Bloodstock Books Metal 2 Masses Winners Sleep In Motion, Nihilanth, Kraken Waker, Hammer, Black Hole Divers, Hellbearer, Running With Knives, Divided By Design, and Semprah


There’s just 65 days – or 9 weekends – ‘til your heavy metal brethren thunder their way onto Catton Park’s hallowed turf. As the days count down, Bloodstock has the next phase of Metal 2 The Masses winners to reveal, as well as a new batch of club nights for June and July, plus news about the gaming arena this year, Vikings, and more!

First up then, the bands… Grabbing a Friday slot on the Hopical Storm New Blood stage are Nottingham alt-rock trio Sleep In Motion, Belfast metallers Nihilanth, Newcastle riff merchants Kraken Waker, and Edinburgh heavyists Hammer.

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Bloodstock Announces EMP Stage Line-Up ft. Lost Brethren, Lethal Evil, Crowley, King Kraken, MAB, Flamebearer, Rupcha Farms, Warpstormer, Goblin Smoker, Yersin and More

In a new partnership, Bloodstock is excited to announce the line-up for its 2024 EMP Stage (formerly the Jagermeister Stage)! Friday’s bill will include tech/death squad Lost Brethren, thrash/death trio Lethal Evil, occult rockers Crowley, heavy blues rockers King Kraken, and goth metal outfit Mab. Saturday’s line up features grindcore/hardcore outfit Public Execution, metalcore beasts Parting With Origin, doom-fused heavyists Flamebearer, high octane fusionists Rupcha Farms and alt metal band Lurcher. Coming up on Sunday will be ‘fantasy space metal riff machine’ Warpstormer, celtic punk troupe The Callowgate Murders, fuzz-soaked riffmeisters of the Toad King Goblin Smoker, the 3-man noise machine Yersin and heavy blues rockers Loyds Trip.Continue reading

Bloodstock Announces First Bands For The Hopical Storm New Blood Stage, Metal 2 The Masses Finals Tour Kicks Off

The Metal 2 The Masses tour returns in 2024! Bloodstock’ initiative to give emerging bands a step up and also support grassroots venues, kicks off on 10th May, with 30 regions and 6 countries participating. The fun begins in Belfast and rolls down through Dublin and back to England, Scotland, and Wales, taking in Norway and Poland along the way. The tour wraps up in Coventry on 15th July, with all the regional winners from the finals being revealed in due course. Check out the local events below and get along to your nearest event to support the headliners of tomorrow!Continue reading

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: STAFF PICKS – Callum Reid’s Top 10 of 2023

As we barrel down towards the end of the year, we are sharing End of Year lists from staff, bands, and some friends in the business. Check out our esteemed scribe Callum Reid and his picks for the Top Albums of 2023!


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Bloodstock Open Air Books Grand Magus, Whitechapel, Deicide, Desert Storm, The Vintage Caravan, Exist Immortal, and More for 2024

Bloodstock Open Air has added Grand Magus, Whitechapel, Deicide, Desert Storm, The Vintage Caravan, Exist Immortal Eternal Champion, Mimi Barks, and Grove Street for 2024. See the new poster for the fest, a new trailer, and ticket links below. The fest is headlined by Amon Amarth, Opeth, and Architects, all with exclusive UK festival performances. Bloodstock will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 8th-11th August 2024.


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Desert Storm – Omniscient Masters


If the adage “times flies when you’re having fun” has any sort of current validation then Oxford’s Desert Storm must be having quite a lot of fun as this is, almost unbelievably, their third album. Following a debut record, Forked Tongue (independent/self-released), that showed a huge amount of promise, a second album (Horizontal Life) (Blindsight) that pretty much said “yes, they know exactly what they are doing: more please”, the band’s bluesy, riff hungry, gnarlier-than-you take on southern influenced blues/sludge rock suggested a band with its heart and its head in deepest Missouri as opposed to the English home counties.

For this third album, the enigmatically titled Omniscient Masters (Blindsight), the word “experimentation” occasionally springs to mind, although, worry not, the departures are more nuanced than truly startling- they haven’t gone all One Direction on us, for example. Omniscient Masters is the sound of a band feeling like they need to stretch their creative legs a bit, whilst continuing to deliver slab after slab of riff-tastic blues rock.

To these ears, Omniscient Masters is an album that owes something of a creative debt to Orange Goblin. As any fool know, there’s not much wrong with that and so it proves on the splendid and splendidly titled ‘Collapse of the Bison Lung’ which is stirring and heavier than a lead and iron sandwich. You won’t need a post-graduate qualification to know what ‘Queen Reefer’ is all about and ‘Outlander’ is dirtier than a post festival wardrobe. So far, so familiar and so very welcome. There is a very Anglo-Saxon sense of humour running through ‘Nightbus Blues’ and its very recognisable tales of that 4am walk home from a session too far will doubtless be familiar to many readers although I’m less sure how well this translates to an international audience.

Those highlights apart, the rest of the album is not quite up to scratch and, as a long time watcher of the band, I worry that this is going to end up as a missed opportunity. Omnisicient Masters is good but it’s not great and I so wanted it to be great. I rate this band; they’ve got a certain something that is genuinely worth championing. I can’t help but think that with a bit more work and a producer like, say, Andy Sneap working with them, we would have had a little bit more judicious editing and a bit more forensic focus on the execution; as it stands, Omniscient Masters is ok when it should have been K.O. Plenty of credit for the experimentation, but points deducted for the execution; a veritable curate’s egg, then. If your curate is a metal head, of course.



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Desert Storm – Horizontal Life

Desert-Storm-Horizontal-Life-ArtworkDesert Storm‘s latest record, the alcohol soaked Horizontal Life is a slice of dirty rock n roll, served with plenty of chutzpah and a side order of filthy riff making. You do have to pinch yourself that they hail from Oxford, England rather than the putrid, fetid swamps of Louisiana.Continue reading