Bloodstock Open Air, the UK’s biggest bona-fide heavy metal festival, has been accused of having something of an identity crisis in recent years, with more and more bands coming from the pool of Download regulars. Although the bands announced for 2016 so far seem a lot closer to the festival’s roots, the repeat booking of Slayer and Anthrax for Sunday night (following the pair occupying the exact same slots on Sunday in 2013) has caused some raised eyebrows from the regulars. Who could do a better job at booking Bloodstock? Audio Addict could!

Blind Guardian

Blind Guardian

Photo: Blind Guardian’s Facebook

Blind Guardian, for those who aren’t so well versed in power metal, are arguably the least cool band in the universe. Their music sounds like a game of Dungeons And Dragons set to a backdrop of spectacular guitar riffs, vocal orchestration and more recently, a seemingly limitless budget for symphonic grandeur. Doing one UK show last year simply wasn’t enough – we need them back, and we need them at Bloodstock.

 

Converge

Converge

On the opposite end of the spectrum to fantasy-metal, listening to a Converge record feels like being in a serious car accident for 40 minutes and somehow enjoying it. They’ve recently announced that they’ll be playing their 2001 landmark album Jane Doe in full at Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands this year. Although definitely worth the journey, surely a quick stop at Catton Park to save us all buying plane tickets isn’t too much to ask?

 

Baroness

Baroness

Photo: Baroness’ Facebook

Georgia’s Baroness have put out three of the best rock records of the modern era, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest their upcoming Purple will bring that tally up to an even four. With their recent releases being ever catchier and diverse and with shows at Reading and Leeds under their belt, if the Bloodstock crowd doesn’t embrace them next year, someone else will.

 

Kvelertak

Kvelertak

Photo: Kvelertak’s Facebook

Kvelertak are a bunch of mad Norwegian bastards who play black n’ roll – a mix of hardcore punk, black metal, and classic hard rock – and they play it well. Their second record, Meir, is probably what all music would sound like at the minute if capitalism didn’t exist. Kvelertak should play at every festival every year on every night from right after the headliners finish until six in the morning. I’d settle for them having a decent slot at Bloodstock though.

 

Mastodon

Mastadon

Photo: Mastadon’s Facebook

Alright, they got this one right. The fact that Trivium, Rob Zombie and Within Temptation managed to headline Bloodstock this year instead of Mastodon is questionable at the least, but better late than never, the fuck off Southern badasses with three singers and more riffs than Sabbath will grace the main stage for the Saturday headline slot in 2016. Naturally plenty of die-hard metalheads are pissed off, with their recent records leaning away from heaviness and Brent Hinds saying that he “hates heavy metal”, but anyone that ever saw Mastodon as a straight-up metal band was always somewhat missing the point. Prepare for one of the most intensely brilliant shows Bloodstock has seen in some years.

Check out our ideal Bloodstock playlist here:

Joe Gilbertson @PAST0DON

 

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