In just under three days, Catton Hall in Derbyshire will be taken over by nearly 15,000 metal fans as Bloodstock Open Air returns with it’s strongest line-up yet. Topped by three incredible headliners in Behemoth, Mercyful Fate and Lamb of God, and featuring a supporting cast that includes Lorna Shore, Testament, Sleep Token, Cattle Decapitation and many more, in the run-up to the festival, we’ve been picking our must see bands for the weekend.

Having kicked off this preview with our pick of the bands gracing the Ronnie James Dio stage over the weekend, followed by our top picks of the Sophie Lancaster Stage, to wrap up the coverage, here is our pick of the bands we think will grab your attention on the New Blood Stage.

1. I Fight Bears
When: Friday 12th August

Having won the South Wales Metal 2 The Masses competition and been described as “one of the tightest bands I’ve seen”, the Welsh band arrive at Bloodstock in support of their 5 track EP, Liberosis, an EP almost three years in the making, this is now surely the perfect place for the band to kickstart the next chapter of their journey.

2. Torus
When: Sunday 14th August

Swinging into Bloodstock armed with massive, fuzzy riffs and a bunch of alt-rock anthems, Torus bring the Sunday night to a close with a their feel good hit of the Summer “Sail”, a track accompanied by a video inspired by 90’s MTV and B-Movie Horror. Roll that all into one and you’ve got the perfect way to end your Bloodstock if you fancy a break from the sledgehammer-in-your-face metal of the main stage headliners Lamb of God.

3. Cast In Tephra
When: Saturday 13th August

Based in the North East of England, Cast In Tephra have been slamming through their local Metal/Core scene since 2019 in which time they’ve gigged with everyone from Filth to Internal Bleeding and Party Cannon. The band are preparing to drop their Realm of Blissful Ignorance EP later in the year with Bloodstock a great way to stake their place in the UK heavy music scene.

4. Existentialist
When: Friday 12th August

These days, the Blackened Death Metal scene is certainly producing more than just a few bands of note and one of those hoping to get noticed are Essex-based quintet Existentialist who will be supporting their 2020 debut album Prophet of Ignorance. Expect plenty of dark vocals, sinister orchestrals and general all-round morbidity from the band who will hopefully drop into their set a tune or two from their upcoming new album.

5. Draconian Reign
When: Saturday 13th August

If it is punishingly heavy you want then look no further than Draconian Reign whose set looks like being one of the level-setters for the weekend. Brutal riffs, symphonic black metal and skull-cracking deathcore combine to produce a sound that will surely be heard right the way across Catton Hall and beyond.

6. Ireosis
When: Friday 12th August

Expect quality when Yorkshire band Ireosis get their turn on the New Blood Stage on Friday. With a wealth of experience across the Yorkshire metal scene, the combined members of Ireosis, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have your eardrums battered as the band unleash an auditory assault on your senses.

7. Sulvain
When: Sunday 14th August

Inspired by riff warriors like Black Label Society and Kyuss, Northampton’s very own Sulvain are primed and ready to come wailing into Catton Hall armed with a stack of weighty grooves and NOLA-drenched riffery.

8. Collapse The Sky
When: Saturday 13th August

Born in 2016, Norwich-based metal crew Collapse The Sky know what makes a good metal song. Taking inspiration from the likes of Slipknot, Lamb of God and Parkway Drive, promise you’ll be banging your head by the time they unleash their neck-snapping grooves on the New Blood stage.

9. Callous Hands
When: Sunday 14th August

Screaming out of Birmingham, Callous Hands’ set promises to be a tent-shaking, eardrum-assaulting experience. Blending together brutal metal, pit-friendly hardcore and mammoth grooves, the Midlands band are ready to drop their second EP later this year, and arrive at Bloodstock with a fire burning hard in their collective bellies.

If you need more information on Bloodstock then visit the Official Bloodstock Website.

Poster for Bloodstock Open Air 2022
Author

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.