Bloodstock Open Air part 2. Read our event review

Bloodstock Open Air Festival was 11-13 of August in Catton Hall (Derbyshire). We have another part of our big review for you. Please sit comfortably and read!

Bloodstock Festival was over two weeks ago but we are still buzzing after this fantastic event. We have another part of English review for you written by Christian Gould. You can find the first part of the review here.

Polish version avalible here.

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2023. Saturday- corpse pain day!

The British Summer has caught up with Bloodstock and the pleasant sun of Friday has been replaced with dark skies. Judging by the bright red burns among many of the black-clad revellers, one day was still too much!

LiveRock started our Saturday on the New Blood Stage with horror punks, The Dead XIII. From Manchester, UK, the Dead XIII formed in 2013 and have been quietly building an impressive reputation on the UK touring scene. It’s a relatively small crowd in the tent, unsurprisingly most of the festival-goers are still sleeping off Friday’s drinking back in the campsites, but vocalist, Kurt Blackshard, prowls the stage and impresses with some solid screams.

The Dead XIII fot. Aleksandra Hogg

Over on Sophie Lancaster, it’s time for Casketfeeder. Casketfeeder made their debut at Bloodstock in 2021 on the New Blood Stage and their quick progression to Bloodstock’s second stage is testament to their hard work. Effortlessly blending hardcore grooves with death metal savagery, Casketfeeder lay siege to the stage with a blistering performance. It’s a slightly surreal sight watching Hardcore dancers two-stepping in the middle of a spinning circle pit but it fits Caskefeeder’s chaotic energy.

Casketfeeder fot. Aleksandra Hogg

On the main stage it’s time to hand over to Crowbar. The sludge metal veterans immediately start by serving up riffs as thick as the mud at Catton Hall. The band have stripped their sound back to the basics with their most recent release, Zero and Below, and they’re still some of the best around when it comes to chugging, head-nodding, riffs.

Back to the Sophie Lancaster and it’s time for Bristolian outfit, Skin Failure. It’s hard to pin down their sound as pizza-thrash adjacent riffing slides into progressive harmonies and technical breakdowns. Their debut album, Radillac, is a comedic concept about an interdimensional Jesus, however, the tongue-in-cheek humour of the band can’t hide some serious skills. Definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future.

Back to the main stage and it’s time for Knocked Loose. The hardcore punks from Kentucky are currently flying the flag for metal in the mainstream having made an unexpected appearance at Coachella in 2023 and they’ve attracted a sizeable crowd for a mid-afternoon slot. Bryan Garris wastes no time in hyping the crowd as he launches straight into Deep in the Willow. Boasting thunderous breakdowns as ominous as the black clouds above us, Knocked Loose quickly turn the crowd into a tsunami. Their set is briefly interrupted by a power cut caused by a sudden downpour of rain but you get the feeling that the next time Knocked Loose appear at Bloodstock they’ll be headlining the Ronnie James.

Knoked Loose fot. Aleksandra Hogg

On the Sophie Lancaster it’s time for Dakesis. The progressive power metallers have had an impressive journey at Bloodstock, playing both the Jagermeister and New Blood stages in years past before earning their spot on Bloodstock’s 2nd stage. Blue-haired and wearing a cape, charismatic vocalist, Gemma, immediately grabs the attention of the crowd and her soaring vocals are one of the highlights of the weekend.

Amid a flurry of dry ice and mist, Abbath takes to the Ronnie James Dio stage. It’s a setlist that mainly features songs from the most album releases, Dread Reaver and Abbath. Pounding riffs and Abbath’s classic, guttural vocals, take the crowd on a Black N’ Roll journey courtesy of one of the legends of the genre.

See our gallery from Abbath gig at Bloodstock Open Air Festival.

The Sophie Lancaster tent is absolutely packed for Czech Goregrinders, Gutulax and as they launch into their set the air is filled with thrown toilet rolls and a wide array of inflatables. The band’s self-deprecating toilet humour does suggest that they’ll never be a headline performer but they still manage to turn the tent into a maelstrom of chaos with some seriously brutal riffs.

Gutulax fot. Aleksandra Hogg

On the Ronnie James Dio it’s time for the sub-headliners, Triptykon performing Celtic Frost. Tom Warrior has achieved demigod status in the metal community for good reason and hearing Celtic Frost hits such as The Usurper, Beyond the North Winds and Return to the Eve played at Catton Hall remind you of the profound impact he’s had across metal. Things are slightly awkward when Tom announces to the audience that he’s happy to be at Download Festival but given his hectic touring schedule in the last few years we can forgive him for the mistake.

See full gallery from Triptykon on Bloodstock Festival.

Following Gutulax, it’s time for Trollfest on the Sophie Lancaster. It’s 'corpse paint’ day at Bloodstock festival and this adds to the mystique of a band that refuses to take themselves seriously. Watched by the corpse-painted faithful at Catton Hall, Trollfest troop onto the stage adorned in pink and wearing flamingo heads. The crowd is a riotous display of colour as Trollfest bring their unique brand of Folk Metal/Polka-core to Derbyshire and it’s evident that the wannabe Eurovision finalists have earned themselves a lot of fans tonight.

See gallery from Trollfest amazing performance at Bloodstock Festival.

Headling Saturday on the Ronnie James Dio stage is Meshuggah. The genre re-defining veterans were at their technical best as they closed out Bloodstock. Hypnotising, chugging riffs accompanied by the precise, metronomic drumming of Tomas Haake enthralled the sprawling crowd alongside an impressive, light show.

Check photo gallery from Meshuggah gig at Bloodstock Open Air Festival.

Bloodstockers express themselves!

Saturday was marked by corpse paint and Bloodstockers rose to the occassion. These challenges contribute to the unique and familial atmosphere at Bloodstock and it’s not uncommon to see entire families enjoying this event.

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