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BLOODSTOCK ‘Pure Blood’ DVD Release Party
The Underworld,London 12 September 2004

Just over a week after the end of this years Bloodstock festival, several of the bands re-convened, along with many other musicians and Bloodstock message board regulars, to celebrate the release of the ‘Pure Blood’ DVD. Organised by Bloodstock promoter, Vince Brotheridge, the DVD brings together video produced by many underground British bands, both signed and unsigned and of many different styles and features a total of 13 videos and 11 DVD audio tracks.

In order to help the launch go with a swing, two of this years festival’s performers delivered powerful sets alongside of last year’s Darwin Suite headliners Biomechanical, with the between set gaps being used to preview the video content of the DVD.

First on stage were 4-piece outfit Invey. While I had only seen 10 minutes of their set at Bloodstock, I decided that I needed to try to watch their entire set. Playing a sort of modern metal, there are no easy guitar riffs or vocal lines to connect with and the alternating singing/rapping/screaming of vocalist Claire Nathalie soon began to grate. Their music seemed to feature nothing that was in the slightest bit memorable or catchy and there wasn’t one second where one could tell what Claire was singing about. In short, the sort of music that makes one feel old and out of touch with the younger generation.

Second band on stage were Panic Cell. Once again they were an outfit that I did not feel I had given sufficient attention to, during the Festival itself and having listened to their debut album during the previous week, I realized that I had been a bit hasty in watching a mere 30 seconds of their Bloodstock performance. Unfortunately they did not receive the best of mixes and the vocals struggled to be heard above the heavy riffing and bass. Though they clearly gave a lot of energy to their performance, the groove which shone through on disk, did not come through in this performance and once again I had to conclude that the band’s music was really not my sort of thing.

Final band on stage were UK Progressive/Thrash metal monsters Biomechanical, who turned in a tight performance that was as fast and furious as ever. Playing a mix of material from their first album and their second, as yet to be released album, ‘The Empires of The World’, while rounding off their set with covers of Slayers’ ‘Raining Blood’ and an encore of Metallica’s ‘ Creeping Death’, the band demonstrate a fine level of musicianship. Once again, however, the vocals were burred in the mix and one didn’t get the chance to fully appreciate the range of John K, who certainly appeared to be singing his heart out on stage. I have to say that the newer songs don’t seem as accessible as the material from the ‘Eight Moons’ album but their energy and musicianship is such that they are sure to break through to a bigger audience, sooner or later.

In between sets a large video screen was activated and excerpts of the ‘Pure Blood’ DVD were projected in full colour, though not always with full sound. I have to say that considering that all of these videos were self-financed by the bands, the quality was very high indeed and the DVD will surely prove to be a great promotional tool for all of the bands involved. Kudos to Vince for organising the DVD and for giving young British Metal bands the opportunity to get out there and play.

Review: Charlie Farrell

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