Day two of Bloodstock and all talk was of the return of US metal legends Lamb Of God who were making their first UK appearance since the release of vocalist Randy Blythe from a Czech Prison. As with yesterday there is a long way to go before that starting with Stormbringer who kick start day two on the main stage with their brand of melodic metal. Beholder, on the other hand, are all about the volume with their bludgeoning thrashy set making sure those suffering early morning hangovers from the night before weren’t going to shake them off that easily. With little time for respite or even to get another beer, Canadian shredders 3 Inches Of Blood don the denim and leather and kick things up a gear with their traditional metal sparking some signs of life into the Bloodstock crowd.
All eyes were on the main stage by the time local boys Hell hit the stage. Completely over the top, their pyrotechnic filled set was part metal, part theatrics and part humour. You can’t help by smile as you stand there watching frontman David Bower lurching around the stage on stilts brandishing a trident as all manner of pyrotechnic chaos goes on around him. Take the theatrical buffoonery away and you’re left with some decent metal anthems like “Welcome To Hell”, anthems that sit perfectly on a bill like this one.
Canadian death metallers Kataklysm don’t muck about as they smash straight into their set delivering groove-laden moshy death metal by the bucket load to an audience who lap up every moment of their set. Over on the New Blood stage, In The Hills, a band who consist of ex-members of UK mob Snub, are playing to a small but appreciative audience probably made up largely of mates but, on the evidence of their short set, any stray punters wandering in will certainly be making a note of the name.
Back on the main stage and Gojira, unlike Hell, are all about the music with no theatrics, no unusual outfits just song after song of powerful progressive metal. Now, while their gimmick-free heaviness works perfectly well in the confines of a music venue, in the middle of a sunny afternoon in Derbyshire the only way you can appreciate how awesome this band are is to shut your eyes and try to imagine the setting isn’t the middle of a field in Derby.
The strains of The Final Countdown ring around the festival site ahead of speed metallers Sabaton taking to the stage with the energy levels remaining at maximum when they do. Joking around as technical difficulties are dealt with, frontman Joachim Broden interacts superbly with the audience whereas, on a musical level, there is absolutely nothing you can fault the band on as they turn in one of the most enjoyable sets of the day.
Avantasia are an unusual choice of special guests for the headliners but the power metal super group are nothing short of magical as they power through their guest-laden set. Pompous and dramatic, the power metal troop pull out all the stops for a performance that, fan of the genre or not, you can’t help but marvel at.
Heading up the bill on day two of the Sophie Lancaster Stage are Last In Line, another super group in so much as they feature (bar the sadly missed frontman himself) all of the original Dio line-up and, as such, are greeted like heroes as they take to the stage and pound through classic after classic from the heavy metal history books.
When Randy Blythe strides out onto the stage at Bloodstock there isn’t one person not going absolutely batshit mental as Lamb Of God bring day two of the festival to a close. Ferociously tearing through the likes of “Walk With Me In Hell”, Blythe takes time out to refer to his recent legal issues and, with numerous barrier problems threatening to halt the Lamb Of God machine in its tracks, there is the danger that things could start to get a bit messy out there.
Still with a short break to rectify the problems, it’s back to business for the Virginia brutalists who smash through the likes of “Ruin”, “Redneck”, “Laid To Rest” and more of their brutish anthems with the ferocity befitting a headline act as the curtain comes down on an eventful day two at Bloodstock.
Check out Lamb of God playing a bunch of songs live