There’s nothing like falsetto to slap a hangover into overdrive and with 3 Inches of Blood taking to the stage many people must have been in agony. This didn’t stop it being an utterly awesome set for twenty to one in the afternoon. Opening with Leather Lord off of their latest album, they played a mixed set with classic such as Deadly Sinners appearing early on along with covers like Tom Sawyer by Rush and a short passage of Heaven and Hell.
The bearded ones soon left the stage and I took a wander around the stalls again marvelling at all the CDs and merch available. You could save up for a year and still not have enough money to afford all this shit. After half an hour of admiring merchandise and other peoples battle jackets I set off to watch one of the surprise highlights of the weekend, Hell. We were promised a visual show and by jove we got just that. Wielding a face mic so his hands were free, the singer complete with red eyes and a thorn crown performed like he was in a theatre show or movie. Without a microphone in hand we could be so much more visual and certainly that came true when he buggered off stage only to return in giant goat legs and horns with a pyro shooting trident. Words can’t express how fun (and of course evil, can’t forget evil, Satan and all that!) their set was so watch the video below. Sadly the sound is a bit humped but the band have promised to reupload it with proper sound so keep an eye out.
I’m ashamed to say that I missed Kataklysm’s set as I went off for lunch and beer but I was reliably told they were insane so get this video watched as well to make up for it.
Gojira were the next band for me, and those French fuckers brought their A game to Bloodstock. Despite my neck now being in utter pain from the day before I still attempted a headbang at the total stomp of a riff that is Flying Whales. Thankfully where I failed others picked up the slack and the crowd went pretty mental. This is evidenced by the barrier starting to break through their set. Randy Blythe from Lamb of God put in a surprise appearance on vocals, it’s good to see that guy free!
One of my favourite bands followed, Sweden’s war machine Sabaton had the crowd singing along before they even took to the stage with The Final Countdown playing over the PA and when they burst in with Ghost Division it seemed they had it in the bag. Sadly technical difficulties reared their ugly heads right after this. Though it’s almost for the best, Joakim Broden kept the crowd occupied by sing alongs, tales of how you’re not allowed to swear on stage (prompting him to promise a beer to the crowd every time he fucked up and swore, he lost a lot of beer) and explaining to us that the airline had lost his stage armour before borrowing a similar one off a random fan in the crowd in exchange for more beer. Keeping the audience engaged seems to have won them a whole new battalion of fans. The set finally got back underway and aside from minor hitches, went off without too much of a problem. Coming to a close with the crowd all jumping for Primo Victoria and glorious power metal screams in Metal Crue they left with many more fans than they started with which is something that can’t be faulted.
Next was Avantasia. I’m going to review them separately as this was their first UK gig and it’s fucking Avantasia.
After my mind was thoroughly blown by Avantasia I almost wasn’t up for Lamb of God just because I was on such a happiness high. Luckily I decided to go back in as right when we joined the crowd, one of the organisers announced Emperor were headlining next year, safe to say the crowd went pretty mental. Not as mental though as they did about five minutes later when the days headliners came on. Sadly this momentum was soon to be lost when the barrier when tumbling down bringing a short halt to the show in which Randy Blythe, aka Roger Brilliant tried to keep the mood going explaining all you need to do to and English crowd is ask “who likes Iron Maiden?” to get a big response. You can’t argue with the results, Iron Maiden! Woo! Eventually the barrier was back in line and Ruin, the song in which the barrier originally died, was restarted. The pits opened back up and we were off again. The crowd was intense for the show, maybe due to the uncertainty whether the gig would take place only a few months ago, or maybe just due to drinking in the sun all day. Either way they were up for it and LoG delivered.
The Black Label wall of death brought the evening to a close and ten thousand punters limped back to their tents for several more hours of drinking, bin jousting and other shenanigans.