W.A.S.P. open BOA weekend with a sublime headlining performance

Bloodstock Open Air 2011 review

published: Tue 23rd Aug 2011

W A S P

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th August 2011
Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, South Derbyshire, DE12 8LN, England MAP
£105 incl camping
last updated: Tue 2nd Aug 2011

Forbidden
Thrash legends Forbidden offer Bloodstock the first of many doses of extreme metal. Beginning with 'March into Fire', the US veterans serve meaty selections of old school thrash metal. 'Step By Step', 'Twisted into Form' and closer 'Chalice of Blood' understandably secure the more hellacious reactions while songs from the straight-forward reunion album 'Omega Wave' are digested soundly by the crowd. Although vocalist Russ Andersson struggles to reach the high notes, his stage presence remarkably defies his size. A very formidable performance so early on in the day.

Triptykon's first appearance on UK land is highly anticipated. As if to introduce themselves, the band open with a number from mainman Tom G. Warrior's old band Celtic Frost, namely 'Procreation (of the Wicked)'. However, the tempo is frustratingly slowed down and the song loses its rough thrash charm. 'Circle of the Tyrants' is another Celtic Frost track that is played at more or less regular speed and incites rainfall that miraculously stops as the song concludes. The dark doom metal of 'Goetia' and 'The Prolonging' from Triptykon's own repertoire truly hit the spot, even in the day.

Triptykon's set is followed by fellow countrymen Coroner, also making their debut UK appearance since their reunion. Unsheathing their brain-bending technical prowess over the punters, the lack of a distinctive stage presence from these Swiss men is completely understandable. Beginning with 'Masked Jackal', an orgy of thrash metal virtuosity emanates from the trio in the form of 'Internal Conflicts', 'Semtex Revolution' and 'D.O.A.' among other numbers from the band's history. Sadly, the omission of possibly Coroner's most well-known favourite, 'Reborn Through Hate', feels glaringly obvious.

Kreator
The thrash onslaught continues as Kreator fearlessly batter the audience with weapons from their latest album 'Hordes of Chaos' – the title track opening the set with 'Warcurse' and 'Destroy What Destroys You' substantiating it. The uncompromising nature of these German thrash icons bonds well with the festival environment. Frontman Mille Petrozza promotes his violent manifesto using marvellous staples such as 'Violent Revolution', 'Pleasure to Kill' and 'Enemy of God'. It is hard to resist banging your head to the frenetic music and as the usual hybrid of 'Flag of Hate' and ‘Tormentor' close the set, fans are left with smiles on their faces at the thought of Kreator heading off to the studio to write another album.

After having his set truncated due to sound issues last year, Devin Townsend Project is back at Bloodstock and the size of the crowd is testament to what a popular decision this is. A screen to the left of the stage depicts Townsend's alien friend Ziltoid and after a chat between the two, the set kicks off with 'By Your Command' from Devin Townsend, rather than the Devin Townsend Project.

Devin Townsend Project
Plenty of other Devin Townsend tracks are thrown into the mix but the audience do not feel robbed of Devin Townsend Project tracks. Rather, they love the combination of the two. The unique brand of loud progressive metal washes over the audience in waves and the idiosyncratic oddities are clearly appreciated.

Following an introduction where they are described as both the best and worst live band ever, Lawnmower Deth attempt to prove to the crowd why they are one of the most noticeable British grindcore bands going. And they succeed. With a live show involving Satan on a trampoline, inflated balls in the audience, Mexican waves, racing crowdsurfers and a bunny named Sumo, even those entirely unfamiliar with the band enjoyed the show tremendously. Of course they managed to slip in some songs amongst the madness, most notably: 'Satan's Trampoline', 'Weebles Wobble but They Don't Fall Down', 'Ooh Crikey!' and 'F.A.T. (Fascist and Tubby)' aimed at the generally despicable Billy Milano. With an explosive stage presence, bucketloads of original crowd interaction and old fashioned crusty grind, Lawnmower Deth certainly prove themselves to be one of the bands of the festivals and a stellar example of how a metal live show should be carried off.

W A S P
It seems dubious that W.A.S.P. would manage to actually play for a full hour and a half, having only been on stage for 45 minutes on their last UK tour, but this is the predicament they are in as a Bloodstock headliner. Opening with 'On Your Knees', it is business as usual for these perverse American hard rockers. Mainman Blackie Lawless gives his all in a dynamic performance, his hellish vocals essentially untouched since the eighties. It feels as if the entire crowd sings along to classics such as 'L.O.V.E. Machine', 'Wildchild' and 'The Idol'. The usual medley of 'Hellion', 'I Don't Need No Doctor' and 'Scream Until You Like It' makes the set but loses the audience after the 'Hellion' section is over.

The 'Babylon' release is well represented and prove W.A.S.P. have survived the test of time unlike so many of their peers. 'I Wanna Be Somebody' is frustratingly drawn out with feeble audience participation (repetition of the chorus line over and over and over…) and seemingly closes the set. However, the sound of a chainsaw some time later signifies that 'Chainsaw Charlie' is the first track on the encore. 'Blind in Texas' is, as for usual, fantastic fun and seals the show, leaving the audience desperately begging for more. Yet another sublime show under their belts but given the sheer volume of fantastic, grizzly anthems this band have in their storied career, it seems ridiculous that the setlist changes only ever so slightly for each tour.

W A S P

review by: Elena Francis

photos by: Robert McGlade

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th August 2011
Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, South Derbyshire, DE12 8LN, England MAP
£105 incl camping
last updated: Tue 2nd Aug 2011


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