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Bloodstock Open Air: Ten Bands You Must See this Weekend! [Festival Preview]

As metal returns to Catton Hall this weekend, we’ve picked out ten bands we think you’ll need to see at Bloodstock 2023…




In three days time, the hallowed gates to Catton Hall in Derbyshire, once again open
to fifteen thousand metal fans all ready for a weekend of top metal at Bloodstock Open Air 2023. Headlined by Killswitch Engage, Meshuggah and Megadeth with a cast of nearly a hundred other acts from Gatecreeper to Helloween to In Flames, the weekend promises something for everyone if you’re a metal fan.

To help you out, we’ve picked ten acts from the list who are on our must see list for this weekend. Who is on yours?

10. Gatecreeper (Ronnie James Dio Stage, Friday 11th August)
Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, one of the most highly-rated of the new breed of the death metal bands bring their desert-scorched brutality to the main stage on Friday. Whatever the weather this weekend, expect the Arizona maulers to deliver one of the most disgusting sets of the festival.

9. Skynd (Sophie Lancaster Stage, Thursday 10th August)
One of the more unique bands to grace the stage at Bloodstock this weekend, the serial killer inspired electronic-rock duo known as Skynd will be bringing their sinister sounds to the opening night of Bloodstock as the pair headline the Sophie Lancaster stage. Inspired by the darker, lesser known serial killers, if the all-night partying at Bloodstock doesn’t keep you awake this weekend, Skynd’s tales of the macabre will take care of that.

8. To Obey A Tyrant (New Blood Stage, Friday 11th August)
Born on the South coast of England, blackened deathcore troop To Obey A Tyrant powered through to Bloodstock with a win in the Bournemouth heat of Metal 2 The Masses. Hoping to grab the opportunity with both hands, expect a cocktail of eerie, symphonic deathcore and pulverising slam metal when these dark-hearted newcomers grace the New Blood Stage on Friday.

7. Skora (New Blood Stage, Saturday 12th August)
Offering up a harsh dose of progressive hardcore, Cheltenham outfit Skora have promised to bring their own brand of chaos to Bloodstock this weekend. We’ve checked out their video to the abrasive “Harakiri” and they’re certainly now high on our list of new bands to investigate further this weekend. We suggest you do the same if you have half an hour to spare.

6. Nakkeknaekker (New Blood Stage, Saturday 12th August)
With just a few days to go until the gates of Catton Hall open again, we’re still undecided on how to pronounce their name but any band who mixes Scandenavian and American metal together then gives the end result a modern twist is certainly alright in our books. Inspired by the likes of Entombed and Morbid Angel, we were already intrigued by the name but now we’re more than ready for these youngsters to rip our faces off on the New Blood Stage this weekend.

5. Frozen Soul (Sophie Lancaster Stage, Thursday 10th August)
If it is filth you are looking for then you need to haul yourselves out of your tent and into the Sophie Lancaster Stage as one of the first bands to kick off the festival, Texan death metal outfit Frozen Soul will surely tick that box. Having been laying waste to some of the more intimate venues around the UK ahead of their festival appearance this weekend, expect your face to be punched in as the band deliver a set that will surely take you all weekend to recover from.

4. Meshuggah (Ronnie James Dio Stage, Saturday 12th August)
In terms of technical metal, there can be no more an iconic group than Sweden’s mighty Meshuggah. Admittedly a surprise announcement for headliners when they were confirmed back in November 2022, the Swedish metal juggernaut are undoubtedly going to deliver one of the most unmissable headline sets to have graced a headline slot at Bloodstock.

3. Lokust (New Blood Stage, Friday 11th August)
The name Lokust dropped into our Instagram feed a few weeks ago so the London groove metal crew were already on our radar. The band have recently unleashed their Infidel album so, with all the pieces of their particularly heavy jigsaw in place, will be heading to Catton Hall full of confidence and promising a set of violently expressive tunes. Don’t miss ’em.

2. Gaerea (Sophie Lancaster Stage, Friday 11th August)
It wouldn’t be an extreme metal festival without a dose of black metal and, while Bloodstock this year is slightly light in terms of bands who are just pure evil, the mysterious Portugese outfit known as Gaerea promise to deliver one of the most harrowing, downright evil sets of the weekend.

1. Sepultura (Ronnie James Dio Stage, Sunday 13th August)
Even at this stage in their career, people still write the “post-Max” era Sepultura off. However, if you’d seen the tribal metal crew lay waste to Download Festival, you will know this is a band far from over. When Sunday arrives, expect a set packed with classics delivered by a band who are very much firing on all cylinders.

Honourable mentions go to Godeth, HATE, Torchbearer and Pest Control.

Bloodstock Open Air takes place at Catton Hall in Derbyshire from August 10th-13th. Try and grab yourselves a late ticket from the Official website and we’ll see you in the pit…

Bloodstock Open Air 2023 Poster Artwork

Bloodstock Open Air 2023 Poster Artwork

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.