Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 13th August 2011 - Day 2
|Event:||Bloodstock Open Air 2011|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 12th-14th August 2011 by Baz Anderson (397)
There was some heavy rain after the headliners last night, but thankfully by the morning there was no mud and the sun even attempted to shine. Forward march then, onto the second day of the festival.
Starting at eleven in the morning, this was apparently the earliest show Skeletonwitch had ever played. Regardless though, the band provided a fantastic alarm clock with their style of death and thrash metal. The band put on a surprisingly great set of aggressive extreme metal with a good sound and spirit.
The start of Grave Digger's set did not go according to plan, as apparently the band could not hear anything from the monitors, which lead to new guitarist Axel kicking one to the front of the stage out of frustration. Once the problem was sorted though, the band put on a good, standard heavy metal show that didn't really break any boundaries, but with songs like the Painkiller-esque "Excalibur", did put on a solid show.
Setlist: Paid in Blood / The Dark of the Sun / Hammer of the Scots / Rebellion (The Clans are Marching) / Ballad of a Hangman / Twilight of the Gods-Circle of Witches-The Grave Dancer-Twilight of the Gods / Excalibur / Heavy Metal Breakdown
It seems that you either get Tarot or you don't. Or you see them because of the other band Marco is in. The band didn't pull a vast audience, which wasn't surprising hearing their lacklustre heavy metal echoing round the festival arena. There must be something to this band that some people enjoy, but a good chunk of people simply watched on from afar.
Setlist: Wings of Darkness / Ashes To The Stars / Crows Fly Black / Veteran of the Psychic Wars / Pyre of Gods / Hell Knows / Spell of Iron / Traitor
Apparently each year on the Bloodstock website, Finntroll are the number one requested band, which begs the question as to why they aren't given a longer set. Still, 45 minutes was enough for these familiar guys to whip up a storm over the festival. With a diverse set from their latest album to even a slight Moonsorrow-ish song from a demo, the band put on one of them shows that light up the whole audience and create some real energy. Finntroll probably have released their best album last year, and the momentum is still massively in their favour.
Ihsahn has a strong following in the UK too, although it is hard to imagine that his past role in Emperor has nothing to do with it. Moving on, Ihsahn provided the Bloodstock audience with a set of his melodic, yet at times extreme progressive brand. He didn't demand anything from the audience, but just stand and contently play this material to those who wanted to listen. It was a good time to sit down and have a rest, but he certainly entertained his fans too.
Setlist: The Barren Lands / A Grave Inversed / Unhealer / Called By The Fire / Misanthrope / Frozen Lakes On Mars
One of the most anticipated bands of the festival for obvious reasons, the anticipation was only made stronger when technical problems made the band start late. Still, Jari and his Wintersun tentatively took to the stage, but soon found his confidence and got into a good stride. Wintersun might have one of the most overrated albums in history, but there is no denying that on this stage, the band were absolutely phenomenal. The sound was crystal clear, the drums especially were perfectly chaotic and unlike anything we'd seen at the festival thus far in terms of speed. Jari also pulled a new song "The Way Of The Fire" out of the hat, which seemed to never end. The song must have been a ten minute epic, and was in a similar vein to the first album. Expectations were high for Wintersun but even then they blew everyone away. One of the best sets of the festival.
Setlist: Beyond the Dark Sun / Battle Against Time / Sleeping Stars / Winter Madness / The Way Of The Fire / Starchild
With a full hour set, the Therion mob took the stage and provided a visually entertaining set. The band know how to use the stage well and constantly keep the audience's eyes on them with their four main singers. The same thought comes every time with Therion however, that they are more style over substance and their music is terribly underwhelming.
Setlist: Sitra Ahra / Hellequin / Nifelheim / The Perennial Sophia / Clavicula Nox / Call of Dagon / Typhon / Ljusalfheim / To Mega Therion / The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah
Over on the Sophie stage, London-based, self-proclaimed punk death metallers The Rotted exploded onto the stage and provided a great contrast from the symphonies of the last band on the main stage. The band treated us to one of their older songs with "Only Tools And Corpses", which got the biggest cheer. The problem with The Rotted is that every time they play live, you get the impression that everyone would just prefer to be watching Gorerotted instead of this new form of the band. Oh well.
After all these years, Rhapsody are finally in the UK. This was the bands first ever show in this country, and what has turned out to be the last Rhapsody show ever with Luca Turilli. Not that we knew at the time, as the band took the stage with a sense of anticipation and proceeded to give their first UK audience a set that simply can not be complained at. Helped with a fantastic sound on the stage, Rhapsody gave us a "best of" set, which included nothing from the band's latest album and nothing from the first. Almost every song on the setlist is a complete classic, it was simply impossible to hide the joy at songs like "Holy Thunderforce" and "The Village Of Dwarves", and then later in the set "Unholy Warcry", "The March Of The Swordmaster" and the closing goodbye of "Emerald Sword". There is no question that Rhapsody put on the best set of the festival.
Setlist: Triumph or Agony / Holy Thunderforce / The Village of Dwarves / On the Way To Ainor / Dawn of Victory / Lamento Eroico / Unholy Warcry / The March of the Swordmaster / Reign of Terror / Emerald Sword
The black metal trio haven't played in the UK for an extremely long time, and were one of the most anticipated bands of the festival, after being the first band announced for this year's festival. After a few newer songs to open the set, the band proceeded in taking the Bloodstock audience back in time through their albums all the way to the first. Unfortunately the sound of the set was a little questionable, with Abbath's guitar making an increasingly annoying constant noise in between songs. Aside from this, Immortal put on a great set for their UK fans, that not only closed the second day of the festival, but was also the Bloodstock festival's first properly extreme and not heavily mainstream headlining band. Both new and older songs sounded great here, the band clearly have fun on stage, which translates into fun for the audience and a real pleasure to see this band again.
Setlist: All Shall Fall / Sons of Northern Darkness / The Rise of Darkness / Damned in Black / The Call of the Wintermoon / Solarfall / In My Kingdom Cold / Tyrants / One by One / Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark) / Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms / Withstand the Fall of Time / Beyond the North Waves / The Sun No Longer Rises
Written by Barry Anderson.
Photos by Barry Anderson.
||Written on 18.08.2011 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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