Abbath / Explosive at Bloodstock; A Triumph of Norwegian Black Metal

Bloodstock Festival 2023 – Saturday. If Hate brought blackened Metal to the main stage, then Abbath brings their own instantly recognisable Norwegian chill despite the sun that is back after a brief step back when the heavens opened.

Abbath

Abbath - Bloodstock Festival 2023.
Abbath – Bloodstock Festival 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

Olve Eikemo had not graced the Ronnie James Dio stage since 2011 when he was part of Immortal. Having crafted three albums since under the Abbath banner, this is a stunning set that demands attention. His strange, croaking vocal works well with the onslaught of tremolo riffs and relentless blast beats.

Abbath - Bloodstock Festival 2023.
Abbath – Bloodstock Festival 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

He draws deep from Dread Reaver, the latest album, but pulls out gems from Outstrider and the eponymous debut. Throwing in an Immortal tune is to be expected, but it’s the fluid, explosive manner in which the man nicknamed the Lemmy of Black Metal and his band bulldoze their way through their set, which is what impresses most.

Abbath - Bloodstock Festival 2023.
Abbath – Bloodstock Festival 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

He may be unlikely to attract the plaudits that he richly deserves, but for those in the crowd who know his work, this is a joyous set.

Abbath - Bloodstock Festival 2023.
Abbath – Bloodstock Festival 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

Even if you’ve never heard of him, he and his corpse-painted brethren deliver in every way.

Abbath - Bloodstock Festival 2023.
Abbath – Bloodstock Festival 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk
Abbath - Bloodstock Festival 2023.
Abbath – Bloodstock Festival 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

Bloodstock Festival 2023 is held over the weekend of 10-13 August 2023. MetalTalk’s Paul Hutchings and Adrian Stonley report from Catton Park.

All Photography: John Inglis and Paul Hutchings

All MetalTalk Bloodstock Festival 2023 coverage can be found at  MetalTalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2023.

Weekend early bird tickets for Bloodstock 2024 will be available to purchase at the box office on-site for £165. This is the cheapest way to buy a 2024 ticket, minus any online booking or admin fees.

Bloodstock 2022 can be relived at MetalTalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2022.

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