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Arriving on site, we’re greeted by a troop of knights marching towards the VIP entrance. However, this is Bloodstock so we expect no less. The UK’s premier metal festival returns with a line-up that is a heavy metal fans wet dream, but there is a long way to go until thrash titans Slayer bring the festival to a thunderous finale on Sunday night. Day one of Bloodstock Open Air opens up with Municipal Waste, Dark Funeral and headliner King Diamond amongst the acts to grace the stage.

‎As the Toronto crowd slowly trickled into the Virgin Mobile Mod Club there was a weirdly quick blurp of people and the venue shot from 20 patrons to a hundred in a matter of 2 Royal Thunder songs. With a couple beers and a shot of Jameson dead on the bar counter I realized that what was a dreadfully empty venue had become quite rammed. Sure most people might be here to see Baroness triumph over evil with their luscious tunes, but God damn they were treated to some fucking good Royal Thunder. The trio were in top form and easily outdid their last Toronto performance (they hit the Horseshoe Tavern back in October of 2012).

Black metal cult Bestial Mockery have announced it’s first ever headlining appearance in the US. Bestial Mockery is slated to make their first US appearance, which will also be the band’s final show on Saturday, June 29th as part of this year’s Martyrdoom Festival in New York City. Information about the festival can be found below. Regarding Bestial Mockery’s final appearance, vocalist Master Motorsag said the following: “Final Attack of the morbid Coven!”

French Metallers Alcest brought their ethereal mix of Black Metal and Shoegaze to the legendary Crowbar in Tampa Bay on March 21th, 2012. It was a night filled with plenty of magical moments and an intimate atmosphere. The band focused on playing cuts from their recent, highly acclaimed album Les Voyages De L’Ame, as well as songs from all previous recordings. The night was captured using a Nikon D-90, Nikkor Lens 19-105mmm f: 3.5 and Tamron 28-75 mm f:2.5.

Traditionally, Tampa Bay’s audience doesn’t seem to be very fond of Metal bands with strong melodic leanings. Most fans (and bands) in this part of the US are still deeply rooted in the Death Metal revolution that took the underground by storm during the early 90’s. That’s probably why expectations weren’t high on the night that French metallers Alcest came to town to deliver their unique blend of ethereal Melodic Black Metal and Shoegaze. Surprisingly, all bets were wrong: a pretty decent crowd (formed mostly by 20 and 30 year olds) invaded The Crowbar, helping to create an intimate yet electrical atmosphere.

Today Pitchfork Media are hosting the premiere of a brand new track from All Pigs Must Die’s recently released ‘God Is War’, dropping the volatile and crushing “The Blessed Void” on your Monday like a mallet to the head. The sheer anger and combustible energy harnessed within this song will surely get your blood boiling, from the punk-infused d-beat attack kicking it off, to the gloomy, slow-motion Swedish death-influenced bridge, to the guitar solo-infused high-speed metallic hardcore finale.

Ottawa band Paramedics shared their incredible sounds with the Bluesfest crowd on the afternoon of July 10th. They unfortunately announced that it would be their final show for quite some time, but they have an insanely unique sound and I highly recommend you check them out online, or purchase their EP if you can. We captured this “last” show on a Nikon D7000, 50mm f/1.8.