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

Tesla, Main Stage on Friday at Download 2019

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.

It is still, in the main, crunchy, taut and concise in its musical patterns, but it also has a haunting and poignant tone that I quite frankly have not seen before within this particular genre. On a number of tracks where vocalist Phil Bozeman clean sings, pain and poignancy just drips from his performance. There is also an evolution in their song structures, bringing in increased melody and musical complexity. It will be interesting on Sunday seeing how these developments transfer over the live arena. Whitechapel have in the past been guilty of being too clinical and technical in their quest to be as fast and precise as possible but I am intrigued. How this new found vulnerability will emotionally seep into their set. The utter brilliance of “The Valley” makes this a set you must not miss.

By Stewart Lucas