Bloodstock Festival review - Sophie and The New Blood stages
Bloodstock has celebrated and championed heavy metal music for almost 20 years now as the biggest independent Metal music festival. Fans were warned early on about heavy rain and storms as the weather steadily grew and although Mother Nature did cause some chaos over the weekend, it was on the stage where the most powerful displays occurred.
The temptation is always there to focus attention and praise on the impressive and polished performances of the major bands Cradle of Filth, Anthrax and in particular headliners Sabaton, Parkway Drive and Scorpions, but more often than not it is on the smaller stages where the more hungry and intense newcomers are eager to impress and gain traction with new fans. The Ronnie James Dio stage was indeed the scene of some staggering pyrotechnics and unbelievable riffs and vocals, but the Hobgoblin New Blood and Sophie Lancaster stages also drew astounding numbers of eager music fans.
The Hobgoblin New Blood stage provides a platform for the next generation of metal musicians to reach a wider audience and there has been a pronounced focus on offering newcomers and unsigned artists a platform to build a wider profile and potential fan base. In conjunction with Bloodstock's successful Metal 2 The Masses initiative, the New Blood Stage is a vital part of the festival's ongoing commitment to growing metal in the UK from grassroots up. Offering UK based bands, not only the chance to play at Bloodstock Open Air the Metal 2 The Masses also offers up a further chance of elevating to the Sophie stage the following year. These M2MTM events are held regionally in the UK.
Bands who left an indelible mark during their performances on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock 2019 include the theatrical and brutally effective Master's Call who summoned quality and class from the mosh pit. Fractions showed broad appeal beyond the metal genre and a no-nonsense approach to their performances while LeadRobot brought a fast-paced, high intensity and rage that undoubtedly won them numerous new fans.
The raw energy and philosophical playfulness of the lyrics of Empire Warning drew in adoring crowds, Fallen Temples packed a fun punch with exceptional potential on show during their energetic performance. It was, however, Grand Elder with flamboyant frontman Amadeus, who gave a mesmerising performance that could arguably be considered the breakout performance at the New Blood Stage for 2019 with their melodic grooves and thunderous riffs melding perfectly to create a balanced and impressive show.
The Sophie Lancaster Stage also hosted an impressive line up of bands. Witch Tripper impressed with thumping drums, incredibly intense riffs and a laid back, but ferocious performance. Control the Storm gave a polished and accomplished performance that included staggeringly controlled vocals by Firouzeh. Boss Keloid were consummate professionals with a benchmark-setting show that included powerful control over their collective instruments. Although it would be unfair to select only one band or show as a favourite, it could be argued that the performance given by Red Method encapsulated and epitomised the ambitions and aspirations of all serious musicians. The artistry, hunger and dedication displayed during the performance underlie their inevitable rise to fame. Alex Avdis and Jeremy Gomez have created their own genius brand via an amalgam of their musical inspirations and in doing so have elevated themselves into a realm of profound relevance and distinction.
Tickets for Bloodstock's 2020 festival are available to purchase here.