Thursday, 4 September 2014

Bloodstock 2014: A Photographic Review


The haze of Bloodstock Open Air 2014 has started to lift and life is gradually returning to normal. It was a good year, a fun festival, and for a change I actually got a couple of half decent photos of the bands. This Thursday we reminisce the the good times. This post represents something of a wrap up of the photos that are posted over on our Photos Page.

I usually take a waterproof, shock proof, beer proof camera that, while almost indestructible, isn't the greatest at actually taking pictures. It'll do, but I'd rather have something more capable. No photo pass means no fancy kit, so this year I took my trusty Fuji X10 (pictured right) and a pocket full of spare batteries. The f/2-2.8 4x zoom lens and good low light performance is great for gigs where more substantial gear is frowned upon.

So, anyway, on to the pictures; I've not included all the bands I saw in this wrap-up post, so be sure to head over to the photos page to see the rest. Rather, this is a distilled selection of Femetal bands for your perusal.

Cadence Noir


First up is Cadence Noir and we honestly had no idea what to expect. It turns out that, had we expected anything, it would likely have been wrong. You might not expect a gothic version of country, jazz and bluegrass to work quite so well, or be quite so damn catchy, but these guys put on a hell of a show!



Undersmile


Swinging as far in the opposite direction as possible from the upbeat, up-tempo jolliness of Cadence Noir brings us Undersmile. Playing the sort of downtuned sludge/doom combo that results in a pace measured in minutes per beat, they might not be everyone's cup of tea. Listen close, though, and there are riffs and, just maybe, some grooves hidden in the leaden, plodding drone. Also, they do a fine range of cool t-shirts, one of which I have already ordered.



Triptykon


From the ashes of Celtic Frost and with a slight shift in direction comes Triptykon. More experimental, bleaker, darker than before, this new project of Tom G. Warrior mixes black and doom metal with an avant-garde flare. Not one to dance to, but plenty to make you grimly nod a sullen head.



Aceldama


Another Jäger stage act in the form of Aceldama, a heavy rock band from Birmingham. Billing themselves as a high-energy live act with a distinctive sound, they certainly did the trick and got the crowd going under that tiniest of tents.

Jackknife Seizure


A bit of progressive metal now from Jackknife Seizure, a band whose name I have to double check every time I type it. Taking the twiddliness of prog and the grooves of hard rock they produced a great mix of classic heavy rock with just enough noodling to keep it interesting.



Evil Scarecrow


Bloodstock would not be complete without Evil Scarecrow and their madcap shenanigans. Opening the main stage one soggy weekend in Derbyshire they used fan favourites, new nonsense and a whole slew of props and weird costumes to make it quite the spectacle. Throw in nature's party poppers and an entire crowd scuttling franticly left across a field and it's something to behold.



The Amorettes


New to me, The Amorettes are a Scottish three-piece classic rock band who skirt around prog and go straight for catchy tunes and big hooks. They put on a great performance in the Jäger tent and made me very annoyed to find that it's nigh impossible to actually buy their material!


Metaprism


For the first time on the bill this year we have a classic beauty and the beast setup in the form of Metaprism. Playing melodic metal with a mere hint of prog, this up and coming five piece provides enough raw aggression and soaring melody to keep any melodic metal fan happy. 



Lacuna Coil


Long-standing gothic metallers Lacuna Coil return to BOA once again, this time hot on the heels of their latest album. Lacuna Coil did what Lacuna Coil do best and provided a mix of classics and new material to suit every listener.



Sister Sin


Having never heard of Sister Sin I mistakenly assumed that they were a long-standing rock band come to play the Sophie stage. The classic metal name, the classic metal sound, all made me think they were straight out of the 80s. Not so! Having only formed in 2002 and only having release their first non-indie record 6 years ago, they've certainly come up with a polished act and the live show is something to behold. Well worth a listen, and definitely worth a watch.



ReVamp


A treat on Sunday as Floor Jansen's ReVamp exploded onto the main stage. Singing, rocking and growling their way through a great set saw the rainclouds retreat. Even a short glitch with the mic couldn't stop them, Floor's powerful vocal audible unamplified from right across the stage! 



Collibus


Another new one to me, but Collibus seem to be a band who are going places. I wasn't sure what to expect but they took the Sophie tent by storm with their high impact prog style. I only later discovered that they were the first metal band to play in the House of Commons. The Sophie stage is clearly more prestigious, though!


enkElination


A firm Femetalism favourite to finish up this little photographic walk through BOA 2014 in the form of enkElination. In spite of some sound issues they rocked the Jäger stage to nicely round off our Femetalism weekend.



The only Femetal band I didn't get to see was Unforseen Prophecy due to a clash with October File. I sprinted from the Sophie tent to the New Blood stage in record time, but alas to no avail. Still, a great weekend for metal, and a great weekend for Femetalism!

Originally posted on Femetalism by Craig Andrews.