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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Live & Dangerous: Bloodstock Open Air Day 2

Bloodstock Day 2 Saturday Day 2 11 August

So second day and yet more sun after some lubrication the previous night I was ready for another day of excellent metal.

Savage Messiah

British thrashers Savage Messiah were first to kick off the day and despite there over enthusiastic intro and kicked into the first song however I was unable to decipher because of the appalling sound and some technical difficulties (a running theme of the day), I didn't stick around for any more than one song purely because the noise level hurt which is a shame because I really like Savage Messiah. 4/10

I AM I

Former Dragonforce singer debuted his new band, and after the noted split with his former band I was expecting something similar but what this band is a mid-ranged power metal, there was none of the style, flair or fun that Dragonforce are known for. The singer was po faced throughout and his vocals were weak with the band playing very uninspiring music which is a shame because at least with Dragonforce ZP had a chance at making it big however as they go on to better things Threat is stuck ploughing a furrow of mediocre-light metal. 4/10

Rising Dream

Croatia’s Rising Dream were performing their show in the UK and after the pummelling first song the band's melding of aggressive technical death metal with Ines Tanceva vocals matching those of Ms Gossow, however disaster struck during the middle of the second song when the bass drum pedal collapsed, after a nervous break and a loss of momentum the band went back into their set but the tenacity had been lost somewhat. After a bit more time and without any cock-ups in future sets the band could make a mark on the metal world. 6/10

Triaxis

Welsh trad metallers were playing a semi acoustic set at Bloodstock and their songs translated very well into the acoustic setting giving the gig a laid back feel with Krissie letting loose with her vocals without falling into the classic metal screaming. A very good but very different side to a very good band. 7/10

Mayhem

The originators of Norwegian Black metal were one of the draws of Bloodstock but failed to deliver their sound was crap and the songs were relentless droning with frontman Attila squealing without any let up this was a very poor showing from these genre legends. 3/10

I was starting to feel a bit down from today as many of the bands had not met my expectations. This was until

Kyrbgrinder

Threshold drummer Johanne James' three piece alternative metal band provided a raucous show on the small Jagermeister stage. Playing most of their debut album they were incendiary with James’s drumming and vocals both excellent and the bass and guitar weaving a crunchy, groove laden rhythm. Having missed them at Hammerfest I hoped they would be good live and they really are catch them you will not be disappointed. 8/10

Next on the main stage the pace quickened a bit

Sanctuary

Having loved Nevermore since their inception I have always had an interest in Warren Dale's previous band and with this reformed line up it seems like Nevermore never happened, Dale stalked the stage with the band bringing a trad-thrash attack to every song and despite some sound problems with the guitars the band played a great set including a new song that bodes well for the new album. The set ended with the classic Battle Angels. Great band with a good set. 8/10 

A small break before the two big guns

Testament

The Florida thrashers have just released one of the best albums of their career, this showed as four songs of the set were from the new album with True American Hate, Native Blood, Rise Up and the title track which all blended in seamlessly with classics Practice What You Preach, Over The Wall, Into The Pit and The New Order. The set was amazing and the band were on top form a small niggle would be that Alex Skolnick's guitar was not audible for much of the set which was annoying. While the final sounds of D.N.R (Do Not Resuscitate) and 3 Days Of Darkness the road crew hung the poster of RANDY FREE on the amps which was a little bit sickly but showed the camaraderie between heavy metal bands. A stunning performance. 10/10

Machine Head  

Following Testament is no easy task but Machine Head should be able to handle it easily, however it is a testament (no pun intended) to the former that they put the headliners in the shade a bit. The band were playing five from their debut album and it meant that it would be up to the rest of the tracks to make or break the set. Starting with I Am Hell (A Sonata in C#) and Aesthetics Of Hate Machine Head kicked off with two songs from there two latest albums. This was followed by Imperium which was more my style. Then there was the break, Robb Flynn turned into James Hetfield while he addressed the crowd saying how they were family and how this show was on the 20th anniversary of their first show. This killed all the momentum in their set even though it was followed by A Thousand Lies which picked up the pace and was followed by Locust which again doesn't do it for me live. The Burn My Eyes songs continued with Death Church, Blood On Blood. The band gave a big show but it was ultimately a by the numbers affair even when classics Block, Halo and Davidian hit the band still did not really have the power that Testament showed. A great set but one that was really uninspiring. 7/10    

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