Waking up on Sunday is painful.
Three days of festival (and Lamb Of God‘s crowd) have kicked the life out of me.
I want to die.
However, if I died, my colleagues would have killed me for not doing my work, so I struggle out of the tent feeling very sorry for myself. It takes me around three hours to eat a single bacon sandwich. I have to thank the guys in Merciless Terror for perking me up that morning, with some of the best interview answers of the weekend – you made me feel a lot better!
Prior to this, I had been jerked back to life by Lifer, who crunched their way through a short, grinding set to a fair number of groggy heads. Cheers for the wake up call . The day continues to pick up pace with Kremated‘s appearance on the New Blood Stage, who proceed to thrash out some fast tunes for everyone to really wake up to . By this point, I’m feeling better and can eat. Which is nice.
Heading to the main stage, I see a large crowd gathering for Sacred Mother Tongue, who really do seem tipped to become big. I wasn’t expecting them to be so heavy, which was a welcome surprise; they’re a great mixed bag of groove stabs and hard rock – even though their sound is a little clichéd at times, I really enjoyed the set [7.5].
Line Of Fire continue the groove session, serving up half an hour of stoner metal carved from steel. Another great band for the New Blood Stage, these guys really worked the crowd, and were heavy as lead. Superb .
At this point, I run into two people dressed as Alien and Predator. It must be disgustingly hot work, wearing those suits on a summer’s day (even in England), but I later hear from a friend that these guys go to a lot of conventions dressed in these suits. They’re a couple, and call themselves Alien Loves Predator. D’awwwww.
Swiftly moving on: Thinking of Eridium destroys any lingering ‘cute’ feeling from finding out about the Alien couple. Destructive, repulsive, and downright violent, this group tore the stage to pieces. Breakdowns are boring – I’ll say that much. But the fast-paced groove and death hybrid material moved quickly through my shuddering skull to compensate for the tiresome chugs [7.5].
Undertaking what is now quickly becoming the tedious trek (hey, Bloodstock, I have an idea for next year – get golf carts!) to the Sophie Stage, Gormathon are just getting ready to begin. It looks like a lot of people have been looking forward to this one, but they get off to a fairly slow start.
I take a quick break to fill up my water bottle, but in the interim, Gormathon are definitely putting things right, smashing their way through menacing riffs and huge bass lines. Nice save, and as the set creeps towards a close, I find myself wishing they’d opened as strongly as they finished .
Outside, Exodus are just wrapping up their set on the RJD Stage, and I wander over to the Jägermeister Stage for pretty much the first time in the weekend to see what’s going on.
I’m so glad I had some time to kill here, or I would have missed the absolutely brilliant Betraeus, who had played on the Sophie Stage the previous day. I didn’t see them on the Saturday, so had no idea what I was in for – some of the best technical musicianship at the festival, followed up by two fantastic covers to add a little variety to the set. Brilliant melodic metal, utilising exceptional technique .
Merciless Terror hit the New Blood Stage at 6pm, bringing an old-school death metal sound back to life. The guy on the barrier next to me is so drunk he can barely stand, and is having a whale of a time, staggering backwards into the pit every few seconds. He’s loving life though, so hey, he can’t complain (though he probably wondered where all the bruises had come from in the morning). Merciless Terror are unrelentingly brutal from start to finish, destroying the stage .
Belphegor on the other hand, weren’t so great. I mean, they were good, but the sound in the Sophie tent was a real issue; a constant rumble from the double-kick drum imitated a freight train passing close by for most of the set, which really made it hard to concentrate on the guitars or vocals. An atmospheric performance, but drastically hindered by really unfortunate events – beyond the band’s control, but nonetheless this wasn’t my favourite moment of the weekend. I will have to catch them on another tour .
Finally. The moment we’d all been waiting for. Slayer. They barely speak a word throughout their stage time, but it doesn’t really matter. They churn out classic thrash anthem after classic thrash anthem, proving that they’re still on top. Hanneman might be gone, but Slayer aren’t calling it quits just yet. A fantastic closing performance to a fantastic festival .
But it’s not over yet; I’m tempted to call it an early night, but stop for a chat with the rest of the MetalMouth team and an assortment of crew and bands. Suddenly, I’m being forcibly fed strawberry cider – by our Editor – and what can you do in that situation but go with the flow? Collecting the remainder of my rum, we while the night away talking absolute rubbish sat by a campfire, until I realise that I should probably go and pack my tent (at eight-ish in the morning…) because I have to catch a train. Rubbish.
Hammered, I roll everything into the bag (just about) while keeping myself steady with a bottle of red wine (courtesy of our photographer Jo). I then, of course, manage to miss my train, and have to wait an hour at the station for the next one. But I don’t regret a thing.
Bloodstock gets 10 out of 10. We’re coming back for you next year. In a big way. A little birdy told me that Emperor might pop in…