Watain – Friday, Ronnie James Dio Stage
Bloodstock has played host to some great black metal bands over the years, with last year’s performance by Immortal and this year’s festival’s inclusion of Mayhem, Dimmu Borgir and Anaal Nathrakh continuing that trend. Joining those hallowed ranks on the Ronnie James Dio Stage on Friday the 10th of August will be Swedish black metallers Watain, who celebrate thirteen years of existence this year. And what a thirteen years it has been – Watain have managed to rack up critical acclaim, Grammy awards and gold records despite staying true to their blisteringly uncompromising vision of vicious, yet melodic black metal assaults that draw as much influence from early Metallica as they do Venom and Bathory. Expect to see a stage laden with blood, fire and animal skulls as Watain rip through a set as visually exciting as it is sure to be aurally devastating.
Watain’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/WATAIN/204952137482
Benediction – Saturday, Ronnie James Dio Stage
Joining Anaal Nathrakh in representing heavy metal’s spawning ground of Birmingham are death metal veterans Benediction. Formed in 1989 around the line-up of Paul Adams (bass), Peter Rew (guitars), Darren Brookes (guitars) and Mark “Barney” Greenway, (later to become Napalm Death‘s vocalist), Benediction have soldiered on through line-up shuffles and hiatuses, persevering in bringing their grinding, groove-laden and crushing death metal anthems to the masses. When they open the Ronnie James Dio Stage on Saturday, expect a pulverising lesson in old-school, punishing death metal delivered by a line-up of seasoned veterans, including Anaal Nathrakh’s Dave Hunt on vocals.
Benediction’s Facebook: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Benediction-UK/186354431385708
Corrosion of Conformity – Sunday, Ronnie James Dio Stage
It’s not all corpsepaint and growling at Bloodstock, however – and the festival’s knack for diverse, yet unswervingly high-quality line-ups is bolstered this year by the inclusion of legendary North Carolina punk/metal crossover kings Corrosion of Conformity. While the band’s style has changed over the years – from the hardcore punk of 1984′s Eye For An Eye to the straight-up, Sabbathian metal of 1991′s Blind – one thing that hasn’t changed is their ability to whip up a shit-kicking storm on stage. Sunday 12th of August will see the original, formative line-up of Corrosion of Conformity take to the stage, armed with a brace of classic songs as well as a freshly-minted batch of hard-hitters taken from their recent, critically-acclaimed self-titled record (reviewed here).
Corrosion of Conformity’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity
Witchsorrow – Saturday, Sophie Lancaster Stage
For those who might be a touch exhausted from all the blast-beaten extremity on offer elsewhere on BOA 2012′s stages, there’s some respite to be found on the Sophie Lancaster Stage on Saturday courtesy of Hampshire-based doom metal trio Witchsorrow. Taking their inspiration directly from the likes of traditional doom merchants St. Vitus, Candlemass and Trouble, Witchsorrow‘s resolutely down-tempo, groaning, bluesy doom seems sure to get heads nodding at a stately pace as the three-piece blow pungent clouds of thicky, smoky riffs directly into the upturned faces of the appreciative crowds.
Witchsorrow’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/witchsorrowdoom
Paradise Lost – Sunday, Ronnie James Dio Stage
To be honest, if you need to be told who Paradise Lost are, then it’s just possible you might have stumbled on to the wrong website. Formed in 1988, Paradise Lost quickly established themselves as one of the UK’s premier exponents of gothic, misery-drenched metal alongside Anathema and My Dying Bride. They’ve evolved quite a bit in their 24 years of existence, experimenting with a greater commercial sensibility and electronic embellishments in the mid-90s before coming back around to their hard-hitting roots. Their most recent release, 2009′s Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us, saw guitarists Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy using 7-string guitars for the first time, and the increased low-end punch that has brought to their songwriting is sure to hammer insistently at the ribcages of anyone witnessing the band taking to the Ronnie James Dio Stage on Sunday 12th August.
Paradise Lost’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paradiselostofficial