Not content with a lineup that features some of the greatest metal bands to walk the planet, Bloodstock take extra measures to secure themselves as one of the most forward thinking, progressive festivals in the UK. Their mantra of being ‘by the fans, for the fans’ is one not only said but put into action on their lineups as they give the unsigned bands of Britain the opportunity to play one of rock’s most acclaimed stages. This way of thinking is one that not only resonates with Mind Noise Network but is at the heart of the underground scene, and we’re here to introduce you to some of the bands benefiting most from the festival’s progressive thinking.

Pelugion: The Coventry 3 piece who’s desire to play big stages is matched evenly by their work ethic and dedication. Born out of jamming Metallica and Sabbath at college, they’ve grown over the past six years and show no sign of wanting to stop. ‘I think a lot of people would be happy with playing average, comfortable gigs every other week, but the 3 of us are determined to achieve so much more. Whatever that equates to I don’t know but every ounce of effort will go into making this journey something all of us can be proud of’. While it’s nothing new for a band to want to grow, Pelugion’s faith in themselves is inspiring, citing their live shows as one that ‘Doesn’t feel like it’s replicated anywhere’, and ultimately exuding charm through their faith in the band.

Seven Hells: With the good looks and charm of a boy band (so they think), Seven Hells want to remind you that they serve crushing riffs on a platter. Their musical sound comes from the concept of a post-apocalyptic world, with the heavy, chaotic themes of life as we know it being over. Speaking about who they appeal to, they say ‘Fans of Justin Bieber and Drake probably won’t like us at first but if they accidentally turn up at our show we can guarantee they will be leaving with horns raised high as a newly converted metalhead’. While I doubt there will be too many JB fans at Bloodstock, the one thing that’s for sure is that Seven Hells will go down a treat at the festival, they’re chugging, tight and heavy, and a treat for the casual metal head to stumble across.

A Ritual Spirit: Formed from the ashes of another band with an appetite to make tunes that fit in more with their own musical interests, A Ritual Spirit manifest themselves in a weird corner of the metal world. ‘Usually we’re the light band on a heavy bill or the heavy band on a light bill’ says bassist Martin, and it’s clear to see when noting down the shifts in each of their songs. They possess an inherently sinister sound within the vocals that weaves through the varying musical canvases they adopt, it’s different, fresh and exciting. They’re a band we highly recommend you check out.

Dawn of Anubis: The good friends of Seven Hells and a band that believe they surpass being labelled by just one genre, their confidence is prevalent and comes from a place of determination and belief in the music they make. Describing their sound as ‘fresh and original’, they take from their favourite parts of sub-genres such as prog, metalcore and thrash. They pride themselves on finding new ways to become heavier and heavier everytime they make music and revel in immersing themselves in the metal community.

And how did all of these bands find themselves with a space at Bloodstock? Well you can thank Metal 2 the Masses, a competition that travels the country and beyond, seeking out bands that deserve to be showcased. Describing the M2TM as a ‘truly sincere competition which nurtures and develops bands without moulding them or shaping their sound’, Oli from A Ritual Spirit nails the sense of belonging, community and camaraderie involved with the event. Dave from the band adds in, ‘From the band side, it’s a great event to bring bands together that may never cross paths under normal circumstances. I’m looking forward to staying in touch with some of these guys, and hopefully we can share future gigs with them. Mini tours to each other’s home towns kinda thing’. In a world where bands fight to dominate just a little bit of the listener’s personal time, the feeling that friendships are being forged as bands support the successes of their peers is a triumph for the underground scene as a whole.

Despite the strong feeling of competition, it’s an exciting time for fans and bands alike when Metal 2 the Masses rolls around to their city, and the winner’s efforts ending in a chance to play Bloodstock Festival is the most joyful of all. It’s not just the big stage and the potential fans either, with Seven Hells discussing how their slot opens them up to networking and the potential to ‘meet other bands, promoters and who knows maybe even a future record label….’. It’s the first step that these bands have to take into the world of playing these stages regularly and a chance to see their work pay off massively.

Perhaps the best part of this all all is seeing young bands so desperately excited to play Bloodstock, ‘It will most likely turn out to be the best experience of our young lives so far!’ say Pelugion as they reflect on their biggest gigs to date. This feeling is echoed throughout as A Ritual Spirit say, ‘it’s hands down the best thing that’s happened to this band’, with the desire to make the most of every second they have on stage ‘most bands don’t ever get the chance to play gigs like this so we will take the opportunity to rip it up!’.

‘We’re very hopeful that the future is bright for us’, Dawn of Anubis say as the chat comes to an end, and it’s this feeling of hope and ambition that rings out the loudest throughout all of my conversations with the bands. It’s knowing that all of the hard work you put into your craft isn’t for nothing, and it’s welcoming in another generation of bands. Bloodstock are expertly curating the future of metal, and it’s so exciting to see.

If you want to find out more about Bloodstock, Metal 2 the Masses or the bands we spoke to, visit http://www.bloodstock.uk.com. And to all the Bloodstock-goers, have the best weekend!