Ah, Download middle Saturday. Often the best day of the festival for many, this year sees a wealth of great bands of all different types and sub-genres with even greater variety than usual. Once again Rock Sins has picked our ten must see bands for the day (although if you physically had the time there’s way more than ten we would recommend). If you missed part one of our 2015 Download Preview for the Friday you can check it out here, otherwise let’s launch straight in with who we think you should see…
Find Them: Main Stage – 21:05
The surprise headliner of this years’ Download Festival, booker Andy Copping had been trying to get Matt Bellamy and co for years. He’s now landed them and with their new album Drones released this coming Monday and a promise of a set packed full of heavier numbers and some rarities, this could be Muse’s most memorable festival performance since they wowed the pyramid stage at Glastonbury half a decade ago. Expect them to blow all the cynics away (and remember they do have some truly heavy songs in their arsenal).
Find Them: Main Stage – 19:05
Whilst it is slightly odd to see previous Download headliners Faith No More move down a position into the special guests slot, there is overwhelming joy that Mike Patton and co are returning to Download six years after the initial triumph of their comeback. With their brand new album Sol Invictus having received rave reviews almost everywhere worth mentioning and a sold out US tour recently completed, Faith No More as a band are as alive and well as in their 1990’s heyday. Miss them at your peril.
Find Them: Main Stage – 17:45
Florida’s pop metal favourites A Day To Remembers’ profile in the UK only grows with every year and now here they are with their biggest ever UK festival appearance. With a multitude of hits and with a full hour to show off their arsenal, the likes of The Downfall Of Us All and Shot In The Dark are likely to have their biggest ever audience. A winning performance here could push ADTR to arena headlining level (and perhaps candidates to headline to returning Warped Tour UK in October).
Find Them: Zippo Stage – 15:20
The news that the bay area thrash legends that are Testament will be making only their second Download appearance was greeted by many with Euphoria. Chuck Billy and co are rightly regarded as heroes in the thrash world and they remain a band of true quality, with recent albums such as Dark Roots Of Earth and The Formation Of Damnation among the best of their career. If you like thrash they could be band of the weekend. An absolute must see.
Find Them: Zippo Stage – 16:15
Another band like At The Gates that haven’t yet graced the hallowed Donington turf, 2015 finally sees the Download Festival debut of Carcass. Surgical Steel remains one of the finest metal albums of this decade thus far and the band has never been better in a live setting, as appearances at places like Sonisphere and on the last Metal Hammer Defenders Of The Faith tour with Amon Amarth. Bill and co are guaranteed a heroes welcome when they finally step foot on that Download stage.
Find Them: Jake’s Stage – 19:20
Another brand new band for Download, melodeth maestros Insomnium are set to weave their spell on Donington for the first time. Most recent album Shadows Of The Dying Sun is the latest in a long line of fabulous albums full of depth and complexity and in a few weeks time Download will get it’s first taste of what Insomnium are all about. We’d bet seriously on them being invited back for round two in the future. We’re just crying inside that they’re clashing with Faith No More. For fans of both bands much sprinting between stages will be required.
Find Them: Main Stage – 11:00
Another gem of the British scene, rising metalcore stars Heart Of A Coward are another band who are likely to put on an impressive performance. Their recent album Severence has seen them pick up an army of new fans and impressive appearances alongside metal royalty like Machine Head has only furthered their cause. Frontman Jamie Graham remains one of the most imposing British frontmen around is able to command a stage in effortless fashion, and is a big part of why they should be another Download success. Kicking off the main stage on Saturday morning, brush away the cobwebs, take the hangover tablets and get into the arena early for Heart Of A Coward, they’ll be worth it.
Find Them: Main Stage – 12:50
Current darlings of Radio One amongst many other places, Mallory Knox’s star has skyrocketed thanks to their latest album Asymmetry. Songs like Ghost In The Mirror, Shout At The Moon and the seven minute plus eic She Took Him To The Lake have allowed Mallory Knox to flesh out their live show and deliver on the early promise their previous album Signals showed. It will be very interesting to see how they handle the expectation that comes with a slot on the main stage at Download.
Find Them: Zippo Stage – 11:00
Those of you who want a reason to be up early and don’t fancy Heart Of A Coward, please look no further than the lovely Lounge Kittens. Zan, Jenny and Timia have had an amazing last twelve months, including opening for Limp Bizkit at Sonisphere and supporting Steel Panther on their UK arena tour a couple of months ago. If you’re not familiar with the girls, expect to hear metal songs as you’ve never heard them before. The Lounge Kittens will be a ray of Sunshine on Download, even if it is pissing it down with rain. One of the most fun acts of the entire weekend.
Find Them: Jake’s Stage – 17:40
Benji Webbe and his old friends (and ex-Skindred members) Jeff Rose and Martyn Ford have revived their old band Dub War for a mini-reunion with the biggest show of the reunion being in the Jake Stage at this years’ Download Festival. The forerunner to Skindred, Dub War laid the early foundations for the marriage between ragga and metal that Benji and co became so well known for with Skindred, so this is likely to appeal for many Skindred fans who are perhaps not aware of the bands early roots.
Also recommended: Australian metalcore bruisers Parkway Drive, UK metallers Malefice, the lord of the party Andrew WK and classic rockers Black Star Riders are four more bands well worth looking at. We’ve also got sheer morbid curiosity over Marilyn Manson’s headline performance on the second stage as to whether MM can redeem himself after his 2009 clusterfuck of a performance.
The answer (as well as the performances by all these bands) is only a week away! Stay tuned to Rock Sins for the final part of our Download Festival 2015 preview. Anyone who needs last minute tickets please head over to www.downloadfestival.co.uk for the info and ticket links you need to catch all of these bands plus Slipknot, KISS, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Slash, Five Finger Death Punch and dozens more in the flesh at Donington Park NEXT WEEKEND.