Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 15th August 2008

Event: Bloodstock Open Air 2008
Written by: Baz Anderson
Published: 01.09.2008

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Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 15th-17th August 2008 by Baz Anderson (183)
It was once again time for the biggest event in any self respecting British metaller's calendar as the Bloodstock Open Air moved in and took over Catton Hall for yet another year. This year's Bloodstock Open Air had the best line-up the festival had ever seen with some of the biggest and best bands on the planet right now. Best ticket sales ever included, this was shaping up to be a magnificent event, only the weather could have its say now - and having seen a full three day of heavy rain forecast, I was not too optimistic as far as the weather was concerned.



This year the first full day of the festival had many more bands playing on the main stage as was worth being there from the start, and so most people decided to turn up on the Thursday, the day before the festival and let the festivities begin a little early. Organisers had the same idea and opened the Lava stage and threw a few bands on there for good measure. Headliners, if you can call it that, of the Thursday warm-up party was none other than veteran British heavy/speed metallers Marshall Law.

For a reasonably sized tent, it was relatively full for the performance of our own Marshall Law to kick things off properly. Marshall Law played the last Bloodstock Indoor Festival in 2006, where they also put on an enthusiastic performance, just this time the band finally have their new album, "Razorhead"'s release date in touching distance and so were able to test drive a few of their new songs. Some were mediocre, one in particular stuck out as a great heavy stomper and left a great impression. Marshall Law don't do things by halves, and so it was of course fantastic to hear classics such as "Under The Hammer" blasting out one more time. Nice way to kick off!



So the first day of the festival and after one of the coldest nights in the history of the earth, seemingly, it was a highly pleasant surprise to wake up to a beaming sun. A casual gander into the festival arena for the first time and the growth of the festival was never more apparent. Dodgems, all kinds of other theme park rides, more stalls and bars than last year. So this is where the extra money went on the tickets, better hope everyone wanted to see the festival turn into a miniature version of Download Festival. Still, a wander over to have a look at the new 2008 B-O-A shirts and the first band had kicked things off.



This was power metallers Saint Deamon from Sweden and even though they are clearly not top of the power metal heap, their sound was one of Helloween and Stratovarius and delivered with a slightly uncertain push made the set an enjoyable one to watch from a distance, but nothing to remember.

Setlist:
My Judas / In Shadows Lost From The Brave / My Heart / The Burden / Deamons / Ride Forever / The Brave Never Bleeds



Perhaps one of the bands that has come the furthest, Evile were unsigned yesterday and nobody knew them, now they take the main stage at Bloodstock and thrash like crazy. Indeed, it was a welcoming sound to hear some good old thrash metal coming out of the speaker system. This is real thrash metal too, sounding very similar to Slayer in places the band sounded awesome when up to top speed, else they just kind of plodded along. This band has even further to grow still.

Setlist:
Thrasher / Bathe In Blood / Man Against Machine / We Who Are About To Die / Enter The Grave



Well wasn't this a treat. Old hard rock/new wave of British metal legends Praying Mantis were back on stage in front of an audience of fresh-faced kids who have probably never heard of the likes of their amazing 1981 classic "Time Tells No Lies". The audience was not the biggest it could have been, but that was to be expected, the main thing is the people who were there and did know them enjoyed the set thoroughly. The band themselves seemed overjoyed to be out there playing their hits such as "Panic In The Streets" and the lovely "Lovers To The Grave" once more. Truly a set that was not to be missed by fans of classic rock, the whole band sang together great and left a very good impression.



From just up there on the Faroe Islands, Týr took the stage and did their thing. Slow songs are not my cup of tea, and so it was snack time.

Setlist: (May not be 100% accurate)
Sinklars Visa / Regin Smidur / Gátu Ríma / Hail To the Hammer / Wings of Time / Lokka Táttur / Ramund Hin Unge



But before long it was time for a long haired, suit wearing man to call for some extreme satanic metal. It could only be Akercocke as the stage exploded into a set of extremely fast, blackened death metal with its progressive touches. The set included songs from pretty much all albums, even for someone who knows the band rather well it was difficult to identify some songs live as it is an amazing blur of blastbeating and craziness. Songs from "The Goat Of Mendes" sounded just as pummelling as songs from any of the newer albums, and it was good to see some of the more obscure songs getting played as well such as that real guttural number from "Choronzon". Impressive, very impressive.

Setlist:
Becoming the Adversary / Man Without Faith or Trust / Axiom / Of Menstrual Blood and Semen / Verdelet / Eyes of the Dawn / Summon the Antichrist / Enraptured by Evil



Now, for those who followed the whole mess of the tour these guys did last year over here, it was a very good sight to see Destruction on a real stage playing to the masses back here in England. The festival site had tons of flags flying in the air, Schmeir made the comment that Bloodstock seemed like the new Wacken in England. But back to business, Destruction put on a blinding performance mixing both new and old songs together like there had never been a couple of decades in between them. The snare in the live sound seemed a little higher than it would normally have been, but from where these ears were, it just made it sound even more of an assault and battery on my person. Genuinely happy to see these German gods back in the U.K. and with this blistering set put on possibly the best of the entire festival.

Setlist:
Curse The Gods / Nailed To The Cross / Mad Butcher / Eternal Ban / Thrash Til Death / Soul Collector / Total Desaster / Bestial Invasion / The Butcher Strikes Back



Even more Germans were to invade the main stage next, that's right, it was good old Primal Fear who are good friends with the festival, and last time they were in this country, it was at Bloodstock Indoor 2006. So two years have passed and a new album has been plopped out since, they opened the set with the opener of the new album, "Sign Of Fear" and from then on delivered a set that quite frankly was lacking in power. Probably due to who they were following, but the only moment of real power seemed to come from "Nuclear Fire". Even the immortal "Chainbreaker" seemed a little watered down, but that is the price of following a thrash band.

Setlist:
Sign of Fear / Battalions of Hate / Running in the Dust / Nuclear Fire / Chainbreaker / Fighting the Darkness / Final Embrace / Metal is Forever



Max is back, not with Cavalera Conspiracy, but this time with Soulfly. Soulfly have been moving more and more towards the dirtier thrash sound that Max first started off and this proved to be great for the live show. By the end of the set it seemed every Soulfly song had been played, as the band played seemingly a big long medley of Soulfly songs with the odd "Refuse/Resist" thrown in there for good measure. "Eye For An Eye", "The Song Remains Insane", "Back To The Primitive", you name it, a part of it was probably played. With just a slight snigger at the bass player, the band put on an otherwise unexpected impressive set.

Setlist: (May not be 100% accurate)
Blood Fire War Hate / Frontlines / The Prophecy / Medley (Bring It / Seek 'n' Strike / Jumpdafuckup / Brasil / Fire) / Refuse/Resist / Living Sacrifice / Warmageddon / Porrada / Beneath The Remains / Eye For An Eye / The Song Remains Insane / Back To The Primitive



It had to happen, Helloween at an open air festival in England. It was obvious many people at the festival were wanting to see the 'weenies and were overly enthusiastic down at the front as you would expect. Unfortunately if you have seen Helloween on tour or at any other festival this year, or both, this set was exactly the same as those. Same medley, same sing alongs, same everything. For such a pumpkinhead though it is always a treat to see Helloween live as each time the band take the stage they always try their best to connect with the audience either with the singing or the pulling faces or just generally messing about. Great set of course, just lets see something different next time.

Setlist:
Halloween / March of Time / As Long As I Fall / Eagle Fly Free / A Tale That Wasn't Right / Drum Solo / If I Could Fly / Dr Stein / Medley (I Can / Where the Rain Grows / Perfect Gentleman / Power / Keeper of the Seven Keys) / Future World / I Want Out



If Helloween didn't do it for you, maybe Opeth would. These guys are seriously one of the most overrated and over hyped things you could expect to see. You know if you like Opeth or not, they seem to be a love or hate band. People standing in comatose states were presumably enjoying the show, either that or they had done what I, myself had feared doing watching Opeth; and actually fallen into a coma where they would probably wake up in a hospital some weeks later. Call it dry humour if you like, but it stinks of pure snobbery when the singer says "if you don't recognise the next song, fuck off and die", and so on that subtle cue it was goodnight Opeth.

Setlist:
Demon of the Fall / The Baying of the Hounds / Master's Apprentice / Serenity Painted Death / To Rid the Disease / Wreath / Heir Apparent / The Drapery Falls






 



Written on 01.09.2008 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More articles by Baz Anderson ››




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Nickferatu367 - 01.09.2008 at 05:25  
as far as opeth goes, they played the exact same set when they came my way back in late may earier this year. well, let's just say they shouldn't have chosen The Drapery Falls for their closer.
Bararey - 01.09.2008 at 05:40  
And you'd think Helloween would change their set abit given the fact they have toured England earlier this year.

Oh and that it a snobbish statement by the singer of Opeth, I'm not an Opeth fan and I'd probably would not recognize 90% of their songs, and I would not care if I did not either, meh
Nacur - 01.09.2008 at 06:41  
Well...considering that Mikael is a born joker...I think this was one of his many jokes...hehe....maybe not, but I prefer to believe it was.
flamey - 01.09.2008 at 11:11  
He always does that kinda jokes, is it better if he just says, next song is bla bla, and then just starts the song without interacting at all with the crowd? For example in novarock he said, "we'll do a gig in vienna around december, so come over if you like.. if not, why dont you go fuck yourselves.. just kidding" something like this.. that's just mikael.
Bad English - 05.09.2008 at 23:55  
Hmmm realy good line up, moust I wanna see Evile because I like it more how other band newest albums
Marshal Law was good at 80's
Akercocke - I like first video from bands, those girls are so HOT

Cold night heheh Baz you shood come one in summer here up to nordic Swe I show you cold frostyly night when its midnight sun
Lucas - 30.09.2008 at 18:15  
Quote:
If Helloween didn't do it for you, maybe Opeth would. These guys are seriously one of the most overrated and over hyped things you could expect to see. You know if you like Opeth or not, they seem to be a love or hate band. People standing in comatose states were presumably enjoying the show, either that or they had done what I, myself had feared doing watching Opeth; and actually fallen into a coma where they would probably wake up in a hospital some weeks later. Call it dry humour if you like, but it stinks of pure snobbery when the singer says "if you don't recognise the next song, fuck off and die", and so on that subtle cue it was goodnight Opeth.


Ha, nice one!
Baz Anderson - 30.09.2008 at 20:29  
Written by Lucas on 30.09.2008 at 18:15

Quote:
If Helloween didn't do it for you, maybe Opeth would. These guys are seriously one of the most overrated and over hyped things you could expect to see. You know if you like Opeth or not, they seem to be a love or hate band. People standing in comatose states were presumably enjoying the show, either that or they had done what I, myself had feared doing watching Opeth; and actually fallen into a coma where they would probably wake up in a hospital some weeks later. Call it dry humour if you like, but it stinks of pure snobbery when the singer says "if you don't recognise the next song, fuck off and die", and so on that subtle cue it was goodnight Opeth.


Ha, nice one!

Haha, thanks! It had to be said!!
floydiac - 05.04.2009 at 01:23  
Discovered a picture of me with my German flag! :O
Baz Anderson - 05.04.2009 at 01:26  
Haha, it's a small world!!
GT - 05.04.2009 at 17:05  
Written by floydiac on 05.04.2009 at 01:23

Discovered a picture of me with my German flag! :O

On the same picture as the guy carrying the homo-flag?
floydiac - 05.04.2009 at 21:01  
Written by GT on 05.04.2009 at 17:05

Written by floydiac on 05.04.2009 at 01:23

Discovered a picture of me with my German flag! :O

On the same picture as the guy carrying the homo-flag?


That's the one.
floydiac - 05.04.2009 at 21:03  
Written by Baz Anderson on 05.04.2009 at 01:26

Haha, it's a small world!!


Evidentally. Got that flag on my wall these days Got it signed by Helloween.
Warman - 06.04.2009 at 01:45  
Evile is great although I laughed my ass off when I saw them live. I could sing along with the lyrics "Angel of death/Monarch to the kingdom of the dead" at some place in every song!

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