In record temperatures, Bloodstock, the UK’s heaviest festival, has become its hottest. Maybe not the best time to wear black, but that hasn’t deterred the tens of thousands who have flocked to Catton Park to bask in the maximum volume of four days of some of the highest decibel music on the planet.
Photography: John Inglis
With three stages and numerous stalls to choose from, there’s always something to see or spend your money on. With Red Method, Heart Of A Coward, Crepitation and Inhuman Nature setting the bar high early for sheer brutality, it was down to Sorcerer to add a bit of old-school Metal into the mix.
With a sound that mixes Judas Priest’s high octane screams with the heavy-duty riffing and dynamic attack of Metallica, there was a more measured attack. The timing was right, the change from a bludgeoning wall to something a little more broad certainly attracted a large crowd and by the time that closer Black Sorcerer hit its last, ear-piercing notes, the band had added a good number of new converts to their cabal.
This, though, was only a prelude, it turned out, the area in front of the main stage rapidly filling out further for the arrival of one of the most anticipated bands of the festival: Bloodywood. Originally due to appear two years ago, the New Dehli outfit have seen a massive groundswell for their Traditional Indian music that injects a unique flavour into their Rage Against The Machine style Metal.
It’s an exhilarating mix, full of colour and life. The mix of pipes and tabla with Karan Katiyar’s huge riffs and the twin clean rap /growled vocals of Raoul Kerr and Jayant Bhadula are a force of nature, each note and phrase hitting its target.
With the tumult of Dana-Dan and Gaddar, the crowd became one seething mass, everyone there as one. This, though, is a huge part of Bloodywood’s success, their ability to unite people, their core aim.
This isn’t some empty, throw-away stance to gain notoriety but something that was genuinely moving and inspiring. Like Rage, they may have had humble beginnings, but with the firepower they displayed, it’s not going to be long before they’re headlining festivals.
Bloodstock 2022 will be held over the long weekend of 11-14 August 2022. MetalTalk’s Liz Medhurst, John Inglis and Paul Monkhouse will be reporting from Catton Park.
VIP and campervan tickets are sold out. Standard weekend camping tickets (just £145 + fees for 4 days of Heavy Metal glory) plus day and child tickets are also available. Children under 4 can come for free.
You can read all the MetalTalk Bloodstock coverage at metaltalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2022