Ever since their performance at High Voltage the disciples of the great RJD are more leaders than followers. The memorialisation of the greatest metal singer ever shows that heavy metal has a future in many configurations, and it is both an honour to witness this and a special moment for Bloodstock’s organisers to have these giants play on the Ronnie James Dio stage.
With Tim Ripper Owens leading in ‘Stand up and Shout’ and Toby Jepson coming in for Holy Diver, there has never been so much vocal presence at Catton Hall, the crowd sing every word of the set in unison. When Magica is ushered in, it is clear that Craig Goldie is again holding back the tears, but he sounds sublime, as Scott Warren fans his arms out to the keys. This epic material cannot be mutated. A bit too much pointing to the sky as each song ends could make one think this is becoming too sentimental, but such a criticism is warded off by the chants of Dio, Dio, Dio…..
More accurate regarding English history than the Olympic opening ceremony, Wynterfylleth scream to an absolutely fucking insanely packed out bulging Sophie Lancaster tent. The heritage black metallers double up on vocals directing their rage at an aubergine on a stick that passes through the front of the crowd, but this is no veggie metal.
The Joy Departs from all with gimmick free, honest Black Metal that puts a curl in Nietzsche’s moustache, restoring your faith in what this complex genre is about. Sporting black caps, the northerners have come to fester on stage, invulnerable to their critics. Chris Naughton sucks the light out of the sky, proving to physics that dark sucker theory is indeed true (even though Dr. Chris professes he hates academics), opening the set with the Wayfarer Pt 1. and blasting through their work like a jaunty hike through the dales on a windswept weekend that climaxes with the ‘Void of Light’.
Those who witness this have involuntarily voided their bowels as these insalubrious stories of yore that heralds Bloodstocks darkest line-up. Ever.