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Download Festival Sunday live review – Donington Park, Derby

Live Review

Venue: Donington Park, Derby

Iron Maiden bring their own Thunder to Download Festival on Sunday, along an impressive supporting cast. Read our live review here...

There aren’t many better ways to ignore the rain and mud than by watching AMON AMARTH [8]. Pure heavy metal brutality is the order of the day and when Johan Hegg brings down his exploding hammer at the start of Father Of The Wolf even the mud seems to run away from the main stage terrified. It’s a clash of the Vikings as GRAND MAGUS [6] take the second stage while AA are still playing. They should have crammed as many tracks from Sword Songs as possible into their set, but instead, they play less heroic-sounding older material, with the exception of Varangian. Not ending with the brilliantly anthemic Forged In Iron, Crowned In Steel is a schoolboy error, and they don’t triumph in this Norse battle. DELAIN [6] can blast out a catchy chorus and they’re tightly coordinated, but they’re not exploring any uncovered symphonic metal avenues. An immaculate sound ensure PERIPHERY [8] follow on the second stage in imperious fashion. They’re clinically heavy, technically dazzling and possess masterful songs in the form of shattering closers The Bad Thing and Alpha, which crown a short but victorious set.

It takes just four songs of pummelling doom metal for WITCHSORROW [7] to gain a bevy of new disciples at the Dogtooth stage. The devilish mood is summed up by the huge cheer for Necroskull’s proclamation that “You are all fucked.” THE KING IS BLIND [8] seem startled by the stage’s big crowd that roars its approval throughout the Brits’ brief set. They shouldn’t be: this is proper balls-out metal with an underground heart, and people really, really love this shit. THE DIRTY YOUTH [5] pull a massive crowd at the Maverick stage, jumping up and down for them. It’s also packed for ATTILA’s [3] one-dimensional, gurning death-crunk-core. Music this simplistic can often have a dumb charm, but when it’s played by such deeply dislikeable individuals spouting a message of empty, pointless hatred, it’s hard not to be both bored and offended. FRANK CARTER [8] is clearly in his element with the Rattlesnakes. Their tight, bluesy punk has the lively crowd chanting along and Beautiful Death, a ballad about losing a family member, renders the them silent, proving Frank truly has his fans in the palm of his hand.

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