In the second part of our coverage of Download Festival 2014’s middle Saturday, our hardcore / metalcore specialist Sam caught several bands that Jamie has not already covered in the first part of our Saturday review (read that here if you’ve missed it for coverage of the likes of Linkin Park, Killswitch Engage, Fozzy, Bowling For Soup and more). There’s also our review of the Friday of Download 2014 to catch up on if you haven’t had the opportunity to read that. But without anything further, over to Sam….
After the much talked about “#whynotdyingfetus” campaign it was finally time for the band to make their mainstage debut at Download festival and opening with “Pissing In The Mainstream” could not have been a more suitable way for them to begin their set. Despite playing to a relatively small crowd Dying Fetus (7) smash through one of the heaviest sets of the weekend and while it takes some time for the crowd to warm up, soon there were plenty of circle pits and heads banging. Even though they were originally booked as a bit of a joke today was still a successful appearance for Dying Fetus and could lead to more Death Metal bands being booked for Download.
John Gallagher from Dying Fetus performing at Download Festival 2014. Photo by Gobinder Jhitta.
There is a huge buzz surrounding Marmozets (8) right now and the huge crowd packed into the Pepsi Max tent to see them is evidence of this. Once again they choose to only play newer songs and while most of the audience are unfamiliar to a lot of these songs the likes of Why Do You Hate Me, Move Shake Hide and latest single Captivate You get an amazing reaction. While they can’t end their set in the usual way with the drum kit being taken into the crowd, several members of the band still decide to dive into the crowd at the end. Another hugely successful show for Marmozets.
Bring Me The Horizon (5) are on the verge of being huge and today should have been their last victorious stop before they play Wembley Arena later this year. They had one of the biggest crowds of the weekend watching them and were backed up by their biggest and most impressive stage show ever, it should have been an easy show for Bring Me The Horizon yet somehow they just never really impressed. They did have a number of technical issues to deal with but even then Oli’s performance just wasn’t up to the standards of previous shows and the setlist left a lot to be desired. Sempiternal is a great album but when some of their best songs from There Is A Hell… are being neglected for weaker tracks from Sempiternal it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed. Hopefully this was just an off day for Oli Sykes and the rest of Bring Me The Horizon.
Bring Me The Horizon performing at Download Festival 2014. Photo by Andrew Whitton.
Even though the Pepsi Max tent is half empty The Black Dahlia Murder (8) don’t seem to care at all. They might play some of the heaviest music at the festival but frontman Trevor Strnad injects a real sense of fun to their set as he runs about the stage topless banging his head and punching his fists in the air. And while it isn’t particularly big the energy from the crowd doesn’t drop with one of the biggest circle pits on the Pepsi Max stage opening up at the end of their set.
Malevolence (8.5) certainly play one of the most aggressive sets of the day. From the first note of opener Serpents Chokehold the pit never stops and seems to get even more violent with every passing breakdown eventually leading to their set being cut off due to a fan getting injured. Once it was clear that the fan was okay Malevolence were able to finish their set and this incident didn’t kill their momentum too much. Despite the problems in the crowd Malevolence proved why they are one of the best new bands to emerge in the UK metal scene.
Finally it was time for what would likely be the most anticipated set of the weekend for everyone in the Red Bull tent. SikTh (9.5) playing their first UK show in 7 years was always going to be special and it did not disappoint one bit. Greeted by chants of “SikTh” and “best band at Download” the band launch into Bland Street Bloom and the entire tent near enough explodes into a frenzy of moshing, dancing and screaming every word back at vocalists Mikee Goodman and Justin Hill, both of whom sound absolutely incredible. From here on SikTh play songs from both their debut and second album with the combination of Scent Of The Obscene and Pussyfoot being a particular highlight. They even squeeze in some of their weirder material such as the spoken word When Will The Forest Speak? Unfortunately with only a 45 minute set time it’s all over too quickly and as the last notes of Skies Of Millennium Night ring out the crowd chant for more. SikTh’s set tonight felt like a genuinely special moment as one of the most influential bands from the UK finally got to have the moment they’d always deserved.
Stay tuned for the final part of Rock Sins Download Festival 2014 live coverage in the coming days with reviews including Aerosmith, Trivium, Alter Bridge, Steel Panther and loads more!