Boasting four full days of undiluted heaviness, Catton Hall Park's Bloodstock festival is one fuelled by a tight-knit sense of rock n' roll community. A collection of stages shows everything from unsigned, underground darlings to lauded titans of their genre and, most importantly, consistently impressive line-ups set to draw elite metalheads from all over the continent, if not the world.
And it is the latter of these things that I am celebrating today. With such diversity and choice constantly on offer, this list is your guide through the festival's must-see acts in 2017, ranging from ceaseless thrash to perfectly doomy nihilism, to irreverent weirdos that next to nobody can make sense of.
However, as has been the case with previous lists, main stage headliners (in this instance, Amon Amarth, Ghost and Megadeth) and direct supports are disqualified, as they are already practically guaranteed to draw immense crowds of loyal fans.
This list is for the bands slightly lower down the bill- the ones that have a chance to slip under the radar of your average festival-goer, but definitely deserve not to.
So, with that in mind, shoutouts to Kreator, Testament, Obituary, Possessed, Annihilator, Municipal Waste, Winterfylleth, Fallujah, Blind Guardian, Xentrix, King 810, Soilwork and Battle Beast. Everybody check those names out, but, who are we kidding, you were probably planning to already.