JasadAs you emerge bleary eyed into the daylight on Saturday the 8th, you will probably have a list of bands you’re intent on checking out, but here’s some you may be less familiar with who are guaranteed to perk you up quicker than a double espresso injected into your eyeball:

The SOPHIE stage is to be graced early afternoon with the mighty Jasad. Hailing from Indonesia and bringing with them a cacophonous barrage of guitars and lyrical influences ranging from tyrannical dictators to the local occult rituals of the Sunda tribe, they’re sure to get a circle pit going from the off.

Their debut album “Witness Of Perfect Torture” was only released locally to begin with but has since had a global re-release. Frenetic and jarring but full of solid riffing, it was to be some years before they topped it with the follow-up “Annihilate The Enemy”. Fast forward to 2013 and their third full-length ” Rebirth of Jatisunda” was released worldwide and is a more polished but equally brutal affair.

Metal Hammer, and in particular Dom Lawson, have long championed the Indonesian metal scene and with very good reason. A unique opportunity to see this band and a chance not to be missed.

Tracks to check out:

Dismember Pleasing

Annihilate The Enemy

Nagara Ragana Nagara

Fearless

Jasad – Facebook page

Jasad Live 2013

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MordredBefore rap-rock was a thing, before funk metal was a thing and before it all descended into a horrible mess of unoriginal nu-metal sludge, there was Mordred.

When their Bay Area peers were thrashing their way into the metal scene, Mordred fused many different elements to create a unique sound. Unashamedly metal guitars collided with turntables, slapped bass, saxophone and all manner of influences in between.

Considered “not metal” by many of the die-hard thrashers, they were warmly embraced worldwide for that very reason. Their debut “Fool’s Game” was a breath of fresh air and follow-up “In This Life” is a classic to this day.

Having been on hiatus since the late ’90s they blasted back into action in 2013 and have been touring hard ever since. Anyone who made it to any of their 2014 UK shows will know why they influenced everyone from Infectious Grooves to Machine Head to Korn and, more importantly, will have seen the proof that they still kill on stage.

A genuinely essential set to catch at Bloodstock this year.

Tracks to check out:

Killing Time

The Baroness

In This Life

Falling Away

Mordred Facebook page

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BurgerkillThe SOPHIE stage proudly brings us the second wave of the Indonesian invasion right after Mordred in the shape of Bandung’s biggest metal band, Burgerkill.

Celebrating their 20th year with their first UK show, the BOA crowd will get to witness the flurry of arms, legs, heads and instruments that created the phenomenal noise that is “Venomous”.

This album was the one that truly brought them global attention and it’s easy to see why, with the sort of pounding grooves that give Pantera, Lamb of God and Trivium a run for their money.

With their hardcore roots still twinkling in every track, this album solidified their status as the pioneers of the Javan/Indonesian metal scene.

Having performed across the globe with the likes of Lamb Of God, DevilDriver, In Flames and Unearth, they are seasoned performers and their live show is a heady mix of bouyant energy and no-frills brutality.

As with Jasad, this will be the first time they have hit the UK and it promises to be an unforgettable event.

Tracks to check out:

Angkuh

Under The Scars

Only the Strong

Through The Shine

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Fleshgod ApocalypseSOPHIE headliners this year are Italy’s symphonic maniacs, Fleshgod Apocalypse. Combining insane speed and masterful dexterity, they combine death metal aggression with atmospheric black metal and orchestral flourishes.

Debut album “Oracles” was a blueprint for what was to come, but the phenomenal follow-up “Agony” was a masterpiece of fury and musicianship, cementing them as leaders of the genre.

Their most recent release “Labyrinth” occasionally slowed the pace a little, but still showcases their trademark sound and provides even more hooks and grandiose keys than before.

With the almost impossibly fast drumming of Francesco Paoli underpinning the live show, your neck is likely to need a week to recover.

Tracks to check out:

The Violation

Minotaur

Elegy

Epilogue

Fleshgod Apocalypse Facebook Page

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1349Early on Saturday on the main stage, true Norwegian black metal descends upon Catton Hall in the sinister shape of 1349.

Having started life as textbook purveyors of frenetic and pummelling speed combined with dark and mystical themes, they evolved into a slower more moody musical maelstrom on their seminal “Revelations Of The Black Flame” album under the guidance of Tom G. Warrior.

Follow up “Demonoir” was a truly horrific affair, combining a genuinely uneasy atmosphere with intricately crafted riffs and the distinctive vocals of Ravn.

Last year’s “Massive Cauldron Of Chaos” saw an amalgam of old and new with an even sharper and more visceral production.

Tracks to check out:

Slaves

Sculptor Of Flesh

I Am Abomination

Cauldron

Live in Switzerland

1349 Facebook page

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KorpiklaaniFrom Norway to Finland as the folk-metal pioneers Korpiklaani (“clan of the wilderness”) hit the stage with the largest collection of instruments you’re likely to see all weekend.

The guitars are complemented by violins, flutes, accordions and of course the djembé (what do you mean you’ve never heard of a djembé?!)

Unlike their more dour counterparts in the black metal scene, Korpiklaani provide full on beer-fuelled, fist pumping, jig-worthy anthems to propel us through the sunny (I’m being optimistic) English afternoon.

Although they sing of hunting in the frozen forests, and hard drinking in the winter months, their sound provides a fine accompaniement to midsummer moshing and, as they have proved on tours worldwide, they are likely to pick up plenty of new fans when they make their triumphant return to Bloodstock’s main stage.

Tracks to check out:

Vodka

Lempo

Wooden Pints

Juodaan Vinaa

Korpiklaani Homepage

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Dark AngelDark Angel emerged from California in the heady days of the 80s thrash movement, powered along by the legendary drum talents of Gene Hoglan (Death, Testament, Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad) and an artillery of thundering riffs courtesy of Jim Durkin and Eric Meyer.

Debut album “We Have Arrived” caused a stir on release and the band toured solidly until their second offering “Darkness Descends” emerged and gained instant classic status. It was only a few years later in 1991 when they released their final album “Time Does Not Heal” which displayed more complex arrangements and progressive sounds, culminating in a B-side full of swirling thrash metal epics laced with Hoglan‘s incisive lyrics.

The band have reformed for a limited number of appearances in 2014 and 2015 and Bloodstock will be their only UK date, so don’t miss what may be your last chance to see these legends in action.

Tracks to check out:

The Burning Of Sodom

Darkness Descends

Merciless Death

We Have Arrived

Dark Angel Homepage

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DeathIn terms of underground legend status, how do you top Dark Angel? Death. Plain and simple.

Anyone who has delved into death metal at any point in their life will be aware of Chuck Schuldiner‘s pioneering sound and compositional approach. Having emerged with the onslaught of “Scream Bloody Gore” and then “Leprosy”, the band underwent a number of line-up changes as it evolved from full-on killing machine into a progressive metal behemoth.

The rise and predicted world domination of the band was tragically curtailed by Chuck‘s untimely death in 2001.

In a move that surprised and in some corners angered the old school fans, Chuck‘s manager and mentor put together the “Death To All” tour featuring former members of the band such as Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert (Cynic), Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Testament) and the aforementioned Gene Hoglan, all taking turns at different stages of the tour to bring the music of death back to life.

Taking centre stage on guitar and vocals with the seemingly impossible task of filling Chuck‘s shoes is Max Phelps (who has been a touring member of Cynic). I was fortunate enough to see their first UK show at the Forum back in late 2013 I can honestly say I was pessimistic as hell that this may be a cash-in that would do little for the legacy of the band. I am thrilled to say I was proved wrong on every level. Although the tour itself sadly made a loss financially, it brought Chuck‘s music back to old fans and introduced it to hoardes of headbangers who never saw the band back in the day.

A truly thrilling and ferocious ensemble with a stellar vocal performance from Max, this is set to be my highlight of the weekend. I urge you to get down the front and more importantly to buy a shirt in the hope that these guys revisit our shores soon.

Tracks to check out:

Pull The Plug

Suicide Machine

Lack Of Comprehension

Spiritual Healing

Crystal Mountain

Death To All Facebok page