With a goat skeleton mic stand (reminiscent of Jonathan Davis’ HR Giger sculpture) planted in front of the ramp, and church-like stage design, Oli Sykes’ mere presence sends the devoted Donington crowd into a frenzy, before ripping into brutalising new track AmEN!, silencing anyone at Download who assumed Horizon weren’t heavy any more. Doubling down on that notion, Dear Diary provides the most metal thing we’ll see all weekend – Oli screaming into a chrome decapitated goat in blood-red lighting, surrounded by a literal ring of fire.
That said, the setlist doesn’t delve into Horizon’s heavier catalogue, never straying any deeper than Sempiternal. Such a decision could be seen as a missed opportunity (and one cut from There Is A Hell… wouldn’t go a miss), but it’s testament to the strength and impact of the past 10 years for Steel City’s finest. Teardrop, MANTRA, Parasite Eve, Kingslayer, Drown, Shadow Moses… all precision tooled to fill the sky with choruses for days and cause all flavours of carnage. And in typical Oli Sykes fashion, he’s not one to mince words when inciting chaos, with a well-timed “jump you little shits!” here and describing anyone not moving as “a special kind of knobhead” there.