Bloodstock 2022 – Saturday 13th August

Bloodstock 2022 – Saturday 13th August

21st August 2022 1 By Dan Peeke
The Saturday of Bloodstock 2022 kicked off with universal outrage when Scooby Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery was been pulled from the VIP tent’s film schedule and replaced by How To Train Your Dragon 2. Shocking stuff. Luckily, the energy and presence of Draconian Reign over on the New Blood stage was enough to lift the spirits of 20,000 metalheads.

Pupil Slicer BOA 2022 Photo Credit Dan Peeke

It was Pupil Slicer that really got the day started, though. The ferocity of their angular extreme metal quickly wakes up the Sophie tent, with Kate Davies commanding an eager crowd. It’s hard to define their music, but it sits somewhere between grind and mathcore. Whatever it is, and whether they’re playing ‘Worthless’ or ‘Stabbing Spiders’, they’re an absolute must-see.

Lorna Shore are entertaining enough, but their heaviness is very surface-level. The chaos of Will Ramos’ undeniably impressive voice is something to

Lorna Shore BOA 2022 Photo Credit Dan Peeke

behold, but it doesn’t carry the grit or resonance of the death metal, grindcore and even deathcore influences that the band take to extreme lengths. Still, tracks like ‘Sun/Eater’ and ‘Cursed To Die’ encourage some of the most hectic, conveyor belt-like crowdsurfing I’ve ever seen. I’d argue that an ear stretcher has never been such a guaranteed crowdsurfing garment.

Sylosis have always been one of the most technically impressive death metal bands around, and their mid-afternoon RJD stage set was no

Sylosis BOA 2022 Photo Credit Dan Peeke

different. The audience was more impressed by a cloud that briefly blocked the 33 degree sun, but it was the band that were truly on fire. As ever, the inimitable ‘Teras’ was the highlight of their set. It’s groovy enough throughout, but the instrumental outro that constantly catches you off-guard is more menacing than any of their vocal passages.

Jinger BOA 2022 Photo Credit Dan Peeke

As expected, Jinjer attracted one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. The Ukranian band have been allowed to leave their war-torn country to tour as ambassadors of the nation, and are doing their homeland proud. They might be a metalcore band by definition, but their music is so much more than that. Tracks like ‘Teacher, Teacher’ wander from catchy pop melodies into brutal breakdowns effortlessly, mostly thanks to the groove of five-string bassist Eugune

Abdukhanov and vocal prowess of Tati Shmailyuk. She carries herself with a nervous energy, but is focused on her mission. At one point, she even thanks the crowd for our generous aid. We personally haven’t done much other than headbang – but no worries!

Saturday’s mid-afternoon lull was soundtracked by derivative metalcore band Bury Tomorrow on the main stage, hardcore punks Blood Youth on the Sophie stage, and the energetic-yet-lacklustre band Boz in the Jager tent. Luckily, Imperium were on hand to command the huge audience that had taken refuge over at the New Blood stage. Their brand of hard-hitting thrash allows menacingly fast riffage to collide with thunderous slow sections in a way that really catches the ear.After such a weak couple of hours, it was a shame that Ingested and Dimmu Borgir ended up clashing, but such is life. The Manchester-based death metal band are on fine form as ever, with


Dimmu Borgir BOA 2022 Photo Credit Dan Peeke

Mercyful Fate BOA 2022 Photo Credit Dan Peeke

Jason Evans patrolling the stage with a grin as they blast through their intensely heavy hits. Meanwhile, Norwegian symphonic black metallers Dimmu Borgir had finally made it to Bloodstock. They were booked to play back in 2019 but Cradle Of Filth ended up taking their slot thanks to travel issues and Saturday’s main stage closure.

Of course, the backing tracks are strong with this one, but unavoidable. The nuances of their fully orchestrated accompaniments are lost to the consistently average main stage sound, but their fiercely catchy take on black metal is as joyously cheesy as you can imagine. It’s a no holds barred setlist, too, with ‘Dimmu Borgir’ and ‘Gateways’ immediately opening proceedings, and ‘Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse’ and ‘Mourning Palace’ bringing things to a close. Their Forces Of The Northern Lights DVD shows the band at their best (performing with live  orchestra and choir), and even though that’s completely out of the question for Bloodstock, I’d love to see that concept brought to the UK one day.

King Diamond is a metal legend. I personally don’t get it, but it’s a fact of life. Booking the recently reunited Mercyful Fate seemed huge for Bloodstock, and I was wondering why, no matter how much I listened to the influential band, I just didn’t care. But it turns out I wasn’t the odd one out.

From the photo pit, I could see a strong gathering of Mercyful Fate obsessives on the barrier screaming ‘bow down to the king’ and ‘hail satan’, but from further back, all I could see was a relatively nonplussed, average-sized crowd. No screams of delight when they played hits like ‘Melissa’ and ‘Evil’; no calls for ‘one more song’ at the end of their set. It was strange to see, but I think it reflected exactly what it was. A poorly performed (vocally, that is – the band were fine, if a little out of place) set of criminally average songs, with a relatively underwhelming stage show to boot.

One of Bloodstock’s most interesting bookings came at the end of the day, when The Kunts took to the Jager stage for an unplugged set of sweary, politically-charged folk punk. Considering the band went very viral with the stone-cold classic ‘Boris Johnson Is A Fucking Cunt’ not particularly long ago, putting them on a miniscule stage was a terrible, terrible idea.

It was packed immediately, and the sound was barely travelling past the tent’s orange walls. It’s a shame, because on a stage that made more sense, this could have been a joyous left-wing singalong. Instead, I can barely even review it!

Standout Performance: Pupil Slicer

Hidden Gem: Imperium

Track Of The Day: Sylosis – Teras

Bloodstock 2022 – Friday 12th August – Review is HERE


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