By Rich Hobson
Bloodstock 2019 ends with a celebration of a band who possess some of the most iconic radio tunes in both rock and heavy metal canon. Scorpions have been called both in their day, but its never been up for dispute that this band offer anything less than the full stadium experience wherever they go, so we can bet on there being some hoarse throats come Monday morning.
With that in mind, here are our picks for the other talent you need in your life on the final day of Bloodstock 2019…
Ross The Boss (Ronnie James Dio Stage)
His ex-band might be making headlines for all the wrong reasons on their final world tour, but Ross The Boss never held much truck with that kind of drama. An imposing figure on the heavy metal landscape, Ross has held down stints in two legendary bands in his time, whilst also pulling together a crew of iconic musicians (including Judas Priest’s KK Downing) to champion heavy metal in his own inimitable way. Fist pumping metal for the purists.
FFO: Judas Priest, Dio, Saxon.
Wheel (Sophie Lancaster Stage)
Prog metal is big business these days, the likes of Opeth, Mastodon and Gojira all showing that pushing boundaries can place a band firmly at the forefront of metal’s development. Fresh from releasing their debut release ‘Moving Backwards’ earlier this year, Wheel are propelling themselves forward with a sound that has one eye in the rearview of prog past whilst putting the pedal down in creating great modern music.
FFO: Rush, Pain of Salvation, Slaves To Gravity
Soilwork (Ronnie James Dio Stage)
Instrumental in helping to spread and perfect the melodic death metal sound, Soilwork have found themselves falling under the metalcore umbrella more often than not lately. Its not entirely wrong of course – the screamed verse/sang chorus dynamic and raging riffs definitely fan the flames somewhat, as does the general anthemic quality the band have pursued this past decade-and-a-half. But when it comes down to it, Soilwork are an inherently European band, grand and sweeping in execution with some excellent tunes in their arsenal. It doesn’t hurt their new record is a howler, either.
FFO: In Flames, At The Gates, Arch Enemy
Boss Keloid (Sophie Lancaster Stage)
When is a stoner band not a stoner band? When they’re as mind-meltingly inventive and devious of Boss Keloid, Holy Roar alumni with feet in prog, sludge and stoner camps simultaneously. You really can’t argue with the results – some of the freshest, most original riffy compositions you’re likely to come across, slipped into an angular package that will send your mind on a journey to the stars.
FFO: Melvins, Baroness, Mastodon
Hypocrisy (Ronnie James Dio Stage)
Death metal greats Hypocrisy boast a sound which draws on both 90s Floridian death metal and the melodic death metal movement they helped spearhead, offering up the best of both worlds to create a furious blend of brilliant extremity. Few bands have been able to make music so uniformly heavy sound quite so anthemic, so it’s a great thing indeed to be able to watch the band strut their stuff on the main stage at Bloodstock.
FFO: At The Gates, Carcass, Death
Bloodred Hourglass (Sophie Lancaster Stage)
Fresh blood from Finland, Bloodred Hourglass boast all the hallmarks of continental metal from the past couple of decades. You’ll find sweeping riffs, bludgeoning drums and howl-along choruses aplenty here, which is handy as that’s exactly what you’ll be craving come Sunday evening, looking for the last chances to roar along to the cacophony onstage.
FFO: In Flames, Children of Bodom, Soilwork
Dimmu Borgir (Ronnie James Dio Stage)
Any other year, you’d likely be looking at Norwegian symphonic black metal legends Dimmu Borgir as a strong prospect for the headline spot. After all they have both the legacy and the utterly astounding discography to pull such a spot off, their sound so massive that it absolutely demands to be heard by thousands. This set is likely to be explosive (quite possibly literally) and staggeringly powerful – not to mention a real shock to anyone hoping for 80s classics waiting around for Scorpions – so this is one not to be missed.
FFO: Cradle of Filth, Emperor, Dim Aura
Scorpions (Ronnie James Dio Stage)
When talking about arena conquering anthems you could easily just substitute any discussion with a run-through of Scorpions’ astounding back catalogue. ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’, ‘The Zoo’, ‘Make It Real’, ‘Blackout’ – this really is an incredible run, Scorpions name belonging up in lights alongside the likes of Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Queen and every other world conquering rock band to have ever lived. Having shared a stage with most of the aforementioned (and blown many a band out of the water over the years) their headline spot isn’t up for contest at Bloodstock 2019 – this is one for everybody, so bring your singing voices and prepare for one of rock’s most legendary – and frustratingly underrated – bands.
FFO: Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Saxon
Eluveitie (Sophie Lancaster Stage)
Where other festivals often sorely overlook the folk metal scene, Bloodstock has long been a champion of such acts from around the world. With dainty wind instruments and dancing rhythms, Eluveitie’s sound owes more to the Celtic/Gaelic folk metal traditions than to the usual Scandinavian focus of European folk traditions, lending them a distinctive flavour away from their continental contemporaries up north.
FFO: Ensiferum, Amon Amarth, Primordial
So, there you have it. We hope that, over the past three days, we have whetted your appetite and given you some food for thought about what to expect on the bloody battlefield at Catton Park. All that remains to say is… see you down the front – or at the bar, whichever is your preference!
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