Matt Brady takes on Bloodstock 2014 – part two.
Were you there? Share your experiences in the comments at the bottom of the page.
Having seen a bit of Shining at Damnation 2013, I decide to go check them out again and am thoroughly disappointed. For the first few minutes, there’s an awful buzzing sound that refuses to die down, so I head back to press to write until Decapitated are on. Thankfully, the death metal titans don’t let me down and deliver a furious set of songs heavy enough to carve gravestones from.
Profane Omen screech through a breakneck set that gets every neck in the room snapping. Much aggression, groove and big thrashy roundhouse kicks.
Later on, tech-metallers Metaprism take on the New Blood stage. I have to admit I find them slightly confusing; they have two singers, one who screams, one who sings – but I just don’t think that the singer gels with the rest of the music. She has a good voice, and can hit all the right notes, but the styles of music and singing seem to be too far away from each other to match up. Perhaps, however, fans of Nightwish or Revamp could find a lot to love here?
Warcrab, who are also on the New Blood stage are definitely intent on an invasion. Watch out for crab people lurking among us… a blistering set from a band with a silly name but are dead serious about their music.
Carcass live up to all expectations, but were interrupted briefly by someone collapsing in the crowd – how thoughtless of them (no, in all seriousness if you’re reading this, hope you’re alright and managed to get back on your feet in time to see Emperor). Carcass pull all the tricks out of the hat – melody, power, and Jeff Walker’s inimitable roar. Lots of cuts from Surgical Steel here, which a lot of people named their album of last year, and hearing it live, it’s easy to see why.
Finally, it’s time for Emperor. Definitely the most anticipated band of the weekend, an enormous crowd gathers to watch this black mass. They bring their most diabolical creation, In The Nightside Eclipse back to its shambling half-life with aplomb, playing it in its entirety, plus Ancient Queen, Wrath Of The Tyrant and a cover of Bathory’s A Fine Day To Die to round things off.
Spectacular, and without a doubt one of the most special performances I’ve ever seen at Bloodstock, it does come with the concern that I will never be able to see them play again. Will they do this for its 30th anniversary? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. But everyone who saw them perform tonight has some very unique memories to cling onto.
My festival soon comes to an abrupt halt, however – my tent, which has been my best friend at festivals for seven years starts to leak on Saturday night. R.I.P. tent. You were the best. I wake up cold, wet and fairly miserable on Sunday. In between finishing off interviews, I catch the second half of Akb’al, who play a brilliant set of progressive metal with a vast scope and big imagination, and Voices, who finish off my weekend with a ferocious last blow to the chin.
Though I’m slightly ashamed to duck out early, there is nothing I’d like less than to sleep in a pool of water. I head home, bruised, beaten, and bound to miss Bloodstock terribly until this time next year.