The return of Bloodstock Festival last year was a triumph for heavy music fans. With the pandemic still rampant and live music still being battered by restrictions around mass gatherings and international travel, the fact that Bloodstock went ahead at full capacity with a roster of sublime homegrown offerings was simply euphoric after such a torrid time. Now, 12 months later, and with the worst of COVID seemingly in the rear-view mirror, Bloodstock is back once again. Boasting a diverse and international lineup across four days, choosing who to watch at this year’s festival is a tough task indeed. Let us help. This is Distorted Sound‘s preview of Bloodstock Festival 2022!
Thursday August 11th
Whilst last year’s outing featured two additional days of music to celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary, this year, things return to its normal format. The first day of Bloodstock is more streamlined outing of live music across The Sophie Lancaster Stage, largely to help ease the masses in for a weekend of heavy metal mania. Swedish melodic death metal veterans DARK TRANQUILLITY headline the Thursday night with what we expect to be a masterclass of melo death, whilst earlier sets from the likes of goblin-themed metallers NEKROGOBLIKON, Bournemouth-based THUUM, the humorous NANOWAR OF STEEL, hard rock outfit MOTHER VULTURE and brutal squad BASEMENT TORTURE KILLINGS will all play their part in kicking Bloodstock off with the biggest of bangs!
Friday August 12th
Friday’s billing across the festival’s numerous stages is, quite frankly, ridiculously good. Polish juggernauts BEHEMOTH land a coveted headlining slot on the Ronnie James Dio Stage and will bring a performance of both aural and visual supremacy, a double thrash attack of TESTAMENT and EXODUS will have the pits swirling and RED METHOD and HEART OF A COWARD will fly the flag for the UK with early sets to blow off the cobwebs from the night before. But arguably, the highlight of Friday’s main stage billing is BLOODYWOOD. The Indian folk-meets-metal hybrid is an interesting proposition and we can hardly wait to experience their craft live in the flesh.
Dive a little deeper, and the quality of Bloodstock‘s smaller stages shines through. The enigmatic SLEEP TOKEN headline The Sophie Lancaster Stage in what will be on of the standout performances of the weekend, INHUMAN NATURE will further bolster their status as one of the UK’s most exciting emerging talents, whimsical yet brutal slammers PART Y CANNON will be a stand-out (not just because of their logo that sticks out like a sore thumb), whilst veterans EYEHATEGOD and DISCHARGE will show their class and chaos with their brand of sludge and hardcore punk respectively. SWAMP COFFIN will surely draw a large crowd to the small Jagermeister Stage whilst the likes of EXISTENTIALIST, I FIGHT BEARS and VULGAR DISSECTION will make good on their respective Metal 2 The Masses victories with solid performances.
Saturday August 13th
The Saturday at this year’s Bloodstock gets even better with a wealth of quality on offer throughout the day. Main stage headliner MERCYFUL FATE is arguably one of the biggest draws of the festival, and King Diamond and co. will surely provide a performance to remember. Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR arrive to offer a reminder as to why they are considered such a titan in the scene and British metallers BURY TOMORROW continue their ascendancy with a slot high on the day’s billing. Earlier though, there are a handful of bands that just demand your presence. From JINJER, who are currently touring the world to raise awareness for the dire situation in their home country of Ukraine, Las Vegas natives SPIRITWORLD, breakout deathcore superstars LORNA SHORE, Danish death metal monsters BAEST to homegrown heroes SYLOSIS, it would be perfectly acceptable if you did not move away from the main stage from the first band to the last.
However, Bloodstock‘s other stages boast enormous quality too. Following their triumphant display at last year’s festival, Sheffield’s MALEVOLENCE return to land a headlining slot on The Sophie Lancaster Stage, UK death metal beasts INGESTED make a welcome return to Bloodstock and a triple header of MASTIFF, PUPIL SLICER and CAGE FIGHT threatens to floor us before the day has really begun. The Hobgoblin New Blood Stage is the place to be to discover some of the best underground talent; DRACONIAN REIGN, HEADPRESS and PORTRAYAL OF RUIN being just a few.
Sunday August 14th
The last day of any festival can be a tall order. After numerous days of live music and partying, to still be standing strong is an achievement in itself. Fortunately, the organisers of Bloodstock know this and as such, the last day of this year’s festival is jam-packed full of quality bands to keep the adrenaline levels sky high. Virginia’s finest LAMB OF GOD will close the Ronnie James Dio Stage in a performance in what we anticipate to be utterly incendiary, VENDED (comprised of the sons of a certain masked Iowa-based band) will kick off the action on the main stage and further bolster their rising status, whilst the highly influential KILLING JOKE and the iconic VENOM INC will provide plenty of throwback moments for fans old and new. And if a dabble of cheese takes your fancy, end your Bloodstock experience with a glorious sing-along with AOR THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA.
But, if you like your metal on the more extreme side, black metallers DARK FUNERAL and NOCTEM, Swedish groove-meets-death metal hybrid ORBIT CULTURE, death metal maniacs CATTLE DECAPITATION, Austrian blackened death metal horde BELPHEGOR or doom merchants STRIGOI will all give performances of thundering velocity and will quench your thirst for extreme metal. As last year’s Bloodstock more than showcased, there is a wealth of homegrown talent here in the UK and this is clear as day on Bloodstock‘s final day; particularly on The Sophie Lancaster Stage. A run of DESERT STORM, GUILT TRIP, SKARLETT RIOT and HERIOT throughout the day is a clear showcase of the sheer variety within our heavy music scene and all warrant your presence and support.
Back with a bang, Bloodstock promises to be another weekend of heavy metal mania! We’ll see you down the front! Be sure to check out our Editor-in-Chief’s top ten bands you need to see at this year’s Bloodstock here!
For more information on Bloodstock Festival like their official page on Facebook.