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Download 2015: The Preview

download lineupIs it that time of year again already? Apparently so. Download Festivals opens its gates once more on Wednesday 10th June and PlanetMosh are once again in attendance to review, ramble at bands and generally have a bloody good time.

By now, most of you will know who you’re going to see across the weekend, but if you’re still a little unsure, here’s a dirty dozen of twelve bands you should definitely take the time to check out:

Krokodil

What day? Friday
What stage? Maverick Stage
What time? 1:55pm – 2:25pm

Taking people previously associated with Gallows, Sikth and A and forming a band with them shouldn’t, on paper, really work. Yet Krokodil are proof that this isn’t the case at all. They’ve graced the stage with Mastodon and released a belter of a record in Nachash last year, and the sludgy, crushing riffs they spew out will cause every single head to bang with enough power to wrench them from everyone’s necks. 

Blues Pills

What day? Friday
What stage? Zippo Encore Stage
What time? 2:50pm – 3:25pm

They’ve caused shockwaves since the release of their self-titled debut album last year and have packed out venues across the country. Playing on one of the open air stages at Download is the least that they deserve and it’s a nailed-on certainty that their brand of heavy blues rock will bring out the ‘Devil Man’ in more than a few punters.

Five Finger Death Punch

What day? Friday
What stage? Main Stage
What time? 5:50pm – 6:35pm

What a rise it’s been for Five Finger Death Punch over the last few years. Widely regarded as one of the hottest metal bands around at the moment, they’re not afraid to take life by the scruff of the neck and throw it in everyone else’s faces with interest. Expect an explosive set with at least some form of crowd participation, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were joined by a very special guest halfway through as well…

Parkway Drive

What day? Saturday
What stage? Main Stage
What time? 3:10pm – 3:55pm

By far and away the band who will lead the charge for Australian rock and metal once AC/DC hang up their guitars. Always looking to put on the best live show possible with various stage props and shenanigans, Parkway Drive continue to set the world on fire with their phenomenal brand of metalcore and for three-quarters of an hour they’ll turn the Donington faithful into a sea of bodies and pits with ease.

Dub War

What day? Saturday
What stage? Jake’s Stage
What time? 5:40pm – 6:05pm

Despite reforming for a one-off show in their hometown of Newport, this is a show that a number of people thought may never happen. And yet, it has. There’s still a lot of love for Dub War despite the growing success of their frontman’s other band (little group called Skindred, you may have heard of them) and I can see Jake’s Stage being filled to the rafters for this one despite the clashes with Every Time I Die, Motionless in White and A Day to Remember.

Faith No More

What day? Saturday
What stage? Main Stage
What time? 7:05pm – 8:15pm

Given the acrimony surrounding their split in 1998, it’s been a remarkable few years from Faith No More – even more so given that they’ve followed up their triumphant reunion tour with a stunning new record in Sol Invictus. The alt-rock legends are sure to lay waste to Download this year and set a very high marker for debutant headliners Muse to try and top.

Andrew W.K.

What day? Saturday
What stage? Maverick Stage
What time? 7:55pm – 8:40pm

One word: Party. Andrew W.K. lives, breathes and will probably die by that word. If you’ve ever seen the video for ‘We Want Fun’ and the utter bedlam that ensued at the Jackass Movie wrap party, you’ll know that’s what Andrew thrives on. If you haven’t watched it, make that the next thing you do after reading this article. Then transfer that same energy to an overflowing tent and you’ll come pretty close to the atmosphere that Andrew W.K. will bring to your Saturday night.

Marilyn Manson

What day? Saturday
What stage? Zippo Encore Stage
What time? 9:00pm – 10:10pm

The controversy that has surrounded Muse’s place as headliners is fairly laughable. One of the biggest UK ROCK bands playing the UK’s biggest ROCK festival? It’s utterly senseless! But if you ARE after something darker and heavier then Marilyn Manson will fill your shoes quite nicely. He’s come under a lot of fire recently for his live shows, especially after THAT Download performance in 2009, but from recent reviews it appears that he’s back to his best and The Pale Emperor is an utter diamond of an album to boot. Expect the weird, twisted and the unexpected but (all well and good) a storming show from the self-proclaimed ‘God of Fuck’.

Evil Scarecrow

What day? Sunday
What stage? Maverick Stage
What time? 1:00pm – 1:30pm

Those of you who saw their show at Bloodstock last year will know why Evil Scarecrow have such a buzz about them. Those who didn’t will no doubt have heard how bonkers they are. Either way, they’ll be sure to blow away your hangovers and get you in the mood for the rest of Sunday with aplomb.

We Are Harlot

What day? Sunday
What stage? Zippo Encore Stage
What time? 2:25pm – 2:55pm

Don’t be fooled – this is not singer Danny Worsnop’s outpost to get one over his old bandmates in Asking Alexandria; this is a far different and more accessible beast than the metalcore juggernaut he left at the beginning of this year. They might still be riding on that particular wave (the whole ‘Oh, it’s the singer from Asking Alexandria’s new band’ thing) but they’re also picking up an army of new adorers and they’ll make sure their half-hour slot on the Sunday is as hard-hitting and memorable as possible.

Aaron Keylock

What day? Sunday
What stage? Jake’s Stage
What time? 6:30pm – 6:55pm 

I said it in my review of Hard Rock Hell VIII last year and I’ll say it again – it’s utterly criminal that a guy should be this talented at playing blues guitar when he’s not even old enough to drink yet. Given that it’s happened though, I guess Aaron Keylock is due a life sentence sooner or later. In all seriousness though, you’ll be left staggered by how well he plays his guitar and his flared trousers, silk shirt and long, straight hair will take you right back to the heart of the swinging 60’s. A definite star in the making.

Motley Crue

What day? Sunday
What stage? Main Stage
What time? 7:00pm – 8:10pm 

By a fair stretch the biggest clash of the weekend for many punters has been the dilemma of Lamb of God or Motley Crue. There’s a solid 30 minute crossover period too which has made things even worse. But Lamb of God have a new album in the works and will tour the UK with it at some point in the near future. Motley Crue, save for their EU tour in the autumn (that fans are currently voting on where they should play) are never coming back. This will be one of the last chances UK fans will get to see the glam-metallers in the flesh on these shores and so take your chance when you still can.

And that’s the Download preview done and dusted. If you see anyone in a Planet Mosh t-shirt there, remember to say hi and share a beer with us. Other than that, Donington awaits!

About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.