EDITORS CHOICE: Download Festival

With Download Festival starting for many Wednesday, but officially Friday-Sunday, the editors of Distorted Sound are here to bring you the bands that we think you should see!

Of course you can do what you want but if you’re stuck, then some bands just should not be missed.

James Weaver – Editor-In-Chief 
THE KING IS BLIND – Dogtooth Stage – Sunday

Whilst this year’s line-up for Download Festival boasts a wide range of bands on the rock spectrum, for those looking for the heavier side of the bill, look no further than THE KING IS BLIND. Tipped as one of the UK’s hottest extreme metal talents, the Essex four piece have crafted a unique sound that is utterly savage. With their astonishingly superb debut, Our Father, released earlier this year their performance at Download Festival sets the stage for THE KING IS BLIND. It’s make or break time. With riffs that replicate BOLT THROWER, doom-driven melodies and a massive sound that will decimate the eardrums, THE KING IS BLIND are arguably one of the heaviest bands on the bill for Download Festival. Performing on the Dogtooth stage on Sunday, brace for carnage, and witness one of the UK’s hottest extreme talents lay waste to Donington’s hallowed grounds.

Jessica Howkins – Editor-In-Chief
IRON MAIDEN – Lemmy (Main) Stage – Sunday

IRON MAIDEN are hands down one of the biggest, most pioneering bands in heavy metal and have 
been since they were founded in 1975, and yes they might have been on the Download Festival bill 
rather a lot but they’re worth seeing every single time. 
For a band of 41 years they still have it, especially if you’re fixated on waiting for Janick Gers to trip over with his merry dancing, because it just won’t happen!
When you’re stood in a crowd of thousands and each and every person is bellowing the guitar intro 
to Fear of the Dark back to the band, you know that up there is a band that is worth every last penny. 
You know that you’ll be in awe of the stage show and how even though you might have seen Eddie 
before, he’ll still make you tingle in joy, like you’re a little kid at Christmas time. 
IRON MAIDEN are not only just one of the best heavy metal bands to have ever graced us, but they 
are also one of the best heavy metal bands live. They play for the fans, to the fans and with the fans. 
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of their music, you would be missing out on the show that they put 
on, they’re the most energetic and passionate band live.  

Laura McCarthy – Introducing Editor
RAMMSTEIN – Lemmy (Main) Stage – Friday

It seems an easy pick to choose a headliner as one to watch at Download, but there’s something wonderfully perverse about Friday’s big act, RAMMSTEIN. Having been around the circuit for more than twenty years, these guys have their spectacular pyrotechnics, obscene phallic displays and heavy, rampant German metal; It’s like watching a theatre show from Hell. RAMMSTIEN have proven that big numbers, great theatrics and catchy (who’d have thought it, in German?) songs can break any barriers. For those who’ve seen the show previously and first timers alike, you’ll all be in agreement that this is a sensory overload. It’s not only huge fun, but you’ll be guaranteed to walk away at the end of the night gurning at how good it was and reminiscing about it for days after. At a festival with this many top acts preforming, that’s really something. And for those worried that the show will be a repeat of things they might have seen before, while nothing is confirmed about a setlist, there’s a new song that recently debuted only known presently as Ramm 4 that should entice. Plus, if you can’t enjoy a man in a cauldron being cooked with a flame thrower at a festival like this, when can you?

Tom Wakenall – News Editor 
BEARTOOTH – Lemmy (Main) Stage – Saturday

After their earth-shattering performance in the tent during 2014’s Download Festival, it is only right that BEARTOOTH have been given the opportunity to perform again to the Donington crowd. Now being gifted with a main stage slot for this year’s festival, it is vital for the American metalcore outfit to showcase their unparalleled angst and musical prowess in front of a much larger audience. Although BEARTOOTH are still in their infancy, having formed just four years ago, they are already packed with an arsenal of anthems, including a plethora of powerful choruses embedded in The Lines and In Between, as well as the erratic riff-a-thon Body Bag. With a brand new album in tow, Aggressive, BEARTOOTH will be debuting a shed-load of new songs, hoping to entice a new array of fans, as will as give the die-hard fans a truly unforgettable show. It is certain that BEARTOOTH will be the band to see midday on Saturday and their performance could catapult them with the elite in metalcore.

Perran Helyes – Live Reviews Editor
ELECTRIC WIZARD – The Maverick Stage – Sunday

Billed fourth on the Maverick Stage, ELECTRIC WIZARD promise to bring the happy Download vibe over to the dark side even just for a little while. Fuelled by weed, 70s horror b-movies and a clear cut vendetta against humanity, ELECTRIC WIZARD’s two decade long career has been defined by not just proving themselves to be the truest heirs to BLACK SABBATH’s doom-saying throne but even superseding them for pure weight and fear.

ELECTRIC WIZARD live sets veer back and forth between unholy communions and vitriolic spiteful parties, with the kind of aural power akin to the world shifting on its axis and collapsing in on itself. Their track record recently has admittedly not been 100%, but with the solidifying of the current line-up they seem to have thankfully once again got their act together as a recent colossal and mesmerising headlining set at Desertfest proved in jaw-dropping style.

Too psychedelic and sluggish for those just wanting pure violence and too menacing and soul-sucking to be lumped in with all the aimless hippie jam bands, ELECTRIC WIZARD appeal to the ultimate in disenfranchised weirdos who push the accepted norm just that bit too far. Every metal festival needs its dose of nihilism, and ELECTRIC WIZARD offer that in spades. And really when the alternative in that time slot is watching BREAKING BENJAMIN, your reputation depends on you heading over to hail the Wizard.

Eddie Sims – Album Reviews Editor
BILLY TALENT – Zippo Encore Stage – Sunday 

BILLY TALENT are currently one of the most successful punk bands of the modern era. With their first two albums being heralded as new time classics, and boasting genuinely massive tracks like Red Flag, Devil On My Shoulder and Rusted From The Rain to boot you’ll be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable band on the line up. The fact that these brilliant Canadians will probably be getting an hour slot what with being main support to JANES ADDICTION simply means that there is a far greater opportunity for new material from the imminent new album Afraid of Heights, which will serve as the follow up to the much respected and frankly fantastic Dead Silence. If you’re still struggling to find motivation to go see BILLY TALENT simply whack on the malevolent Viking Death March and simply imagine the sheer abundance of circle pits that will inevitably break out, then after a brief listen to the newer material, it would seem that a more mature and stepped back approach to the music could add some newer, fresher elements to the already volatile punk rock sound they have championed for so long. Seriously, go see BILLY TALENT and thank us later.

Jessica Howkins

Co Editor-in-Chief for Distorted Sound Magazine, Music Journalism student.