Headlined by Avenged Sevenfold, Guns n' Roses and Ozzy Osbourne, the highlight of the UK rock calendar, Download Festival, returns to Castle Donington this weekend. So, ahead of the biggest event of the year, we've picked out some of the bands we think you should be checking out over the three days starting with Friday.
They've only been around a short while having formed in 2016 when three members split from their previous band Eluveite but their recent cover of one of the lesser known Queen tracks "The Prophet's Song" hints that if you fancy a little bit of Euro metal to kick off your Download weekend, then the Dogtooth Stage will be the place to be to check out a band who are spearheading the New Wave of Folk Rock.
Here at PureGrainAudio we love it when bands go all out to put on a real attention grabbing performance and from just watching some of their videos and checking out their promo photos, you can just tell that when this French electronic breakcore mob take to the Dogtooth Stage on Friday, there won't be another band like them performing all weekend. Expect to have your senses blown.
3.Employed To Serve
Hailing from Woking, Employed To Serve are going to be bringing their brand of chaotic hardcore to Download this weekend ahead of their July dates in support of their critically-acclaimed album Warmth Of A Dying Sun. Fronted by Justine Jones expect throat-shredding vocals and the kind of metallic hardcore that will rattle your teeth out of your gums. It's also their first time at Download so what more reason do you need make sure you head over to the Avalanche Stage to give them some love?
4.Stray From The Path
Expect massive moshpits, rapid fire vocals and RATM-tinged fury when New York metalcore chaps Stray From The Path hit the Avalanche Stage on Friday afternoon. Their current album Subliminal Criminals is about as aggressive and volatile as heavy music gets so why would their show be any different?
Their last appearance on the hallowed turf at Castle Donington was one of those memorable moments and since then, things have gone from strength to strength for these Texan alternative rockers including three Grammy nominations. In fact, last time the band were in the UK, our very own Liv Johnston commented being "met by one of the most unusual and memorable performances I have seen". We're expecting something very special then when Nothing More own the Zippo Stage on Friday.
More commonly known as the frontman for multi-million selling nu-metal legends Korn, Jonathan Davies is bringing his new solo tour to Download Festival in support of his recently released solo album Black Labyrinyth. Last time JD went solo at Download back in 2008, the whole thing was a bit strange with Davies performing the set sat on a massive throne. Still, he's written some of the biggest and most important alt-metal anthems of all time over the years so while we can't wait to check out what his new solo show is all about, we're also hoping his set on the Zippo Stage includes some of those classics.
Sweden's Avatar are certifably bonkers and, in frontman Johannes Eckerström, they have a man who is part circus ringmaster part pyschopath but undoubtedly all showman. The UK fell in love with the band last time they graced the stage at Download and with their new album Avatar Country released early this year, it's time for the Swedes to reconnect with those fans when they bring the apocolypse to the Main Stage on Friday.
Just last week Danish rockabilly greasers Volbeat played probably their smallest UK show ever at the House Of Vans in London but, this coming Friday, they'll be bringing their riff-heavy, beer-drenched rock n' roll to the Main Stage of Download Festival. Given that the band probably won't be back in this neck of the woods for a while, it seems foolish not to join them for a rock n' roll party Danish style.
Download Festival takes place from 8 – 10 June 2018 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire. Tickets available now at www.downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.