Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 12th August 2012
|Event:||Bloodstock Open Air 2012|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 9th-12th August 2012 by Baz Anderson (62)
The last day of the festival was a little cooler than the previous days, but just like the previous day a promising amount of people had emerged from the camp site to catch the opening band Kobra And The Lotus. These guys, and girl are a Canadian heavy metal group with a fair few amounts of modern influences. Apparently Gene Simmons is the guy to thank for the band getting signed to a big label, and judging from this live performance it is more understandable as to why he might have done such a thing. The band played well, Kobra sang well, they had some nice songs. Not anything to warrant any longer of a set though.
Up next, Corrosion Of Conformity are a band that never really took off in the UK as various other American bands did in the 90's. Still, with a nicely sized audience the band put on their set of stoner metal crossed with crossover thrash to a good reception. The next band on were none other than death metal royalty Nile. Whether it was a massive under sight by the Bloodstock organisation or a ploy to get people into the festival arena early on in the day, Nile certainly deserved a more respectable time-slot. One of the biggest audiences ever for an early band at the festival massed before the main stage for an exquisite display of technical death metal with a perfectly crisp sound. With the relatively short forty-minute set there was no messing around either, no faffing around with slow songs, just straight-up pure death metal bliss. With "Black Seeds Of Vengeance" closing the set, the crowd erupted into a giant pit for the ending of one of the absolute best sets of the festival.
Setlist: Sacrifice Unto Sebek / Lashed to the Slave Stick / Ithyphallic / Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld / Supreme Humanism of Megalomania / Sarcophagus / Black Seeds of Vengeance
It was a hard act to follow, especially for another extreme metal band. The Black Dahlia Murder had that dubious honour to a smaller and less receptive audience, but still with a core of dedicated fans in the middle. With their pure and simple deathcore style the band continued the blastbeat assault on the festival, and it sounded alright but for the memories of the previous band still fresh in our minds. Evile up next are certainly no strangers to Bloodstock, having got their first big break and playing here numerous times since. The majority of the audience were pretty worked up to be seeing one of the UK's few good thrash bands, and with good reason. Evile are a good band when playing at a healthy thrash pace, the main thing that drags the band down are their lacklustre mid-paced songs, however good the meaning behind them is. Still, the band put on an enjoyable set worth watching for what seemed like another annual Bloodstock performance.
Setlist: Five Serpent's Teeth / We Who Are About to Die / In Dreams of Terror / In Memoriam / Cult / Infected Nation / Centurion / Thrasher
The second half of the last day of the festival, people are beginning to get a little tired by now, so cue Paradise Lost to put them to sleep. Perhaps real Bloodstock veterans after having played at the first Bloodstock Open Air in 2005, the majority of the audience resigned themselves to either standing back or sitting down all together. Those with an active interest in watching were nevertheless not amused by the lack of older material. Next up, Dimmu Borgir were sure to wake the audience up though. After their headline slot in 2008 the band have come back with a new album and more elaborate costumes. Kicking off with the promising opening duo from the Enthrone Darkness Triumphant album the band soon delved into some new songs, of which the Bloodstock audience might have already been sick of being part of the playlist rotation played in between each set at the festival. It seemed like it was going to be just another plain Dimmu Borgir show, so a few songs in there seemed to be a mini exodus towards the Sophie Lancaster stage for a real extreme metal band.
Setlist: Spellbound / In Death's Embrace / Dimmu Borgir / Gateways / Ritualist / Vredesbyrd / The Serpentine Offering / Puritania / Progenies of the Great Apocalypse / Mourning Palace
The Sophie Lancaster stage was perhaps about to get its biggest test with Anaal Nathrakh. This band is pure chaos in auditory form, absolute musical carnage. Dave Hunt's clear vocals sounded much better than previous live appearances, but the sound in the tent wasn't the clearest. Watching the band play their fantastic older songs especially, you can't help but feel that the live drummer is constantly struggling. Still, it doesn't take much away from what was a great hour-long set of unadulterated violent music. The band have a new album coming out soon and played us a promising song from it before providing us an image of the future with "Do Not Speak" and the monster "Pandemonic Hyperblast".
Setlist: Drug-Fucking Abomination / Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes / More of Fire Than Blood / Submission is for the Weak / When the Lion Devours Both Dragon and Child / In the Constellation of the Black Widow / The Final Absolution / New Song / Do Not Speak / Pandemonic Hyperblast
The time had come again, back to the main stage to close Bloodstock for another year. The honour lie with the one and only Alice Cooper to close the festival in the traditional mass sing-along fashion as Twisted Sister and Europe have done in such memorable fashion in the past. Everyone knows that Alice Cooper likes to put on a real stage show and it was no different here, although the balance between theatre production and rock concert had shifted a little more towards the rock concert aspect than previous endeavours in Europe in the last years. This meant that the headline set was crammed full of classics from the 70's albums predominantly. Of course he still had various props and costume changes to entertain alongside the music, but this hour and a half set seemed half the length. He has such attention to detail with each song and connects with the audience through his songs rather than speeches in between. The greatest shock rocker of all time and one of the few rock artists that understand the value of entertaining their audience. There could have been a number of big closings songs, but this year Bloodstock ended with cries of "Elected" along to the classic. Certainly a worthy ending to another great festival and a highlight of the whole event.
Setlist: The Black Widow / Brutal Planet / I'm Eighteen / Under My Wheels / Billion Dollar Babies / No More Mr. Nice Guy / Hey Stoopid / Is It My Body / Halo of Flies / I'll Bite Your Face Off / Muscle of Love / Only Women Bleed / Cold Ethyl / Feed My Frankenstein / Caffeine / Poison / Wicked Young Man / Killer / I Love the Dead / School's Out / Elected
The last day was a little less exciting after Nile had played until Anaal Nathrakh and Alice Cooper in the evening, but still remained highly enjoyable. After the last set the Bloodstock guy who introduces each band to the stage gave his big thanks to the audience and the people working at the festival for the most successful one to date. Anthrax have already been confirmed for next year's edition and if this, and the previous years are anything to go by, it will be another cracking festival. There is no other festival like Bloodstock that has the same personal touch with the people, as well as having the perfect size for a festival of great metal bands. Year after year the festival provides top class entertainment and are wonderful hosts to the 11,000 that attended this year. We'll see you there next year!
||Written on 23.08.2012 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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