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Sunday, 19 August 2012

Live & Dangerous: Bloodstock Open Air Day 3

Bloodstock Open Air Day 3 12 August 2012

The final day and the most diverse line up headlined by a true legend. So again we set off early in search of metal

Kobra & The Lotus

Touted by Metal Hammer as one of the next big things Kobra Paige's band have exploded onto the scene with a lot of help from the evil genius of Mr Gene Simmons. However despite the heavy kudos they have received on this live showing I can’t see what the fuss was about. The band play by the numbers trad metal with Paige wailing like an injured Geoff Tate without really having any cohesion to her delivery or the power she seems to possess on record. The backing band (the Lotus'?) were very tight but overall they were very uninspiring to watch as a live attraction. 5/10

Corrosion Of Conformity

With Pepper Keenan now fully occupied with Down COC have returned as the original power trio that made their name, gone are songs like  Albatross and the anthemic Clean My Wounds and the snotty nosed hardcore influenced punk/metal has returned in spades. the band play a good gig and deliver all of their songs with venom but still many were left a little deflated at the lack of the big hits from their second period. 6/10

Nile

This was where the day really kicked off! South Carolina's Egyptian influenced technical death metallers brought the crowd to their feet (and slaves to their knees) with their fantastically tight and aggressive metal that still managed to sound imposing even in the early afternoon. Playing choice cuts such as Lashed To The Slave Stick and Black Seeds Of Vengeance. The band were on fire with every single riff bringing head smashing destruction upon the crowd. Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade managed to whip up a riff storm that thrilled those present and were supported by a machinegun rhythm section that were both imposing and melodic. This great stuff from a band I would see again in heartbeat. 8/10

Evile

British thrashers were bumped up the bill due to Deicide's no show and they managed to do themselves justice. Improving with every show the band have become an impressive live unit. taking the majority of their set from their last album the excellent Five Serpents Teeth the band stormed out of the blocks with the title track before weaving their way through more thrashing. Even the mid-set inclusion of the ballad In Memoriam was a touching addition and didn't stall their momentum before should-be-mega single Cult turned the set into a mega sing-along. The airing of an unreleased track written for Bloodstock called Centurion was a nice surprise and brought the set to close just before the schizophrenic Thrasher ended proper. Great set from a constantly improving band. 8/10

Anvil

With interest in them renewed after the documentary based around them Anvil have gone from strength to strength and are now playing to the biggest audiences of their career. However the band will probably never achieve the status of legends purely because of their supreme silliness that puts them on a par with Spinal Tap as a cartoon made real. Much of this is due to the madness of frontman/guitarist Lips who is part madman, part stoned teenager. The band filled their set (after coming on early) with their four on the floor anthems opening with instrumental March Of The Crabs before merging into 666. It's with Mothra that the craziness reaches its surreal peak with the song drawn out to a very long middle section with Lips doing his trademark dildo solo. The set came to an end with the anthemic Metal On Metal and Running but by that time they had overrun their time and outstayed their welcome as there is only so much craziness some fans can take. Truly a band that are the epitome of rubrilliant (both rubbish and brilliant). 7/10

Demonic Resurrection

Playing their first show in the UK Mumbai's biggest metal export finally have chance to slay British fans and slay they did. Led by the diminutive yet slightly terrifying Sahil 'The Demonstealer' Makhija, Demonic Resurrection seemed overwhelmed by the response to their set as there was quite a large turnout in support of them. It maybe because of this that the band played so damn well with syncopated riffage from the guitarists Demonstealer and Daniel Rego, blitzkrieg drumming and bass work from Viru and Ashwin and an extra layer of melody from Keyboardist Mephisto. The band were tight, brutal and heavy as led directing traffic on a large pit with their aggressive blackened death assault. The songs were filled with excellent riffs, solos and great changes in pace showing that (visas permitting) this band will be slaying a scene near to you soon! 8/10

I caught the end of Paradise Lost and there set here seemed to be far better than one a friend had witnessed earlier in the year. There was less moaning and the sound was clearer resulting in a better performance.

Dimmu Borgir

What seemed to be a strange opening act for Alice Cooper (surly Anvil would have been better?) proved again why they are one of the best at what they do. Bringing a mix of songs from their albums this was a greatest hits affair delivered with passion conviction and more than a hint of malice. There was the awesome stage presence of frontman Shagrath backed by his band of (merry?) men. The band opened with the epic In Death's Embrace before the heaviness of Dimmu Borgir cut the atmosphere and causing havoc in the audience this was followed by the always awesome Gateways before band ploughed through more of their best tracks like The Serpentine Offering before ending with Mourning Palace. This was a clinic in Norwegian black metal and showed once again why Dimmu are the leaders of their genre. 9/10

Alice Cooper

So Mr Furnier was at it again with his vaudeville villain at the helm of a camp circus show that is any Alice Copper gig. With the dulcet tones of Vincent Price ending Cooper’s well drilled band exploded into life on Black Widow with Alice himself decked out in the arachnid arms. This moved into the metal stomp of Brutal Planet before a slew of classics including the rebellious I'm Eighteen followed by Under My Wheels which moved into the cretinous Billion Dollar Babies and the defiant No More Mr Nice Guy. Throughout Cooper's band were a performance all of their own equalling the man himself by being fully involved in the cavalcade of OTT performance. The set mixed old and new songs with the fantastically titled I'll Bite Your Face Off following the train-of-thought twistedness of Halo Of Flies. The props were in full force by this point as was the performance, after the guitar solo from the beautiful Orianthi there was small break with the crooning ballad Only Women Bleed which did kill some momentum however after Cold Ethyl the hits reappeared with Feed My Frankenstein and Poison following in rapid succession. The set pieces were now in full force after the early build up with Frankenstein's monster appearing and the finale of Alice being beheaded. Before the rousing final tracks of School's Out (which was interwoven with Another Brick In The Wall) and the encore of Elected. Whether you find the performance cheesy or overblown you can't deny the anthems and Alice has enough to keep anyone entertained for two hours. 10/10  

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