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Download Festival Review: Saturday

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Distorted Sound’s coverage of Download Festival continues with our full review of the second day of Download. Despite a rain soaked day resulting in a mudbath across Donington park, Download Festival hosted a whole host of bands covering all aspects of the rock umbrella. See what the Distorted Sound team made of it.


MALEFICE – James Weaver

Kicking off the day’s musical activities over on the Zippo Encore Stage was British metallers MALEFICE who delivered an exhilarating performance. Charged with energy and a mentality to keep the crowd warm against the cold winds over Donington, MALEFICE pummeled out the riffs, breakdowns and low bass drops resulting in plenty of headbanging fun. Whilst a tight live performance it’s now an expectation of watching MALEFICE and unfortunately the band didn’t break the mould with nothing new. But hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right?

7/10

APOCALYPTICA – James Weaver

Finland’s APOCALYPTICA have always been bizarre in the metal world, with their use of cellos over guitars it gives the band an identity of their own and their performance at Download Festival was interesting to say the least. With a heavy and fat sound through the cellos, backed with a consistent drumbeat, APOCALYPTICA’s sound was immense to say the least. With Franky Perez undergoing vocal duties for the band it gave the band an element they have been lacking over their career, crowd interaction. Despite a solid set the band did fall into the trap of repetition and whilst their performance was solid throughout, the crowd did begin to thin towards the closure.

7/10

PARKWAY DRIVE – James Weaver

Australia’s PARKWAY DRIVE are considered to be a giant in the modern metalcore scene and judging from their performance over on the main stage this fact remains ever so true. The metalcore mob smashed their way through a set covering all aspects of the band’s 13 year career. Carrion was met with thunderous roars drowning out the downpour, Deliver Me unleashed chaotic circle pits and even new single Vice Grip, which was met with mixed reception upon release, was lapped up in delight by the massive crowd. A cover of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE’s Bulls on Parade was a truly wondrous moment as the band payed homage to one of metal’s greats. Frontman Winston McCall commanded the stage and ensured that PARKWAY DRIVE continue their momentum in dominating the metalcore scene.

9/10

CARCASS – James Weaver

Download Festival has always been a festival that caters for all aspects and elements of the rock umbrella. Therefore it came as no surprise that old school death metallers CARCASS graced the Zippo Encore Stage and provided a performance full of anger and death metal fury. With a setlist that was mostly comprised of tracks from 2013’s Surgical Steel, it was clear that CARCASS was focused on making a lasting impression. Jeff Walker and co’ kept it short and sweet in the aspect of crowd interaction and let the music do the talking, easily a smart move. Riffs were consistent, drumming was ferociously fast and snarls and roars kept the heads banging. CARCASS have always been a fan favourite in the death metal scene and their performance at Download Festival only reinforces that.

9/10

A DAY TO REMEMBER – James Weaver

Pop-punk heroes A DAY TO REMEMBER delivered a set that certainly will be remembered for years to come. The American five piece were as energetic as ever, parading around the massive stage taking every moment to interact with the swelling crowd. With a setlist that was comprised mostly from 2013’s Common Courtesy and 2009’s Homesick, A DAY TO REMEMBER made a lasting impression throughout every breakdown, every chorus and every growl. Frontman Jeremy McKinnon was full of energy as he paraded around the stage, leaping into the crowd and constantly moving, reflecting the huge energy the band creates through a tight live performance. With the band slowing the momentum through an acoustic cover of OASISChampagne Supernova followed by the emotion driven If It Means A Lot To You, A DAY TO REMEMBER more than proved that they are on course to eventually headline the prestigious festival.

10/10

BLACK STAR RIDERS- Alex Piercy

BLACK STAR RIDERS performance was a testament as to why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, or the story that came before it. Some will say they are just a THIN LIZZY cover band and they have had their day in the sun, but who cares when the crowd that left after, was full of happy faces. BLACK STAR RIDERS knew exactly the crowd they were playing too and not only lifted the crowds damp spirits with a non-stop performance of incredible hits, they also gained the interest of the non-initiated to get invested in the new material, getting what they wanted and giving the crowd what they wanted.

9/10

MUSE – Jessica Howkins

MUSE, first time headliners at Download Festival and the most 50/50 act for the crowd since their announcement have epically made sure, everyone is now 100% about them. Sadly, a stripped down show due to festival restrictions, MUSE fail to let this affect their performance and it was just that, that was needed to win over the crowd that were not too sure. With Matt Bellamy’s voice, echoing across the field alongside the music that captured the attention of everyone, it is without a doubt that MUSE had made everyone eat their words. From start to finish, the show was flawless, the crowd were enchanted and left begging for more. MUSE is the answer to the question on, how do you headline Download Festival?

10/10

Reviews of the Sunday of Download Festival Coming Soon!

Check out Friday’s review of Download Festival

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