By Mark Linsdell
Saturday saw a break in the clouds. The rain was replaced by blistering winds and icy temperatures but it didn’t dampen the crowd’s spirit.
The world’s most popular metal band was due to close the day by playing their most popular album in its entirety.
Of course I’m talking about the Metallica who are celebrating the 20th anniversary and their crossover album The Black Album which has now sold over 15 million units worldwide.
First things first though, Chris Jericho (yes, Chris Jericho, the wrestler) bought his band Fozzy to the Zippo stage.
After an agonising 25 minutes, full of posturing and predictable metal by numbers riffs you get the feeling Jericho should have left this homo erotic metal alone and stayed in the ring. (1/5)
Post-hardcore up and comers Don Broco have been making causing a stir in the underground but failed to lift the crowd with their early performance on the Pepsi max stage.
The Bedford 4 piece has a big sound but you sense that they are still work in progress. (3/5)
On the main stage, one of the leading bands in the 70s new wave of heavy metal, Saxon, pulled out a cheesy but thoroughly enjoyable performance. The dads loved it and classics like ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ and ‘Princess of the Night’ warm the crowd and bring the fun to dreary day. (4/5)
The make-up clad Black Veil Brides received a less than welcoming reception on the main stage but the glam rockers managed to shrug off the assault of bottle and probably turned a few naysayers around. (3/5)
Next up were Trivium, since their breakthrough album ‘Ascendency’, the band themselves have arguably gone off the boil.
A new drummer in tow they are still as technically brilliant as ever but have lost the ferocity since there incredible download debut in 2005 and sound too much like they a Metallica tribute band. (3/5)
Steel Panther take themselves a lot less seriously. The mock 80s hair metal band became a YouTube phenomenon with the hilarious ‘Death to All But Metal’. With songs entitled ‘Turn out the lights (Before you suck my dick)’ and ‘Asian Hooker’, the band are never going be taken seriously, but they are tight, hilarious and provoke mass flashing. (4/5)
The godfathers of parody metal, Jack Blacks’ acoustic metal duo Tenacious D, follow. Yet after 18 years together you sense the joke is wearing a little thin. That being said though, ‘Tribute’ and ‘Wonderboy’ produce some of the best sing-alongs on the day. (3/5)
The night is closed by the godfathers of modern metal, Metallica. Accused of some about being more about the money than the music anymore, Metallica show they are still a force to be reckoned with. Hetfield’s voice is fierce and the band sound as tight as a band with Lars Ulrich on drums can. Despite The Black Album getting a complete run through, stand out tracks are still from Metallica’s early catalogue, most notably ‘One’ and ‘Battery’. (4/5)
Arguably a day for the metal purist, Saturday at download bought humour, tits and lots of beer. But it also gave young pretenders a reminder of the classics.