FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Festival 2023 – Part 1


 

A lot has changed in the twenty years since my first Bloodstock. What began as a relatively small indoor gathering in the middle of Derby city centre now welcomes around fifteen thousand metal fans from around the world annually. From two days, two halls, a signing room, and a “Metal Market” to four days, four stages, a signing tent, art gallery, gaming zone, and curiosities such as Viking battles and even early morning Heavy Metal Aerobics sessions, the changes to Bloodstock have been gradual but necessary.

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KK’s Priest Replaces Helloween for Bloodstock Open Air, Festival Kicks Off Today


 

Final preparations are ready for this weekend’s Bloodstock Open Air, kicking off today, the 10th of August through the 14th at Catton Park, Derbyshire. Sad news as Helloween has been forced out of the fest due to a last-minute illness. They are being replaced by KK’s Priest, led by former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing. BOA ‘s2023 Ronnie James Dio Main Stage Headliners are Killswitch Engage, Meshuggah, and Megadeth. with the full band list below.

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Bloodstock Open Air Sells Out Day Tickets For Sunday, Announces Ten More Metal To The Masses Winners


As this year’s event gets ever nearer, Bloodstock is thrilled to announce that Sunday day tickets for 2023 are now SOLD OUT!! Standard weekend tickets remain available but are going quickly, plus a limited day allocation for Friday and Saturday. Read on for more band news, plus all the details on the RAM Gallery exhibitors, the return of the T-Shirt/CD Amnesty and Planet Rock Signing Tent, plus how to do a one-stop-shop for all your festival essentials.

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REVIEWS ROUND-UP: ft. Church of Misery, Witchskull, Altar of Oblivion, Wytch Hazel, Yawning Man, and Tigercub


 

Nearly thirty years of diving headfirst into the void, and Church of Misery are back with Tatsu Mikami once more giving worship to the Blackest of Sabbath’s, acolyte to ‘The Riff’ and servant to the retro groove once more on Born Under A Mad Sign (Rise Above). Joined once again after a twenty-five-year absence by original vocalist Kazuhiro Asaeda, there is a fine sense of anticipation about the Japanese doom merchants seventh full-length.

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Bloodstock Open Air Shares Lorna Shore 2022 Full Set Video, Merch Drop and Deposit Plan


 

Catton Park, United kingdom, 13 Aug 2022, Lorna Shore performing on the Ronnie James Dio Stage at Bloodstock Open Air Festival Credit: Rich Price/Ghost Cult Magazine

Bloodstock Open Air 2023 will be here before you know it! The festival continues to inspire by dropping content. Head over to their YouTube channel to watch full video performances from bands, including a new one from Lorna Shore. The fest also dropped more merch, including Download Mascot plushies on pre-order, and a reminder that their deposit scheme for 2023 closes soon.
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Bloodstock Open Air 2023 Books Candlemass, Tribulation, Royal Republic, Employed To Serve, Witchsorrow, Wytch Hazel, Skin Failure, and More


Bloodstock Open Air 2023 (BOA) has announced a slew of new bands, filling out the Ronnie James Dio Main Stage, and Sophie Lancaster stage. Now on the bill are Candlemass (replacing Whitechapel who have dropped out), Tribulation, Royal Republic, Employed To Serve, Witchsorrow, Wytch Hazel, Skin Failure, Bloodyard, Wolfbastard, Tribe Black Coast, Russkaja, Gaerea, and Striker. Watch the new Bloodstock trailer here. Continue reading


STAFF PICKS: Chris Latta’s Top Albums of 2020


Every decade has its own set of trends that define it. It normally takes hindsight to see what will make a particular decade stand out but 2020 has already made a horrifyingly immediate distinction for itself. A pandemic-induced alteration of the scene itself has resulted in delayed releases, canceled tours, musicians at near equal ratios of inspiration and burnout, Zoom as a primary means of communication, and livestreams taking the place of proper concerts. All things considered, I am glad that a top albums list could still be made with a multitude of strong candidates. It’s been a shitty year with the light at the end of the tunnel still out of sight, but we still got tunes.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Possessed Steel – Aedris


 

While Toronto’s Possessed Steel approached Epic Metal with a rough attitude on the EPs they released in 2014 and 2017, their first proper full-length is much classier in comparison. The style is as grandiose as ever, but a greater emphasis on intricate guitar harmonies and polished production gives Aedris (Temple Of Mystery Records) more in common with a band like Wytch Hazel than Atlantean Kodex. Further comparisons could also be made to The Lord Weird Slough Feg and Hammers Of Misfortune with the free-flowing structures and pastoral air throughout.

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ALBUM REVIEW: White Magician – Dealers In Divinity


Consisting entirely of musicians from the eccentric Demon Bitch with equally esoteric pseudonyms, Detroit’s White Magician settles firmly into the world of heavy Occult Rock on their first full-length album. “The Agents Of Fortune”-esque cover art is enough to indicate that any comparisons to Blue Öyster Cult are likely intentional; the band exercises a similarly freerolling attitude with an ominous undercurrent. But while Dealers Of Divinity (Cruz Del Sur Music) gambles on a well-trod formula, the group seems to have a couple of aces up their sleeves.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Wytch Hazel – III: Pentecost


With Wytch Hazel having established their style right from their 2011 formation, each of their releases has mostly been a matter of fine-tuning and making tweaks to their Hard Rock vision. The band’s third full-length album is no exception as it delivers its signature blend of Celtic melodies and spiritual lyrics with brazen positivity. Past efforts have been enjoyable in their own right but III: Pentecost (Bad Omen Records) may be the strongest execution of the formula so far. Continue reading