With just days to go until the hallowed Donington gates open for Download Festival 2014 – cue excited hyper-ness - us Metal Scribes have put together the acts that we think are ones to watch across the weekend. We’ve also included a few wild card picks of up and coming bands to check out on the smaller stages – ‘cause we’re good like that! ;-)
Scribes Top Picks for Friday:
When Avenged Sevenfold were announced way back in November as one of the headliners for Download Festival 2014, many questioned their worthiness of occupying such a slot. Like them or not, they have the record sales, big arena status (including a sold out UK arena run last December), enormous tunes in their armoury and, word on the street is that they’re bringing everything AND the kitchen sink to Download for their stage show. So expect the pyro and fireworks to be out in force! The question remains however, can they step up to plate and deliver the performance of their career so far? Guess we’ll have to wait and see!
After one of hell of a performance headlining on second stage 3 years ago, Rob Zombie returns to the hallowed Donington grounds. For the stage show alone DO NOT, we repeat DO NOT miss Rob Zombie’s set on the Mainstage this year! A7x will need the kitchen sink if they hope to convincingly follow such a visual and theatrical stage show.
Sweden’s Progressive Death Metal-ers return to Download for the 5th time. This time headlining the third stage. If you’re after an alternative to A7x, these are your guys! It was once said rather tongue in cheek by Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt that although Heavy Metal was invented in Birmingham, it was perfected in Sweden! Bold claims, but really, you can’t go wrong with Opeth. Live they consistently deliver time and time again and we can’t leave out Michael Akerfeldt’s humorous jokes too! Win, win! With an hour-long set, expect to see Progressive Death Metal at its finest! Look out for songs from Opeth’s upcoming album ‘Pale Communion’ making their debut too!
For those who like their Metal Symphonic, Within Temptation return to the festival after a five year absence. Fresh from headlining Wembley Arena and riding high on the back of most recent album Hydra’s success, this is a band currently flying high and at the top of their game. With Hydra spawning enormously catchy singles featuring guest vocalists including ex-Nightwish frontwoman Tarja Turunen and Devil You Know/Ex- Killswitch Engage Frontman Howard Jones, who knows if they might make appearances too! If you need any further persuading, be sure to check out their Black Symphony Live DVD!
Like Steel Panther, Skindred are frequent visitors to Download and a safe bet when it comes to bringing it and then some! These guys will get your moving! Trust us! Just a forewarning - make sure you duck when Benji calls for the Newport Helicopter – you’ll thank us later, or maybe still get hit in the eye with a zip! Watch teh following video at 3.41 if you think we’re joking!
A favourite of 5FDP’s Chris Kael, Crossover Thrash/Death Metallers Battlecross who are steadily making in-roads over in the States will make their Download Festival debut. They play on the Red Bull Studios Live stage at 8.30PM. The band supported Trivium and Killswitch Engage back in February and were very well received. Anticipating bigger things to come for these guys in the future – watch this space! Likewise, Miss May I who also supported on the same tour will please the Metalcore brigade, kicking off proceedings on Mainstage. Ozzie Metal-ers, The Amity Affliction are also ones to watch down on Third Stage mid-afternoon. Expect absolute chaos and circle pit mayhem! Whilst the Punk fans amongst you are probably going to want to spend most of the day over on second stage to catch the triple whammy of Flogging Molly, Bad Religion and The Offspring (playing ‘Smash’ in its entirety!).