Oh my word, the sun is shining and it is getting hot. Malefice are the choice par excellence to open the Ronnie James Dio stage on Friday morning at Bloodstock. Scanning the crowd, the early morning nutters are out, St George’s flag flies around, a bloke is sweating in a bear suit and there’s a weirdo in a carnival outfit, punching a happy mood out.
An impressive crowd turned up to watch, the symphonic opening dropping down into heavy opening riffs that the band are known for. Dale Butler spread his arms like a short haired Jesus to welcome all and calls the masses to arms as the first pit of the day opens up at 11:06 am.
The band prove that you can cure a hangover by banging your head.
With ease Malefice embrace the shift from playing in a tiny pub in Andover back in May to opening this monster of an event, Dale thanks the crowd and describes it as the most daunting show they have ever done, but they have served their fans well. As they break into the ‘Midas Effect’ and announce their new album, Butler flails his mic like a priapic extension.
Tingling accurate solos from shiny new guitars ring out, with a deafening bass to cure the country from an economic crisis, the Reading boys do the festival proud. What a way to be woken up as Malefice end their set with ‘Omega’, the beginning for what promises to be the darkest Bloodstock yet
COMMANDER IN CHIEF
The Sophie Lancaster stage grows in stature year by year, Sophie’s first Friday act introduces Commander in Chief, the operatic power thrash shredder from Norway. This is metal with go faster stripes. This is what happens when classical
skill and the cold north collide. This her first festival and with mum (Elisabeth Hagen) in tow as manager and vocal coach, CIC not only can hit notes that shatter glass and blow the lights out, but shreds her 7 string to oblivion. Maybe Mum’s
surname name Hagen is a hint, the Commander herself is like a genetically modified splice of Hazel O’Connor, Toya Wilcox and Nina Hagen spewed out into a metal incubator.
Sporting a jacket nicked from Sgt Pepper, sometimes giving power metal screeches new octaves to explore other times with a pop identity that could be laid down in a Nintendo game boy, this Banshee caused my balls to be sucked in to hide somewhere near my liver. CIC opens with Evolution a lyrical criticism of science to destroy any professor, and the catchy Dropout, these
are songs with critical lyrics that torture kittens, the Commander provides a complexity finishing with a vocal middle finger to money in the metal aria ‘Thou’.
I need to make my way through the crowded tent past the air guitarists to go and find my testicles.
Don’t you just love old school revisited? Good things never go bad. Hail Primitai to blast the Sophie crowd to oblivion with high surging NWOBHM sounds and Anslemo like vocals and thrashy biscuit tin beats. This Sandhurst 5 piece must have come out of the womb in denim and leather. They lay down an assault course as their fanbase at the ready howls along to The Line of Fire, the title track from their album. The roaring ‘Sin city’ proves that melodies, dual guitar solos and a pedalled beat with sideburns faster than Bradley Wiggins can ride his bike are always a crowd pleaser. Primitai is a band that must grow, it is no surprise that Classic Rock marked them as a band to watch in 2011.