Bloodstock Open Air // The Ronnie James Dio Stage // Sunday August 13th // Pt.2

As the afternoon sets in, we’ve got some Swedish Gothic Black Metal next with Tribulation. With a heavy layer of fog filling the stage it’s quite the contrast to the now shining sun we have in the arena. The band take their places and begin with an enchanting dark melody before taking it up a notch. These guys are not your typical black metal band as they have a much more melodic sound set against the gruff growling vocals. They also put on more of a performance playing to the crowd and moving around the stage with a purpose to show off their technical ability and throwing themselves into the music. With their more gothic Corpse paint, they are something a little different from the other bands we’ve seen on the stage this weekend while being very entertaining to watch as they play off of one another. Tribulation is a band that appeal to both those fans who enjoy technical skills as well as those of a darker nature and more traditional Black Metal.

Up next are Polish Death metallers, Decapitated. Pulling the largest crowd of the day so far, clearly, we’re ready for something heavy to clear any afternoon slumps. As the guttural tones of Rafał Piotrowski ring across the arena, fists are soon pounding the air in appreciation while bodies steadily make their way over the crowd. By the third song, the circle pits are open and heads are banging in time with the steady beats of the music. As one of the most anticipated bands of the weekend even Bloodstock Directors Vicky and sister Rachael can be seen down the front to check these guys out and chat with the fans. From their intricate solos and riffs to the thrashing beats, these guys certainly leave a lasting impression on anyone who sees them. The band relentlessly keep giving the crowd hit after hit as fans of all ages steadily surf towards them. It’s been a hell of a set and with only 4 bands left on the bill, the bar has been set even higher

It’s time to lighten the mood a little now and for the band I’ve most been looking forward to seeing…Ugly Kid Joe. Starting things off with “That Ain’t Living”, their bouncier, more upbeat style of rock quickly has the crowd clapping along. Frontman Whitfield Crane brings an incredible amount of energy to the stage and clearly wants to make sure the crowd are on that same wavelength as he keeps pushing the crowd to get louder and clap in rhythm. The whole band are in high spirits and as guitarists, Klaus Eichstadt and Dave Fortman play off one another there’s a genuine playfulness to them. This is a masterclass in holding a rock show as the crowd interaction plays an integral part of the show. There’s hit after hit in the setlist with “Neighbour’, “No One Survives” and “It’s Alright”. The guys even throw in a cover of “Cats In The Cradle” and “Ace of Spades” which they invite Sepulturas guitarist Andreas Kisser to play with them. Crane continues to challenge the crowd to keep involved in the show from singing to jumping to chanting. He even encourages a small pit during “Goddamn Devil” to keep the energy up for those more hardened metalheads. All of this leads up to their biggest and most well known hit “Everything About You” for probably the biggest singalong of the weekend. What a way to end the afternoon on our last day!


Photography: Mark Ellis

Review: Emmie Ellis