Bloodstock 2023 Review – Part 3: Sunday

What a festival. Bloodstock always delivers. Be it the vibe, be it the bands, be it the people, but this year felt particularly special. Maybe that was us, maybe that was you, or maybe it was just everything. From the super-friendly and warm attendees to the smorgasbord of bands across four stages absolutely killing it (for the most part), Bloodstock Festival 2023 might go down as one of the best years we’ve attended, and we’ve been doing this for a while now.

The entire experience from Thursday through to Sunday can rightfully be called unforgettable, even if the booze made some segments less memorable.

It’s all about the bands though and that is what we’re going to be talking about here. We saw plenty, we also missed plenty (mainly because we were interviewing), but such is life. Please enjoy our thoughts on the bands we saw. This is part three of our review, covering the Sunday of the festival.

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Sunday of the festival started with another of the best of the weekend. Given the ungodly task of waking up the festival and with rain falling outside, atmospheric black metal band Ofnus opened up the New Blood stage with thrilling misery. Causing tears to flow, souls to ache, and heads to bang with a brilliant showcase of blackened desolation. It made me very happy to see so many people enjoying them too.


Ofnus (New Blood stage) – Wow. Mind = blown. These guys killed it, sounding absolutely huge, and really, probably too huge for the stage. It was a late evening Sophie Stage level of performance. The talent is amazing with all musicians killing it and the vocals, just amazing. I loved every second of it and they have a new fan in me for sure.

Dead Label (Ronnie James Dio stage) – Sometimes I forget how good these guys are – they certainly reminded me here. They were really strong, full of heavy groove and catchy beats. They energised the crowd, energised me and had the floor bouncing. I don’t know what these guys need to do to put themselves more in the forefront of everyone’s mind because whenever I see them, they perform wonderfully and display the qualities of a band that should be pushing for the very top spots at festivals.


A quick poke of the head outside to see Dead Label waking up those who had ventured to the Ronnie James Dio stage resulted in a sharp reminder that this band kicks a lot of ass. Before it was back to the New Blood stage for Elimination. A band who continues to defy the odds and keep on coming back stronger and stronger than ever. Their thrash heaviness hits right and they’re looking mightily strong now. Let’s hope they able to really build on their current momentum.

Guess what? We had interviews to conduct! Sunday was our least busy day for interviews but it still kept us away from the music for a few hours with some chopping and changing so some bands could be seen. As the mouthpiece, I wasn’t so lucky, but I did manage to wrap up and race across the festival ground to the New Blood stage to watch some death, groove and core noise from the wicked Godeth. I’m really becoming a fan of these guys and live, they deliver on the expectations set by their music on record.


Tuskar (Sophie Lancaster stage) – No frills , no gimmicks , no back drops – just amazing music and so much heart in it.The tracks sound immense and drum sticks were obliterated during the frenzied set!


Decapitated (Ronnie James Dio stage) – I think these guys are awesome. I’m a big fan and they don’t disappoint. Fiery and heavy, they pummel the crowd in wave after wave if punchy technical death metal. You can see the crowd are loving it but you also see the band loving it and that is infectious. The Machine Head connections are strong too with Vogg even wearing a Machine Head vest while he blazes out solos. Again, Decapitated have a strong catalogue to reach into and play tracks from across their whole career to date though the crowd seem more into the recent, Anticult onwards stuff which shows these guys as still having a big future ahead of them. Seriously strong band.

Skies Turn Black (Jager stage) – Skies Turn Black were high octane, fun to watch and played catchy as hell music. Having a bright pink keytar on stage adds to the visual appeal but it was more than just little moments. Watching them throw themselves around, the multiple vocalists, the strong harmonising. It showcased a band with loads of talent, and I got to see This Too Shall Pass as well so I left very pleased.

Sepultura (Ronnie James Dio stage) – In what for me was the biggest crowd of the day (I left before Megadeth) with watchers not far off being by the New Blood Stage, Sepultura reminded everyone exactly why they are one of the most iconic names and bands in metal. There aren’t many bands that can boast a back catalogue like theirs and with the man mountain frontman of Derrick Green sounding absolutely brilliant, they created a mass of writhing bodies in a mosh pit that far extended the normal barriers of a mosh pit. Such power, groove and punch as they rattled through songs that extended across the whole of Sepultura’s existence. This looked headliner worthy to me.


After some much needed food and coffee, followed by the packing up of our camp (driving home later that night), I got back to the New Blood tent for Outergods and thank the old ones I did. Sepultura are playing outside on the Ronnie James Dio stage, and doing a damn fine job of it, so Outergods struggle to get much of a crowd but they give it their all regardless and we are so grateful for it.

When you feature beloved names of the British underground scene, it could bury this band before they even get started but across thirty minutes, they prove they are their own thing. It’s extreme metal at its finest. The focus being on the upcoming debut album, A Kingdom Built Upon the Wreckage of Heaven, and these songs are immense. There are no tired legs, sore necks, or aching arms for this show. Outergods inject a brutal amount of life into everyone watching and do it with big smiles on their faces. I know I’ve said this about a lot of bands this weekend. But Outergods were one of the best I saw all weekend.

How amazing is it to have several ‘best of the weekend’? How amazing is it that the technical death sound and vigour of Embodiment on the Sophie Lancaster stage was also immensely strong? I was flagging at this stage, having spent most of my energy reserves on Outergods and saving the last dregs for what would follow this band, but they still managed to squeeze some more out of me by being excessively infectious and a delight to watch. Extreme metal shouldn’t be this much fun, but Embodiment make it so, all while being guttural and garish too.


LaVein (New Blood stage) – Really good band, filled me with energy I didn’t know I had left. Would love to see them again!

.bHP (New Blood stage) – Really enjoyed these guys! Wish it wasn’t last thing on the Sunday as I could’ve got into it that tiny bit more!


Zeal & Ardor (Sophie Lancaster stage) – I really do like Zeal, but the setlist wasn’t for me and I was exhausted. This is no fault of them, and I’m sure other members of GBHBL are singing their praises, go read their sections.


Which brings me to the final band of the weekend for me, the band we have called on to play Bloodstock for a few years, and finally got our wish, it’s Zeal and Ardor and it seems as though everyone knew this would be special. The tent is rammed, really rammed, proving that this band is too big for this stage already. Why? Because they’re unique, where even the curious have come just to see what the fuss is all about.

Fuss that is paid off by a headline style show (albeit limited by the stage they are on) that covers a massive amount of the Zeal and Ardor catalogue. It clearly means a lot to the band to be able to perform here too, and they really do drink in every second of their exceptional set. I couldn’t have asked for a better show, I expect Bloodstock to put them on the main stage next time they come back.


Zeal and Ardor (Sophie Lancaster stage) – We are very familiar with Zeal and Ardor. In fact, seeing them at Bloodstock will make it my 6th (I think) time seeing them play with the last time being less than 10 months ago, yet such is the quality of this band, that they are still my most eagerly anticipated band of the weekend. Partly because I love them, partly because I want everyone else to see what I see and love them too. And they did, from what I can tell. Zeal sound great, maybe a little muted on the heavier vocals but who cares. A strong track list (but please bring Come On Down back), a live performance and light show that impresses and band members, especially the additional vocalists that are energising to watch. The music is emotional, seeing the crowd cheering so loud Manuel couldn’t properly even say good bye and watching the smile on the band’s face. They knew they just killed it, and they really did.


…and that is it for me. I had no interest in seeing Megadeth again having done that way too many times, at Bloodstock alone and as much as I would have loved to see Biohazard, I’d have been asleep in a corner. Not quite how I want to experience Biohazard.

So, we bid farewell to the festival and did the long drive back to London. Feeling super-satisfied by the experience of Bloodstock 2023 and confident we would be back again next year.

Which we will be. Tickets booked. See you at Bloodstock 2024.

That’s our roundup of Sunday at Bloodstock 2023!


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Writer/YouTuber - I am a graphic designer, vocalist and writer of any hardcore release I can get my mits on for GBHBL. Find me two-stepping at any show under 100 capacity.