We are settled in for a very heavy Saturday night, exactly as it ought to be.
Words: Liz Medhurst
Photography: John Inglis
First of the evening bands is Paradise Lost, who are revisiting Draconian Times, their 1995 classic, which has been re-issued on vinyl for its quarter-century anniversary.
The band took to the stage entirely dressed in black, but there was a celebratory air as the moody, but not glum songs rang out loud and clear.
Perennials such as I See Your Face and Once Solemn instantly conjured the ’90s vibe when Sisters of Mercy and The Cult dominated the airwaves. Paradise Lost have subsequently influenced countless bands in the Doom and Death genre, and this reminder of where it all took off hit a sweet spot.
Over on the smaller stages, Hawxx were the shining stars of the New Blood, swooping on their prey with razor-sharp precision and holding the attention throughout with intelligent tracks, superlative harmonies and finely honed Metal instincts. Ones to watch for sure.
Grey Stag also tried tearing the tent a new one with forceful brutality laced with a generous helping of sludge.
Winterfylleth and Memoriam
It’s Black Metal’s day to shine here, as evidenced by the glimpse of Winterfylleth we caught over on the Sophie stage showcasing their well-crafted portfolio.
Memoriam followed a bit later on, as popular and welcome now as they were in their last appearance in 2018 – which is very much so.
Cradle Of Filth
Cradle Of Filth are long time festival favourites, and this set supported the new album Existence Is Futile, coming out in October.
The theatricality was in full force, packing in the visuals with trademark unrelenting enthusiasm. These guys know how to put on a show.
Kreator were tonight’s main stage headliners, carrying huge anticipation as one of the late 20th century Death Metal pioneers. As the sun set, even the clouds enhanced the atmosphere setting the scene with darkly dramatic formations.
And there was no disappointment at all from the riff masters. With no need for frills, the purity of the old school thrash spoke for itself, cutting through the night air with German efficiency, slicing through any indifference like a bullet.
In contrast, the band themselves were enveloped in smoke and shadow, for the most part, allowing the shockwaves from the impact of their relentless driving and pulsing catalogue to be absorbed without excess distraction.
And with the explosion of a giant confetti cannon, the Ronnie James Dio stage closed, clearing the way for Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons to headline the Sophie stage with their exuberant full-blooded rock ‘n’ roll.
It’s a massive day tomorrow. We are not in any way coasting towards a finish.
It’s Judas Priest day and a whole smorgasbord more. Mouth-watering.
You can read all our Bloodstock 2021 coverage, including interviews, here.
Bloodstock have announced their 2022 lineup.
For more details visit www.metaltalk.net/bloodstock-2022-seventeen-bands-announced-for-next-years-boa.php
VAT remains at 5% on tickets, but only until September, so it is recommended to get your tickets early for next year’s festival.
Early-bird weekend camping tickets are available at the on-site box office across the duration of the 2021 event, then will go on sale online at 9 am Monday 16th August, priced at £135 (+ bkg fee) from the ticket store, as well as Serpents Lair VIP tickets, child tickets, and camper van passes (which always sell out very quickly, so don’t snooze if you’re after one).