Download Festival 2018 - Friday
Here we are again, the greatest show on earth is about to begin with Download Festival 2018 with The Digital Fix and specifically rock n' roller Craig having the privilege to spend the whole five-day experience in amongst music fans of all things Rock. It rained on Thursday night, please don't rain this weekend. So here we go, Friday....
Kicking things off at the Dogtooth Stage are Cellar Darling a three-piece outfit who've just released their debut This Is The Sound. They bring a sizable crowd to the festival at this ungodly midday hour, showcasing a diverse folk metal sound to a festival renowned for 'eavy metal. They seem to win over the crowd especially by using the hurdy-gurdy to expand their sound. Singer Anna Murphy's soaring vocals on 'Black Moon' are mesmerising, mixing the best of Amy Lee and Kate Bush.
Ohio's Miss May I unleash their very own brand of Metalcore showcasing their ability to hold the audience in the palm of their hand with lead singer Levi Burton stalking the stage like a caged animal. A brutal 'Hey Mister' delivers the final crushing blow. Avatar showcase their royal themed procession over on the Main Stage with lead singer Johannes Eckerstrom commanding the crowd atop a gilded throne. Latest concept record Avatar Country bringing their macabre vaudevillian vision to a crowd which is whipped into a frenzy by their crushing groove. Anthem 'Smells Like A Freakshow' showcases their synchronised headbanging skills last seen in the 80's mixing groove with a message. All hail the king...
When the film Queen Of The Damned came out in 2001, Korn's Jonathan Davis produced an original soundtrack of gothed up songs perfectly fitting to the themes of the film, and aesthetic. With guest artists from various rock groups the songs have yet to be performed live....until now. Currently on a short world tour promoting his recent solo album Black Labyrinth (review here) Davis pulls out 'Forsaken' from the soundtrack and the crowd eat it up, shocked even, that it's actually being played live.
Photo Credit: Caitlin Mogridge
Volbeat have defined their signature sound over their six albums, think a mix of Metallica with Elvis and you can't go wrong. They do have their critics at playing the same songs slightly different but today's a diverse, mixed set. With the rockabilly tinged 'Dead But Rising', an emotional 'For Evight' and bringing out Barney from Napalm Death for a run through of 'Evelyn' is a highlight.
Photo Credit: Sarah Koury
Welsh boyos (I can say this as I'm Welsh too) Bullet For My Valentine have had a bumpy ride of late with recent albums stuttering when they should be soaring. Having been in the position of sub headlining on each of their previous three slots at Download it feels like a now or never dice roll for the band. The band give it all they've got with recent singles 'Over It' and 'Letting you Go' showcasing the diversity of their soon to be released new album Gravity. Will we see them in the same slot next time or will they finally be given their chance at headlining in years to come?
So onto the night's headliners Avenged Sevenfold, just four years after their last top slot. Bringing The Stage and accompanying show to Download gives the band the space to fully realise its scope. The skeleton spaceman, skeleton king and space visuals are all present and correct. A percussive 'Nightmare' and an ungodly version of 'Hail To The King' with added pyro show that these boys are worthy headliners for years to come.