FESTIVAL REVIEW: BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR 2019 – Day 4 (Sunday)
And just like that! This is the final segment of Metal Wani’s ambitious Bloodstock Festival coverage. From the bottom of the bill to the very top, the last rendition was destined for regain momentum from receiving a massive battering from the weather. So, let’s see what Metal Wani thought of the final day!
Waking some ears in the early rise of the dreary Sunday morning on the Ronnie James Dio stage were Californian’s All Hail The Yeti. The quartet shaped the skies with a tense atmosphere, and even being outside in the daylight, the band were clearly having an extremely great time in between slamming songs and providing their onlookers with the perfect pallet cleanser.
While over at the Sophie Lancaster stage armed with a string quartet, Resin were empowering with their post-grunge reverberations shaking some cobwebs from the night before. Their attendance was felt throughout the whole set as it brought a unique flavour to the music and adding a special touch to their already intriguing set having Adi Mayes from Krysthla lending vocals, delighting the crowd even further.
Shaking the grounds while the heavens opened to full-blown glory were Belgian’s bludgeoners Aborted, who delivered many aural hits to providing a callous awakening over their terror zone. Despite their surroundings were spoilt by the downpour of biblical proportions, it did not ruin their brutality and it was true evidence of the quintet’s vicious craft. The pre-lunch wall of death opening up mid-set showed that the Belgians combined their legacy with their twisted sounds, leaving their waste in an astonishing mess.
As the sun made an appearance over the festival plains, Ross The Boss took to the stage as they fought through a succession of classic metal songs and making use of the runway. Complex as well as experienced with each passing song that had their jury gripped with abiding attention. Each musician was a master of their game and was not afraid to show it. There was a palpable buzz when guitar legend K.K. Downing took to the stage for a few songs and showing all how it’s done with Judas Priest’s Breaking The Law, ending their set on a high.
When seeing this familiar force, it was expected to be filled with profound metal goodness from their back catalogue. On this basis, the honour goes to Soilwork. With 11 releases over their 20-year career, the Swedish melodic death metal engine served their guests with an indisputable blend of aggression and grandeur. Songs like The Ride Majestic and Stabbing the Drama prompted their listeners for classic melodeath bangers along with new tracks Arrival and Full Moon Shoals.
Standing on the Sophie Lancaster stage were Finns Wheel, who were raised as one of the more progressive acts on the line-up. Nothing stopped them to show a mesmerising set of hypnotic sounds, displaying that progressive music was not uninteresting. Stating themselves as one of the modern progressive bands to watch, their sounds were expertly executed for all to see and deeply impressed their witnesses showing their future potential.
All hell broke loose over at the Ronnie James Dio Stage when other brethren from the Swedish pie Hypocrisy proceeded to tear down many walls with bustling pits and fierce resonances that can only end in snapped necks. Sharp and malicious in their delivery, the merchants of melodic death metal led the charge in offering a setlist spanning nearly 30 years and Peter Tägtgren’s eyes were wide with every intention to leave a wonderful impression on the many broken bodies.
Having evolved beyond their eccentric roots into an even weirder territory, the fact cannot be denied that Boss Keloid can write great songs and this northern bunch of fiends did what they wanted to achieve when stepping out onto the Sophie Lancaster Stage. The stoner riffers worked for the crowd expertly and spoke many volumes to the chants of growth and evolution. This was an astronomical performance, dripped and stood out in genuine musical brilliance.
Exploding on the Ronnie James Dio stage was a man with endless energy and stamina that would put many old-school timers to shame. The commanders along with the ultimate metal legend Dee Snider bounced around on stage at every moment, never missing a second and never once affected their presence because of it. One thing that was clearly shown on the stage was this was all done for the genuine love of metal and each song was a dirty metal fest of glam rock roots further defining their heritage. The set even included some Twisted Sister classics to keep their fans on a high. It was only approaching the early rise to the evening and it was a high-quality set.
From Saturday’s mishap, the British majesties Cradle Of Filth had the Sunday evening slot on the Ronnie James Dio Stage to make up for the missed opportunity and to provide with all that this was a worthy switch around from Mother Nature’s tyranny. Huge plumes of fire shoot skywards and there was no arguing that goth-tinged splendour of many songs such as Thirteen Autumns And A Widow, Malice Through The Looking Glass, Summer Dying Fast and with Nymphetamine and Her Ghost in the Fog as closers crushed in a live setting, leaving the faithful delighted.
The current incarnation of the Polish black metallers Batushka was packed out for this live ritual at the Sophie Lancaster stage. It was hard to remove the gaze of all watching the spectacle that was unfolding. With many candles lit and skulls lying around, the smoke surrounded the robed worshippers and the songs kicked into gear. It becomes clear why the band were on everyone’s lips any why they were able to pack out the tent. It was ritualistic, ceremonial black metal at its best.
Queensryche return to Catton Hall to play a show of epic proportions and for the crowd to be enchanted with their back catalogue. As smiles were braced for all present and on the Seattle legends, it made absolutely no sense as to why they never played Bloodstock in its 20-year history. In particular, considering the eager reaction they receive from the crowd, the dramatics were out in full blast as the band power through the likes of Operation: Mindcrime and Queen of the Reich, fully satisfying their bellies before the main event.
Scorpions were the headliners to close the Ronnie James Dio stage with their iconic blast from the past. Starting the proceedings fittingly well with Going Out With A Bang, this followed with many classic tracks Make It Real, The Zoo and We built This House. Ballads like the classic Winds Of Change added to the repertoire of biggest sing-alongs of the weekend. Heavier moments like Top Of The Bill, Tease Me Please Me and Bad Boys Running Wild and Blackout showed how Scorpions sounded regal with rich sounds and reminding all how important the German quintet were as riffs were laid bare. The energy was kept on a calmer level when the encore started with the unique choice cut ballad Still Loving You and their witnesses walked back to their slumber happy with the almighty archetypal Rock You Like A Hurricane. Scorpions have laid out their obvious claim to be long remembered in the pantheon of heavy metal and triumphantly closed the Ronnie James Dio stage for another year!
The last band of the band was prepared to send the weekend home with a massive bang. Right from the get-go, Eluveitie were clearly delighted to be back on stage and came applying their musical assault with full force. Matching folk instruments to death metal feelings, all members of the Swiss machine got their share of the spotlight with talents to lay bare for all to witness. Their hour-long recital was not enough to fully summarise everything that the band were, however, they left a testament to their immense standards on the folk metal field.
And that is it, folks! Bloodstock Open Air Festival is over for another year. Notwithstanding the potential hazards by the unseasonably stormy weather and a few controversies, Bloodstock Open Air 2019’s proved to be as varied, adamant and as heavy as ever, revealing itself again to the champion modern heavy metal of all shapes and sizes. From all at Metal Wani, I hope you, the lovely reader, have enjoyed the coverage of the weekend. Until next time, get ready for an all-out celebration for 2020!