Bloodstock 2014: Evil Scarecrow and Decapitated

After the carnage of Down's headline set last night, Saturday starts with the sun shining and the bands slaying.

One of the greatest things about Bloodstock is how little too-cool-for-school twattery takes place. As a result, Evil Scarecrow are perfectly placed to exploit both the festival’s feelgood vibe and metalheads’ childlike delight in being encouraged to act like giddy bell-ends. Clearly startled by the sheer size of the crowd that has come out to watch them at 11am, Dr Hell and his preposterous cohorts wring every last drop of silliness and thunderous self-indulgence out of their moment in the sun. They also get many thousands of people scuttling like crabs, robot dancing, waltzing and marching, with bonus accordion and inspired cardboard props. It’s all thoroughly ridiculous in the best possible way. We even get to hear a couple of new songs, including Space Dementia, a prog metal epic that suggests that the Scarecrow crew’s forthcoming new album will have substance to back up its creators’ joyous stupidity. A brilliantly daft and entertaining start to the day. (810)

Decapitated’s long lasting special relationship with the UK shows no signs of diminishing. Despite their death metal origins, Vogg and his band mates have spent their entire career redefining and refining their sound and with live performances as razor-sharp and devastating as this, they can hardly fail to go down a storm at any festival. Today they are simply mind-blowing, unleashing a series of controlled syncopated explosions that draw a blazing red line between old school values and cutting edge ingenuity, and Bloodstock goes royally berserk in response. Recent material dominates, with a closing Homo Sum ramming home the exhilarating reality of this band’s endlessly inventive approach, but it’s the immortal Spheres Of Madness that causes the most damage, that classic opening riff turning the crowd into a blur of limbs, fists and grins. If you don’t like Decapitated, you don’t like metal. It really is that simple. (910)

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.