There are only a few hours left to soak up the delights that Bloodstock brings. This includes the RAM Gallery, which always has a stunning display of art and is so much more than a place to shelter from the searing heat.
Among this year’s offerings are some stunning Iron Maiden prints by John McMurtrie and illustrations by Mark Wilkinson. There’s a Rodney Matthews display and some incredible 3D installations from Liam Brandon Murray. This is only a small selection of what’s in there, and of course, it’s always a pleasure to see some Krusher Joule specials. Here he is with a limited edition T-shirt with an important message.
Vio-lence are bringing more Bay Area thrash to the main stage, while the New Blood stage continues to showcase the next potential breakthrough acts.
Desenser impressed mightily. The Yorkshire four-piece are on the brink of releasing their EP Aurora Equitum, which is notable not just for the slice of high-energy alternative punk they delivered to an appreciative tent but also for the phenomenal artwork on all sides of the CD jewel case.
Speaking to vocalist Tyler Shield after their set, he explains that bass player Daniel Law is the mastermind behind the concept, which features stunning vistas and concepts representing their songs such as Broken Crown and Passing, Fade Away. It’s a gorgeous package with attention to detail from a band that is worth further investigation.
Noctem brought Black Metal over from Spain to the Sophie stage, all eyes on frontman Beleth and his feral, psychotic demeanour. Over here for some UK dates to promote a new album showing that they are forging their own path through the Extreme Metal scene with their unique brand of misanthropy.
They were the band that started it all, and Black Metal arguably wouldn’t have existed, certainly not in the UK, without Venom. Now under the moniker of Venom Inc, the original masters of the dark arts are still as potent, albeit not as shocking, as they first were, the genre they spawned creating bands that have pushed the envelope even further.
While others have felt it necessary to be more and more outrageous to get attention, the impact this trio made was literally seismic, and their Welcome To Hell debut a game changer. Anyone who heard the album or read a feature on them swiftly needed to grab either a toilet roll or a Bible, such was the bowel-loosening dread and soul-destroying heaviness there.
With bass player/vocalist Tony Dolan and guitarist Jeff Dunne still front and centre of the revived band, their history lesson for Bloodstock was a lesson for the pretenders. Hearing them now, what comes over is their original intent to be a punkier, much darker and tighter Motörhead.
Among the huge, fast riffing, that wild rock ‘n’ roll spirit flies free and heavy-duty numbers like Sacrifice and the anthemic Countess Bathory show just how influential they were. Revered in some circles, discounted in others, their reassessment is long overdue, and their legacy and future work something to make you sit up, listen and rejoice in.
It was left to Cattle Decapitation to follow this, bringing chaos and conflict to the stage, starting with a blood-curdling scream from Travis Ryan. There was no let up after this, their shockingly grim catalogue threatening to lower the collective state of mind.
Concentrating heavily on 2019s Death Atlas, it’s undeniable that the Californians have tapped into the prevailing mood, highlighting the perils of the devastation to our planet and shocking people into thinking about the consequences.
Dark Funeral continued the incredible collection of Theatrical Occult Metal. This has certainly been Black Sunday here, which highlights the amount of variety in the genre. The monochrome Swedes brought a catalogue which is classic of the genre, delivered with poise and thrilling their devotees.
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