Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 14th August 2011 - Day 3
|Event:||Bloodstock Open Air 2011|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 12th-14th August 2011 by Baz Anderson (397)
A colder night than the previous one, but this time there was no rain. The sun started to come out yesterady with Wintersun, but the weather on this Sunday would turn out to be the best of the festival.
Another early start at eleven in the morning actually brought us one of the most memorable sets of the festival. Considering the time, the audience was pretty large for Hell, and deservedly so. One of the true fathers of occult-themed metal, this band ran from 1982 to an unfortunate end in 1987 and original singer Dave Halliday killing himself. Now, last year together with Andy Sneap on guitar and an unknown by the name of David Bower singing, the band have finally put these old songs to record in the form of Human Remains. The electric music instantly connected with the audience, but the key figure of Hell is clearly David Bower, who has a theatrical background and has spent his life in plays, TV shows and films. His vocals are superb, but it is his stage presence and actions that absolutely grip the audience and draw them in to this hellish world. One of the best of the entire festival, which at eleven in the morning is no easy feat.
Setlist: Let Battle Commence / On Earth as It Is in Hell / Plague and Fyre / The Quest / The Oppressors / Blasphemy and the Master / Save Us From Those Who Would Save Us
These Norwegians used to only play at night when dark, but now found themselves in the daylight with all eyes clearly on them. Unfortunately the sound gremlins targeted 1349, as their sound was somewhat muffled and the drums especially, although not actually executed as well as on the albums anyway, sounded the worst. Regardless though, the band ploughed through a set of their black metal tomes of evil to a surprisingly good response. Possibly one of the nicest parts of the set was after the last song where the band dropped their serious characters, and genuinely thanked the audience. Archaeon even through his boots out to the audience and announced they would be back for a UK tour in November. The sound though unfortunately prevented this set from being as good as it could have been.
Setlist: Riders of the Apocalypse / I Am Abomination / Chasing Dragons / Serpentine Sibilance / When I Was Flesh / Sculptor of Flesh / Atomic Chapel
Next up were Celtic black metallers Primordial who inadvertently gave the Bloodstock audience a unique show. The band were clearly happy to be playing at the festival and proceeded in delivering their great take on black metal, but half way through the set Alan's vocals completely went. He could not even speak to the audience in between songs, so the band were forced to continue the rest of the set as an instrumental band, which turned out to be pretty cool. Alan tried on various occasions to add his vocals to the band again, but failed on most occasions. He apologised at the end of the set, but also commented that this turned out to be a pretty special show having the audience sing his lyrics for him.
Setlist: No Grave Deep Enough / As Rome Burns / Bloodied Yet Unbowed / Empire Falls / The Coffin Ships
There are never any surprises when it comes to a Napaln Death set. Barney runs around the stage like a mad-man, and the others get on with the job in hand. It has to be said though, that Napalm Death's festival performances actually tend to be better than their tour shows, presumably without so much of the fatigue that comes from playing night after night.
Setlist: Strong-Arm / Unchallenged Hate / Continuing War on Stupidity / Next On The List / When All Is Said and Done / Lucid Fairytale / Social Sterility / Diktat / Lowlife / On the Brink of Extinction / Scum / Life? / Control / M.A.D. / You Suffer / Nazi Punks Fuck Off / Suffer the Children / Instinct of Survival
Hammerfall have been in the UK quite often in the last few years, so it came to no surprise that the audience for them was a good size. The band however provided nothing particularly new from the shows we have all seen in the past. Hammerfall might not have excited anything new, but the band's fans clearly had a great time as always.
Setlist: Patient Zero / Any Means Necessary / B.Y.H. / Blood Bound / Last Man Standing / HammerFall / Bang Your Head / One More Time / Hearts on Fire / Let the Hammer Fall
The biggest audience of the day so far gathered for Exodus, even though they also only had a 45 minute set. Kicking off the set with the first two songs off the last album, the band soon turned the set into an absolute thrash classic fest. Aside from Rob's demands for unfeasably large mosh pits, the band seemed the most together they have ever seemed with this line-up. They all seemed to be having a great time as the sun finally came out, and the audience too were clearly thoroughly enjoying Exodus' set, and rightly so.
Setlist: The Ballad of Leonard and Charles / Beyond the Pale / A Lesson In Violence / Blacklist / Bonded By Blood / The Toxic Waltz
Over on the Sophie stage, Power Quest provided a great contrast to the bands on the main stage, as The Rotted had on the previous day. With a new line-up, earlier in the year the band released their latest album Blood Alliance, which is without a doubt the band's best by a long way. The band, clearly thrilled to be at Bloodstock again, therefore dedicated most of their set for the new album.
Three years ago At The Gates performed at Bloodstock in what was going to be one of the band's last ever. Three years down the line and the band are still going and are back at Bloodstock to deliver the great set that they did back then, all over again. The band had a few problems with the guitars, but the band once again delivered a highly entertaining set focussed mostly, rightly so, on their Slaughter Of The Soul album. Who knows how long this band will actually stick around for, but Tomas and the band seemed pretty pleased to be out there playing again, and so did the audience watching.
Setlist: Slaughter of the Soul / Cold / The Swarm / Terminal Spirit Disease / Suicide Nation / Raped By the Light of Christ / Under a Serpent Sun / Windows / World of Lies / Unto Others / The Burning Darkness / Nausea / Need / Blinded By Fear / Kingdom Gone
All eyes were going to be on Morbid Angel after the release of their interesting last album. The band kicked the set off with some absolute classic Morbid Angel songs like "Fall From Grace" and "Rapture", but seemed to lose their momentum from there. The audience weren't particularly loud, and "I Am Morbid" was definitely the lowest point in the set, visibly annoying some in the audience. The band weren't too active on the stage either, but they did manage to get the audience back with "Where The Slime Live" and a "God Of Emptiness" dedicated to Ronnie Dio and "World Of Shit" mashed together to close the set. The set did lack some energy and a better setlist could have been picked, but it is hard to complain in the face of some of the death metal that these guys can produce. A somewhat ambivalent set, but Morbid Angel don't seem to want to do anything the easy way anymore.
Setlist: Immortal Rites / Fall From Grace / Rapture / Maze of Torment / Existo Vulgoré / Nevermore / I Am Morbid / Angel of Disease / Chapel of Ghouls / Where the Slime Live / God of Emptiness-World of Shit (The Promised Land)
There have been some great bands closing the Bloodstock festival in the past, and this year it was the turn of one of England's figurehead bands. Really though, Motörhead tour the country every year and so it wasn't really anything surprising or special to close with this year, but of course a good number of people stayed around to watch the set. Even though the band's setlist might have been a bit different here, generally you know what you'll get with a Motörhead show, and that is exactly what they delivered.
Setlist: Iron Fist / Stay Clean / Get Back In Line / Metropolis / Over the Top / One Night Stand / Rock Out / The Thousand Names of God / I Know How to Die / The Chase Is Better Than the Catch / In the Name of Tragedy / Just 'Cos You Got the Power / Going to Brazil / Killed by Death / Ace of Spades
So for another year it is time to say goodbye to the field that has been home to this fantastic festival for more and more years as we look back. Once again there can be no complaints this year (apart from the car park) as the festival ran as smoothly as it could have done. The weather was ok, the bands were great, and the atmosphere was the best. Even the security guys in front of the stage were enjoying the atmosphere and joining in. Bloodstock continues to be the number one metal festival in the UK. You have no excuses not to be there for what will be another great weekend next year.
Thanks to Adam and The Noise Cartel for the accreditation.
Written by Barry Anderson.
Photos by Barry Anderson.
||Written on 18.08.2011 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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