Download Festival 2019 – Ones To Watch

As the campsite opens for five day campers, we asked one of our senior writers and festival attendee Tom Butterworth to give us his low-down of the ones to watch.

Conjurer

If you’re a member of the rock community and you haven’t heard of Conjurer, you’ve probably been walking around with our eyes and ears shut for the last year and a half.

Since releasing their debut album Mire in 2018, it’s pretty much been impossible to move without hearing about Conjurer.

Combining every form of metal you can think of and putting it in a blender, the result is a mind bending mix of incredible riffs melded with atmospherics and above all, brilliant songs.

This will be the first time they’ve played Download and we’ll be in for a treat

Clutch

Clutch released a stunning new album and played a string of brilliant shows with wonderfully eclectic setlists. In other breaking news, grass is green and rain is wet.

It’s honestly getting boring how ridiculously reliable Clutch are, they continue to churn out albums and are the perfect band to play Download.

As a live band, they continue to keep things wonderfully interesting with setlists that are chosen by a different member each show, so you’re always guaranteed a few surprises.

One thing is for sure, if they pull out The Mob Goes Wild, you will be able to watch an entire field descend into boogieing madness.

At The Gates

The Gothenburg scene produced some incredible names, none more so than At The Gates. Their melodic death metal sound has been one of, if not the biggest influence on the modern metalcore of bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium.

Since their comeback, At The Gates have released two brilliant albums, avoiding the so often trod path of returning and just playing the live circuit without ever releasing new material.

A spot headlining the Dogtooth Stage, as a grittier heavier alternative to Def Leppard will surely pull in a large crowd and they will not be disappointed.

Power Trip

There will be no better way to clear yourself of the hangover from Friday than by pitching up at the mainstage on Saturday and watching Power Trip. The Texan’s brand of thrash metal infused with hardcore and punk attitude will be something to behold on the enormous main stage at Download.

Having proved themselves last year on support slots with Trivium and at Bloodstock Festival, this feels like a crowning moment for Power Trip. Don’t wake up late and decide to swerve this in favour of a campsite beer… you’ll definitely regret it.

Trivium

There are few bands who have quite as many peaks and troughs in a career of 15 years as Trivium. From the soaring highs of Ascendancy to the largely negative reviews of The Crusade, from the brilliance of In Waves to the shortfall of Vengeance Falls.

But it feels like Trivium are once again riding the crest of a wave, 2017’s The Sin And The Sentence was rapturously received from all quarters, the aforementioned UK tour last year was a resounding success and this billing is their highest yet at Download. They’ve proved themselves time and time again at Donington Park, and you really have to feel for Die Antwoord going on afterwards.

Black Peaks

Since their last appearance at Download in 2016, Black Peaks have established themselves, as the premier creative force in UK rock music both in their album output with last years’ sensational The Great Divide and as a live band.

They’ve supported the likes of A Perfect Circle and Enter Shikari and despite sounding very little like either of those bands they managed to win over swathes of new fans with their spacey post hardcore.

This may well be the last time to see Black Peaks on one of the tented stages, so if you want to see them in a more intimate setting, this might be your last chance!

Tool

It has been 13 years since Tool last played Download Festival and their name has passed into legend. A band whose back catalogue to this day is not on streaming services and who operate in a vacuum of secrecy.

Under these circumstances lesser bands might not have returned to the same fanfare, but as the time has gone, and over on this side of the Atlantic we’ve been left to gaze longingly at the occasional tours in America, the desire for a Tool show has not diminished.

With a first new album since 2006 being slated for release in August, the anticipation is at fever pitch and if recent setlists are to be believed, we’ll get our first tastes of the first new Tool songs in over a decade at Download.

Tom Butterworth

June 12, 2019

Hi, I'm Tom Butterworth, based in Liverpool. My music taste ranges from Nails to Creeper to Marmozets to Black Peaks to Mastodon and beyond and between!

@little_tom13

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