Bloodstock Festival 2016 – Friday – Jager stage

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Isarnos

Ok, let me get this straight- there was a fiddle, bagpipes, a flute, a bass, guitar, drums and a weird box thingy… wait what? It was a frigging hurdy-gurdy, what the hell was happening here? Well put simply, genius was happening, that’s what. Never have you seen such crazy instruments put together to create a folk metal bombastic brilliance as we gt with with Isarnos. The harsh vocals and clean luxurious vocals blended so well from the singers, the sextet from London just brought it and it was just what was needed and such a perfect band for Bloodstock; there is always one that goes above and beyond in the weird and wonderful and this year it belonged to Isarnos. They were a great hit, the crowd was six rows deep outside the tent and they were going mental for the incredible music that was being pumped out. Isarnos was definitely the surprise package of the day and it has to be said, one to seriously watch out for in your local area to go and see to believe it. AE

Photos: Heather Mc

The Hyena Kill

The Hyena Kill from Manchester brought a ferocious wall of riffs with them. Guitarist & vocalist Steven Dobb delivered an almost physical wall of sound with his guitar which from the intimate vantage point of the photo pit was akin to getting punched in the face with chugging riffs. Drummer Lorna Blundell pounded the drums so hard it seems her sole intent must be to bury them in the ground. The two piece delivered a spectacular intensity which was infused with that special raw energy which indicated they are on the cusp of much bigger things. They instantly created an atmosphere which bristled with electricity. With crowds standing many rows back from the stage all straining to get a view it had to be noted that the Jagermeister stage was woefully inadequate to contain such energy. Definitely a band to catch live as soon as humanly possible. RP

Photos: Rich Price

Chasing Dragons

The last time we saw Chasing Dragons was at SOS Fest 2015 and once again they pulled off the display and panache we believe they are renowned for. Chasing Dragons really brought the fire with bursts of flaming energy and raw power from vocalist Tank as her incredible voice blasted out roasting everyone in the vicinity. This was the epitome of who Chasing Dragons are; the infectious riffs, brutally catchy choruses and brilliantly timed sound really gives them something very special indeed. They were the highlight of SOS Fest last year, and this year they were well up there on the list of top bands of Bloodstock 2016 as well. The Jäger stage was definitely the place to be this year as once again the calibre that was on show was incredible. The Dragonites were inside the tent bouncing around to the passionate, slick set, and new Dragonites were certainly created – that was obvious from the almighty grins on the faces of the crowd that looked shell-shocked by the incredible ability that was the delectable Chasing Dragons. AE

Photos: Heather Mc

Fuelled Hate

Well, what can be said about Fuelled Hate, other than this is the next generation of rap metal and the future of where this genre is going. It was like listening to a demonic Dr. Dre with an Anthrax style soundtrack but it was much more than that, this was a band that went beyond labels, pushed the boundaries of aggression and energy and demolished anything they touched. They brought the game to the Jägermeister stage and made everyone cry as they ruined everyone there. The crowd were mental, crowd barriers pulled up and thrown around, two Mr. Muscle Bloodstock crew pulled in to control it all, forced to do an encore which is unheard of, – the set had everything. This was the show of the entire weekend, the band of the weekend, they blew everyone away, the riffs were infectious, the bass lines thunderous, the drumming bombastic and the vocals, my word the vocals, now that is how to do it; incredible, just incredible, just can’t stop thinking about the set, utterly brilliant. AE

Photos: Rich Price

Vrona

Completely instrumental, completely inspirational; Vrona gave us an incredible set of stunning riffs and technical nuances that was like looking at a new Steve Gilmour band. The technicality was insane, the small twists and turns between the chords and the drumming blended with incredible craftsmanship; they brought the music alive without the need of a lyrical storyline, the music itself told its own story. The crowd were utterly entranced by the quartet from sunny Brighton. These were seriously talented young lads and they have one hell of a future ahead of them. Who needs a singer when you can play like this- do you see Steve Vai or Joe Satriani complaining? Nah, didn’t think so, and I tell you what these guys are in a similar calibre. AE

Photos: Rich Price

Two Tales of Woe

Two Tales of Woe are another band representing the growing Irish Metal scene. Originally coming through the Metal to the Masses competition they were picked by Simon Hall to play the Jagermeister stage. With a potent blend of Sludge and Doom it’s easy to see why they were picked: this was one heavy set indeed. Vocalist Carl King has one hell of a voice- raw, powerful and emotive it dominated their strong set.  The set itself is complete with some top notch drumming with a solid beat which powers their steamroller of a set. The crowd were once again crowded outside of the miniscule Jager tent nodding their heads along appreciatively.  Rounding their sound out was some very nice guitar work, especially the lead work. This was a great set. RP


Photos: Rich Price

Well what can be said about this day- just brilliant. Yes there were some issues with sound quality for the main stage and the Sophie stage but all in all a great show all round. It was a day of celebration and a day of sadness as Twisted Sister bowed out on a massive high in the UK, 40 years of service and they deserve to say fuck it! and call it a day. Dee Snider had a blast, slagging off the likes of Metal Hammer, Kerrang! Download and all the bands that say they are hanging up their spandex to come back two or three years later. There were some crackers over the day, Venom brought the magic once again, Chasing Dragons showed their class and the surprise packages of Fuelled Hate and Isarnos just blew people away. I tell you what, if this is the beginning, then what can Saturday bring us? Time for bed and a well-earned rest. AE

Reviews: Aaron Emerson + Rich Price


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