Everyone’s favourite HEAVY metal festival has rolled around once again, and on Saturday 13th August The King Is Blind will be laying waste to the prestigious Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock Open Air festival.
In the build up to this year’s festival, we’ve been asked what people can expect from our set. Well, you’ll have to wait and see… The other question we always get asked ahead of every fest is, which bands are we most looking forward to checking out? So, we thought we’d get one step ahead and let you know who we’ll be holding our pints and horns aloft to…
Having taken into account the six headliners are a given, and you’ll already have made your mind up about most of the top end mainstage acts, Steve (Tovey – vocals) donned his thinking cap and pulled together the seven bands we are fired up about going to see at #BOA2016. Honorable mentions go to the always excellent and classic COC, the power metal maniac-ery of Gloryhammer and, we do confess we’re definitely interested in what a returning Misery Loves Co. bring to the table, but let’s be honest, we’d rather look at some newer or different bands that we really feel passionate about than the established acts. And if this introduces you to someone new, or encourages you to go check one of these bands at Bloodstock when you weren’t sure, then it’s a job well done…
AKERCOCKE (Ronnie James Dio Stage – Saturday, 13.50pm)
What more needs to be said? The returning overlords of UK extreme metal playing their first show in a few years, bringing their twisted, manipulative, challenging brand of Satan-infused deathly metal are the must see on this year’s bill. New demo track ‘Inner Sanctum’ has let us know that their creative juices are already flowing, and so the live shackles shall be released at Bloodstock. We’re also delighted to have just announced that The King Is Blind will be special guests on Akercocke’s upcoming ‘Renaissance In Extremis’ Autumn tour – tickets available from SeeTickets
HEART OF A COWARD (Ronnie James Dio Stage – Sunday, 11.45am)
Last year’s ‘Deliverance’ album was a tour-de-force of juddering, aggressive, molten modern metal songs with technical rhythms and progressive touches; a frankly magnificent and huge album that promises exceptional things may be on the cards next time around. HOAC more than backed it up on a recent UK run with Trivium proving themselves to have the live chops to go with the songs. Couldn’t give a fuck that they’re not seen as “trve” metal, these guys have everything I like in a band and deserve to be much bigger than they are.
MAGE (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Saturday, 11.50am)
We’re delighted that our friends in Mage have joined the Bloodstock bill, and on the same day and stage as us, and we’ll be there, beers in hand, heads banging to the beat as they wrench out their Crowbar vibes and Sabbath-ian riffs. Definitely an underrated stoner metal group, Mage serve up desert grooves with punky venom. If you dig, please also join the Pledge campaign for their new album, here.
MEMORIAM (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Sunday, 18.40pm)
Not content with providing the war cries and bellows in one of favourite bands, Bolt Thrower, Karl Willetts has well and truly unleashed the tempest in a new band, whose modus operandi is in bringing old school Death Metal grooves with flecks of grind power. Their ‘Hellfire’ demo/7” serves as a precursor for a debut album that is sure to be one of the best in its field. These guys know how to deliver the death metal goods with a strong energy and, for want of a more loquacious term, are simply fucking great.
VALLENFYRE (Ronnie James Dio Stage – Saturday, 12.45pm)
With two great albums under their belts already in ‘A Fragile King’ and ‘Splinters’, this Gregor Mackintosh-led troupe have already well and truly stepped above and beyond their “side project” roots to be a valid contender in their own right. Again, more doses of the old school updated, spat forth with aggression and sounding fresh this HM2 laden death/doom-fest is a guaranteed skullcrusher. I haven’t seen Vallenfyre live before and can’t wait to witness the crusty pummelling.
VEKTOR (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Sunday, 17.30pm)
Fuck me, ‘Terminal Redux’ is some good shit. It’s not an album I’ve spent much time with yet, but the initial feel is of a maelstrom of Sigh, Devin Townsend and Voivod with progressive thrash odysseys pouring relentlessly from a rent in space and time. They maintain a pace and energy that is oft missing in complicated or advanced music, and create an atmosphere that draws you into their (other) world. Very excited to see how it translates live.
WITCHSORROW (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Sunday, 14.20pm)
Last year’s banger ‘No Light Only Fire’ brought to the fore a classic NWOBHM influence that had previously lurked deeper inside the twisted UK doom of Witchsorrow. It was a welcome enhancement to their sound, as evidenced by the headbanging mayhem they brought to the Dogtooth Stage at Download this year. You like heavy metal? You like riffs? You like headbanging? Then you like Witchsorrow.
THE KING IS BLIND (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Saturday, 15.20pm)
We couldn’t not plug our own set… You know we’re going to bring it. You know our return to Bloodstock’s Sophie stage is going to be aggressive. There’ll be massive riffs, grooves, energy, power and a relentless bludgeoning of Monolithic Metal. The King Is Blind is hungry and most fucking ready to make an impact. Get warmed up, come down the front and come help us make a statement.
It goes without saying we’re big fans of Bloodstock even if we weren’t on the bill. The atmosphere is unrivalled, and the team behind the fest work tirelessly to bring a great festival every year. With this year’s line-up also featuring Behemoth playing ‘The Satanist’, Twisted Sister, Mastodon, Anthrax, Slayer, Goatwhore… it’s going to be a doozy.
See you there!
The King Is Blind’s debut album ‘OUR FATHER’ is available from: Cacophonous Store – Amazon – iTunes