Bloodstock Open Air 2013 preview: bloody hell!

The bands most likely to leave you swearing allegiance

Bloodstock Open Air 2013 preview: bloody hell!

Photographer:Oran Tarjan

Chris Swindells, Matt Miles - 06 August 2013

Bloodstock Open Air 2013 is almost upon us. Before it opens it's gaping maw in a guitar wailing scream, deafening all in a blaze of pitting and drinking, we take a moment to direct your attention to some of the bands you metal heads can't afford to miss.


Beginning life as a death metal band in 1990, Amorphis have since gone through many line-up changes and refined their sound. The epic scale of their soundscape is now a thing of unrivalled humongousness, retaining enough of the Nordic brutality in their guitars to balance the melodious vocals. Not having to rely on growling alone to make sure their songs pack a punch, this band can serenade and beat you up simultaneously. This Finnish band may also teach you a little culture if you keep an ear out, with a lot of the lyrical inspiration coming from the Kalevala, the epic poem of Finland.


After a short ‘split’ from 2009 to 2012 Bossk who formed in Ashford in 2005 are back. Marrying riffs sludgier than a Lousiana swamp with jaunts into progressive atmospheric jams, ‘Pick Up Artist’ is the bands first release since their reformation and it is a nose bleed inducing release at that. With confirmation of a new album in the works and new track ‘Reverie’ being debuted on their latest tour, Bossk is a name that is going to be peppering many a metal blog in the near future. Head to their set on the Sophie Lancaster Stage to see the rebirth of something beautifully brutal, brutiful. 


Hold on tight, we're about to take a white-knuckle ride - just keep your hands and devil horns inside the ride at all times, or you may die! Whitechapel are as dark, brutal and brooding as the reputation of their East London namesake, despite hailing from the other side of Atlantic. The Tennessean sextet have forged a unique career path since their 2008 debut, a bold concept album based on the work of Jack the Ripper, and told from his grisly point of view. With four fiercely individual albums to their name, touching upon subjects as diverse as politics, history and religion, they've built a strong fanbase either side of the pond. Despite their deathcore sound, the band haven't been afraid to expand their soundscapes either and, like their peers The Black Dahlia Murder, have crossed over the metal and alternative dividing lines, working previously with both Chino Moreno of Deftones and Vincent Bennett of The Acacia Strain on collaborative efforts.

Lamb Of God

If any pit will devolve into the rankest, sweatiest, beer swillingest, puncheyest, messiest dirtbag pile of hellmouth this weekend, this will be it. This show will be such a massive cluster of fist pumping, head nodding, foot kicking shreddery that this recommendation and preview will now have to come with a health warning attached. Forming in the bowls of hell Virginia in 1990, Lamb Of God have been melting faces and perforating ear drums ever since. Taking thrash and throwing it through a punks Mohawk and then puking some hardcore on to it, LoG’s sound is as big as it gets. Bloodstock 2013 is almost certain to end with ‘Redneck’ still ringing in everyone’s ears.


What's there left to say about Slayer? The governors of the board, the true heavy weight champs and peerless pioneers of the thrash metal scene. Truth be told, half of the Bloodstock Open Air line-up wouldn't be sounding as they do without this band. Not that their 2013 headline set won't provide fresh anticipation and some historic moments. It will mark their first UK festival set since the death of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died on May 2nd this year in a Los Angeles hospital. Say rest in peace to an icon and Reign In Blood to these thrash metal legends.

Bloodstock Open Air Festival, now in its thirteenth year, is one of the UK’s most revered metal festivals, and takes place from August 8-11 2013, at Catton Park, Derbyshire.

Click here for the our Bloodstock Open Air spotify playlist.

Bloodstock festival tickets are on sale now and are priced at £125 (plus booking fee) for a weekend ticket.

Click here to buy Bloodstock Open Air tickets.


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