Thursday at Bloodstock is mainly a day for arriving, getting wristbands sorted and setting up camp before meeting up with friends. Then in the evening the arena opens for some bands. The fact that this year’s festival is sold out was apparent – the car park was a lot busier than on previous years, and even allowing for the increased security, the queues were bigger. Once in the arena the crowds were noticeably larger than in the past.
The evening entertainment kicked off with Scottish metal band Ramage inc. I’d heard good reports about them from friends so I was looking forward to hearing their set. Wow, what can I say – they were superb. They’d drawn a good crowd and really demonstrated just why they deserved to be on the bill tonight. A storming set that went down extremely well with the crowd which grew steadily during their set – if you havent seen Ramage inc yet then you really need to get to one of their shows soon.
Gurt brought a more sludgy sound to the stage. Another great band they along with The Infernal Sea and Ramage inc show just how strong the UK metal scene is – three very different bands but all putting in excellent performances.
The infernal sea took to the stage with a strong visual identity. Robed figures lurked at the back of the stage holding lanterns while the musicians wore plague doctor masks as they played, and the singer wore a mask too. The image suits the music which is a blend of black and death metal. It’s another great set and they ended their set with the crowd calling for more.
Wind Rose came next, bringing some Italian power metal to the night. It was pretty good stuff but the singer was a bit over the top in his enthusiasm to get people singing along which the crowd seemed to tolerate rather than enjoy. It was a good set though, but personally I’d have had Ramage inc higher up the bill and Wind rose lower.
Finally came Battle Beast. The Finnish band have always been great when I’ve seen them and tonight is no exception. They’re quite unusual in that while they do have a definite metal sound with plenty of guitar and powerful vocals, with songs such as “Enter the metal world” being straight up metal, they have some songs that are more disco than metal – songs such as “Touch in the night”, so given that I was curious to see how they’d go down at Bloodstock. The answer is that they went down an absolute storm. The band put in a great performance and the crowd loved every minute of it and there were plenty of crowd surfers too. Hopefully the organisers will have Battle Beast back before long for a slot on the main stage.