Bloodstock Festival 2016 – New Blood Stage – Friday

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Witch Tripper

 The New Blood stage was packed, with Bloodstock taking swift interest in the stoner rock outfit Witch Tripper. Their infectious groove really sunk their claws in and it was the perfect way to open the stage and the festival on a Friday. It wasn’t obnoxiously loud and in your face, it was just what the doctor ordered for anyone nursing the head from the night before. What they brought was technically gifted with precision that gave you goose bumps. There were aspects of 70’s style rock as well as that trucker style metal that they brought to the fore. This was some truly good stuff and the boys from Mansfield put on one hell of a performance; Witch Tripper are definitely one to look out for in the near future, that’s for sure. AE

Photos: Rich Price

Redeye Revival

Leeds heavy thrashers Redeye Revival came out to unleash their week’s frustration on the Bloodstock crowd and unleash them they did with a bristling high energy show to an enthusiastic New Blood crowd in full on party mode. Great riffs, good energy and a nice party atmosphere with the singer windmilling like his neck was on springs were all part of the show.  Great guitars produced some abrasive riffs and good solos combined with some breakneck drumming and Redeye Revival were a hit, especially when they have party thrash songs like Ruthless Rapids which are about marijuana and water slides. Good solid heavy thrash with a party atmosphere- what’s not to like? RP

Souls of Jack Ketch

Newcastle Death Thrashers Souls of Jack Ketch had a no compromise attitude on stage and that is none more evident than in the barking delivery of vocalist Ian who seeks to dominate the stage in the sweltering heat. They did take a little while to get going and had some half decent but nervous interaction with another big New Blood crowd. However, once they got going they absolutely flattened the crowd. The band played some seriously good fast paced stuff which drove home with every beat. Hefty riffs with plenty of tight as hell shredding all carried along with some manic drumming and good backing vocals from guitarist Lee delighted the crowd, and whilst they remained fairly static on stage the music packed more than enough energy to counter that. RP

Photos: Rich Price

Seed of Sorrow

With Evil Scarecrow playing over on the main stage Inverness’ Melodic Death Metallers ‘Seed of Sorrow’ had one of the hardest clashes of the weekend. This meant that they were playing to a relatively small but rabid crowd of enthusiastic fans. Not to be deterred they played complex chugging riffs to large crowd reactions. There was a good atmosphere within the New Blood tent and the band themselves had a good stage presence. The crowd were especially into their savage set with chants for 5 more tunes abundant. It must be said that their set was pretty damn good indeed, and they received a large cheer from the crowd at the end. RP

Photos: Rich Price

Husk – West Midlands winners Husk played a kind of metal that is difficult to pigeon hole. They boasted an immense rhythm section with some powerhouse drumming counterpointed wonderfully by bass player Bob Taylor. Playing a hollow body bass Bob was a slap playing bass machine as well as frontman, who apparently came away with an endorsement from New Blood sponsors Dean Guitars as a result of this performance. Their music was both heavy and melodic with riffs slamming down on the audience, and the guitars were bolstered with a spacey almost tech sound which gave a really different feel to them over a lot of the other bands gracing the New Blood stage. All in all this was an absolutely awesome set with strong performances from all members of the band and I absolutely loved it. RP

Garganjua

Psychedelically sludging to a packed tent, Garganjua brought out an array of seriously outrageous tracks that brought you into their world of purple elephants and spiky clouds, or was that my world? I’m so confused right now. Anyway, it was a dark and brooding set that was full of anguish, the haunting howls of pain that tended to appear from vocalist Gaz added that extra layer inky blackness to the already dripping black tar chords that were being pumped out. The crowd were loving it, heads bobbed to every power note and this was a good, solid set that they should be very proud of. AE

Vehement

South coast metallers Vehement fought back from some initial sound issues to deliver what would be one of my standout sets of Bloodstock. Vehement were wearing face mask/bandanas, although given the unforgiving heat they did let those slip a bit during the set, and they had a thought out theatrical element which was borne out by their immersive stage presence. Musically they had a nice abrasive black metal guitar tone, droning notes and raspy vocals, however with a slightly more progressive tone to it similar to emperor at times. I really enjoyed their performance and judging by the large responses so did the majority of the crowd. Definitely a standout New Blood set for me. I’m looking forward to catching them again. RP

Burning the Dream

Glasgow’s Burning the Dream played more progressive death metal and following on from Vehement provided yet another standout set of the New Blood stage. It was testament to Simon Hall and Metal 2 The Masses at the quality of acts on display this year. These guys really could play and this set was an awesome display of talent delivered with plenty of energy. Frontman Paul Kelly was charismatic and worked well with the crowd, and also from within the crowd as he abandoned the stage for a run about the audience.  Wearing their Burn 10 Downing Street T-shirt the anti-Tory Rhetoric went down particularly well with the crowd and they received large applause and bigger cheers. Also of note was the really nice rattling bass tone throughout their set. RP

End of Salvation

Surrey death metaller’s End of Salvation had a strong visual style and a good bouncy energy on stage; with plenty of movement and crowd interaction they played their heavy grooves to their End of Salvation Army. They had clearly thought about their stage show and didn’t look like they had just come from the bar and that attention to detail was nice to see. They interacted with the crowd very well and inducted the audience into their End of Salvation Army winning over plenty of new recruits. Musically their sound was absolutely spot on too, being quite notably fleshed out with 3 guitars in the mix – most of which seemed to have extra strings which as well as adding some extra power to their chugging riffs and it almost felt a bit tech in places.   Their set was rock solid and they gave it plenty on stage which was rewarded by some huge props from the crowd. Another high quality band on the New Blood stage. RP

Triverse Massacre

Carlisle’s Death Groove Thrashers Triverse Massacre carried on the immense quality of the New Blood stage this year although I did scratch my head more than one wondering exactly what a triverse massacre actually was. They had an impressive grinding chugging groove to their sound all carried by some impressively relentless drumming. Savage, low end, powerful vocals roared into the crowd. For the most part the band were fairly static on stage, but that didn’t stop them having one hell of a rapport with the crowd. They got a pit going almost instantly within the New Blood tent, and towards the end of their set they were joined onstage by Aliens and Predator who frequent the grounds of Bloodstock, much to the crowd’s enjoyment. RP

The Crawling

Yet another quality Irish band The Crawling broke the mould from the largely Death/Thrash of the New Blood stage by bringing some Doom to the New Blood stage. Starting off to a  smallish crowd they were incredibly good, and as they played their audience grew and grew. The doom side of their sound was excellent, causing the ever growing crowd to nod along appreciatively to their tone. The doom sound was punctuated with some furious death metal blasts with buzzsaw guitars and barked dry vocals. The way they switched between the two allowed their sound to ebb and flow their intensity almost hypnotically with the crowd. Their stoic stage presence showed their confidence on stage and this was a commanding performance. Their set was another personal highlight of the New Blood stage over the weekend. RP

Agrona

South Wales M2TM winners Agrona, couldn’t have had their set time more perfected by Satan himself. Wedged between Venom and Behemoth on the New Blood stage, their atmospheric black metal filled the tent with both long-time fans and newcomers bewitched by the riffage on offer. Kicking Bloodstock firmly in the face with the 5 track set, it was short but unrelenting. Black metallers aren’t meant to smile but the boys clearly enjoyed the fruits of their hard work. Tracks like ‘Risen’ and ‘Storms End’ won new fans and hopefully bigger stages for next time. SJ

Exhumation

The Liverpool death metallers played some slamming death metal with a modern take on that old school feel. They had a full sound on the New Blood stage which was being driven along by one hell of a drumming performance from Karl Scahill who delivered some serious jackhammer beats. Despite clashing with Behemoth on the main stage, they played their short brutal set confidently to a rabid crowd who were going nuts for them. This was a great performance and the frontman worked well getting the crowd going, with the guitar riffs pummelling the crowd. The only downside was the shortened set length as I’d definitely liked to have seen much more from them. RP


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