Not long now and we will be turning up at the hallowed ground of Catton Park that hosts the best metal festival in the UK, Bloodstock Festival. Looking to be the festival’s biggest year yet, there is a huge array of music spanning all genres within rock and metal. There are so many top, top bands playing at Bloodstock Festival in 2018. The line up is really strong with some amazing new talent on offer mixed with some of the biggest names in our scene. That leads me to thinking about who I am most excited to see. This list is hardly definitive. There are so many amazing bands playing that I urge you to try and catch them all, or as many as you realistically can.
These are the ten I am most excited to see at Bloodstock Festival 2018.
10 – Devildriver
Devildriver are great. I am a big fan of these guys and they really perform live with some of the most crushing mosh pits imaginable. I am sure they will be no different at Bloodstock Festival. Expect high energy, intense groove and circle pits that you just have to get involved in. Normally they would be higher on my list. Much higher but I don’t really love the whole “outlaw country” thing they have going on right now and I fully expect them to play a track or two from their latest album of that style, Outlaws ‘Til the End Volume 1. If that is your thing, I am sure you are in for a treat. Me? I’ll be the boring guy standing around waiting for some of their older hits.
I hope they play – I’ve Been Sober
9 – Kamikaze Test Pilots
In the build up to Bloodstock Festival 2018, we have been running features with some of the lesser known bands appearing there. One of those bands is Kamikaze Test Pilots. After a short interview with them, having checked out some of their music and written about them, I became a fan and find their music to be quirky but catchy, heavy but rhythmic. They are damn good and I am really pleased, and lucky, that I will get to catch them live for the first time in just a few weeks time.
I hope they play – Dinosaur
8 – Alien Weaponry
What a buzz there is around these young guys at the moment. An exciting brand of metal mixing thrash savagery with the Mãori language and history is fresh and exciting. Something I am really keen to see more of. Being just a three piece, and just teenagers, I don’t really know what to expect. I have listened to a fair bit of their music and I really enjoy it. Their debut album, Tu, is solid as fuck and you can see why they are being touted as one of “the next big things”. Can they do it live? I am sure they can, and I am excited to see it happen at Bloodstock Festival.
I hope they play – Kai Tangata
7 – Emperor
Well, it’s Emperor. Not much else to say. You see the black metal legends on the bill at any festival, you surely have to go and check them out. Led by the legend that is Ihsahn, who has been busy with his own solo records, recently releasing the excellent Ámr, expect Emperor to own the stage with a powerful and dark performance.
Again, much like Devildriver, the only reason they aren’t higher up my list is the lack of new material. I know they are “technically” split up but they perform live together quite often for a band that are split so you never know, maybe one more album? It has been 17 years. Still, within their relevantly short career they created enough quality material to feed off of for a long time and I fully expect them to impress new and old fans, alike.
I hope they play – With Strength I Burn
6 – Orden Ogan
I am a big fan of these guys. I love the whole power/folk metal area anyway and these guys are one of the best at their brand of music. Big, anthemic tunes, huge melodies, catchy hooks and mass sing along choruses. They are made for festivals. Their most recent album, Gunmen, has some absolute corkers on there but also has a few cheesy, dull tracks. The thing that converted me fully to these guys was seeing them live. What an enjoyable experience that was. Expect a big show, an energetic performance and songs that will be rattling around in your head for many days afterwards.
I hope they play – Fields of Sorrow
5 – Kamelot
The part American, part European power metal legends are sure to bring a rousing and emphatic show to the Bloodstock Festival crowd. Huge riffs, catchy hooks and powerful symphonic melody led by the wonderful voice of Tommy Karevik is sure to light up the crowd in mass sing-along and air punching. Having released their 12th studio album this year, with The Shadow Theory, Kamelot continue to grow from strength to strength. Expect a show that people will be talking about for long after the festival.
I hope they play – Burns to Embrace
4 – Pallbearer
The American doom band, Pallbearer, have been absolutely ripping up the metal scene since their formation back in 2008. Touted by everybody, pretty much, as the “next big thing”, they have expanded their sound outside of traditional doom to add more inclusive elements from many other rock/metal areas without losing their core style. Their most recent release, 2017’s Heartless is an amazingly strong album coming from a band that seem to be growing from strength to strength with every pluck of a guitar string. Thunderous riffs, powerful vocals and solos/guitar melody to die for – expect one of the shows of the whole weekend from a band that you may well see headlining a stage at Bloodstock Festival in the future.
I hope they play – Thorns
3 – Gojira
I wouldn’t say that I was the world’s largest Gojira fan. I don’t adore much of their early work like music from The Link or From Mars to Sirius. It was a little too quirky for me. The real turning point in my opinion of these guys was L’Enfant Sauvage which I think is one of the top metal albums ever. It is that good, and listening to it even made me appreciate, while not love, much of their older works. They followed that up with the very good, and hugely successful Magma.
An album which, perhaps controversially, I don’t rate as being anywhere near as good as it’s predecessor though I do still like it. What I am sure of is the ability of the band and how they will put on a show jam packed full of crushing groove, intense felling and awe inspiring melody. While the set list is hardly likely to be perfect for me, I fully expect to enjoy every moment of Gojira’s performance in what will surely be one of the picks of the Bloodstock Festival weekend.
I hope they play – The Gift of Guilt
2 – At the Gates
My love of melodic death metal is no secret and without these guys, well, who knows where or even if it would be. The word legends is used a bit too much really but for these guys it is completely appropriate. From the creation of a whole new genre in the 90’s they released some cracking albums, including Slaughter of the Soul which is still classed as one of the best metal albums ever 23 years later. A long split in the middle held back their world domination but when they returned in 2014 with At War With Reality, it was clear they weren’t just trying to cash in or make up the numbers.
They were rejuvenated, full of ideas and ready to remind everyone just who At The Gates were. Add to that their more recent, To Drink from the Night Itself, one of the albums of the year so far and you get a band fully deserving of the title “special guests”. Expect a fiery, passionate and heavy set with sweeps of soaring melody from a band that will make an hour feel like 5 minutes.
I hope they play – Seas of Starvation
1 – Judas Priest
Who else could be number one on a list of band’s you want to see? I mean, it is Judas Priest! Surely number 1 on many, if not all, of these lists that will be out their on the internet. One of the best things about seeing Priest is it isn’t a nostalgia thing like you get with so many bands that have been around for 50 years or s0. This isn’t just catch a bunch of oldies to hear their classics and reminisce. Priest are absolutely as relevant today as they were all those years ago. Their most recent album, coming this year is Firepower and it is brilliant. Another album that will surely feature in many top ten lists at the end of this year.
Expect a set littered with hits from the band’s illustrious career and hopefully a fair few new ones too. One of the most charismatic front men in rock is bound to own the stage and involve the crowd as they rip through classic hit after classic hit with speedy riffs and mouth watering solos.
I hope they play – Traitors Gate
So that’s my list though there are still so many other band’s there I am excited about seeing. How about you? Who are you most looking forward to seeing?