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Live Review: Download Festival, Donington Park, Sunday 16/06/2013

The final day of Download 2013 crept upon on but it’s the night Rammstein headline! Check out what HTF made of the final day here.


The final day of Download Festival 2013 has quickly crept up on us and we can’t believe it’s almost over. But before we all wallow in sadness that it’s over for another year and drink ourselves into a stooper theres still one more day of music left. Today sees Rammstein headline the Main Stage so we can’t even begin to know what to expect. Check out what we made of the day!

Blitz Kids – Zippo Encore Stage – Words: Rhian Westbury

The sun is shining over Donington Park and at 11am on the final day of Download Festival 2013 it’s time to shake away those hangovers and party one more time. Cue Blitz Kids. Considering how bad this stage can be for sound Blitz Kids sound spot on. New track ‘Run For Cover’ sounds fresh and bouncy whilst older material gets sung back from the crowd. Taking a moment out to thank the support of his family and give his dad the fathers day gift of a song (yes we had forgotten too!) Joe bounds around the stage in the element of ectasy. 8/10

Cancer Bats – Main Stage – Words: James Paul Matthews

An already pumped up crowd are basking in the sunshine on the Main Stage, oh… and waiting for Canada’s finest; Cancer Bats! Playing a non-stop adrenaline fuelled set on the Sunday morning, the amount of action in the pit is enough to shake any hangover or tiredness from your system. It is only when halfway through the set when they play the classic ‘Pneumonia Hawk’, that the crowd goes batshit mental (excuse the pun!). By the end of the set with the flawless ‘Hail Destroyer’, the crowd is turned in to a colony of madmen / women, partying and moshing like their lives depend on it. A true lightning rod to the senses! 8/10

Krokodil – Pepsi Max – Words: James Paul Matthews

After much rumours and speculation about who the members of Krokodil are, all is revealed on the Pepsi Max Stage. It turns out to be none other than another band with Dan P. Carter in it. Already had mediocre fame with A and Hexes, Krokodil are a supergroup of members ranging from bands such as Sikth and Cry For Silence. With a doom metal sort of edge along the lines of Mastodon and Pelican, and a harsh death metal shriek, these guys have a lot of potential. but for a first show, they seem pretty on edge and unsure of themselves. Additionally, the other bearded guitarist looks so pissed off to the point as if someone stole his lunch money. In fact, we swear that guy is Lower Than Atlantis‘ sound tech…? But regardless, it is totally fine. Maybe it was his concentration face. Regardless, Krokodil have a long way to go, but this ‘surprise’ performance was slightly underwhelming. All the right ingredients, just needs a little perfecting. 6/10

The Ghost Inside – Zippo Encore Stage – Words: Amber Carniage

No matter how early it is The Ghost Inside know how to bring the mosh. They breeze through their raging set with the crowd bawling back, word for word. They fill Donington’s hill with ‘Engine 45’ and ‘Dark Horse’ epics from their latest album ‘Get What You Give’ stirring the crowds into a sea of twoey. An outstanding set from LA’s finest. 8/10

Coal Chamber – Main Stage – Words: James Paul Matthews

On the Main Stage, is the return of nu-metal underdogs Coal Chamber. This time they have a LOT less makeup, but a little more normality. They play all the classic tunes you would expect them to such as ‘Fiend’, and the immortal ‘Loco’. But all in all, it just seems like a bit of light nostalgia. Although, mad props to drummer Mike Cox, who seems to keep on playing whilst his hand is genuinely pissing blood everywhere due to a slight mishap on the kit! What is a little blood anyway?! 6/10

Black Dogs – Red Bull Studios Stage – Words: Amber Carniage

Filthy northerners Black Dogs destroyed the Red Bull Studios Stage and woke up from our dreary states on Sunday. The tent bounces as Black Dogs blitz through their set ripping into the hefty ‘Savages’; we are definitely awake. Thankfully the band have dropped their righteous speeches for more tune time and as the tent fills and the set progresses we can only hope they’ve stepped up a stage for next year’s metal festivities. 7/10

Night By Night – Jagermeister Acoustic Stage – Words: Natalie Gardiner

It was never going to be easy to compete with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, but London’s 80s inspired Night By Night have managed to pull in a small crowd, sat contentedly about the straw surrounding the Jagermeister stage. At the offer of free t-shirts though, there’s a surge of audience members to the front.  The strength of their performance is a real testament to lead singer Henry Rundell, whose vocals power through the limits of an acoustic set, creating a full sound to fit with the band’s melodic riffs and smooth harmonies. 6/10

Brutality Will Prevail – Pepsi Max Stage – Words: James Paul Matthews

Over on the Pepsi Max Stage, London based hardcore crew Brutality Will Prevail absoutely tear the crowd a collective new arsehole. Their hard hitting blend of modern hardcore resonates with an already feral crowd, who seem to be side-to-siding and windmilling the fuck out of the pit. With a couple of surprise appearances from Liam Cornier and Jaye Schwarzer from Cancer Bats, this makes for a truly memorable set that totally rules. BWP are going from height to height, but the question is… where to next? 8/10

Hacktivist- Pepsi Max Stage- Words: Amber Carrniage

Apparantly Hacktvist only call to particular tastes but judging by the crowd spilling from the sides of the Pepsi Max tent it is one that people love. The djent hop lords amalgamate the best of genres to devastate Download, even upscalling Jay-Z and Kanye with their riffed up progressive cover. Progressive tech metal is on the up and Hacktivist are riding the front wave. 8/10

Parkway Drive – Main Stage – Words: Amber Carniage

Just another day splitting arenas in two for Parkway Drive as they work their way through their monstrous set and a crowd surfing fox to rip Donington a new one. The band flit between metalcore anthems as the crowds chant ‘Carrion’ to the recent ‘Wild Eyes’ and the echoes from ‘Home Is For The Heartless’. Parkway have set the level as the crowds are left breathless, grinning and begging for more. 9/10

Bleed From Within – Pepsi Max Stage – Words: James Paul Matthews

Next up is the current ‘hype’ band Bleed From Within. A lot of buzz surrounding this lot, but to be honest it is just the same old shit that is already over populating this particular genre of metalcore. Do not get me wrong, they are terrific musicians and it is a joy to see them doing well and enjoying their time as well as the crowd. But… there are plenty of bands doing exactly the same thing. What is evident is just a crowd dominated by hanger ons and fangirls who seem to think they are the band Bring Me The Horizon could have been. But you know, each to their own. They do very well regardless and deserve praise for their debut at Download Festival. 6/10

Vision of Disorder – Pepsi Max Stage – Words: James Paul Matthews

Once again, it is an absolute joy to see an underground hardcore band who have been out for so long, but never got the recognition they really deserve play a prestigious festival like this. So when NYHC veterans Vision Of Disorder come on, it is a truly humbling experience. They sound like the band Every Time I Die based themselves on, but more importantly they are one of the most vital NYCH bands of the 90s. A crowd of curious punters watch on, and halfway through their set finally get what the band are about. Unfortunately, unaware they run over their set time, their set gets cut short amid a chaotic standstill from the band who walk off as quickly as they come on. A great set which was marred by bad timekeeping. 7/10

Stone Sour – Main Stage – Words: Amber Carniage

Back for his second round of Download, Corey Taylor used his front man skills to direct the masses into rock. With the crowd on side and growing Stone Sour work their way through their epics, touching on new and old and hitting every sing-along possible. Heavier tracks like ‘Get Inside’ have people moving but with the weather cooling and the masses swaying Stone Sour were the perfect band to add to the perfect atmosphere. Their set was made with Donnington raising their lungs to Stone Sour’s cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Children Of The Grave’; nothing short of brilliant. 8/10

Ghost – Zippo Encore Stage – Words: James Paul Matthews

One of the most talked about bands in rock/metal today, the mysterious Scandinavian sextet that are Ghost emerge to a bloody huge crowd of fans over on the Zippo Stage. Playing such classic tunes like ‘Ritual’ and ‘Con Calvi Con Dio’, they are a instant hit with an appreciative crowd. Although seeing them during the daytime kind of takes some of the magic away from their set, and makes them look a bit like a novelty act, making the experience slightly underwhelming. Do yourself a favour, go see them at their own show and see them in their true habitat. 7/10

The Gaslight Anthem – Main Stage – Words: Amber Carniage

Unnaturally on the line up The Gaslight Anthem knew what they were stepping into, and they didn’t let us forget it, but as the sun finally finds its way from behind the clouds, if you can’t appreciate good old fashioned rock and roll you are in the wrong place. As they joke in between songs that their next track is going to be ‘the blackest of metal’ it is impossible to dislike Gaslight. With a set featuring the likes of ‘45’, ‘Handwritten’, ‘The 59 Sound’ and ‘Howl’ have the arena jumping, although their cover of The Misfits‘Astro Zombies’ make it impossible for any haters to enjoy the set. To say they were already up against it, The Gaslight Anthem brought the sun, tunes and festival feel that prepared us for what was to come. 8/10

A Day To Remember – Zippo Encore Stage – Words: Amber Carniage

Is there any other band that could tear it apart before Limp Bizkit as much as A Day To Remember? Opening with their latest track ‘Violence’ ADTR rampage into their backlog as they send streams of toilet paper, beach balls and t-shirts at the crowd. Each song that is introduced is met with cheers and every word met with echoes from the crowd, with bodies literally surfing other bodies to the barriers. The set flies almost too quickly as A Day To Remember leave Donington desperate for more. 9/10

Limp Bizkit – Zippo Encore Stage – Words: Amber Carniage

Facing the mighty Rammstein was barely a challenge for Limp Bizkit, opening with the infamous ‘Rollin’, the crowd all think they have mastered the basics of rapping as they sweep straight into ‘Nookie’. How Fred Durst managed the whole set in a hoody we don’t know but as he taunts us in between songs it is safe to say he is on the ball with who we hope was Wes Borland (but I guess we will never know). As the band launch seamlessly into a cover of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’ and their renowned rendition of ‘Faith’. Limp Bizkit never stop killing it and as they tear into ‘Break Stuff’ during their encore there was no way to compete as the ground shook around the Zippo Encore stage. We definitely partied like it was 1999. 10/10

Rammstein – Main Stage – Words: James Paul Matthews

No one, and I mean NO ONE in the history of Download Festival and Monsters Of Rock before that, has even come close to what Sunday night headliners Rammstein put on. Whilst not being their biggest fan, their live show is something of true inspiration and awe. Rumour being that they had to condense the amount of pyrotechnics and fire for their stage show due to restrictions which could have played havoc with airplanes on the flightpath of the local airport, it makes you wonder just how much more unbelievable Rammstein‘s stage show could have been if it was the full 100%. But that does not matter one iota. Rammstein put on arguably THE best show that Donington Park has ever seen, possibly more to the point… the world has ever seen.

With songs like ‘Du Hast’, ‘Ich Will’, and a haunting ‘Sonne’, regardless of whether or not all the songs are sung in German, the amount of respect that the fans give this band is truly a remarkable sight. Towards the end of their set, a visibly overwhelmed Till Linderman thanks the crowd in a few words said in English with a nervous voice and the band pay their respects to the crowd by bowing before them and then getting down on one knee and saluting them. The response they get after nearly two hours of sheer amazing stage show presence, mind bludgeoning music and sheer entertainment, Rammstein deserve every shred of your attention whether you like them or not. This was THE defining set of Rammstein‘s career and possibly in the history of Download Festival. Unbelievable. 10/10

Reviews by: James Paul Matthews, Amber Carniage, Rhian Westbury and Natalie Gardiner

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