Nile – Sunday, Ronnie James Dio Stage
Obviously, as journalists we have to maintain our objectivity and present a measured, balanced account of proceedings – after all, we’re not the metal Gestapo, and far be it from us to dictate what you have to listen to. That said, if you go to Bloodstock and don’t see Nile I will personally ensure that you suffer. Technically incredible, crushingly brutal, yet somehow seemingly commercially viable, Nile , it’s fair to say, are one of a kind. I’ve witnessed their live onslaught before back in 2008 and they left me absolutely spellbound and amazed with a show which transcended headbanging in its unadulterated awesomeness, leaving me to simply stare on in reverential wonderment like a damp-eyed teen at a Justin Bieber concert. There are no gimmicks – just four guys playing world-class death metal. Now, with two more albums under their hieroglyph-emblazoned belts and new album At the Gates of Sethu up for release on June 29th, this year I’m hoping for a repeat performance. It’s not too often I can say this, but Nile are an absolute, unequivocal must. Even if you’re not a fan of death metal, go anyway, they may well just convert you!
Nile’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nilecatacombs
Winterfylleth – Sunday, Sophie Lancaster Stage
Since their birth in 2007, these Mancunian black-metallers have turned more than a few heads on the underground scene. Part of a recent resurgence of homegrown black metal talent (a NWoBBM, perhaps?) their sound brings to mind the hypnotic outpourings of Wolves in the Throne Room, infused with folky acoustic passages and uplifting clean vocal refrains. Perpetuating the traditional BM tropes of historical landscapes and national pride, they have stirred up their fair share of controversy, having voiced some questionable views with regard to the preservation of English heritage. The band, however are eager to distance themselves from the lurking shadow of racism which has reared its ugly head repeatedly throughout the history of the genre. Personally I think politics can go hang, after all none of us would listen to Burzum otherwise! Let the music do the talking and you won’t go far wrong.
Winterfylleth’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Winterfylleth/232057463509264
Deicide – Sunday, Ronnie James Dio Stage
Ooh will they, won’t they? Front man Glen Benton has garnered a reputation for himself as something of a death metal diva. Like Marilyn Monroe if she had an inverted cross burned into her forehead and sang like a lion trained by Richard Dawkins (I wonder if Kennedy would’ve gone for that…). This has proved a damnable nuisance for the Legions (see what I did?) of fans clamouring to catch a glimpse of these genre stalwarts. Especially infuriating given the fact that they have arguably released their best material since reshuffling their line-up six years ago, incorporating a little more melody into their assault with finger-grating solos. Having actually played a string of dates in the UK last year, hopes will be high that these blasphemous brigands will blight these shores once more and justify their inclusion in the death metal elite.
Deicide’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialDeicide?rf=103122299727419
Orange Goblin – Saturday, Sophie Lancaster Stage
Having roundly rocked the bollocks off the metal community at large this year with their latest release A Eulogy for the Damned, I for one am eager to see if they can bolster their success by delivering the goods live. Personally I’ve yet to witness this spectacle, but if the buzz is to be believed we’ll be taking consignment of a delivery of psychedelic excellence. Although their legacy is assured with an extensive back-catalogue, A Eulogy for the Damned cements this reputation, assuring their place in history as Stoner rock Gods!
Orange Goblin’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/orangegoblinofficial
Crowbar – Saturday, Ronnie James Dio Stage
The kings of sludge return to Blighty for their only UK festival appearance this year. With members past and present making appearances in the ranks of Goatwhore, Kingdom of Sorrow as well as big-hitters Down, their metal credentials are assured. Their sound is characterised by down-tempo riffing, crushing breakdowns and the kind of lyrics that would make Sylvia Plath sound like Steps. Their latest release Sever the Wicked Hand has caused many a sweaty brow in that it’s the first release from the band since front man and founder member Kirk Windstein’s treatment for alcohol dependency. Fortunately, despite the Christian rhetoric and new found hope which is evident throughout Sever…, the material remains as heavy and uncompromising as ever. I’m just hoping their live shows don’t descend into a cavalcade of cringeworthy, Hetfield-esque, wide-eyed optimism.
Crowbar’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Crowbar-Band/65626548376