With the four-year bonanza rumbling towards us, here's a pic of bands we're particularly excited for...

Parkway Drive (Tom Donno - Editor)

We're very happy to stick our necks out here and kick this portion of the previous off to note that we very much believe Parkway Drive have everything going for them to steal the weekend entirely. Right then, laters!

But seriously, the stars feel aligned here. Major sub-headline slot under Download darlings Slipknot, a great record release since their last appearance, pyro up the wazoo and a real feeling that this show is going to see the Australian beasts firmly planting their flag down for a headline spot in the future. The buzz around their live shows is absolutely justified - they're well and truly an act who lift tracks from across their back catalogue and elevate them in a way so many of their peers simply cannot emulate. The last time Parkway graced the Donington turf back in 2018 when the band headlined the second stage in a blaze of fire - a performance widely acclaimed as being one of the best of the weekend. Since then, the band have got a new record to also pluck some tracks from with Glitch and Soul Bleach already firm crowd favourites.


Ghost (Tom Donno - Editor)

Very much in the same vein as with Parkway Drive, there is a special feeling about Ghost's appearance at Download Festival this year. It's been ten years since Papa and his crew flamboyantly dazzled the masses at Donington, and in that time have done everything from winning three Grammys, headlined the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Arena and then The O2, increased their following substantially and cemented themselves as legends in the heavy music scene. Not much then.

In any other year, Ghost would probably headline Download at this point - given the 20th anniversary bumper bookings it does mean that this time round they need to settle for second stage headliners (oh, woe is them), but it does mean they can be as grandiose and spectacular as possible given they're the last band on that stage all weekend.

They're absolutely primed to be another potential weekend stealer and we absolutely cannot wait. Hail Satan.

Placebo (Marta Tavares - Writer)

An eight-year gap between their previous album and Never Let Me Go brought to light a different side to Placebo's gloominess. The last album is not only a fluid ode to the end of the human species and a melodic eco-rally, but also a bony finger pointed to the world's inequality, all still so characteristic of the band's raging personality.

Placebo's consistent awareness and consciousness of current affairs definitely deserves our shout out. But as very early fans of Molko's androgynous voice followed by Olsdal's multi-instrumental electrifying sounds, we are issuing the below direct request to the band:

Our dearest Placebo,
On the 20th anniversary of Download Festival, we are fuelled with head-banging joy to see you joining the best line up of the year in the UK. We do understand your favouring of the new album on your recent set lists, but we would love you to embrace your Bionic hits until The Bitter End and give us a gig that will leave us craving for more under the English Summer Rain.
We are certain that Every Me and Every You are waiting for a rock-hard show, and if you don't deliver, we might have to point out that You Don't Care About Us.
Yours sincerely,
Burger Queen and Nancy Boy

Clutch (Marta Tavares - Writer)

What else is there to say? It's the best rock and roll band on the entire line up.

Grab a pint and shake your hips, or vice-versa. Just do it like you mean it and have a fucking great time.

The Hu (Marta Tavares - Writer)

They are without a doubt, the most exotic act in the festival's line-up this year. Straight from Mongolia, the folk metal unit bring a wholesome flavour to a very special celebratory year.

The Hu are inspired by the Hunnu, an ancient Mongol empire. How can one not already be intrigued about them live, right? Even though they only sing in Mongolian and incorporate traditional instruments, guttural singing, war cries and poetry in music, they are still pretty damn metal looking and sounding. They describe their style as Hunnu Rock. To us, they are a cultural trip on the folk train with all the metal goodness that tradition can provide.

Get down early to this one - it'll be busy!

Ingested (Marta Tavares - Writer)

The death metal Mancunians need no introduction as they have been gracing us with their intense presence, fast-paced drums, and guttural voices for over a decade and a half. It's clear to us why their tunes helped shape the latest generation across the genre: their musical range touches the pits of hell and scratches the ethereal. Not only a vehicle for social awareness, lyrically the band tackle coping mechanisms to work out personal hurdles. This is proper "turn on something aggressive to feel better" music. In 2022, Ingested returned with Ashes Lie Still, a slaying wrecking ball of an album that left no stone unturned. The enhanced comradery of the now three-piece allowed them to deliver a more refined and honest album that is full of emotion and vulnerability. An extreme band who has kept masses of groove.

Come Friday, we expect nothing less than riding the Tides Of Glass and being shoved, face first, into a Sea Of Stones. We don't intend to take any teeth back to home.

Green Lung (Marta Tavares - Writer)

Green Lung is the product of the creative and eccentric minds of five South Londoners. A direct celebration of Britain's occult and heavy metal traditions. A band that are always going to stand out as fan favourites as a festival like this.

They have been clearly taking notes from Black Sabbath's doom teachings and casting a contemporary light on them - an approach we're particularly keen on. Mix that with a peculiarly sinister aesthetic and we have a band that continues to rise through the UK heavy scene. Expect big riffs, and then some more big riffs. We will definitely be keeping an eye on these geezers.

Pupil Slicer (Marta Tavares - Writer)

Their debut album was just a couple of years ago, but with their release this year we already feel that it reflects a more mature venture without losing an ounce of edginess. This is a band growing exponentially at the moment. The lyrics are not just reflections of Davies' internal conflicts and intentional condemnations of society's inequality, but we also sense the purge that comes with it. Blossom is proof that expressing yourself through music is therapeutic, has no limitations and obeys no rules.

They have proven that we are always down for a metaphorical derailed roller-coaster. The UK mathcore trio and their disorientating riffs will be guiding us in to an intense mosh pit - as straightforward as that.