In 2003, Download Festival was hailed as a saviour for fans of the heavier side of metal and rock. Winning best festival of the year at 2003’s Kerrang! Awards, it seems that most of the rock and metal community had forgotten that Bloodstock had been around since 2001 offering the metal community an event that was really worth going to.

Last year saw female-lead Nightwish play their first ever UK show when they headlined the event and, since that date, have become a household name to every gothic metal fan in the country.

Attempting to live up to the legendary Monster of Rock, Bloodstock 2004 has returned and we’re damned proud to be sponsoring it. We are so proud in fact that we have every intention of getting here first. Without even sleeping off two nights of excess with ex-GnR Slash, the A50 manages to keep us out of Derby until the end of Infobia’s set.

Next up on the main stage are Illuminatus who, thankfully, remind the metal community what it’s truly about; excess and excessive music that exudes more energy than Chernobyl on a bad day.

The Femme Fatales stage then sees the, unsurprisingly, femme-fronted Liquid Sky packing out the room with their melodic metal and thrashing guitars. Following them on the same stage are ex-Vogue-model Claire Natalie’s Invey that, whilst resembling a band lead by Christina Aguilera, they manage to put across a set with a level of talent and vocal ability that all other bands should be jealous of.

During the rest of the early evening, Sinergy play the main stage and, whilst lacking vocals that are half as good as they are on CD, manage to put across a level of energy and musical talent that leaves you thrown back against the walls of The Assembly Rooms. Following them are Threshold that prove metal bands other than Korn can still pull off Scottish-attire.

The evening comes to a close with Gamma Ray closing the main stage and Season’s End proving that whilst the Femme Fatale stage may have seemed a bit of a dodgy idea on paper, it managed to work in a way that showcased some of the best alternative, female-lead metal Europe has to offer.

With the night coming to a close – offering just a taster of Saturday’s full schedule – everyone knows that one thing is sure about Saturday 4th August 2004, it’s going to be one of the best days of metal that England has ever seen.