Download 2015: Evil Scarecrow and Code Orange

Over in the big blue tent, things are getting silly and heavy

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You’ve got to hand it to Evil Scarecrow [6], for a young and unsigned British metal band to pack out a tent at Download this much is one hell of an achievement.

The level of creativity in their stage antics also deserves a round of applause, the “nature’s party popper” of getting the crowd to throw whatever debris up in the air on queue is a chortle-worthy highlight. But how many of their 15 minutes of fame are up will depend on their music, and on that level Evil Scarecrow don’t quite live up to the hype. Often it’s like watching Insane Clown Posse with guitar solos, and, while some of their material is relatively charming, the cover of the Thundercats theme misses the mark somewhat, but they leave like conquering heroes after the mass scuttle of Crabulon with huge grins on their faces. They should enjoy this moment while they can.

From the ridiculous to the sublime. It’s quite depressing to see so many people leave the tent as Code Orange [9] come on and damn near steal the festival. Sandwiched between Evil Scarecrow and The Darkness, they are a well-needed reminder of the power and passion of heavy music. There isn’t a nudge, a wink or a man dressed as a robot in sight - just four people tearing into a set of incendiary, original and brutally heavy music through gritted teeth and sweaty bodies. Code Orange expose both the throwaway nature of much of heavy music in 2015 and the lack of genuinely extreme music at this festival. It’s heartfelt, genuine, intelligent and punishing. Surely that’s what seduced you into this alternative culture? Not puppets and fancy dress! Thank god bands like them do exist.

Stephen Hill

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.