This week’s edition of Repeat Offenders focuses on some of my personal highlights from Bloodstock Festival 2021. We’ve got some old school classics that still bring the energy and power live mixed in with some newer additions that are carrying the torch high and bright for the future of heavy music. So let us dive into what I’ve been playing consistently and hopefully you’ll pick up something new along the way!
Judas Priest – Painkiller
Well, like a few others on this list I’m sure you’ll be all too familiar with this one. Judas Priest headlined the final day of Bloodstock celebrating 50 Heavy Metal Years of the band and what a celebration it was! We saw many fan favourites, a live debut with ‘Invader’ and some songs not played for over a decade, so they managed to pack in something for everybody. However, for me, ‘Painkiller’ always steals the show with the soaring solos, Halford’s “terrifying screams” (see what I did there) and the relentless assault of riffs and heavy metal vigour. The Priest have certainly still got it and judging from the fan’s reaction, they are still certainly needed – long live the Priest.
Memoriam – This War Is Won
Like Priest, Memoriam hail from the heart of heavy metal: Birmingham! With the legendary vocalist Karl Willetts of Bolt Thrower and Benediction bassist Frank Healy, Memoriam have been packing a death metal punch since their inception in 2016. ‘This War Is Won’ is one of their top tracks off of their latest album ‘To The End’ which came out earlier this year and ended up being an absolute treat live. Memoriam played the Sophie Lancaster stage and garnered quite a large following to which mosh pits, carnage and chaos ensued when they hit the stage. If you like your music heavy then please go and check out Memoriam, they are sure to give you your fix!
Saxon – Wheels of Steel
We appear to be building an all British list this week as Saxon are coming up next with their classic ‘Wheels of Steel’. It was very difficult to choose a Saxon track as they absolutely took the main stage by storm and classics like ‘747 (Strangers in the Night)’, ‘Princess of the Night’ were met with great reactions as well as newer tracks like ‘Battering Ram’ also pleasing the crowd. But nothing compared to the iconic ‘Wheels of Steel’ riff ringing out of the speakers. It is great to see these classic bands still giving it all and providing first class live experiences that easily rival and top some of their younger counterparts.
Malevolence – Keep Your Distance
Malevolence have been doing the rounds since 2010 and their blend of sludge and hardcore has brought them a huge following and they came out in force to see them at Bloodstock. Like most of the artists on this list, it has been very difficult to pinpoint one song, but one of Malevolence’s latest tracks from their 2020 EP ‘The Other Side’ seemed to bring tons of energy and of course some delightful riffs. This style of music isn’t my normal cup of tea but I was won over with their performance and crowd interaction. So if you’re like me and ignorantly get apprehensive when the word “core” appears on a subgenre then definitely check these guys out, they bring an impressive youthful and dynamic approach.
Paradise Lost – Hallowed Land
Paradise Lost was one of those bands where I have always seen their name and caught glimpses of but never really got stuck into to see what they are all about, but at Bloodstock 2021 they played their 1995 album ‘Draconian Times’ in full and I thoroughly enjoyed it! One of the more memorable tracks for me was ‘Hallowed Land’ and it’s extremely catchy and melodic guitar leads and groovy riffs. I’ll definitely be spending more time finally diving into Paradise Lost’s back catalogue after hearing this one.