Home Gigs Gig Review : Download Festival 2024 – Saturday

Gig Review : Download Festival 2024 – Saturday

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Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM

Saturday morning starts very soggy and as a result, Swindon’s answer to brutal metalcore Heriot had a setback with their start on the Opus Stage. But once they kicked in, they brought a tirade of furious energy and brutal tones.

Siege Lord came in as a tech fuelled riff number with immersive guitars and scratching bassnotes and face melting rhythm sections.

Debbie Gough and Erhan Alman entwine progressive djent chords along with the pure power of the breakdowns behind Julian Gage’s drums

The dual vocals from Debbie and bassist Jake Packer strike some blackened edges of song range with gutturals that bounce between eachother.

Demure was offered as a melodic fusion of winding guitar notes echoing into a heavy tech beat with some beautiful harmonized vocals subtly sitting underneath the high pitched screams and ground shaking growls.

Pounding rain and sludging mud didn’t stop a decent crowd forming the first pit of the day.

Staying at the Opus stage, it was time for Scottish groove metalweights Bleed From Within to smash Download.

Another setback at start because of the weather conditions, though these guys bought pure energy and melodic death moods with them once they got going.

Bursts of flames and pure unforgiving riffs filled the stage and we are catapulted into the tech groove notes of Stand Down.

Vocalists Scott Kennedy and Snev Jones dual vocals create a a balance between clean and brutal tones to give the melodics to the track a stunning aura.

Snev and Goonzie Gowans provide the groove fuelled Tech riffs and stunning melodics to instigate a pure sonic energy throughout.

Davie Proven wields some exceptional basswork to provide the backbone of pace with the beautiful melodic fusions behind the double pedals of Ali Richardson.

Levitate powered through with an anthemic beats before melting into a fury of double kicks, scratching riffs and Scott’s brutal roars.
This one hit the crowd with force and created a pit in the mud. The technical riffs here are aplenty with some filthy breakdowns that entwine with melodic sections that dip into the emotional realms before bringing back to the forefront of some stunning guitar solos and cathartic moods.

Before the set was out, Scott announced they will be supporting Slipknot in December and bantering with crowd, also announce two friends backstage who’s dream it is to play Download… 

Out comes Rob and Romesh to join the guys on stage to a rendition of Metallica’s Enter Sandman to finish off a killer set.

Next in anticipation, I have always wanted to see Karnivool in their entirety and with the rain held off for this set, a huge crowd unified at the Opus stage.

An intro of white noise and a sudden thump of beautiful groove infused notes introduced the guys on stage.

Vocalist Ian Kenny has a unique and beautiful range that flits between high clean notes and stunning melodic techniques to deliver an intense edge to All It Takes.

The dual guitars between Drew and Mark create a beautiful spiral of crunchy riffs and atmospheric underlays that echo the mood shifting of Kenny’s vocals.

The familiar scratching riffs ring out that entwine with the low frequency chugging of Jon’s bassnotes and Steve’s intricate groove infused, proggy drum tempos to deliver Goliath – this is one of my favourite tracks from Karnivool and reminds me so much of back home.

The euphoria is built slowly through the track where we’re taken to high levels of atmospherics whilst these guys reach into your psyche.

“This is a bit of a long one, so settle in, smoke something and enjoy yourselves.” Ian addresses the crowd.
Deadman is another favourite of mine and witnessing the auras of this track in its live setting is just stunning.

The gentle tones that morph to heavier notes is a seamless technique with these guys. There’s so much to absorb in this one song.

From transdimensional atmospherics that somehow work with the subtle djenty beats and how Mark and Drew work their strings together – progressive twists and turns, beautiful melodies and subtle mood shifting notes.

This was stunning.

I’d taken a stroll over to the DogTooth Stage to go and catch a new band on my radar that I’ve been getting into lately. And though there were some difficulties due to the weather affecting their initial kick off, Dying Wish absolutely blew the roof off the stage.

Watch My Promise Die crushed the crowd with blistering chuggy riffs and monstrous blast beats that reverbed a murderous tone to mirror the intensity from vocalist Emma Boster. 

She drifts between trembling roars to beautiful ranges that gives a melodic edge to the boisterous grooves of Pedro and Sam’s intricate chords.

Cowards Feed, Cowards Bleed is probably one of the heaviest in this bands catalogue of the day.
Emma’s visceral roars are facemelting and the riffs are splintering. The pace is picked up by sticksman Jeff Yambra that command the bulldozing pace with switches between blast beats and vortexes of tempo directions that branch out to tech infused, melo death vibes.

The bassnotes are so low you’d be dragging your head along the floor. And this is one track in it’s live setting that I think Jon really is at the forefront building that backbone alongside the drums to deliver a blistering crunchy track.

Having never seen Australian blackened edged Ne Obliviscaris before, I’ve been listening to these guys for a couple of years and no word of a lie, was surprised to see these guys on a Download line up. And for all the right reasons.

Equus showcased at first a maddening riff to introduce these guys and blended with a beautiful violin offering that upon reading that, sounds like it shouldnt work but totally does – melodics along with thrashing guitars and jaw dropping blast beats work wonderfully.

Tim and Xenoyr work their dual vocals together so beautifully here. This has a rather Opeth meets Insomnium feeling to me in some ways. How Ne Obliviscaris offered their set vocally was full of beautiful clean song notes and utterly powerful gutturals.

The work behind the kit from Kevin was mindblowing. He blast beats and uses intricate tempo change ups of direction and injects unexpected glimmers of notes to transition the moods here against the bassnotes of Martino, who incidentally isnt subtle with basslines here. They have an almost bluesy feel to them and are very present without being overpowering.

This track in it’s live setting is stunning with a lot to absorb.

And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope proved to be another approach where this displayed more of the dynamics that Ne Obliviscaris offer. The guitars are almost samba meets flamenco in places and this is where Matt and Benjamin meet with their respective styles to bring them together to create something unexpected but melts into a heavy wave of stunning fretwork and beautiful melodics.

I adore these guys.

Its time for some BRUTAL Death Metal which, is not something you’d associate much with Download. However, these recent years seem to be inclusive of more of the heavier genre’s so when Dying Fetus was announced, this was met with a huge amount of appreciation.

These guys straight off the bat, took to the DogTooth stage like an absolute storm.

Stonking riffs and chuggy raw bassnotes introduced Wrong One To Fuck With like a battering ram into the crowd. The tent was packed out and a pit had formed already circling around with the churning thrashy guitars and hard hitting drums.

Trey Williams is an absolute kitmaster – the blast beats and split tempo changing vibrations coming from behind that kit was insane.

Skillfully blending slamming riff and technical proficiency John Gallagher delivers brutal riffs and a blistering gutturals that laces through the speed and intensity of the track.

Compulsion for Cruelty gives Old School Death Metal vibes which displays face melting pace and raw vocals that churn between gruff roars and searing gutturals between John and Sean Beasley who wields his bass to maddening magnitudes.

Raw energy is ripped through the set straight the way through to Grotesque Impalement that has the most raw and dark moods of the set. 

Back over to the Opus Stage and it was filling out so much, it was positively overspilling. A curtain over the stage hung down and stood until riffs were filled right to the back of the field.

Chants of “PANTERA! PANTERA!” rocks the place, the curtain falls and out steps Phil Anselmo with his arms in the air and a hue of green lights fill the stage.

Pantera catapult things right into the air with some serious force.

A New Level spirals riffs into the air and the crowd is going crazy already. A circle pit has formed right down the front, mud and bodies flying all over the place and gradually things are increasingly frenzied.
Firebolts reached to the rafters and the thrashing guitars and drums set the merciless pace.

Gliding into Mouth of War, Zakk Wylde wields the monstrous riffs that roll into eachother and creates a stunning pace set alongside the power of the hard hitting beats behind Charlie Benante’s kit.

“Every song we play goes out to Vinnie and Dimebag” Phil tells us – and this is met with a deafening roar from the crowd.

Im Broken kicks off with Zak’s winding thundering riffs and the heavy roars of Phil, who’s on top form with vocals. The sense of nostalgia is about and here, with vocals that have not wavered in all the years he’s fronted Pantera, Phil shows power and dominance over the stage, crafting the moods within the crowd.

It’s so good to be here after so long away from the UK.” Phil addresses the crowd. “And one of the great things I see is that there are old and new Pantera fans.

These young people who have been brought up on good music and still keeping our music going into the next generation. It’s great parenting!”

And indeed, there’s young people loving the circle pits and the bodysurfing going on at the front.
We’re taken through  5 Minutes Alone, This Love and Floods before we’re kept in some suspense. 

“If you know this song, and you should do, it’s one of the biggest songs out there – no one knew who we were at some supporting shows til this song came on… we need you to sing along.”
And right there, was a sight to behold.

Thousands of metal heads unifying and headbanging to one of the most iconic metal songs – the choppy riffs crawl out and the crowd SHOUTS back the nostalgic force of lyrics back to the stage.

Walk dominates the whole of Download at that moment. You could hear the echoes from all sides, everyone joining in and the absolute musicianship was tight as anything.

Rex Brown combines his demanding bassnotes with Zak’s giant riffs and we’re taken into a 5 minute trip of power.

Its been almost two decades since Pantera have been in the UK and they brought the show Pantera fans in the UK have craved..

Headlining the Apex Stage this Saturday was another knock for nostalgia, 2000’s favourites Fall Out Boy hit the stage humbly and packed full of fun.

The screen shows up a clip of vocalist Patrick Stump singing the intro Disloyal Order of Water Buffalos before taking to the stage with the rest of the band.

We’re launched into several albums of setlist which sits well with new and old fans.
With the uplifting Summer vibe of Chicago Is So Two Years Ago kicking things off, the feel from these guys is infectious.

The chugging bassnotes speed bullet their way from Pete Wentz through the catchy chords of Patrick and Joe Trohman under the feel good clean vocals.

“Its so special to be here!” vocalist Patrick shows their appreciation and we’re told by Pete how nervous they were coming to headline.

With Sugar We’re Goin Down filling Download, the nostalgic and feel good moods took me way back to my younger years and honestly, it’s as if these guys had just released it again. The power from this track created such a good atmosphere between crowd and stage with the lyrics sung back to the stage and being catapulted straight into Dance, Dance was twice the power.



A winged sheep appears onstage to reference the album’s cover; Infinity On High and we were launched into the parallel vibes of This Aint A Scene with anthemic and harsher notes.Thnks fr th Mmrs came at a fast paced and fun fuelled offering with Andy Hurley smashing the kit..

Patrick took to a high perch at the top of a mountain structure, for The Last Of The Real Ones and after a beautiful piano interlude, Love From The Other Side was beautifully delivered as Patrick’s range reaches high and though upbeat in places, brings some somber and powerful tones tones to the mix.

Two people in the crowd are addressed and that are doing their gender reveal which tells me Fall Out Boy are doting of their fans.

With guitars that shoot fire, confetti, balloons and fireworks, Fall Out Boy have showed that they have earned and smashed their headlining set at Download Festival.

Photography by Pete Key for MPM

Photography by Abbie Shipperly / James Bridle / Andrew Whitten – Ref Fallout Boy

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