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download-festival-2013-logo-i6Download 2013 saw a host of bands from the Spinefarm family ‘ripping up’ the various stages from Friday, June 14th – Sunday, June 16th.

Opening proceedings for Spinefarm (on the Friday) were Danish metal / rockabilly giants, Volbeat – the band’s first UK performance with new guitarist Rob Caggiano, formerly with Anthrax.

Frontman Michael Poulsen’s stage presence and vocal abilities sent round whispers of, “Hey, this guy sounds like Elvis fronting Metallica!”, which is undeniably COOL, whichever way you look at it. We will take that one, thank you, Download. Highlights of the VB performance included ‘The Nameless One’ & ‘The Hangman’s Body Count’ (both from new album, ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies’), plus a tribute to late Slayer riff-master, Jeff Hanneman.

Volbeat will return to the UK for headline dates in October, including a show at Brixton Academy in London. By this point, DJ Caggiano will doubtless have started the radio show he was offered during the band’s on-site promo prior to their Download performance!


16.10.13   Academy, Birmingham

17.10.13   ABC, Glasgow

18.10.13   Academy, Manchester

19.10.13   Brixton Academy, London

The baton was then swiftly passed to multi-platinum Mississippi rockers 3 Doors Down, making their first ever UK festival appearance. Heads were surely turned when, between fan favourites such as ‘Be Like That’ & ‘Kryptonite’, the five-piece slotted in a cover of Megadeth’s ‘Symphony Of Destruction’!

3DD‘s ‘The Greatest Hits’ package is available now, taking in remixed / remastered versions of such smash hits as ‘Kryptonite‘, ‘It’s Not My Time’, ‘When I’m Gone’ and more; three brand new studio recordings round off the package.

Kryptonite’ will be re-released as a single shortly.

Next to the stage (on the Saturday) were Taiwanese metallers, Chthonic, making their second Download appearance, this one preceded by a signing session; for DL 2013, the band raised the bar by unleashing the skills of a six-piece Taiwanese orchestra, adding atmosphere and weight to a performance already steeped in Eastern drama.

Chthonic’s new album, ‘Bu-Tik, is available now, and the video for ‘Supreme Pain For The Tyrant’ can be viewed here

A full UK tour is currently being planned for autumn 2013.

UK rockers Voodoo Six – currently in the throes of an extensive European tour as main support to Iron Maiden – also put in a Saturday set centred around songs from current album, ‘Songs To Invade Countries To’; a video for album track, ‘Your Way’, will be unveiled shortly.

Following the European run with Maiden, V6 will embark on a headline tour of the UK & Europe.

Sunday meant a Pepsi Max Stage showing from Newsted – the band put together by former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted to feed his metal cravings, which on this evidence are both constant and severe!

Newsted’s debut album, ‘Heavy Metal Music’, fully lives up to its title, and will be released through Spinefarm on August 5th. A video for ‘Soldierhead’ is online now, and the band are already making plans for a return visit.

Finally, the weekend was brought to a close with the magnificent industrial onslaught of Rammstein, providing not just a bang (actually, many, many bangs) but all manner of pyrotechnical goings-on with a stage-show sure to leave all local hounds in a state of terror… think bonfire night on acid. A lot of acid.

As the only foreign language band to headline the event, this was always going to be an emotional night for Rammstein, and so it proved, with frontman Till Lindemann saying far more to the huge crowd than is generally his wont; the size & support of the DL audience had clearly connected with the six musicians, who ended the performance down on one knee, saluting the fans, no doubt remembering how back in 2001 they tried to play a show at the 1600-capacity Astoria Theatre in London only to have the whole thing pulled by the venue at the 11th hour.

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