BLOODSTOCKfestival preview 2013

So here we are, approaching halfway through the year and no I don’t know where the year went either, but it does mean festival season is upon us, and lets us get excited for what has to be one of the best festivals in the world: Bloodstock.

What’s always made B.O.A a successful festival, and what are often the hallmarks of any great festival is the booking and organization. Once again this year the Bloodstock crew have got it absolutely right, opening up the potential for some truly special moments to take place, here’s my suggestion of where some of them may be.

Let’s put it in some kind of order here, the kind of order that will probably go tits up after you get loaded trying to out-drink that guy dressed as a Viking as you both chug from a horn goblet, but an order nonetheless.

We’ll start with the future. The New Blood Stage has some of the darkest & best of the next wave of metal, all waiting for fans to realize they are excellent. One dark light to look out for is Karybdis, and we are really hoping they use the intro to ‘Minotaur’ from ‘From The Depths’ but then they could also use ‘War For Land’ from their previous E.P, hopefully both, as it’s just great quality, it’s almost impossible not to see this being an outstanding set. If you can drag yourself from your tent and catch Mask of Judas on Saturday you really should too, as vocalist Jo Challen is going to make hearing cuts from ‘Axis’ both a pleasure and a necessity.

The dual sets on the Sophie Lancaster stage of Xentrix followed by Scar Symmetry on Saturday is un-missable. Possibly the most exciting part is the chance of new tunes alongside the likes of ‘For Whose Advantage’ & ‘No Compromise’. Following that with Scar Symmetry is a fantastic prospect, threatening to be one of the sets of the weekend, how special will a performance of ‘The Illusionist’ be? And possibly ‘Pitch Black Progress’ to send every one over the edge.

The placing of Evil Scarecrow on Sunday is perfect. Equal parts nice guys, great sense of humour, engaging visuals and above all great songs never fail to deliver a set which both makes you laugh and bang your head, sometimes at the same time. Who else does that? Personal favourite ‘Sixty Six minutes Past Six’.

Friday’s main stage ‘Run-in’ to the main events is literally perfect. Municipal Waste will most likely, be more drunk than you are, fortunately they play better, and the pit for ‘The Art Of Partying’ is going to be like throwing several beer kegs into a riot. The ‘waste have a deft knack of firing up any crowd.

King Diamond may offer up one of the special festival moments, as yet another generation discovers Diamond’s music and massive contribution to metal and it’s an almost certainty that fans will be singing Mercyful Fate songs on the way back to the campsites.

Saturday really does belong to the Ronnie James Dio stage though and the recently announced news of Gojira has many excited (Including our MetalMouth editor still unconscious from the news) and rightly so as they give us ‘Flying Whales’ and ‘Explosia’.  Their progressive, dark, impossibly heavy and even beautiful music flourishing, with the Bloodstock crowd watching one of the most important artists that have emerged in the genre for a very long time.

Can you imagine the response that Randy Blythe is going to get when he walks out onto the main stage on Saturday evening? You could try to, but nothing is going to be like actually being there when he does. We know the history of the recently exonerated front man, and that places an extra special resonance to this performance, but lets not forget that Lamb of God are an amazing modern metal band, that if they launched another Clash of the Titans tour they would certainly be on it, they may even headline line it as the next iteration of ‘The Big Four’. Having seen ‘Redneck’ at other big festivals this is surely the moment the crowd give it up but ‘Laid to Rest’ may well prove truly special.

Working their way round the biggest festivals Fozzy have finally come to Bloodstock, after delivering at Download and soon to be playing Wacken, Chris Jericho may well be one of the most knowledgeable metal fans out there, and knows the importance of Bloodstock. The sight of the crowd during ‘Enemy’ will easily be one of those phones in the air-all-over-YouTube moments as you look back and realize everybody’s signing along, but the downright heavy swing of ‘God Pounds His Nails’ is what is really going to ignite.

There are many more delights to behold I’m sure you’ll find. This is just a personal guide, and that’s the point of a festival, go see the great acts do what they do best, but catch a band you’ve never heard of, give them the time, you may even like them, it’s all about the love of this music.

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With that said…

Unquestionably the stand out moment will be Slayers set, let’s just recap somewhat: a few months ago Dave Lombardo decided not to play some shows with Slayer, the official statements are there to read, it was an ugly falling out, public and unnesscary.

Then the legend Jeff Hanneman passed away.

The outpouring of respect and grief filled tributes to Jeff, some here on MetalMouth, put perspective on everything and when Slayer announced ‘We’ll ALL be making noise together for our brother and dear friend Jeff ‘ it sealed how special every performance would be.

The Slayer set will comprise of some of the greatest thrash songs of all time, a large amount of which were written by Jeff, hearing tracks from ‘Reign In Blood’ will take on an extra special feel, a tribute to one of the most important figures in the metal community, and there would be no more fitting a tribute to the man than grabbing a beer and going crazy to ‘Seasons In The Abyss’ with thousands of other like minded fans at one of the best festivals in the world.

Excited much?

You should be. It’s just 78 days to go til Catton Park’s gates open…

Catton Park, Derbyshire, UK – August 8 – 11 2013

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