Bloodstock 2023 – Friday. There was a very strong Swedish feel to Bloodstock this year, with a number of acts hailing from that Scandinavian hinterland. Probably one of the most popular was In Flames, a band that has been in existence since 1990 and who will have needed no introduction to the sweltering and heaving masses.
Bloodstock – In Flames
They certainly pulled one of the bigger attendances this year, and with a dynamic and packed-out set, they left the Bloodstock masses screaming for more. This was one of those sets that seemed to be over before it had even started, such was the enjoyment.
In Flames brought their own slightly more diverse version of Melodic Death Metal to the hordes. Though not always quite as concentrated as the darker and, at times, more intense bands that inhabit the Death genre, they are more than capable of holding their own with these bands.
Yet at the same time, they have the ability to transcend and create more diverse and wider musical pieces. This is a band more than capable of changing direction mid-tune and surprising with sudden downturns and melodic changes in the song.
That said, in a festival environment, the fans still want a sonic sledgehammer approach, and when necessary, In Flames are more than capable of delivering with an assault battery that must have caused seismic shocks throughout the Midlands.
In Flames brought an incredibly clear sound to the arena, with the differentials between the instruments very noticeable. So absolute credit to their sound crew. From the driving drums and growling bass to the, at times, almost symphonic fretwork, such was the complexity of the guitar playing. Yet they still have no qualms about delivering a thundering performance.
With the addition of ex-Dillinger Escape Plan bassist Liam Wilson into the fold, this was a set that many were waiting for with great expectation, and they did not fail to deliver.
Opening with a couple of songs from their latest album, Foregone, the introduction through The Beginning Of All Things That Will End into The Great Deceiver, they started with intent.
Despite opening with a couple of newer pieces, it was clear that this was rapidly going to turn into a set of fan favourites, with songs being played from across eight different albums. Clearly, by bringing in a number of older tunes, they are playing to the audience, and why not. This is a festival appearance, so give the fans what they want.
With a middle section of three older numbers running consecutively, Cloud Connected from Reroute To Remain, Only For The Weak from Clayman, and Behind Space from Colony, this was a step back in time for the longer-term fans and certainly an opportunity for a serious reminisce.
Although perhaps it is best to pass over the antics of the pirate-dressed trumpet player invited from the crowd to join in on the latter.
Interestingly on the new album, there is more use made of clean vocals, and this was more evident in the approach to the newer numbers played. Whether this is indicative of a change in the band’s form of performing live, we will wait and see.
Closing off with Take This Life, this was a quite triumphant return to Bloodstock and a set that fans will be talking about for many years to come.
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 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.