Bloodstock 2023 / The Dark And Unsettling Sounds Of Skynd

Bloodstock Festival 2023 – Thursday. Headlining the Sophie stage on Thursday night were Skynd. A tough task following the upbeat Visions of Atlantis set, Skynd brought her darker, more industrial Metal, joined by one other member playing keys and guitar known simply as Father.

Bloodstock – Skynd

Though considered by many as an industrial-style band, there is considerable depth to their music and pigeon-holing it does not do it justice. They are as much to the fore of alt-rock as they are Industrial Metal.

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

What is definite is that Skynd has an incredibly variable voice being able to generate wide-ranging pitch and tonal variations, sometimes soft and gentle, the next screeching like a banshee. Yet there is also an incredible power and balance in her voice, with Skynd using it as an additional instrument. She certainly is diverse in her approach, and this was shown throughout this headline set.

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

Though the attendance for this was lower than for Visions of Atlantis, it was clear that there was a hard core of attendees who were lapping up every note, every nuance, every shape thrown from the artistic movements that littered the avant-garde feeling that was emitted throughout the show as Skynd worked the crowd.

Skynd music is not for everyone. There is a definite darkness here, not just in the musical form but in the song topics as well. This is a band that embraces the macabre with death songs predominantly built around death, suicide and murder.

With a number of songs written concerning serial killers and victims, including touching on such well-reported news items as the Jonestown massacre and the Columbine killings, there was plenty of commentary abounding.

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

Yet this band is not just about Skynd, and credit should be made to Father, who lays down swathes of sound upon which the lyrics are embedded. For the purpose of this set, a drummer was utilised, and the heavy drum beats provided a dramatic effect throughout.

This was an atmospheric set, and the music and movement, as well as occasional spoken word breaks and perfectly orchestrated intro tapes, worked perfectly to build up the tension of the songs.

At times you could feel the energy in the air, and with tension arising, a song would suddenly break into a more mainstream-sounding tune, a brief moment of light relief before the band stepped back into the dark and began to rebuild the sonic pressure.

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

Skynd will never be a mainstream act. I don’t believe that is the intent, and they are definitely an acquired taste, but they are also certainly an act that should be listened to.

They have plenty to say and a unique way in which they present. Classify under uneasy listening.


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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