTOCK yet?  Need a lift or driving there and want cash for your empty seats?  BLOODSTOCK have teamed up with GOCARSHARE again so you can rock out and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.  Register where you’re travelling to/from, or your route, and then wait for drivers/passengers to get in touch!  GOCARSHARE is integrated with Facebook, so you can check out your possible travel buddies and they encourage travellers to post feedback.  Plus you might even win a pair of tickets for next year!  For full details, head over to http://gocarshare.com/festival/bloodstock.  Prefer to come by coach?  BIG GREEN COACH have 21 departure cities directly to BLOODSTOCK in 2017, from all over the UK.  They’ll bring you, all your camping gear and beer supplies, and drop you hassle free right inside the festival grounds.  Visit http://www.biggreencoach.co.uk/events/bloodstock-festival-tickets-coach-travel.

 

Already announced for 2017 are our three headliners AMON AMARTH, GHOST, and MEGADETH, plus ARCH ENEMY, KREATOR, BLIND GUARDIAN, HATEBREED, TESTAMENT, OBITUARY, KING 810, BRUJERIA, WHITECHAPEL, SKINDRED, POSSESSED, ANNIHILATOR, MUNICIPAL WASTE, HELL, DECAPITATED, SOILWORK, CHELSEA GRIN, MACABRE, INQUISITION, SCARAB, WINTERSUN, ONI, DENDERA, KROH, ABHORRENT DECIMATION, COURTESANS, WRETCHED SOUL, BOSSK, WINTERFYLLETH, GODS, BLIND HAZE, ARTHEMIS, SEASON’S END, BLIND RIVER, ENDEAVOUR, BLAAKYUM, DAKESIS, NORDJEVEL, TORQUED, BLACK MOTH, MANTAR, WOLFHEART, LIONIZE and BROKEN TEETH.  Many more are still be announced!  Stay tuned to BLOODSTOCK’s social media at https://www.facebook.com/bloodstock and https://twitter.com/bloodstockfest for the latest!

 

100 DAYS ‘TIL BLOODSTOCK!

With just 100 days to go, BLOODSTOCK is delighted to welcome Manchester bruisers BROKEN TEETH, as Sunday’s Ronnie James Dio main stage opener.  Signed to Nuclear Blast last year, the hardcore youngbloods are set to wake everyone up and pummel your hangover into submission!  Check out ‘Show No Mercy’ from their debut full-length ‘At Peace Amongst Chaos’ at https://youtu.be/Cppa15f4sFw.

 

Four more talented bands are joining the Last.fm-sponsored Sophie Lancaster stage bill.  Maryland, USA rockers LIONIZE (www.facebook.com/LIONIZEMUSIC/) bring the groove & funk to the party, and have been hard at work on their next record for new label The End (out this Summer), so expect a few new tunes!  Are you familiar with BLACK MOTH (www.facebook.com/themothpit/) yet?  If not, you soon will be!  Hailing from Leeds, Kerrang! describes them, “like Electric Wizard meets Band Of Skulls, in a dungeon.”  Finnish metal outfit WOLFHEART (www.facebook.com/WolfheartRealm/) swoop in to showcase their new album ‘Tyhjyys’, released in March via Spinefarm.  And if black metal blended with doom and punk catches your interest, don’t miss Nuclear Blast’s brutal German duo MANTAR (www.facebook.com/MantarBand/).  

 

After last year’s huge success, the 100%CA strongmen competition returns to the arena even bigger and better, and 2017 adds the women getting involved too!  Friday sees the ladies battling it out for England’s Strongest Woman, boasting an impressive line up of 8 Arnold's and 5 World's competitors as well as Jenny Todd (the reigning middleweight Arnold's champion) and Donna Moore (the current open weight Arnold's champion and World's Strongest Woman)!  Sponsored by XPLOSIVEAPE, there’s a £1200 prize up for grabs, a first for the women's sport.  Saturday brings the return of Europe’s Strongest Man u90kg.  Will reigning champ Rob Ward keep his hands on the title or will Tom Hibbert, Calum Evans, or Davy Wallace knock him off his throne?  Sunday’s finale offers a tiered prize pot of £2500 for the top 5 in XPLOSIVEAPE’s Strongest Man.  See some of the UK’s best athletes, including Graham Hick (current British log press holder, World's Strongest Man competitor, and third at Britain's), fast-rising demon Mark Steele, and current England's Strongest Man, Paul Smith.  Come along, cheer, and snap a photo with the strongest men and women in the country!

 

If that leaves you in need of refreshment, head over to KRAKEN’s Freaky Tiki black spiced rum bar, where you can indulge in dastardly concoctions amongst black palm trees, tiki torches, and shrunken heads. Adorn yourself with a black lei and keep an eye out for the KRAKEN Hunters patrolling the arena. Look for the totem pole, you won’t be able to miss it.

 

BLOODSTOCK’s also pleased to announce the return of the very popular JAGERMEISTER Stage, showcasing some of the hottest up’n’comers in heavy music. Bands performing will be revealed in the coming weeks!

 

If bourbon revs your engine, you’ll be thrilled to hear that BULLEIT are cruising in with their classic Studebaker truck bar, offering their infamous frontier whiskey, along with a host of other BULLEIT goodies! They might have a hair-raisin’ surprise up their sleeve too…

 

Prepare to be dazzled! Bringing their full production, BLOODSTOCK's three headliners for 2017 are AMON AMARTH, GHOST, and MEGADETH. Also already announced are ARCH ENEMY, KREATOR, BLIND GUARDIAN, HATEBREED, TESTAMENT, OBITUARY, KING 810, BRUJERIA, WHITECHAPEL, SKINDRED, POSSESSED, ANNIHILATOR, MUNICIPAL WASTE, HELL, DECAPITATED, SOILWORK, CHELSEA GRIN, MACABRE, INQUISITION, KING PARROT, SCARAB, WINTERSUN, ONI, DENDERA, KROH, ABHORRENT DECIMATION, COURTESANS, WRETCHED SOUL, BOSSK, WINTERFYLLETH, GODS, BLIND HAZE, ARTHEMIS, SEASON’S END, BLIND RIVER, ENDEAVOUR, BLAAKYUM, DAKESIS, NORDJEVEL, and TORQUED.  Many more are still to come!  Stay tuned to BLOODSTOCK’s social media at https://www.facebook.com/bloodstock and https://twitter.com/bloodstockfest for the latest!

BLOODSTOCK announces 10 more, plus the ‘Metal To The Masses’ finals kick off!

BLOODSTOCK has six more bands lined up for the Sophie Lancaster stage and four lucky bands win slots on the New Blood stage to celebrate the start of the ‘Metal To The Masses’ finals.

 

Landing slots on the Sophie Lancaster stage are Leeds metal trio BLIND HAZE (www.facebook.com/Blindhazeband), Italian power/classic metal outfit, ARTHEMIS (www.facebook.com/arthemis.official/), sludgy groove beasts GODS (www.facebook.com/therealgods), symphonic goth outfit SEASON’S END (www.facebook.com/seasons.end), Bristol progressive rockers ENDEAVOUR (www.facebook.com/EndeavourMetal) and classic rock n’ rollers, BLIND RIVER (www.facebook.com/pg/BlindRiverUK).

 

We’re also thrilled to welcome back Last.fm as sponsors of the Sophie Lancaster stage for 2017.  Check out their Spotify playlist of bands on the Sophie stage and get excited for August!  https://play.spotify.com/user/lastfmofficial/playlist/2mbVU7viKYgRh5CPhhOwl8. 

 

BLOODSTOCK’s ever tenacious search for the best breaking bands culminates soon with the kick off of the ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ finals on 22nd April.  The festival’s incentive to give up-and-coming acts a break by offering slots on the bill at Catton Park has helped give many acts a career launchpad and the finals see the M2TM team narrowing it down and picking their winners for 2017.  This year, M2TM ran in 29 UK regions, plus events in Ireland and Norway to find bands for the New Blood Stage.  Attendees at the finals can also win weekend festival tickets or prizes from our sponsors, Kraken rum and Hobgoblin ale.  The lucky bands winning a slot on the New Blood stage will also be in with a chance of landing extra goodies from our friends at Gibson Guitars, Studiomaster & Carlsbro or recording time with Russ Russell at his Parlour Studios in Northampton (http://www.parlourstudios.co.uk/).

 

Having won a slot on BLOODSTOCK’s New Blood stage in 2016, the Northern Irish band, THE CRAWLING are announced as winners of Metal 2 The Masses’ prize of a slot at the Slovenian festival, Metaldays.  Congratulations to them!

 

BLOODSTOCK is also proud to announce the first bands landing a slot on the Hobgoblin New Blood stage, hand picked from CD and online applications.  Hailing from Beirut, Lebanon are BLAAKYUM (www.facebook.com/blaakyum).  The band’s blend of thrash & groove metal is infused with crushing Middle Eastern percussion and oriental guitars.  Check out ‘Baal Adon’ live – https://youtu.be/6KwsoLIHKVE.  British power-proggers DAKESIS (www.facebook.com/dakesis) also land a slot.  The band’s sound ranges from powerful metal anthems to expansive, progressive instrumental and orchestral soundscapes.  Check out ‘The Great Insurrection’ here – https://youtu.be/a_rcIORrxFo.  Norway’s NORDJEVEL (www.facebook.com/nordjevelofficial) will bring some black metal to the New Blood bill.  Featuring ex-Ragnarok and Marduk members in their ranks, their pedigree is second to none.  Check out their video for ‘Djevelen I Nord’ here – https://youtu.be/zS1YAM7KdvQ.  Lastly, British groove metal animals, TORQUED (www.facebook.com/Torquedband) also win a slot.  They claim they’re here to ‘rip faces and blow gauges’.  Decide for yourself by checking out their set at in August!

 

Bands still wanting to throw their hat in the ring for a New Blood slot can apply via the Hobgoblin video upload platform – https://www.wychwood.co.uk, or by contacting [email protected] for further details.

 

Already announced for 2017 are our three headliners AMON AMARTH, GHOST, and MEGADETH, plus ARCH ENEMY, KREATOR, BLIND GUARDIAN, HATEBREED, TESTAMENT, OBITUARY, KING 810, BRUJERIA, WHITECHAPEL, SKINDRED, POSSESSED, ANNIHILATOR, MUNICIPAL WASTE, HELL, DECAPITATED, SOILWORK, CHELSEA GRIN, MACABRE, INQUISITION, KING PARROT, SCARAB, WINTERSUN, ONI, DENDERA, KROH, ABHORRENT DECIMATION, COURTESANS, WRETCHED SOUL, BOSSK, and WINTERFYLLETH.  Many more are still be announced!  Stay tuned to BLOODSTOCK’s social media at https://www.facebook.com/bloodstock and https://twitter.com/bloodstockfest for the latest!

Bloodstock confirm GHOST as final headliner for 2017

BLOODSTOCK are very excited to announce GHOST as their Saturday night headliner!

This will be GHOST’s first ‘ritual’ at BLOODSTOCK and watching their amazing stage show after dark is sure to be quite the religious experience!  Check out a taster of what might be in store via this clip from Hellfest 2016 – https://youtu.be/JNCbvDIOeT4

A Nameless Ghoul informs us “We are absolutely chuffed to finally be playing at the classic BLOODSTOCK.  Over the years we have heard so many great things about it and now, to be able to headline one of the nights, is a great honour and we are very much looking forward to it.  Thank you all and see you there!"

GHOST, who are hot off the back of their Popestar UK tour, channel the early sounds of Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate, as well as elements of prog and late '60s psych rock, so couldn’t be more at home on Catton Park’s hallowed turf.  Papa and the Ghouls current album, ‘Meliora’ spawned the Grammy Award-winning track, ‘Cirice’, the video for which has clocked up almost 16 million views on YouTube – https://youtu.be/-0Ao4t_fe0I.  ‘Meliora’ was followed in September 2016 by their critically lauded ‘Popestar’ EP, featuring the hugely sticky ‘Square Hammer’ – https://youtu.be/VqoyKzgkqR4.   We can’t wait to welcome them to Catton Park in August!

Already announced for 2017 are Friday’s headliners AMON AMARTH, Sunday’s headliners MEGADETH, plus ARCH ENEMY, KREATOR, BLIND GUARDIAN, HATEBREED, TESTAMENT, OBITUARY, KING 810, BRUJERIA, WHITECHAPEL, SKINDRED, POSSESSED, ANNIHILATOR, MUNICIPAL WASTE, HELL, DECAPITATED, SOILWORK, CHELSEA GRIN, MACABRE, INQUISITION, KING PARROT, SCARAB, WINTERSUN, ONI, DENDERA, KROH, ABHORRENT DECIMATION, COURTESANS, WRETCHED SOUL, BOSSK, and WINTERFYLLETH.  Many more are still be announced!  Stay tuned to BLOODSTOCK’s social media at https://www.facebook.com/bloodstock and https://twitter.com/bloodstockfest for the latest!

 

 

Sonisphere 2014 Saturday brings a mix of acts to Knebworth

Sonisphere wasn't shy to mix up the line up they had in store today. Starting with Ale Storm from 11.35am, an early start for an incredible turn out. Many pirate dance moves later "Lets drink a lot of drink." Shouts LEAD. Followed by sound checks in Japanese ready for Baby Metal to hit the stage for their first UK tour, the performance surly had a complete different feel compared to what is usually played. Baby Metal kicked off there set with a star war themed visuals with a narrator telling a fictional story about the band. Next up was Chas and Dave, then Ghost with Antherax and Frank Turner following behind. Although Frank Turner claimed "This music is what I fucking come from" after him mentioning he grew up listening to Iron Maiden. None of these bands even touch on a similar genre type but I guess the one thing they all have in common was there invitation to perform here. So, was this the weirdest binary of sets Sonisphere has ever had?

Photo courtesy of Sonisphere

Download Festival 2013 – Sunday Review

A drier Sunday sees festival goers lounging on the hillside whilst watching the writhing madness that is the mosh pits at Five Finger Death Punch, and wassailing with Swedish melodic metallers – Amon Amarth, who play aboard their on stage Viking longship, to a sea of fans’ windmilling hair and guttural yells.

Stone Sour pull off a powerful set to a packed arena with the likes of ‘Say You’ll Haunt Me’ and ‘Mission Statement’. With the words “We are in England, the home of heavy metal. This is where it all started. There’s one band that we all owe our allegiance to… Black Sabbath. This is dedicated to them” they proceed to play a very Stone Sour cover of ‘Children of the Grave’ and frontman Corey Taylor goes on to perform second cover Alice In Chains’ ‘Nutshell’ as a solo. Yelling “I’m going to go on record and say this country is my favourite in the fucking world” Corey gains a roar of respect from the crowd, however he (and countless unfortunate others) cop an eyeful of the buck-naked dude standing atop his mate’s shoulders for much of the second half of the set.

Over on the second stage something odd is occurring, my first encounter with what I can only describe as Papal-Metal, comes at the hands of Swedish eccentrics Ghost. Dressed in cardinal’s robes and misfits style skeleton paint, frontman Papa Emeritus II has a much higher/softer rock vocal than you expect, and the ‘Nameless Ghouls’ (read: rest of the band, dressed in black robes) do a decent job with ‘Year Zero’ and ‘Ritual’ to a pretty large crowd.

Following them, the second stage sees a sudden influx of bodies in preparation for the return of Aussie icons Airbourne, a band who last time they performed were put in the naughty corner for frontman Joel O'Keefe’s rock and roll, rigging-scaling action. Smoke cannons, energetic hopping around and some proper good old windmilling are the mainstay of Airbourne’s performance, and a quick “You’re a fucking sight for sore eyes Donington, it’s great to be back in the U fucking K” puts everyone immediately on side. Joel foregoes the death-defying stunts this year and instead legs it into the crowd with his guitar, meeting fans, playing, and just generally having a nice time for ‘Raise The Flag’. After getting back on stage, the crowd is treated to ‘Live it Up’ and ‘Runnin’ Wild’ with a bit of good old synchronised headbanging.

A much anticipated 30 Seconds to Mars are giving the female festival population ovarian tingles, as frontman Jared Leto (widely enjoyed for purely shallow reasons) turns his wailing on the busy arena. Four guys in coloured balaclavas are for some unknown reason, employed to bang drums steadily behind the band a la Blue Man Group, but much less interesting, and Leto’s inane comments (particularly the weird “We are forty seconds to mars”… we all heard that right?!) are getting a bit hard to swallow. Calling out “You, you in the blue hat and the Cannibal Corpse tshirt, you’re just looking at your dick… This guy is gonna lead the jump for us” Leto continues to make an ass of himself. Dear Jared Leto, despite your penchant for odd outfits and your strange ideas about fan-prizes (see “win a night in my bed” no, really) I actually don’t *hate* the way you sound, but come on… if there’s a guy at your show in a Cannibal Corpse tshirt, he’s either just securing his spot for Rammstein later or appeasing a teenage girl. Take the hint. After arrogantly announcing a forthcoming UK tour (the entire list of dates and locations… *sigh*) and pulling a load of screaming hormonal girls on stage, they close out with  ‘The Kill (Bury Me’, ‘Kings and Queens’ and ‘Up in the Air’, to the cheers of all those thoroughly annoyed at having witnessed it.

During the stage-setting break the last few brave souls hit the zipline to the terrifying sight of a crowd gearing up for their descent, with a host of bottles and other miscellaneous missiles to hurl at the unfortunate victims – it makes for interesting sport/entertainment as we wait.

Rammstein hit Donington with everything they’ve got, showcasing their heavy style amidst a plethora of flaming devices from ‘2, 3, 4, Links’ and ‘Du Hast’ to ‘Ich Will’ and ‘Sonne’. Fans are treated to a spectacular show, including flamethrowers, fireworks, bondage and S&M alongside anthemic hits, it’s the show Download Festival has been waiting years for and they certainly do it justice (see the full review for complete details). Closing the night and the festival with the comedic and fairly gross, ‘Pussy’ and a foam-spraying giant penis-cannon, flanked by ticker-tape explosions, it’s been a long time coming (excuse the pun…) but Rammstein know how to put on an epic performance, this has been one extraordinary night for Download Festival and for the history of Donington Park. Who knows what to expect next year…

Black Stone Cherry, CHTHONIC and more added to Download 2013 lineup

Headlined by Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein, Download Festival takes place on 14-16 June 2013 at Donington Park. Day tickets are on sale from 9am on Thursday 28 March and are available at www.downloadfestival.co.uk. Weekend tickets are available now and selling quick!

Back for their fourth epic appearance at Download Festival are American rockers Black Stone Cherry with some loud, hard, in-your-face rock music. The band’s 2011 set left crowds gasping for more with a relentless onslaught of big guitar riffs at maximum volume. Taiwanese group CHTHONIC & The Oriental Orchestra and Norway’s legendary Satyricon will treat fans to some pure unadulterated black metal, while bestowing utter mayhem and full scale metal force at Donington are DragonForceGhost are also confirmed for 2013 having just completed a successful UK tour culminating in a sold out Brixton Academy in London. 

American rockers Masters Of Reality join the bill performing tracks spanning their six studio albums, and ready to ‘Stand Up For Rock N Roll’ are US group Red White & BluesFearless Vampire Killers will tear it up with some theatrical alt-rock, punk rock band of the moment Fidlar will bring their Californian jams to UK shores, and Brit hardcore group Palm Reader are getting ready to churn up the Donington mosh pit.  

Californian‘70s-style blues rockers Rival Sons are also confirmed, they joined Black Stone Cherry on their UK tour last year playing to packed out crowds across the country. American rockers Little Caesar are confirmed for some ballsy rock music, and the new supergroup Krokodil featuring members of Sikth, Johnny Truant, Cry for Silence, Gallows and Hexes will make their first Download appearance as a band.

Pop-punk piece Patent Pending are also added to the bill fresh from their tour with Bowling For Soup. Brit metal heads Idiom also join the bill, fresh from touring with Skindred, and last but by no means least are UK rockers Voodoo Six and Hammer Of The Gods.