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Bloodstock Open Air (Day 3) @ Catton Park, Derbyshire, UK

MEGADETH/Arch Enemy/Skindred/Wintersun/Prognosis/Wretched Soul/Venom Prison
in Sunday, 13 August 2017 at Catton Park
by Emily Coulter & Barney Wain

All good things must come to an end and that is the point that the festival has reached; and the thousands of fans are embracing the last day of chaos with open arms and ears. Today is certainly a day full of Thrash with hints of gnarly Death Metal and some drum n bass too. Bloodstock knows how to go out in style and it surely will with MEGADETH and WINTERSUN closing up for the year.

VENOM PRISONRonnie James Dio Stage

One of the most hyped bands of 2017, VENOM PRISON make their Bloodstock debut to an audience that is dying to see if they're as brutal in person as they are on record. They may only have a short set to prove how brutal they can play but they have certainly won over anyone who's ever doubted them. Vocalist Larissa Stupar shows that girls know how to do Death Metal and how they can do it better than anyone especially in track “Absymal Agony”, which has the metalheads in the front row windmilling for minutes. VENOM PRISON have woken everyone up on this red-hot Sunday morning and have provide the energy to get today off with a bang.

Emily Coulter


Sunday was, unequivocally, the day of Thrash Metal. And while some may think there’s such a thing as listening to too much Thrash metal, WRETCHED SOUL prove that there’s absolutely no such thing. Amalgamating elements of Thrash, Death and Black Metal and placing them on classic Heavy Metal foundations, WRETCHED SOUL deliver something suited to near enough every type of metalhead you can imagine.


While it’s incredibly impressive how the band incorporate so many influences in their recordings, it is nowhere near as impressive as how well the band replicate their sound live, with added power and grit. Vocalist Chris Simmons remarkably nails every note just as it was recorded - from the screaming highs to the guttural lows. He commands the crowd with natural prowess whilst the rest of the band deliver musical stylings that hit harder than tomorrow’s impending hangover. If the future of Metal is WRETCHED SOUL, then the future’s looking pretty damn good.

Barney Wain

PROGNOSISNew Blood Stage

Heavy, technical and catchy - what more could you want from your Metal? Supplying all three are Manchester-based Progressive Metal outfit PROGNOSIS. Delivering an equal blend of technical ability and brute force, PROGNOSIS create what can only be described as the soundtrack to a montage of your A-Level maths teacher becoming the king of fightclub. Mid-way through trying to fit as much as they can into their half-hour set, vocalist and bassist Danny Daemon goes to introduce the band, but realises there’s no need, as after just two songs the entire tent is already cheering for PROGNOSIS; and rightfully so. Giving the fans what they want and storming back into action, PROGNOSIS affirm that they are definitely a band to look out for.

Barney Wain

SKINDREDRonnie James Dio Stage


Probably one of the most debated bands of the weekend, SKINDRED take their positions on the Ronnie James Dio stage. While admittedly they may not be the heaviest band on the bill, there’s no question that vocalist Benji Webbe knows how to get the crowd moving with a sound that can only be classified as Reggae-Metal-Punk-Hip-Hop. While some bands may have adjusted their set to cater to a heavier audience than they’re used to, SKINDRED stay true to demonstrating everything they’re about, and rightfully so, as there’s no substitute for a SKINDRED show. With an adrenaline fuelled and slightly emotional set that keeps the crowd bouncing throughout, any doubts that SKINDRED didn’t fit the bill at Bloodstock Open Air are blown away by the turbulence of the Newport Helicopter.

Barney Wain


ARCH ENEMYRonnie James Dio Stage

Subheadlining the Ronnie James Dio stage on the final day of the festival is none other than Melodic Death Metal powerhouse ARCH ENEMY. Playing a balanced mix of tracks new and old, ARCH ENEMY dish out exactly what the mammoth crowd have come here to see - Melodic Death Metal at its finest. With a consistent set filled with crushing vocals and melodic yet brutal guitar work, the crowd erupts at the finale of “Nemisis” as the band give it everything they have left, finishing their gargantuan ‘War Eternal’ tour, and leaving everyone hungry for the commencement of their 2018 ‘Will To Power’ tour.

Barney Wain


MEGADETHRonnie James Dio Stage
With the weekend almost over, it was time for the final main stage headliner of the weekend. MEGADETH step onto the stage, delivering a set that any fan of early thrash metal would be ecstatic about - playing nothing post 1997 with the exception of four tracks off their latest album, “Dystopia”.

MEGADETH were  by no means playing to a small crowd, however, compared to their 2014 audience, attendance did seem to fall a bit short. Whether this was due to the rest of the day’s line-up contrasting in style to the US Thrash Metal titans, that the band played the same slot three years ago, or another miscellaneous reason, is completely up for debate. Be that as it may, MEGADETH have still drawn a hell of a crowd, and deliver to them exactly what they came here for - ninety minutes of Metal thrashing madness. While guitars were up to their usual standards, it has to be said that Dave Mustaine’s vocals seemed somewhat lacking, not delivering quite as much power as the band is capable of. After playing a barrage of MEGADETH classics, the band finish with “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due” as the crowd erupts one final time for the Ronnie James Dio stage at Bloodstock Open Air 2017.

Barney Wain


WINTERSUNSophie Lancaster Stage


Closing the festival are none other than WINTERSUN. With the band’s instrumental section taking to the stage first, the crowd gets instantly hyped and ready to use whatever they have left for the final band of the festival. With a split second left to go, vocalist Jari Mäenpää emerges with perfect timing, blasting into an astounding rendition of “Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring)”.

As strange as it is watching WINTERSUN without Jari playing guitar, it proves effective, as the frontman manages to nail the vocals to every song, while no guitar performance quality is lost thanks to full-time guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari and live guitarist Asim Searah. WINTERSUN’s eclectic mix of Black/Melodic/Death/Power/Folk Metal proves to be the perfect way to end the weekend, being a fitting reflection of the eclectic Metal festival itself.

Barney Wain


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Edited 13 July 2020

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