Bloodstock 2016: Friday- Well Most of It
Old age had caught up with me just after midnight on the Thursday so I decided to call it a night. Trying to get to sleep, I was disturbed by several loud crashes that went on through the night. When I awoke the next morning, Teal, my stepson, tells me about the latest sports craze sweeping Bloodstock, bin jousting. From what he tells me, you get two large dumpster bins, one or more persons to stand on it and then a group of people to push the bin into that of their opponent’s. Whoever falls loses. I would have definitely done something like that in my youth but these days, nah!
My first morning at Bloodstock, I wolf down my breakfast and head for the arena. With no apparent appearance of anyone on the Ronnie James Dio Stage, I head over to the New Blood Stage. Maybe, I’ll find another band like Black Emerald. At 10:30, a three piece band called Witch Tripper from Mansfield, England ascends the stage and immediately blows me away. They were a great power metal band. The guitarist, who is also the lead singer, can definitely shred and he is supported by a very capable rhythm section. They were that good that they held my attention to the point that I never even noticed the first band of the day on the main stage had begun playing. If there were any record scouts watching these guys play and didn’t make them an offer, then shame on you. Witch Tripper was a great start to the Friday morning.
When Witch Tripper finished, I immediately beat feet to the Ronnie James Dio Stage to catch the second half of Hark. I’m glad I did. Hark’s brand of metal followed very nicely from what I had just seen. They were powerful, fierce and hungry and their performance on the stage showed it. While Witch Tripper might have kicked things off for the day, Hark definitely got the show started on the main stage.
It was on Teal’s recommendation that I check out the second band on the main stage on Friday, Gloryhammer. My first impression when I heard them was, “They sound a lot like Hammerfall.” Melodic keyboards, fantasy lyrics and at times, a good power sound, yes, all the elements I know of from Hammerfall. Furthermore, all the mannerisms of the band while they were on stage gave the impression that they were from one of the Scandinavian nations. Even the actions of lead singer, Thomas Winkler, had me thinking they were from said reginon. Well, the last bit was all wrong. The members of the band are from Scotland and Switzerland! In fact, Winkler claims he is the heir to the throne of Fife. Still, their music and stage show was very good. I especially liked when they brought a young lady dressed as a medieval serving wench to refresh them. So, while there was still a definite Hammerfall influence here, they were unique enough to rock the stage.
With a break in the action on the main stage, I heard loud sounds from the Sophie Lancaster Stage. Going to investigate, I discovered the band Brutai blasting away. Silly cliches but Brutai were brutal. They were loud and proud. So loud in fact that work phoned my mobile during their time on stage and I had to walk a good ways from the tent in order to hear the call. They proved to be an enjoyable bridge between Gloryhammer and the next band to ascend the Ronnie James Dio Stage.
Gloryhammer played melodically to people’s fantasies. The next band on the main stage, Evil Scarecrow, simply scared the crap out of people. Their Halloween make up combined with their aggressive thrash metal was not for the feint-hearted. Evil Scarecrow pulverized the stage and anyone who got near enough to hear them. It must be my sub-conscience masochistic tendencies but I kind of enjoyed what I heard. Still, not one to play when your grandmother is visiting.
For some reason, Evil Scarecrow left me feeling a bit hungry. I mean there was no drinking of animal blood on stage or anything like that but my stomach was calling. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to feed my face, down a couple of cans in preparation for the long time I was going to be at the front of the main stage. It was always my plan to see three of the last four bands on the Friday and since the other band was the one on before the headliner, I thought I would see them just so I wouldn’t lose my place for the main event.
The first of those bands was Corrosion of Conformity. I listened to one album of theirs back in the 1980s, but that was all. My memory of them was always them being a thrash metal band but this night, I was educated. While they were definitely metal, I couldn’t help hearing some of their Southern roots in their music. Well, they were announced as being from North Carolina, so I can certainly see where that comes from. Nevertheless, they were metal on this day, through and through. Really loved it when they played “Vote With a Bullet.” They were a great start to the marathon.
Actually, the wait between bands wasn’t as excruciating as I was fearing. So, it didn’t seem all that long before, Venom emerged. Not to be outdone, Venom hit the stage like a formula one car and only accelerated more as they went on. Playing a good mix, it was only four songs before they played the first of their classics, “Welcome to Hell.” From there, they only created more mayhem on the stage and I have to admit, compared to when I saw them in 1986, Cronus has definitely matured as a musician, singer and showman. Plus, new guitarist, La Rage, was definitely a welcome addition to the band. The only thing I could nit pick was the fact they didn’t play “Women, Leather and Hell” but only a minor disappointment from what was a rather good set, especially when they ended with “Black Metal,” fantastic! At one point, Cronus stated that Venom hadn’t played Britain in ten years but I think that on this day, they earned their place back in the hearts and minds of British metalheads.
I thought that this might have been my first time seeing Behemoth but I now realise that I may have seen them in 2010. I can’t be sure. If I had, back then, they definitely didn’t enter the stage as theatrically as they did on this day. With guitar and bass waiting under a wooden frame while eerie music played, Nergal made his dramatic entry onto the stage and then all pandemonium broke loose. Behemoth’s brand of black metal and death metal provided an interesting gap in what had gone before and what was to come. While I only realised it since coming home from the festival, Behemoth played their latest album, “The Satanist” in it’s entirety. Knowing this and seeing them on stage, has made me want to listen to the album. I have to say, their stage show was quite good except at the end when they released the black confetti, all I could think was that Sabbaton did that last year.
One band was to follow Behemoth on this night. However, you will have to wait til next post to read about them. After all, I did say that I would do a separate post for them alone and trust me, they deserve it.
Next post: Twisted Sister at Bloodstock
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This entry was posted on August 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm and is filed under 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags Behemoth, Black Emerald, Bloodstock, British, Brutai, Classic Rock, Corrosion of Conformity, Gloryhammer, Guitarists, hard rock, Hark, Heavy Metal, Heavy Rock, Ronnie James Dio, Southern Rock, The 1980s, Thrash Metal, Twisted Sister, Venom, Witch Tripper. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.