Bloodstock Open Air // The Ronnie James Dio Stage // Mainstage // Saturday August 12th // Pt.3

So far today we’ve seen everything from hardcore to Doom metal as well as some dance and party rock but as the evening draws in on Corpse Paint day at Bloodstock, it’s about time we had some black metal! Hitting the stage now is the one and only Abbath. As the smoke machines provide the stage with a dense covering, out of the fog come the heavily painted band themselves ready to go. The main man himself seems to be in high spirits as he struts across the stage in all his made-up glory and does his classic crab walk. As the band begins to play the crowd are steadily moving to the beats taking in every second of this dark black metal glory. The melodic styling of the band is well received by the huge crowd that has gathered and as the hair flies and Abbaths growling tones continue, this is a show that is 100% Norwegian Black Metal and just what is needed for the time of day. There’s plenty of impressive solos and with the cheeky edge these guys bring, by the end, the crowd were left smiling at another fantastic set from the main stage.

Our second to last band of the day is Triptykon which originally started as a side project for Celtic Frost. Tonight however they are playing Tom Gabriel Warriors original band and hits from the first 2 Celtic Frost albums. The fast thrash/extreme metal is certainly a hit with the crowd as heads are frantically banging along with the music and a pit opens up at the front. The wailing solos from V.Santura are fascinating to watch as his hand moves at incredible speed across his guitar. Tom himself is not to be sidelined in his own playing with his own impressive technical ability out in full force tonight. All the while Vanja Slajh holds the deep bass steady as a blur of flying hair. When the band takes a moment to compose themselves, the crowd are eager for more as they chant away ready to headbang some more. Not to fear though as these guys have plenty more in their toolbox to wow us with.These Bloodstock Alumni definitely still hold the festival and fans hearts and these classics have certainly gone down a storm tonight.

With the sun now almost set, it’s time for our second headlining act of the weekend, Meshuggah. As the stage is set in complete darkness, the rumblings of the intro track roll over the arena. This soon changes to flashing red and white light as the guitars begin to play “Broken Cog”. This flashing lighting continues throughout the first half of the set, occasionally switching to blue and green light. This is all back lighting for the bad however with very little clear light on the band members themselves. The red bathing the band from behind does give a very eerie atmospheric feel which fits with the flashing boards set up on stage. A spotlight does come down at times behind guitarist Fredrik Thordendal during his solos. From the deep guttural vocals to the speedy and driving rhythms there is no mistaking who is on the stage and the packed arena are loving every second. Part way through the set however the stage goes dark once more and chants of Meshuggah ring through the crowd before the band head into “Ligature Marks”. There’s another brief pause later in the set as the screens go dark and the stage is bathed in green light this time. The band come forward on the stage and we can get a better look at them performing as the white flashes of light better reveal the band behind the green and blue flashes that now wash over the stage. During this time we’re treated to “In Death – Is Death” and “In Death – Is Life”. The crowd are still rocking away with the band as waves of crowd surfers make their way to the front in the dark and the headbanging continues. The stage goes dark once more in complete blackness before we’re back to the red lighting for “The Abysmal Eye”. Meshuggah certainly know how to put on a show and create an incredible atmosphere. It’s been another amazing day at Bloodstock that’s closed with a bang.


Photography: Mark Ellis 

Review: Emmie Ellis 


%d bloggers like this: