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Damnation Festival 2014

November 26th, 2014

Damnation Festival

@ Leeds University, Leeds

2nd November 2014

Review by Caitlin Smith & Ben Spencer

Photography by Graham Hilling

Damnation 2014

Damnation 2014

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DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL 2013

July 17th, 2013

Download Festival 2013

@ Donington Park, UK

June 13th-15th

Review by Anna Dumpe

Download 2013

Download Festival is known as one of the most exciting rock/metal festivals all over the world. It’s usually one of the first events to kick off the festival season and it never disappoints. For eleven years in a row, Download has booked some of the biggest names in rock and metal music scene and 2013 was no different. Three acts to headline the Download weekend of June 13th-15th included Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein. However, many other bands appeared on five different stages across the weekend and we were there to catch as many of them as possible. So we offer you to read about our Download 2013 adventures and see what you missed out on, if you weren’t there.

FRIDAY

The excitement that kicks in once you arrive to the arena is inconceivable. You see first bands hitting the stage and thousands of heavy metal fans arriving and gathering together. The sun is shining and beer is flowing signalizing the beginning of one of the most exciting weekends of the year.

We’re at Download 2013. This is happening…

Download 2013

Download 2013

The first band we get to catch when arriving to the arena is Asking Alexandria.
While the legendary Uriah Heep are performing on the Second (The Zippo Encore) stage. It’s an easy decision, so we quickly pass the Main stage to kick off our Download 2013 with some good old “Easy Livin’”.

Uriah Heep put on a great show and it’s a pleasure to be watching such a classic band still going strong. They’re still sounding tight and perform some of their greatest tunes they’ve ever written, like “Sunrise,” “Gypsy,” “Look at yourself” and, obviously, “Easy Livin’”.

After a great set by Uriah Heep, we head back to the Main Stage to see Papa Roach.
We wonder if there are still people out there that genuinely love this band, taking that their streak of luck happened quite a while ago. About a minute later our question is answered when we’re nearly swept off our feet by thousands of Papa Roach fans, running head over heels, just to fight their way through the crowd and get to the front of the stage. True story, ladies and gent. It was crazy.

Papa Roach set is everything you’d expect from it. It’s energetic, fun and a bit ridiculous when singer Jacoby Shaddix jumps off the stage to dive in the mud. …but that’s what you do when you’re at Download Festival, right?

Not everyone’s a fan of this band, but trust us on this one. When it comes to hits like “Between Angels and Insects,” “Scars” and “Last Resort,” not a single person in the audience is able to stand still.

After a good shot of energy delivered by Papa Roach, we head over to The Pepsi Max Stage to witness The Sword blast out some epic riffs in the best retro-metal manner. Coming all the way from Austin, Texas to perform material off their new album ‘Apocryphon’ and throw in some good old classics, like “Freya,” The Sword guys prove themselves as a great bunch of professionals that manage to sound live as great as they sound on the record.

Back to the Main Stage and it’s time to see Down.
Phil Anselmo and the boys have chosen to perform a great selection of tunes turning their set into an absolutely ripping performance. Songs like “Witchtripper,” “Lifer,” “Ghosts Along the Mississippi,” “Stone The Crow” and “Bury Me In Smoke” go down exceptionally well.

Best comments in-between songs and the funniest facial expressions delivered by the one and only Mr. Phil Anselmo; there is no stage too big for that man.

Next up on the main stage are Korn with a thrilling and rather challenging set, as they mix all the well-known classics with some fresh material off their latest album The Path Of Totality. Dub step inspired tracks, like “Narcissistic Cannibal” and “Get Up!” go down surprisingly well and the audience seems to be having a blast.

Songs like “Falling Away From Me,” “Coming Undone”, “Did My Time” and “Freak On A Leash” are sounding as powerful as ever and takes us on a sentimental trip back to the 1990’s when nu-metal and dreadlocks ruled the charts and were a part of every teenager’s life.

Next up on the Main Stage are Bullet For My Valentine.
Apologies to all their fans, but no, thank you.

We leave the Main stage to catch the upcoming and in-every-aspect-awesome-and-mind-blowing French trio The Algorithm. They’re on at The Red Bull Studios Stage and deliver a killer of a set. Songs like “Trojans” and “Access Granted” are the right party anthems to officially kick off this Friday night. As amusing it might seem to see hundreds of metal heads bounce around to electronic music mixed with proper metal breakdowns, it’s also incredibly satisfying to see so many people that seek variety in heavy metal genre and are here to support upcoming artists, like The Algorithm.

Just before it’s time to head to the Main stage for tonight’s headliners, we wander off to the Second Stage and catch a bit of Gogol Bordello’s on-stage shenanigans.

Download 2013

Download 2013

Bringing a full band of eight people with him, he puts on a show that’s as entertaining as hectic and chaotic. There’s a mad party happening on-stage and within the audience, as the band performs hits like “Wonderlust King,” “Break The Spell” and “Start Wearing Purple”.

Gogol Bordello is a gypsy punk band you must see if you’re familiar with or a fan of Eastern European and Russian culture, as hearing their music will make you want to down vodka, dance a little stupid and swear in Russian. What a band..!

After a nice day of watching lots of great bands and drinking beer with your mates, it seems that it doesn’t get any better than this, but just because we’re at Download, it does, in fact, get a lot better.

It’s Friday night at Download 2013 and 90’000 people are here in Donington Park to witness Slipknot headline the Main stage for the first time since 2009. The crowd is buzzing with excitement, as we prepare to be blown away by their performance.

Download 2013

Download 2013

Slipknot take the stage with an incredible amount of energy and they manage to own the crowd within seconds.
Opening their set with “Disasterpiece,” Slipknot manage to shake the grounds of Donington like a thunderstorm. Blasting out a hit after hit, they seem to have managed to put together a set list to please any kind of Slipknot fan. Classics like “Wait and Bleed,” “Dead Memories,” “Sulfur,” “Psychosocial” and “Duality”, which is dedicated to Paul Gray, really make the crowd go nuts.

There’s mosh-pits, circle-pits, crowd surfing and random human bodies flying around the place. The performance is stopped twice during songs “Before I Forget” and “Left Behind”, as the safety barrier in front of the stage collapses twice. It’s an absolute madness, but it’s also the best fun we’ve had in a long time.

The band appear to be in a great shape and are sounding superb. Corey Taylor’s vocal parts are sounding immense and Joey Jordison’s drumming is, as always, spectacular and a real entertainment to watch. Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan is a great entertainer, as she smacks the hell out of his percussions while spinning up in the air.

After finishing their set with “Spit it Out,” Slipknot return to stage for an encore of “(sic),” “People = Shit” and “Surfacing”.
The band really put their heart and soul into this performance and you would struggle to find a single member of the audience that was left unsatisfied.

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