Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 11th August 2012

Event: Bloodstock Open Air 2012
Written by: Baz Anderson
Published: 23.08.2012


Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 9th-12th August 2012 by Baz Anderson (62)

Friday, 10/08/12 / Saturday, 11/08/12 / Sunday, 12/08/12

The second day of the festival kicked off with an early morning blasting from Benediction. Last on the main stage at Bloodstock in 2007, the local guys had a significantly more amount of people in front of the stage than five years ago, even with being the first band on. They sounded much better than them years ago too, giving the surprisingly large audience a great dose of old-school death metal. Up next were relatively unheard of new band I Am I, the new band ZP from Dragonforce has been putting his attention into. He had to work very hard to get the early morning audience to come down to the stage, but by the end of the set the band had a healthy audience. The I Am I material is not exactly the most exciting, but some audience members were loving it. Following on were Taiwan's Chthonic playing with Dan Mullins on drums and once again clearly ecstatic to be in the UK again so soon. The sound was unfortunately not right for them, and the samples could hardly be heard alongside the band. Only the second half of the set could be enjoyed to some extent, but even the wonderful "Takao" just didn't seem right how the sound was.

Setlist: Oceanquake / Southern Cross / Broken Jade / Forty-Nine Theurgy Chains / Quasi Putrefaction / Quell The Souls In Sing Ling Temple / Takao

With the exception of one band, every band on the main stage for the rest of the day would be from the USA. So to kick off the American bash, Crowbar brought the pace of the proceedings down to a much more laid-back level. The heavy sludge metallers put on their set like a stick in the mud to a complacent audience. You won't find many more polarising bands than Mayhem however. The Norwegians don't find themselves in the UK too often, but the wait was worth it. Unfortunately the sound wasn't too great at the start, but did improve. "Ancient Skin" as always is the height of extremity in black metal, leading into an epic and dark duo of "My Death" and "Illuminate Eliminate" played together. Mayhem transcend what regular bands do, Atilla's vocals are other-worldly, the whole set-up is haunting, there is nothing like it. A cluster of classics ended the set early, leaving the audience either deeply satisfied or extremely bemused.

Setlist: Deathcrush / Ancient Skin / My Death-Illuminate Eliminate / Freezing Moon / Carnage / De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas / Pure Fucking Armageddon

One of the more anticipated bands of the festival, Sanctuary were back and following the theory that if you put out some albums a bunch of years ago and then reunite; everyone will fall to your knees. It didn't quite work out like that at Bloodstock as half of the audience didn't seem to know who they were apart from "the guy from Nevermore". The band sounded good together and it was nice to hear such songs as "Taste Revenge" played live, they even let us hear two brand new songs "I Am Low" and "World Is Wired", but overall it has to be said that Sanctuary just did not live up to expectations. A nice one-off tour maybe, but a lot of people are going to be missing Nevermore a lot more than they will be enjoying new Sanctuary.

Setlist: Die for My Sins / Taste Revenge / Future Tense / The Mirror Black / Sanctuary / I Am Low / World is Wired / Battle Angels

On the Bloodstock forums beforehand there had apparently been some offensive messaging towards Hatebreed, which made it all the more relieving for the band to find one of the biggest and most active audiences of the festival standing before them. There's never really a moment to catch your breath during a Hatebreed show, even if hardcore isn't your preferred style you have to appreciate the energy the band bring to their shows. Jamey Jasta always keen to unite fans of all kinds of heavy music in between songs found himself on the receiving end of some generous appreciation for an entertaining show.

Setlist: Defeatist / Facing What Consumes You / As Diehard as They Come / To the Threshold / Everyone Bleeds Now / Merciless Tide / Hands of a Dying Man / In Ashes They Shall Reap / Doomsayer / Never Let It Die / Tear It Down / Live for This / Last Breath / Perseverance / I Will Be Heard / Destroy Everything

Another one of the more anticipated bands, Testament made their Bloodstock return after their appearance in 2007. The sides of the stage were packed with members of other bands trying to get a view of these legends of thrash. Chuck Billy appearing more resigned than usual still sounded great alongside the band. The selection of songs leaned towards the newer material, but the audience still knew their cue to go crazy for songs like "The Preacher" and "Into The Pit". It is so nice to have a thrash band let the audience do their own thing instead of constantly demanding for participation. Testament are veterans and know that they only have to play their songs to please the audience. Closing the set with a couple from The Gathering album, the band put on a great set.

Setlist: Rise Up / The New Order / The Preacher / Native Blood / True American Hate / More Than Meets the Eye / Dark Roots of Earth / Into the Pit / Practice What You Preach / Over the Wall / D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate) / 3 Days in Darkness

Headlining the second day; the immensely popular Machine Head. The interesting thing about this show was that it apparently fell on the exact date of the very first Machine Head show twenty years ago. Apparently a friend was leaving the house he rented and wanted the place trashed. Little did they know that the band playing in that house would be headlining these festivals twenty years on. To commemorate, the set had a bunch of songs from their first album Burn My Eyes in it. The audience was huge, as were Rob Flynn's speeches, but that didn't seem to matter as the mass audience lapped up each song. Typical American-sounding groove metal filled Bloodstock for the headline slot, but the audience at large appeared deeply satisfied.

Setlist: I Am Hell (Sonata in C#) / Aesthetics of Hate / Imperium / A Thousand Lies / Locust / Death Church / Blood for Blood / Darkness Within / Block / Halo / Davidian

With the second day over there was just one day of the festival left. Mayhem and Testament had been the highlight bands of the day by a long way, all we could hope was for a closing day somewhere close to being as enjoyable as these first two days.

Friday, 10/08/12 / Saturday, 11/08/12 / Sunday, 12/08/12


Written on 23.08.2012 by Member of Staff since 2006.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 72 users
23.08.2012 - 20:26
Bad English
I would puc up those band sto watch

day 1:

day 2:
From Freedom call till Iced Earth, then other tent Pythia and lil try see Sweet Savadge

day 3:
benedition, Crowbar, Mayhem , santunary
Sacadge Messiah, Orange Goblin

day 4:
Nile, Evil, Paradise, Dimmu, Anvil, Alice,

Its basicly it

better how HF because moving is betweeb 1. and 2, stages and you can see 95% of all band what you wnat performences
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
23.08.2012 - 21:41
Account deleted
Honestly, Mayhem were one of the worst bands I've ever seen live. It was flat, lifeless, bad sound, no theatrics of any sort (aside from a bit of facepaint on Attila). They were the band I was most looking forward to seeing but fortunately I went in expecting this level of quality so it wasn't a disappointment, and finishing 10 minutes before they were allotted was a bit of a blessing tbh.
27.08.2012 - 22:51
D.T. Metal
To bad about Mayhem; I find that the band is best enjoyed at a smaller club setting than large arena. And I saw Chthonic a while back and really enjoyed them!

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