Words by Jamie Giberti and Ali Cooper.
We’re just over six weeks away from the annual mudfest that is the Download Festival at Donington Park (we must SURELY be due a dry year this time, surely, please?). As is always the case, “the little tent”, currently known as The Dogtooth Stage, has a wide and varied bill, and allows some bands the first chance to cut their teeth at a festival like Download. Others, particularly those towards the top of the bill on the stage, may be returning for their second/third/x’th visit to the festival. Team Rock Sins wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the bands who will be hoping that their appearance at Download 2017 is part of their road to glory in the coming years:
Having toured relentlessly over the last couple of years, most recently with Deep Purple legend Glenn Hughes, midlands rockers Stone Broken are developing a reputation as a cracking live band. They’ll be making their Download on stage bow on the Sunday of the festival on the Dogtooth Stage, and for those who have managed to overcome the hangovers to be in the arena nice and early, we suggest you go check them out!
Cardiff newcomers Holding Absence have barely been together five minutes in band lifespan terms, getting together in the second half of 2016. The boys have already displayed serious potential in that time, as they’ve managed to get signed to Nuclear Blast offshoot Sharptone Records and get themselves booked for the biggest alternative festival the UK has to offer. For those who have never heard Holding Absence, if you think a Vheissu era Thrice, then you wouldn’t be too far away.
The band on this least who to many will need the least introduction; Bay area thrash legends Exodus are gracing the hallowed Donington turf with their presence this year to headline The Dogtooth Stage on the Friday night of Download 2017. Having been a band for over 35 years and yet showing no signs of a drop in quality, either on record or with their impressive live performances, this Download performance will show those in attendance (if they don’t already know) why so many think Exodus, along with Testament, should form “The Big Six” of thrash, rather than “The Big Four”.
One of the bands to make the biggest impact in the UK metal scene over the past year or so are London prog metal natives Brutai. Having popped up all over the place, including supporting Devil You Know on a huge UK tour and releasing their debut album “Born” back in November, their hard work was recently rewarded with a best new band nomination in none other than the Metal Hammer Golden Gods! Get up early on Sunday and brush off the hangover to check out one of the UK’s brightest metal talents.
Regular visitors to Rock Sins will know the love we have had for Zan, Timia and Jen for some quite considerable time. From opening for Steel Panther and Status Quo to entertaining The Edinburge Fringe Festival to performances at Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and past Download festivals, The Lounge Kittens know how to put on a show whatever the circumstances. Having recently released their cover of Usher’s Yeah as their latest single, what are the odds of The Dogtooth Stage all getting getting down to a bit of Usher in six weeks time or so? Guaranteed to be one of the most fun bands of the weekend.
Oh my god, look at what the bats dragged in! Goth overlord Wednesday 13 scoops up Saturday’s Dogtooth headlining slot to inject some undead energy to The Dogtooth Stage. By the time Download rolls around, fans will have had a week to digest the band’s new album Condolences enough to belt back Weds’s usual morbid humour. Following a smashing acoustic tour with his side project Bourbon Crow earlier this year, it’s time for Download Festival to Put Your Death Mask On, Keep Watching the Skies and Scream Baby Scream — the ultimate horror punk torchbearer has returned to the UK and he’s Calling All Corpses.
Where can we start with Krokodil other than to say riffs, riffs and more riffs?! The British supergroup’s brand of groove / sludge metal is packed with excellent guitar work from none other than Dan P Carter of Radio One Rock Show fame (amongst others) and the ear shattering (in a good way) vocals of Simon Wright. If you want to up the heavy in your Download experience this year, we suggest you make your way to The Dogtooth Stage early evening on Friday to catch Krokodil!
Like thrash and want to try out of the new breed of thrash bands who’ve emerged from Europe in recent years? Then you would be very sensible in coming to check out Finland’s Lost Society. Having released three albums, most recently last year’s Braindead through Nuclear Blast, and having toured with bands such as their Dogtooth Stage friends Exodus, Lost Society have all the tools to emulate the great thrash bands of the past. Come and check them out on Friday and see if they can live up to the hype!
Another band alongside Brutai who have been nominated for best new band at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods, Venom Prison are one of the leading lights in the latest wave of black metal. About to hit the road with Darkest Hour, and having also recently toured with Suicide Silence, Venom Prison’s brand of black metal has left a lasting impression on many, with the guys at That’s Not Metal having been championing them for the last several months just as one notable mention. They will definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are of a black metal persuasion, Venom Prison are an unmissable band at Download 2017. Catch them on The Dogtooth Stage on Friday.
Coming all the way from New Zealand, Like A Storm recently made a huge impression on the UK when they were the opening band on Alter Bridge’s recent arena run on British shores alongside Myles and Co, Volbeat and Gojira. Their most recent track Pure Evil has hinted at a heavier, darker side of their (already well received) brand of hard rock / metal so it’s going to be very interesting to see what they have in store for everyone at Download 2017. Sub headlining The Dogtooth Stage on the Sunday, Like A Storm might well be one of the last bands you see at Download this year. Should you choose to do so, we think you won’t regret it.
Tickets and all the other information you might need about Download 2017 can be found at the official festival website. Please stay tuned to Rock Sins for previews of the other stages as we get closer to the annual return to the UK’s spiritual home of rock and metal!