Bloodstock Open Air // Ronnie James Dio Stage // Mainstage // Part 2

With a slight change to the lineup, up next are Gatecreeper and some more death metal. With heavy driving riffs and intense vocals, these guys aren’t holding back any punches. Their ferocious speed and heaviness soon see a small handful of crowd surfers make their way over the barrier as the band quickly whips the crowd into a frenzy. Frontman, Chase “Hellahammer” Mason, is captivating to watch as he moves around the stage, his face reflecting the intensity of his vocal prowess. The rest of the band is a blur of flying hair and dark metal. Perched at the back of the stage is drummer Matt Arrebollo, who drives the band’s sound with his steady beats. The American 5-piece has honed their stage presence into a fine craft that has this crowd clamouring for more. With heavy influences of funeral Doom and Scandinavian death metal, Gatecreeper have paved the way with their own individual style and as seen here today, a fanbase who love everything about them!

Sacred Reich is next to take to the main stage for some classic 80s thrash metal. Reforming over 20 years after their debut album was released, there’s clearly still a lot of love for these guys as a huge crowd has gathered to see them perform today. This driving, headbanging style has both the fans and the band moving in sync with the music from the start.. Frontman Phil Rind seemed to be having as much fun up on stage as we were and seemed just as grateful when speaking with the crowd. By the third song, he had the 1000s watching and clapping in time for “Salvations” making it the first incredible sight of the weekend. By this point, waves of crowd surfers were also making their way towards the front. Watching the smile on guitarist Joey Radziwells face throughout the set however just sums up the joy that these guys have brought today with this incredible set. The blend of the original members and newcomers worked in pure harmony pulling together that frenzied thrash sound and putting on the best show that they could and it’s safe to say we all enjoyed it.

As the afternoon heads towards evening, it’s time for Fit For An Autopsy to hit the main stage for some more headbanging. The hardcore metal 6-piece have had an incredible journey of evolution over their lifespan as a band but one thing that remains is the amount of energy and passion that these guys put into their performance. Vocalist Joseph Badolato is an excellent frontman who engages with the crowd throughout the set, encouraging the crowd surfers, the circle pits and the all-round fist pumping. During “Savages” he actively tells the crowd he wants to see multiple circle pits going on and the fans willingly comply, throwing themselves into the aggressive sounds of the music. All the while the rest of the band are providing a steady presence on stage and bringing those dropped beats and frantic rhythms. Whether this style of extreme metal is your bag or not, there’s something captivating about these guys live on a stage that you can’t help but get involved with. The intensity never stops from the start to the end of the set as the band throws everything they’ve got into playing for a festival they’ve long wanted to be a part of. Now ticked off their list and ours, today has only gotten better and better.


Photography: Mark Ellis 

Review: Emmie Ellis 


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