Download Festival Preview




With summer right around the corner, it’s time to get psyched for festival season. In the UK, there is no event bigger or more venerable than Download. As the feisty offspring of the legendary Monsters of Rock concerts at Castle Donnington in Donnington Park that lived in the imagination of rock and metal fans the world over for two decades, Download is as value packed as ever with bands. This years lineup shows a willingness not to be intimidated or outshine by the competition of other big festivals, the UK or elsewhere in Europe.


Held over three days, 13-15 of June at Donnington Park on five stages daily, the 2014 lineup is a bold one that promises something for everyone to enjoy. Bands of note for Friday include the much talked about headliners Avenged Sevenfold, Opeth, Anathema, Rob Zombie, Within Temptation, Black Label Society, Quicksand, Skindred, Miss May I, Huntress, Bloody Hammers as well as Bad Religion and Offspring.


Saturday blends the catchy, more mainstream fair with the best of modern underground metal. Linkin Park is playing all of their Hybrid Theory album and for fans of a certain age, that will sure bring back a few things. Among the main bands that our readers would most be interested in Killswitch Engage, Fozzy and Dying Fetus play along with Bring Me the Horizon and others. I kind of feel bad for everyone that has to follow Dying Fetus actually, so #WhyNotDyingFetus indeed. The other big band of import this day is Behemoth, who is coming of a sizzling run of shows in the UK and the USA recently. Other big bands include the reactivated American Headcharge, The Black Dahlia Murder, Orange Goblin, Monster Magnet, Battlecross, Anathema doing a special second unplugged set, Skid Row, Chevelle, and Sikth. Also for the more rock motivated Twister Sister, Status Quo and Ginger Wildhearts solo sets are are worth seeing.


On the final day Download has brought out the big guns, quite literally in Aerosmith. While their recent music is nothing to write home about, they always step up big live and play all of their hits brilliantly. Other worthy bands on Sunday include Alter Bridge, The Dillinger Escape Plan and their insane stage antics, Trivium, Volbeat, Philip Anselmo and the Illegals, Sabaton, Sepultura, Suicide Silence, Red Dragon Cartel, Avatar, Thy Art Is Murder, Kill Devil Hill, Monuments, Polar and Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, QOTSA, Dwarves) solo acoustic.



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Kill Devil Hill – Revolution Rise

KILL-DEVIL-HILL-REVOLUTION-RISE-COVER-300x298 (1)Although Revolution Rise (Century Media Records) is only Kill Devil Hill’s sophomore album, nearly all metalheads have heard of them. The band is a bit of a super group considering they have Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio) on drums and Rex Brown (Pantera, Down) on bass. Some may expect the band to market themselves based on name value only, but the album shows that they can play quality music too.


Singer Dewey Bragg gets right down to it with a take no prisoners style scream on ‘No Way Out’. One can hear a bit of Phil Anselmo’s style in his vocals. Maybe it is the kind of vocals Brown likes to base his riffs off of, or the style he likes in his bands, but then again it could be a coincidence.


‘Crown of Thorns’ is a track where Bragg sounds particularly haunted. The album’s theme after all seems to be of a religious nature with allusions to Jesus Christ and lyrics about struggling with sin. The “oooo”s coming in the background give it an ominous yet beautiful and poignant feel.


A little past the half-way point comes ‘Long Way From Home’. It is a slightly slower jam with more of a Dirt or Jar of Flies era Alice In Chains feel to it. It is also the most heartfelt track on the album. ‘Stained Glass Sadness’ sees Brown’s bass skills really coming out. Guitarist Mark Zavon also really lets loose at this point and it is for the better.


Things get a little more theatrical at the end with ‘Life Goes On’. It serves as the perfect ending to the album in terms of both sound and message. The hidden track after this one is even softer to the point where it may not seem to fit the metal genre, but that is not Kill Devil Hill’s goal. Thank God for them looking to break the stale reputation of super groups.




Melissa Campbell