Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 13th August 2010
|Event:||Bloodstock Open Air 2010|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 13th-15th August 2010 by Baz Anderson (234)
Bloodstock's 10th anniversary, and 6th open air edition. It has been a great journey this far, and each year it is noticeable that the organisers have learnt and grown from the previous year. The festival ran like clockwork, this was certainly the best organised Bloodstock ever. Unfortunately the weather couldn't have been just as kind to us, as it rained throughout the first two days and add a bit of mud into the equation. The Sunday however was the perfect day you could have wished for. This year saw the festival's first five-figure turn-out number of 11,600 in attendance through the three days, making it the most successful to date.
This year the festival was supposed to come to an end with Heaven & Hell, but due to the events that occurred the main stage became the Ronnie James Dio Stage in tribute. Of other bands that were at one time confirmed, Dream Evil and Behemoth both had to pull out, the latter being replaced last minute by our own guys of Cathedral.
Over on the New Blood stage Lordaeron introduced some to the festival with a real death metal blast. The guys have grown over the last years, and were now delivering material from their fully fledged debut album. Although the sound wasn't particularly fantastic, the band crushed the audience with their double bass-heavy death metal. More snare-oriented blastbeats would have gone down well however, and the new material tended to be of the heavier and slower variety. The band did a great job and certainly woke everyone up.
On the main stage Ross The Boss walked out very self-assured, and with his band kicked into a set of half his material and half Manowar material. The added bonus of Scott Columbus also making an appearance and drumming on a second drum kit along with Ross' normal drummer made this set quite novel. So with half of Manowar on stage we were treated to such songs as "Hail To England", "Kill With Power" and the highlight of the set "Fighting The World". The people wanted Manowar, so we got the discount version. Entertaining nevertheless.
For some reason it is easy to forget Rage's albums, but on stage, Rage are a different monster all together. When this band aren't faffing around with orchestras and just get down to the metal, nothing stops them. Live, the band's progressive elements are vastly more apparent, as are the band members individual skills. If nothing else, this set reminded us all how good their latest Strings To A Web album is, but we also had newer songs going back a few more years as far as the Soundchaser. On this afternoon, Rage put on a fantastic performance for us.
Ensiferum are becoming an extremely popular band over here as the folk metal scene still stays strong. The band changed the setlist around a bit from last time they were in the country, this time with "Stone Cold Metal" and a couple of older ones that haven't been so readily played recently also. The band entertained the audience, but the band members of Ensiferum themselves never appear to be having a good time, and again, as if they are just doing their job.
Stepping in at last minute Cathedral stepped out to a brief moment of sun with the backdrop of their latest album. It would soon become apparent that this Cathedral set was going to be seriously enjoyable. Contrary to what you might think, the open air environment did nothing to dampen the mood of the show. The addition of the new song, the quirky "Funeral Of Dreams" along side old favourites such as the immensely crushing "Utopian Blaster" and "Hopkins" made this set perhaps the best of the day and one of the best of the festival.
The ignorance of black metal in England is painful. Gorgoroth didn't pull a great audience, and playing in the daytime also seemed somewhat bizarre for a black metal band. The material was comprised entirely of songs from the new album, and old songs from before the days of Gaahl. As to be expected there was no audience interaction, but neither was there any character in the music they were performing. "Revelation Of Doom" was a little redeeming, but on the whole this set was unfortunately one of the most disappointing of the festival.
Sonata Arctica, or Tony at least had seemingly already been on the vodka before coming on stage. Now with an hour-long set the band delivered one of their usual shows with Tony going a little over top in the quirky behaviour department. It did however mean that unlike other bands of the day where you could have closed your eyes and enjoyed the show as much, Sonata Arctica are quite an entertaining band to watch too. They put on a good set that included a couple of favourites such as "Fullmoon" and closed with "Don't Say A Word", but disappointingly the most apparent omission is any kind of material from Winterheart's Guild. Still, along with Cathedral, the best of the day.
Meshuggah are big in this country, there was therefore a large audience in anticipation of this unique band. Also with an hour set, the band plunged into their trademark style and didn't let up for the whole hour. Highlights included the absolutely immense "Combustion", but the thing with this band is that although their style is extremely novel, it isn't so novel after an hour of it. Of course the band entertained and satisfied the audience, but this wasn't one of the most memorable shows.
The festival in need of a headline slot, Opeth made their return once more. In the eyes of the audience, it would seem that this band can do no wrong. Any sounds produced by this band are apparent solid gold. Starting the set with a quiet one, the reason of the popularity of this band is still elusive. A few more songs catching no imagination called for food and an early night. A night that would be extremely wet.
||Written on 19.08.2010 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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