As a festival Bloodstock has become one of the most important events on the calendar. It's continual growth year on year has not only developed the makeup of the festival but also displayed the strength of the Metal community as it has fervently still stuck to its roots. Recent years have seen perhaps more 'commercial' additions to the bill, but as a festival it took the right step in confirming it's future placing on the festival scene for many more years to come. This year's line up has once again proven to be incredibly strong with top bands across all stages. We would happily sit here and wax lyrical about every single one, but time isn't on our side and we live in an age where immediacy is vital. With that said, we've picked our top TEN bands to check out across the line up, so without further ado...

Mastodon - Ronnie James Dio Stage - Saturday

With the direction Bloodstock has taken in the last few years, it has opened up the door for a lot of bands who you may not particularly have considered for the fest in the past. A string of headliners including Machine Head, Trivium, Lamb Of God and more has seen that generation of bands given the opportunity to headline a major UK event. In 2016 it is Mastodon's turn, and fuck do they deserve it. The band are still currently touring off the back of the excellent Once More 'Round The Sun released in 2014, and with the ability to absolutely stack their set list with constant bangers we may be looking at a potentially history making performance. When this band bring it live, they BRING it live.

Behemoth - Ronnie James Dio Stage - Friday

The line up is that strong in 2016, any other year would have seen Behemoth headlining. Especially a Behemoth playing The Satanist in full! If you're heading down to Bloodstock, this is a set you simply cannot miss. Behemoth are an absolutely crushing force live, from the first minute they have the ability to pummel you with such a monumental level of aggression and emotion you may need time to recover afterwards. With the fact that they are playing one of the most important Metal albums of the modern era in full, this will likely be a unique opportunity you may not get the chance to enjoy again in the future. So get down there early, warm up those neck muscles and raise a drink to The Satanist.

Gojira - Ronnie James Dio Stage - Saturday

We've been banging this drum for a few years now, and we'll continue to do so - Gojira are the best live band in Metal at the moment. Oh you want a bit more? Well with the release of Magma in the past few months, the band's sound and aura have both matured to the point where the upwards trajectory for these four French guys is seriously on the rise. The album itself has been well received, with some understandably not quite getting in to it at the same level as some of the far more aggressive output in the past but Gojira have played a smart card here. They've maintained that hardcore fan base whilst also opening the door to a host of new people to come and join the party. There is absolutely no doubt that they'll pull one of the biggest crowds all weekend, with a live performance that takes already gargantuan tracks to new heights.

Twisted Sister - Ronnie James Dio Stage - Friday

Twisted Sister have been one of the most influential bands of all time in Heavy Metal. Since their full reunion in 2003 they've been going at full throttle, continuing to release new music and playing shows around the world at a similar level of intensity as on their first run, but their time is soon coming to an end. In a major coup for Bloodstock Festival, this is officially going to be Twisted Sister's last ever show in the UK before they completely call it a day at the end of the year. As a Friday night headliner, their placing on the bill is frankly perfect. Grab a drink, get ready to sing and shout along (if you're reading this thinking, 'what?', you know faaar more Twisted Sister tracks than you perhaps realise, trust us on that!)

Heart Of A Coward - Ronnie James Dio Stage - Sunday

Hardcore has always been well represented at Bloodstock, and whilst Heart Of A Coward's style strays closer to Groove Metal they'll definitely be bringing a slab of HUGE riffs to your early Sunday afternoon. Their latest album Deliverance understandably raised their profile but it's on stage where they've really caused a storm and there is absolutely no doubt that they'll grasp the opportunity of the Bloodstock Main Stage and seriously run with it. They're on early in the day, but please follow our lead and allow them to smash that Saturday night hangover clean out of your head.

The King Is Blind - Sophie Lancaster Stage - Saturday

The King Is Blind have emerged almost out of nowhere in the last year or so, becoming one of the most exciting British Metal bands in the scene at the moment. With only their debut album (Our Father) behind them their momentum is absolutely flying at the moment, with their live performances very much at the forefront. The aggressive Death Metal style meshed with an insane amount of Groove will leave you walking away from the stage feeling like you'd gone ten rounds with Mick Foley and a steel chair. Don't just take our word for it, go and check our their album, the hype is justified.

Vodun - Sophie Lancaster Stage - Saturday

Definitely one of the more unique bands on the line up, Vodun blend intense bursts of Thrash style Metal with Doom/Psych and Traditional West African Music. It all comes together brilliantly with all three band members just knowing how to ramp up the energy and entertainment levels. You might listen to this and not necessarily dig the sound, but as a live performance it is uniquely powerful and more than worth checking out.

Meta-Stasis - Sophie Lancaster Stage - Saturday

Despite only having two album releases since their inception in 2004, Meta-Stasis have proven to be one of the more exciting bands in the Extreme Metal scene, really making their name through their energetic and unpredictable live shows. Their album released last year, (The Paradox Of Metanoia), unjustifiably went under the radar a bit, but check it out immediately if you're looking to sink your teeth in to some new material which displays a level which goes beyond the 'norm' in this scene. They're more than ready to bring an onslaught to your Saturday afternoon, don't miss them.

Goatwhore - Sophie Lancaster Stage - Sunday

Headlining the Sunday night on the second stage this year, Goatwhore are armed with close to twenty years worth of experience and music and they're more than likely going to show everyone else on the stage that day exactly how it's done. Formed in the late nineties, Goatwhore have become one of the most important cogs in the Extreme Metal machine, influencing a vast array of bands, many of which will be at the festival this year. With six studio albums behind them, expect to hear all of the crowd favourites alongside rare gems they're likely to bring to the fore in this headlining slot.

Boss Keloid - Sophie Lancaster Stage - Friday

With how much we loved their latest album (Herb Your Enthusiasm) released this year, it was an absolute no brainer including Boss Keloid on this list. They blend a sound borne out of influences from The Melvins to Black Sabbath to Mastodon to Neurosis in such a way it sounds absolutely masterful. This is a band who have also brought this level of craft and excitement to the live stage with apparent ease - definitely one of the best acts on the entire line up. If you thought the most memorable recent event in Wigan's history was Wigan Athletic's FA Cup victory in 2013, re-evaluate your brain, Boss Keloid have arrived.

So there you have it folks, we've given you our top ten picks to check out this year, what do you think? Whether you agree with us or not give us a shout over on Twitter (@roomthirteenmag)!

There are still some last minute tickets available for Bloodstock. If the above hasn't pushed that temptation over the edge then read it all again and take in each track one more time. Head over to as soon as you have!