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Download 2015: All That Remains and HellYeah

Download festival 2015 is go!

There has been a trend in recent years for the main stage at Download to be opened by a young and upcoming band. Not so today though, All That Remains [4] are no spring chickens and, judging by their set today, are heading down the route of becoming an afterthought of a tired genre.

Phil Labonte and crew play a pitifully short set, just barely tipping over the 20 minute mark, of plodding and uninspired metalcore. When they go heavy they come across as a budget 5FDP, and the more melodic ballad-like moments are just dreadfully ill-judged considering the crowd and setting they find themselves in. It all points to a band that have run out of ideas. There’s still a flash of passion here and there, but a lack of quality is the overriding problem and is reflected by a muted reaction in what is a disappointingly stilted and uninspiring opening to the festival.

They certainly won’t be many people’s favourite band, or festival highlight of the weekend, but HellYeah [7] finally start the party on the main stage with a set that wins over many casuals by sheer brute force. Of course there is a lot of goodwill due to the presence of Vinnie Paul, but the pure metallic crunch of the likes of Moth coupled with Chad Gray’s paint-stripping roar and natural command of the crowd are hard to argue with. And, for everything they lack, there is something to be said for the type of music that just makes you want to drown beers and bang your head clean off. Which HellYeah can undeniably do. As they end with You Wouldn’t Know the singalong can be heard throughout the site, which, this early on, is a definite result.

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Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.