Holy hell… can you believe it? In less than a week we will all be stepping foot upon the hallowed ground that is Bloodstock. Two years after the last festival took place. Shut down in 2020, like almost everything else because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’re not alone in saying that we need this festival. That we need the 5-day break from reality. To get in that field, crack open a beverage and just enjoy a ton of heavy metal and rock with family, friends, loved ones and like-minded strangers.
To say that we can’t wait, is an understatement and that’s before we even get into the incredible line-up.
So, as per usual we’re going to give you our personal 10 bands that we think you should be seeing at the festival. This could easily have been 20, or 30, or 40. Such is the high calibre of bands on the bill this year.
We’ve managed to narrow it down and both Carl and Brendan have chosen 10 each. So, in no particular order…
Brendan – Ghosts of Atlantis (New Blood Stage – Sunday)
The Suffolk based metal band blew me away with their debut album 18.104.22.168 this year and ever since hearing it, I have been dying to hear them live. I was so chuffed when they got announced for Bloodstock and cannot wait to see and hear how their massive soundscape translates to the stage. Definitely one I won’t be missing.
Carl – Ghosts of Atlantis (New Blood Stage – Sunday)
While I’m not quite as into them as Brendan is, I have a ton of time and respect for this band. That they’re filed with established musicians yet are willing to work hard to prove this new band is commendable. That the music is so great, so damn epic, is all the better. This is going to be one of the most unique sets of the New Blood stage, I think.
Brendan – Devin Townsend (Ronnie James Dio Stage – Friday)
I have never seen Devin live in any of his different forms. In fact, I would honestly say that until Empath was released, I couldn’t have cared less about the great man. Empath turned me, saw me look to his mammoth back catalogue and I was hooked. To think I am going to see Heavy Devy for the first time headlining a festival. It’s going to be insane.
Carl – Devin Townsend (Ronnie James Dio Stage – Friday)
Of all the headliners, this is the one I want to see the most. I am a huge Judas Priest fan but I caught them headlining Bloodstock in 2018. I enjoy Kreator but I’m not sure if 90 minutes of Kreator will hold my attention. Devin though, that man could come out and sing the dictionary and I’ll be captivated.
Having only ever seen him live in lower slots at festivals, I have super high expectations for this show. I just hope it’s not to heavily weighted towards Strapping Young Lad. I enjoy a lot of that stuff but his work in The Devin Townsend Project is where it’s at for me. Hell, he could play the entirety of Epicloud and I’ll be over the moon.
I think this is going to be a very emotional set. Not just for fans but for the man himself. Don’t miss this one. I have a feeling it’s going to be a ‘where you there?’ show.
Brendan – GloryHammer (Ronnie James Dio Stage – Sunday)
GloryHammer are the perfect festival band with catchy tunes and uplifting melodies to reenergise any flagging people in your ranks. I don’t know loads of their music, but I know enough and with a real shortage of power metal at Bloodstock this year, these guys are very, very welcome.
Carl – This is Endless (New Blood Stage – Sunday)
I love a bit of ‘in your face, fuck shit up’ music, especially live and if there is one band that I am convinced with deliver that over the weekend, it is This is Endless. I have a funny feeling they might wreck the tent.
Brendan – Luna’s Call (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Thursday)
Void. Pretty much the only word I need to say here for anyone who knows Lunas Call’s most recent release to understand why I can’t wait to see these guys live. I liked them pre-Void, I loved Void, I adore them post Void and this will be my first time seeing them live. And what a stage to see them play on.
Carl – Luna’s Call (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Thursday)
One of the few bands on the bill that I adore but have never seen live, that changes at Bloodstock. Simply put, the chance to hear tracks from the phenomenal album ‘Void’ is all that matters. The only complaint I have is that they’re not going to have enough time to play the album in full.
Brendan – Onslaught (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Wednesday)
I must admit that the main reason I want to see Onslaught is just because I don’t think I ever have. I know them, I understand the huge impact they have had on thrash and I feel like I should have seen them at some point. Their latest album, Generation Antichrist, is an absolute banger and I can’t wait to tick these guys off of the bucket list in what should be an intense headline slot.
Carl – Conjurer (Ronnie James Dio Stage – Saturday)
If 2018 was the year when the metal world sat up and took notice of Conjurer, 2021/2022 should be the years that everyone realises we’re looking at one of the next ‘big’ things in metal.
A chance to hear new music from their upcoming second album? That alone is the reason to see Conjurer. Aside from just how fantastic live they are.
Brendan – Slave Steel (New Blood Stage – Thursday)
Introduced to me on our very own YouTube channel, Dream of Decadence below me away and I have been a fan since and looking forward to seeing them. I was so pleased to see them announced for Bloodstock and can’t wait to get my headbang on when these guys take to the stage.
Carl – Loathe (Ronnie James Dio Stage – Friday)
Talking of ‘where you there?’ potential sets… Loathe. One of the hottest up and coming acts in metal. The Liverpudlian band are likely to be looking to leave a mark at Bloodstock and that alone, makes them a band to see.
That they have the music to back it up, music that is dripping in raw emotion. Venomous heaviness with passion and believability, Loathe are already a credible band live and Bloodstock should only help that grow.
Brendan – Urne (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Thursday)
It has taken me a while, and a lot of gentle easing by Carl but it’s clicked now. I am fully on board with their debut Serpents and Spirit which is undoubtedly one of the best albums released this year to date. What a time to be converted too – a week or so before I get to see them take to the stage having just got on board the Urne train. Bring it on!
Carl – Urne (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Thursday)
I went from having never heard of Urne a few months ago to them being on this list. Why? Simple. Serpent & Spirit. An extraordinary album. This is going to be a head-banger of a set and it will mark the first time I will get to see them.
Brendan – Svalbard (Ronnie James Dio Stage – Friday)
Another band I had no interest prior to doing a few show and tells on the GBHBL YouTube channel in the run up to Bloodstock. Svalbard came up a few times and I was blown away. I still don’t know a lot of their music but what I have heard, I love and I am thoroughly excited to see what they bring to the main stage.
Carl – Evile (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Friday)
Like many, many bands, Evile released a banger of an album and have been unable to capitalise on that. Well, no more. Bloodstock is going to be cathartic for them and for all of us who have wanted to hear these new songs played live.
It’s going to be one hell of a head-banger of a set so make sure you’re neck muscles are suitably warmed up.
Brendan – Ward XVI (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Wednesday)
Ward XVI interest me a lot. The image, the antics and the fact that they list Avatar as an inspiration coupled with their last album, Metamorphosis saw them marked down as a band I had to see at some point soon anyway. Thanks to Bloodstock, I finally get to and I have a feeling it is going to be one of the most memorable sets of the weekend.
Carl – Ward XVI (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Wednesday)
Promising an elaborate show, Ward XVI have been banging at the doors of their asylum since the release of Metamorphosis and finally, they are free. As one of the five bands playing on the Wednesday night, there’s no excuse to not see one of hottest acts in the British underground scene.
It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be silly, it’s going to be entertaining but most importantly, it’s going to absolutely rock.
Brendan – Video Nasties (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Saturday)
A band I have only really become a fan of in 2021 but I really do think they are amazing. I love their blend of B Movie horror with metal, punk and thrash. They offer heaviness but with plenty of catchiness, untold energy and lashings (or slashings!….sorry) of creativity. This is one I might find myself in the pit for.
Carl – Video Nasties (Sophie Lancaster Stage – Saturday)
The moment they were announced, they went on this list. I’ve been waiting to see this band since the release of their excellent album, Dominion. I can’t wait. An early morning trip to lose my shit sounds exactly the sort of thing I need after little live music for the last 18 months.