Teutonic thrash legends Kreator give Bloodstock a resolutely old-school kicking on Saturday night. Keeping a promise to come back and headline this stage made to the crowd in 2017, Mille Petrozza and his not-so-merry men are led out by a couple of Violent Mind zombies igniting flame-pits at the stage sides, but after that vaguely pantomime display, it's an exercise in ruthless German efficiency. Violent Revolution, Extreme Aggression and Phobia whizz by in a blur of full throttle riffage, "eins-zwei-drei" count-ins and dangerously banged heads, as drummer Jürgen "Ventor" Reil, lead guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö, and bassist Frédéric Leclercq hold their ground like battle-hardened annihilators.
Pyro singes the roof of the enclosure. A massive circle pit duly spins into life. The bangers just keep coming, too, from relative newbies like Hordes Of Chaos and Enemy Of God to time-tested classics Endless Pain and Flag Of Hate. Dani Filth even pops in to yelp all over Betrayer. There is a moment of particular poignancy when Fallen Brothers is dedicated to the plethora of rock legends lost during the silence of lockdown: Neil Peart, Riley Gale, L-G Petrov, Alexi Laiho, Joey Jordison… Yet by the time Pleasure To Kill inevitably draws proceedings to a close, it's just a case of (devastating) business as usual. Hail to the kings. (SL)
Pic: Steve Dempsey