Posts tagged Download 2019
01. Tool, Main Stage on Sunday, 21:25 - 22:55

And we reach the end of the list! ROCKFLESH's final pick of those bands to seek out this weekend. And let's end with the big one and the reason that I suspect half of us will be at Donington park, Tool. It's been twelve long years since they last appeared on UK soil. I've moved house three times and had four different jobs since then but here we are, about to witness the majestic return of a band that can only be described as the Heavy Metal Radiohead.

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02. Rob Zombie, Zippo Encore Stage on Friday, 20:55 - 22:05

How things change!  For thirteen long years, Rob Zombie seemed to forget Europe even existed.  However under a decade later, as he slides effortlessly into his fourth Download appearance since 2011, Rob Zombie has inconceivably become the festival's modern day house band. And the reason he keeps getting asked back? Well, Monsieur Zombie brings the party each and every time. It's a slutty, debauched fetish party where every night is Halloween (the hallowed original, not his soulless remake), but it's a party all the same. 

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03. Lovebites, The Dogtooth Stage on Saturday, 14:40 - 15:05

I love my Metal pretentious, I love it complex and I love it challenging. However there are times, you just want total sugar overload, to wallow in commercial pleasures that are smothered in melody. Lovebites are a saccharine bomb of sing along lyrics, catchy hooks and memorable tunes. Their sound is big, bold and accessible. Each and every track welcomes you in with choruses that you could land a plane on.

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04. Whitechapel, The Dogtooth Stage on Sunday, 18:50 – 19:20

Whitechapel get a berth on our list on the virtue of having released one of the albums of the year and the excitement of hearing those tracks live (well as many as their half hour slot on Sunday in Dogtooth allows) makes them for me a must see. “The Valley” is a masterpiece of brooding, emotional and intense Metal that moves Deathcore forward like nobody before them.

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05. Trivium, Main Stage on Saturday, 17:00 - 18:00

Trivium are a band in transition. 2019 marks their twentieth year as a unit but it feels that they are only now finally transcending from upcoming young bucks and the next big thing, to being viewed as an established mainstay of the Metal hierarchy. The stadium filling festival headlining status that was long predicted for them has failed to materialise and most probably now will never happen. However instead Trivium have morphed into a highly dependable and pretty decent mid-table proposition that are comfortable in their own skin.

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06. Whitesnake, Main Stage on Friday, 17:20 - 18:30

When I submitted my list of the 30 must see acts at Download 2019 to his satanic majesty who sits atop of ROCKFLESH towers, he raised a fiery eyebrow and bellowed "Whitesnake? Whitesnake? Whitesnake? Really???" And the answer is yes, for one reason and one reason only, this will be the mass outdoor karaoke moment of the entire festival.

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07. Skid Row, Zippo Encore Stage on Friday, 13:50 - 14:25

There was a time when Skid Row were huge, proper unit shifting and arena bothering huge. They were the last of the Hair Metal bands to go stellar before the extinction event when grunge came along and forced metal back underground. They were also one of the bands that crumbled first and fell furtherest. As they didn't have the back catalogue or solid fanbase of say Mötley Crüe or Aerosmith to fall back on, their audience disappeared over night.

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09. Lamb Of God, Main Stage on Sunday, 17:20 - 18:20

At Download 2010, I made the mistake of consuming five pints of Hobgoblin in a short space of time and then heading to the pit for Lamb of God. Needless I say, I was quite ill after, but boy did I have a good time. I have a number of other similar anecdotes of other Lamb of God appearances at Download and the vast majority involve the furiosity of their pit, and alcohol.

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10. Behemoth, Main Stage on Saturday, 14:20 - 15:05

There are those who point fingers at Download booking policy and say their choices are safe and conservative. I, however would argue that there are a number of interesting and intriguing leftfield additions this year. This is none more illustrated than by the inclusion of Behemoth in a prestigious mid-afternoon main stage slot. This is a self proclaimed Satan worshiping Black Metal monolith released on an unsuspecting hundred thousand people waiting for the inoffensive rock reggae of Skindred.

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11. Slayer, Zippo Encore Stage on Sunday, 20:45 - 22:15

Slayer are Metal and Metal is Slayer but pretty soon their furiosity and brutality will become but folk law, the stuff of legends as within months (not years, months!) they will lay down their instruments and cease to be. So this is last chance, city folks, the final ever UK show. Roll that around in your minds, one solitary finite opportunity to see the juggernaut that is Slayer on our shores.

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12. Delain, Zippo Encore Stage on Friday, 15:50 - 16:30

Some band’s rises are stratospheric, going from nothing to public adornment seamlessly overnight. Others take the long way around, slowly but surely honing their art and bit by bit building a fanbase by the weight of sheer hard work. Delain are very much in that category as seventeen years into their career they are still a mid afternoon second stage booking.

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13. Opeth, Zippo Encore Stage on Friday, 18:15 - 19:05

It is only as I write these short vignettes that I fully comprehend the treasure trove of metallic riches that this year's Download bill is. With so many nuggets of wonderfulness that clashes, difficult choices, partially seen sets, a lot of running around are sure to be the order of the day. There are some bands though who I will watch every second of, who will trump anyone else that happens to tresspasse onto their timeslot. Opeth are one such band as they are nothing short of magnificent.

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15. Slipknot, Main Stage on Saturday, 21:10 - 22:50

Do I really need to explain why you need to at least see some of Slipknot on Saturday night? Everyone knows they are probably one of the most incendiary and pulsating live acts you will come across. It's Slipknot! Right! simply the most degenerative, ugly and God darn confrontational juggernaut to have become a household name.

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