Preview: Download Festival 2022

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Mass Movement’s guide to the best Download Festival has to offer this year.

It’s that time of the year again, where 100,000 or so metalheads will be praying to their chosen gods, for a weekend of nice weather. Yep, it’s Download Festival 2022. In anticipation of the hottest metal event of the year Mass Movement has put together a handy preview of what to expect from each of the four stages, over three stacked days of killer bands.

Friday

Opening day, will definitely see you getting your steps in, as you race around the area, such is the talent on display. Heading up the Dogtooth Stage will be UK doom peddlers Electric Wizard, who will no doubt provide the head pummelling you need to go to bed with. Excitement will be at fever pitch for the appearance of the enigmatic Sleep Token at The Avalanche Stage, because if recent shows are anything to go by, they will break your heart and body in equal amounts. Speaking of enigmatic head over to the second stage to check out Skynd. Part performance art, part industrial metal, they mix true crime stories with crushing guitars to create something that is quite unique. Topping that particular stage will be Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes. The former Gallows frontman won’t be phased by the job at hand here and is sure to deliver an energetic set. Friday night’s Main Stage is a mixed bag of entertainment featuring the likes of Newport ragga metal heroes Skindred and their whirlwind of a frontman Benji Webbe, who was born for stages like this. 10 people or 100,000 people, it matters not to Mr Webbe, who will have everybody absolutely whipped into a frenzy. Heading up the inaugural night of events, will be the mighty Kiss. They might be all in their 70’s now but Gene, Paul and the boys still know how to party and their legendary rock anthems will be accompanied by a stage show to match their majesty.

Saturday

There will plenty of decisions to be made on a difficult second day as far as scheduling is concerned, as there is a plethora of talent to behold. Most of which, it must be said will be on the Dogtooth Stage. It’s great to see UKHC being so well represented this year and another example of that is the appearance of Higher Power, whose vicious live show should go over well on this stage. You want to see a comeback? Look no further than the sorely missed Sacramento alt-noise metal icons Will Haven. If new track Wings Of Mariposa is anything to go by, then the boys haven’t missed a step and will deliver a punishing set.

Shortly after them will come the UK’s most brutal, the awesome Venom Prison, whose musically intensity is matched only by power of their live show. Grindcore legends Napalm Death will be dropping by for some more brutality, before the mighty Sepultura finish up the night. Say what you want about the band – post Cavaleras, but they have an enduring quality about them and 2020’s Quadra album can take it’s place amongst the classic Sep albums with ease. The Avalanche Stage will bear witness to something of a Welsh invasion today, with headliners Funeral For A Friend, Holding Absence and Loathe all getting their chance to shine, but spare a thought for singer Will Gould, who will be pulling double duty with horror punks Salem and the incredible Creeper. Their My Chemical Romance meets Jim Steinman style will have people singing badly in their tents all night long. UKHC proudly takes it’s place on the second stage as the mighty Malevolence, fresh off the back of their new album Malicious Intent – a contender for album of year, will provide the nastiest pit action of the weekend I’m sure.

Things will get a little proggy for a while as Mastodon riff into the early evening, before thrash royalty Megadeth take the stage for a set rammed full of crowd pleasers. It’s not just the Avalanche Stage that the Welsh will be holding hostage. Bridgend rockers Those Damn Crows will hit the main stage too, promising a set of head nodding sing alongs, before Zac Wyle strides onstage with Black Label Society for some doom-laden biker rock. Main support on the Saturday evening will be provided by the amazing Deftones who rarely let anybody down in the live arena. With an overabundance of classic alt-metal to choose from, this promises to be one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend. As Saturday night headliners go, does it get any better than Britain’s finest Iron Maiden? Every song is a classic, Bruce Dickinson will run around like a 20-year-old, Steve Harris-foot on monitor will loosen your bowels, with galloping bass lines and the mighty Eddie will surely put in an appearance. Festival perfection.

Sunday

Kicking off the last day of mosh activity you’d better make sure you head over to the Dogtooth Stage, where amongst other things you will find former Bullet For My Valentine drummer Michael “Moose” Thomas delivering face melting metal with Kill The Lights, as well as a cheeky headline slot from Slash’s good bud, Myles Kennedy. The Avalanche Stage sponsored by Kerrang serves up something new and something old. Leeds hardcore upstarts Static Dress continue their rise with a slot in the big tent, which is headed up by California punk legends Descendents. The Second Stage sees prog sludge metallers Baroness treading the boards with glam rock sympathisers The Darkness and Steel Panther. Quite the mix, but variety is the spice of life right? And so onto the prestigious main stage, where melodic hardcore heroes Rise Against, will be mixing it up with the likes of Danish metal warriors Volbeat, and nu-metal’s first and probably best Korn, who are enjoying a return to form with latest album Requiem. Rounding off the weekend quite nicely and left with unenviable job of following Korn, will be Scottish alt-rockers Biffy Clyro, who are old hands at this now and will have the crowd singing long into the night.

When it comes to Download Festival 2022, absolutely all bases are covered. A wide range of bands covering the entire rock spectrum will be on view, From legendary rock stars to upstart hardcore bands, there’s something for everybody, lets just hope the weather is kind to us.

Enjoy it everybody….Chris Andrews

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