As December extends its frosty fingers, BLOODSTOCK is getting in the festive spirit with some early Xmas gifts by way of another chunky 2024 announcement.  If you’re hoping for some heavy metal next summer, BLOODSTOCK’s got your presents wrapped up with a bow on top!  And if you want to give the gift of heavy metal (yes, we mean a ticket for BLOODSTOCK 2024), you can now download a special festive card when you order at the ticket store to help present it to the lucky recipient! 

Don’t miss BLOODSTOCK’s Festive Facebook Live at 7pm on Dec 7th  for some seasonal fun & oh maybe some prizes… and we suggest you keep your eyes (and your sprouts) peeled for who knows what other treats might be in store across the festival’s socials later this month… 

On the Ronnie James Dio main stage, grindcore & melodic death metal pioneers CARCASS land Sunday’s special guest slot.  The “most influential band out of Merseyside since The Beatles” released their current studio album, ‘Torn Arteries’ in 2021 via Nuclear Blast to colossal acclaim. 

Also appearing Sunday on the RJD main stage are South American progressive sludge metal project, CULTURA TRES.  Last year, the 4-piece, featuring Sepultura’s Paolo Pinto Jr on bass, released their 5th studio album, ‘Camino De Brujos’. 

Black metal icons, SATYRICON will return to the stage for the first time in 5 years to headline Sunday’s Sophie Lancaster stage.  In what are becoming increasingly rare appearances, frontman Satyr informs us: “The way SATYRICON’s attitude has resonated with English fans throughout our journey as a band, has made us feel that playing there isn’t so much a visit, but rather a homecoming. Having decided to do only a few select shows, we can’t go everywhere, but fortunately there are a few places our hearts seem to take us, one way or the other. Like England.”  

The mighty SYLOSIS steam into a Saturday slot on the Sophie stage.  Their latest album, ‘A Sign Of Things To Come’ landed in September and the Brit metal heavyweights told us, “We can’t wait to be back at BLOODSTOCK!  We’ve had some amazing shows over the years, but it feels like next year is going to be really special!”  We can’t wait either!  In the meantime, get a load of new song ‘Descent’ taken from that brand new release. 

Also appearing on Saturday’s Sophie stage are American goth metal project, LUDOVICO TECHNIQUE.  Fronted by enigmatic songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben V, they released their most recent album ‘Haunted People’ in 2022.  Check out their epic video for ‘Live As Myself’, taken from that album, here
Ahoy!  Metal pirates RED RUM also grab a Saturday Sophie slot.  If you like your pirate tunes laden with riffs and melodies, RED RUM aren’t to be missed.  Sing along with ‘We Pirates’ taken from their current album, ‘Book of Legends’ out now on Trollzorn Records.  

SADUS bring their death/thrash sounds to BLOODSTOCK’s Sophie stage for the first time ever on Sunday.  The band came off an extended hiatus in 2017 and signed to Nuclear Blast for the recent release of new studio album, ‘The Shadow Inside’.  Check out the lyric video for album track, ‘Ride The Knife’
On Sunday’s Sophie stage bill, expect to see Spanish alt metal collective, ANKOR.  Fronted by Jessie Williams (who hails from Bristol, UK), the band blend metalcore with progressive and electro elements, creating a sound of their very own. 

If you’re a weekend ticket holder, the party starts early for you on Thursday.  Once you’ve set up camp and had your first cold one, prog metal Swedes EVERGREY are set to headline Thursday’s Sophie stage, with earlier evening sets from classic heavy metallers TAILGUNNER and Bournemouth rock n’ roll squad, SOUTH OF SALEM.  

BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR 2022 – Reviewed!


It’s August. It’s hot. It’s so hot you guys. It’s too hot. It’s uncomfortably hot. I don’t know how we’re supposed to Goth in this weather. Yeah ok, in all other dimensions I’d be complaining about the drizzle putting a dampener on things – but I’m not convinced UK festivals are cut out for this Satan’s armpit version of events.

This weekend, SFG are at Bloodstock Open Air – the UK’s premier heavy metal fest, in the hallowed grounds of Catton Park in Derbyshire. Thousands of sweaty freaks in a field (thanks, that’s my band name now) getting raucous to some of the best bands on the scene, it’s like coming home.

As we head into the arena it’s pretty clear the sun has done a number on the usually green Catton Park. It looks like the scrub of the wild west, and there isn’t much in the way of shade anywhere to be seen. The site looks like it’s old sturdy self though, heaps of shops for whatever takes your fancy – Viking drinking horns? Got you covered. Body cages and chains that would make even Melanie Rose blush? Yeah how tied up d’ya wanna be? There’s a plethora of rare band tees, records and chunky jewellery to choose from alongside all the usual festival tat, and I am likely to part with a large portion of my savings if I hang around too long.

On the main stage, New Delhi metal is blasting our eardrums courtesy of Bloodywood. A heady mix of tech/nu metal and background bhangra drums, they’ve come a long way from the original YouTube parodies, this is just damn good fun. Hopefully we see them on more line-ups in the future, it’s about time we had some new life injected into the genre.

Doyle’s crowd levels on the main stage suffer from being on at the same time as the secret (read: not remotely secret) Sophie Stage act – Machine Head. Now, them being the secret act is awesome. That is undeniable. What isn’t awesome is the fact that absolutely everyone knew in advance, (which may have had something to do with the merch stalls selling the tshirts at 10am this morning) and they’re all crammed buttcheek to buttcheek into the sweatlodge that is the big tent. The band are incredible and the atmosphere is electric, buuuut… on a weekend like this, it’s inviting heatstroke to the party in a big way. I wish it had been a main stage secret slot instead, but I guess there were reasons.

In other news, slushie sales are high and even the smallest patches of shade have become precious territory for people to escape the burning sun. They’re few and far between – just the spaces around the Red Bull bars, or little corners between food vendors. The best efforts of the festival seem to be some camouflage netting draped over some flagpoles to create a dappled shade area, but it really isn’t much for how many people are here.

GWAR Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

On the main stage our friends/overlords from outer space GWAR are ripping into American culture like there’s no tomorrow – something we Brits, just unashamedly enjoy. ‘Joe Biden’ gets his head taken off with a giant foam machete and sprays blood into the whooping crowd, then a Trump supporting redneck gets his guts unceremoniously gouged from his body while the band rock on. “This is the most bloodthirsty country of conquerors in the world, and I bet even they think this is racist” frontman Blothar the Beserker remarks about an awful Chinese stereotype accent in a joke, before the Imperial March plays while they cut the tits off the Queen. You heard me. If you haven’t seen Gwar before, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was all just theatre and silliness, but they are actually just a solidly good metal band outside of all the masks, horns and penises. Anyway, I love them, so there.

GWAR Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Gothenburg’s own freak-show-circus-cabaret Avatar have come to town, wearing leather daddy Lederhosen and giving us perfectly choreographed hair windmilling. “We’re gonna sing, we’re gonna dance, and we’re going to have a jolly good time” shouts mime-faced frontman Johannes Eckerström and that is exactly what they give us. It’s hot and it’s humid inside the tent but we can’t help but join in – Avatar should have been on the main stage though, they’re certainly well known enough.

Avatar Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Exodus return to BOA in full force, “Keep that pit violent but look after each other” calls frontman Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza, but pleas for more crowd surfers seem to fall on deaf ears. “We’re getting bored up here so you’d better start sending people over…” It’s absolutely scorching and the people are weary. Plus who wants to pass someone elses’ sweaty arsecrack above their heads? Nevertheless, it’s a great set as expected from the band. Next up Testament battle with the direct sunlight bleaching the stage white, it’s a hot one for bands who favour denim and leather but they’re giving it everything. Visibly pouring with sweat is the code of heavy metal bands in general, but you can see everyone struggling today.

Testament Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Luckily the sun starts its descent and we manage to grab ourselves some dinner before the headline act. Having been a Bloodstock/festival goer for decade now, I am extremely thankful for how far festival food has come. We opt for Salt and Chilli chicken, and a Bunnychow – both of which I would happily devour in any other setting. Long gone are the rat-burgers and suspect ‘meat & noodles’ offerings of yesteryear, bless everyone involved in this process.

Bringing Friday night to a close are Polish extreme metal connoisseurs Behemoth who appear behind their signature serpentine mic stands in ghoulish corpse paint, before enormous flame cannons at the front of the stage erupt to burn every side of us the sun didn’t achieve earlier. With an uncompromisingly brutal tour of tracks like ‘Off to War!’ and ‘Conquer All’ it’s clear they have come to BOA with a purpose. ‘Slaves Shall Serve’ draws us in, and encore closer ‘O Father O Satan O Sun!’ seems a very fitting herald after the day we’ve had. Though I can’t pretend they’re my favourite closing act I’ve seen at Bloodstock, I can honestly say they deserved that spot through and through – there is nothing short of mastery in their sound, and the crowd was in the palm of their vampiric hands all night.

Behemoth Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.


Saturday if you can believe it is even hotter, even stickier, even worse to venture outside in. We go anyway, because there’s no missing Bloodstock, no matter the stakes. Heavy but melodic Lorna Shore are an absolute highlight, and have gathered a massive crowd in the inferno that is the main stage area.

Sylosis are heavy and fast, despite looking extremely unassuming until, “How are you doing, are you guys hydrating? We know it’s fucking hot but this next one is a fast one, we’d love to see a circle pit” they say, which is all jolly well and good when you’re heading straight back to your fancy air conditioned tour bus but… oh fuck it, here we go, yolo. “Thanks for sticking with us in this horrible weather” they acknowledge, as the security hand out cups of water from ever refilled bins along the stage. The people on the front row look positively raisin-shriveled and like they would enjoy being put to bed by their mothers. Never mind all that though, because now Sylosis want to see a circle pit around the sound tent too. Um, hard pass, I’m out, I need to sit down now thank you.

Jinjer Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

After a break we’re ready to go again with Ukrainian metal band Jinjer who are welcomed onto the stage to a sea of their blue and yellow flags in the crowd. Vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk is visibly touched by the gesture and takes time to thank the UK for our frankly minimal governmental efforts in helping their country. Regardless the “Fuck Putin” chant is very enjoyable and the sold out Jinjer merchandise on display, tells you that the people at least, do care. Jinjer also end up being one of my absolute highlights of the weekend, brutal but melodic and unswervingly metal to the core.

Southampton lads Bury Tomorrow bring a different vibe to the lineup today, lots of jumping around and being generally rowdy. “I don’t care if you know us, I don’t care if you like us, I’m just glad you’re here and showing respect for live music after 2 years away” laments frontman Dan Winter-Bates. I’m into the excessive energy, but when he suggests that they want to ‘break records’ with 1000 crowd-surfers on this scorched-earth godforsaken day… I can but laugh. Not a hecking chance son, but love your optimism. In the end there were probably about 30 brave souls.

Bury Tomorrow Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

On the tiny Jägermeister stage, Solar Sons are giving classic metal meets #tinyhouselife – jamming their equipment onto the polly pocket step, but it is good and they’ve got a decent circle of people around them.

After a quick perusal of the merchandise offerings, and a jealous side-eye to the Bloodstock Rock Society tent which looks shady and comfortable, it’s on to Norwegian black metal titans Dimmu Borgir. Firm favourites of the festival, another corpse paint posse, all I can think is they must be effing boiling like microwave dinners in all their layers of clothing this evening. Despite some technical difficulties and a bit of a late start, they come good and it’s an overall excellent show.

Dimmu Borgir Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

As day two comes to a close, we are greeted by a giant sheet covering the main stage. The arena is decently filled, and the sun has finally left the damn building. Tonight we see the return of King Diamond fronting Mercyful Fate, after the band had to pull out of last year’s Bloodstock. The Danish doom-peddlers of the black metal hall of fame throw down the gauntlet for exciting stage sets, as the curtains drop to reveal a massive tiered alter and staircases for King to run around on. There are inverted neon crosses, pentagrams and props everywhere, and King is dressed in a giant red cloak and demonic ram mask. It’s all very theatrical – something I really enjoy in a headline act, frankly.

As the band fire up with ‘The Oath’ it’s clear they mean business, though I must admit that King’s seagull squawking isn’t for everyone and it’s certainly true that it isn’t the busiest main stage crowd we’ve ever seen. Soon King pops into his little stage-top changing room and swaps out of the ram mask (it must have been bloody hot to be fair) into a giant black crown. Now that we can see  his face, and those signature panda-eyes, the whole look gives big Moira Rose energy – I wonder if she was inspired by Mercyful Fate?

Addressing the crowd, King tells us “We’re going to play a new one. It’s not finished yet, but I think you deserve to hear it. It’s about nine minutes long…” before launching into ‘The Jackal of Salzburg’ which is quite honestly already a saga, even if it is unfinished. The band weave their way through early tracks like ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’ and ‘Melissa’ as the appreciative fans headbang along, and there’s an air of genuine appreciation from the fringe who wouldn’t consider themselves part of the coven.

Encore song ‘Satan’s Fall’ rings the arena in the glow of satisfaction, love them or loathe them – it’s pretty clear they’re a great BOA headliner.

Mercyful Fate Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.


Ok, so it’s still hot. I feel like we’re being trolled at this point, but it’s really not stopping the very fashionable day three attire of Pink outfits in memory of Sylvia Lancaster, of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. It’s a lovely tribute, and a cause that is held dear by so many in the Bloodstock family.

On the main stage classic thrash legends Vio-lence are up. Credited with influencing a plethora of metal bands, they’re no strangers to a crowd of eager-to-rage pit goers, but it’s clear the situation stands that a lot of people seem to still be back at the campsites avoiding this infernal heat. It’s a great set regardless, but a bit of a shame more people weren’t out for them.

Vio-lence Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Over on the Jägermeister truck stage, Lore of The Woodman (instrumental math rock, apparently?) are a beautiful interlude in all the shouty loudness of the weekend. Clever and melodic, it’s absolutely no wonder the tiny tent was bulging with people enjoying their unique sound.

Back to the eardrum smashing with Venom Inc. and some good solid metal riffs on the main stage, and it’s a fun and a bit silly show. There’s a small interlude due to an equipment malfunction “It’s so hot I broke a string”… “It was his G-string” (pause for laughs) and they hit the feel of the festival spot on, joking “It’s hot but it’s Bloodstock, you could stay here forever if only they’d let you, right?” to a roar from the crowd.

Venom Inc. Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Elsewhere over on the Sophie stage, Orbit Culture ooze melody into our souls while we snatch some much needed shade. Not to say that they aren’t heavy – ‘Strangler’ is an absolute war-call and the crowd in there are eating it up.

Another foray into corpse-paint and uncomfortable looking leathers for this heat, is Dark Funeral, making the understatement of the year “We heard you’ve had a couple of warm days”. New album song ‘Leviathan’ is a banger, and it’s a good set in general, but we are tired and sweaty and end up sitting down at the back for a break. Can’t help but wonder if they have to have a team of helpers to peel them out of their outfits after they get off the stage…

Dark Funeral Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Acid Throne are up next on Jägermeister, interesting melodic stoner metal – which brings me to realise that there’s been a bit of a diversity split between the stages this year, with lots of thrash and black metal making it’s way to the top of the main stage bill, but little of other styles. I would like to hereby request the return of Viking, Folk, Power and Hair – all the silly ones please.

Okay okay, so post-punk/industrial kings Killing Joke are next on the main stage with frontman Jaz Coleman clawing about in a black boilersuit and red face paint reminiscent of crap 80’s Halloween costume efforts. Yes I know they’re hugely influential, and they are entertaining don’t get me wrong, it’s just… not my jam. In fairness, neither are Belphegor (Austrian blackened death metal) but I do just really appreciate the balls of a band who decide they want that much pyro on a tiny stage in a tent. Zero fucks given about personal safety but it makes for a very fun show let me tell you.

Killing Joke Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

So we arrive at the final main stage headliner of BOA 2022, and thankfully the temperature has actually dropped significantly tonight – still don’t need a jumper though. Wild times for a UK festival I know.

Lamb of God, returning after many years to the BOA stage are immediately, unabashedly going for it with the full force of a band confident in their stature. I am so drawn in, taken by surprise at how much I’m enjoying myself. There’s pyro, Randy Blythe is a swirling nebula headbanging with his long dreads, and the entire band is driving the sound out hard and fast. This I feel, is the energy I’ve been missing – something encapsulating that I can’t separate myself from to think about, the thing that makes music punch you right in the gut. ‘Walk With Me In Hell’ is truly epic, and ‘Omerta’ is devastatingly heavy and perfectly executed.

I’m even gonna let the guitar widdling and unnecessary solos slide because I’m enjoying myself, but they could sincerely have left the “…this heat is nothing compared to where we’re from” mockery at home… OK RANDY WE DON’T HAVE AIRCON IN OUR TENTS YOU KNOW (eyerolls dramatically). It’s fine, they do make amends “Thank you so much for being here, I know we’re the last band and you’re sweating your English asses off…” before shouting out some of the other bands over the weekend such as Gwar, and Killing Joke whom they have previously credited as an influence of theirs.

Calling for the crowd to “…destroy this fucking place” they incite an absolute hoard of crowdsurfers – all  those people who were too tired and hot to go for it the rest of the weekend. If your eyes haven’t witnessed crowd surfers at a metal gig, you’re honestly missing out on a key life moment. Better yet if you’re brave enough to go over yourself, just hold onto your pants.

Another heartfelt shout out, this time for Sophie and Sylvia Lancaster, alongside a request that we – the metal community – look out for each other and have each others’ backs. It resonates with so many of us here, there is a stuck moment of introspection, before reality snaps back and it’s time for Lamb of God’s finale and an absolutely ragingly huge circle pit. Seriously go look at a YouTube video, it’s nuts. They go out on ‘Redneck’ with a bang, no winding down here – I can safely say that’s the best I’ve ever seen them.

Randy Blythe – Lamb of God Ⓒ A. Hyams for Summer Festival Guide. Do not use without permission.

Well Bloodstock… apart from an accidental pit stop into some very suspect Britney karaoke in the Serpent’s Lair, here we are again at the end. It’s been real, it’s been fun, it’s been real fun. I don’t know how else to characterize this festival if you’ve never been here before – except that, you should come.

Despite this year’s line-up not being my general taste in metal overall, I had a fucking great time, as I always do. I saw some new things, I saw some things that surprised me, I saw old friends, I made new friends, I talked to total strangers like they were my best friends. Bloodstock is family. Come and join us.


What better than some line-up news from BLOODSTOCK, to banish your January blues and help pass the time to pay day! As we boldly go into 2020, here are seven more bands to whet your appetite for the UK’s best metal weekender.
BLOODSTOCK is delighted to announce that Sunday’s headliner on the Sophie Lancaster stage will be none other than Connecticut bruisers HATEBREED. Jamey Jasta & crew certainly know how to get a pit going and are sure to round out the weekend in pulverising fashion! The group spent the latter part of 2019 working on new music for the follow-up to their crushing 2016 album ‘The Concrete Confessional’ and are promising a new album via Nuclear Blast in the spring! While you’re waiting, warm up your neck with this 2016 banger, ‘Looking Down The Barrel Of Today’, here.
Performing at BLOODSTOCK for the very first time, are BURY TOMORROW. The British metalheads release new album ‘Cannibal’ via Music For Nations in April, so you have ‘til August to learn the new songs to bang your head to! Get started with its title track here. They said, “We’re really excited! BLOODSTOCK are known for showcasing the best bands in the genre, so we’re genuinely honoured to be involved in 2020, see you in August!” The group will be appearing on the Ronnie James Dio main stage on Saturday, promoting the previously announced PARADISE LOST with their ‘Draconian Times’ set to special guests that day.
Also landing a spot on the main stage on Saturday, are home-grown, heavy metal beasts SYLOSIS, last setting foot on BLOODSTOCK’s hallowed ground way back in 2010. The Nuclear Blast signed group drop their long awaited new album ‘Cycle Of Suffering’ next month. Wrap your eyes and ears around the lead track ‘I Sever’ here (and if that’s not enough, head over to their Facebook for another new track they debuted just last week).
Joining them, BLOODSTOCK welcomes Portland, Oregon thrashers TOXIC HOLOCAUST. After a six year wait, patient fans were rewarded with new album ‘Primal Future: 2019’ last October, with the band’s frontman Grind recording all the instruments on it harking back to their early days. Watch the lyric video for ‘Chemical Warfare’ from that album here.
Over on the Sophie Lancaster stage on Saturday, don’t miss the return of atmospheric black metal squad WINTERFYLLETH. While they’ve been working on new material, in September they released live CD/DVD ‘The Siege Of Mercia’, for which the DVD footage was filmed at BLOODSTOCK in 2017! They add, “We have been fortunate enough to have been asked back to perform at the festival on a number of occasions since our early days, and it has always felt like ‘coming home’ when we do.” See the video for ’The Swart Raven (Live At Bloodstock) here.
Californian deathgrind merchants EXHUMED will also appear on Sophie Lancaster stage this year. Formed way back in 1990, the band now have eight albums under their belt to choose the set list from! Watch the video for the song ‘Naked, Screaming, And Covered In Blood’ from their latest Relapse Records album ‘Horror’ here. The song title is not a suggestion of how to watch their set.
Last but certainly not least, Californian three-piece NECROT will be bringing their blend of death metal/punk to the Sophie stage. The group closed out 2019 on a 6-week tour of the USA with EXHUMED! Not familiar with NECROT yet? Courtesy of record label Tankcrimes, you can play their latest album ‘Blood Offerings’ in its entirety here.
Just for a bit of fun to help any of you with January gym resolutions, BLOODSTOCK alumni Venom Prison have created BLOODSTOCK and Heavy Metal Lifting Club a special workout playlist on Spotify. Blast it out here.
BLOODSTOCK’s very popular ticket deposit scheme is now up and running, allowing you to spread your standard weekend ticket purchase over 5 instalments. You can sign up at any time until February 28th and will make your first payment of £29 + booking fees straight away. After that, payments break down as follows: Payment 2 – £29.00 (debited on 27/03/20), Payment 3 – £29.00 (debited on 27/04/20), Payment 4 – £29.00 (debited on 26/05/20), and then your Final Payment – £29.00 + postage (debited on 26/06/20). Please note VIP and child tickets are not eligible for the deposit scheme. Get tickets at the ticket store.
Unsure what to expect? Watch a trailer all about BLOODSTOCK here.

Fightstar, A, Apocalyptica and more added to Download 2015 lineup

Download 2015 comes a huge step closer today with DAY TICKETS for Europe’s biggest rock and metal music festival set to go on sale at 9am on Friday 27 February and a whopping 38 bands joining the line-up.     

Bands joining the line-up include the mighty Fightstar: a decade on from their debut release, the post hardcore giants came back from a 4 year hiatus at the end of last year for a triumphant run of sold out shows celebrating their 10th anniversary and return to the Donington stage for the first time since their main stage performance in 2008.

Charlie Simpson from Fightstar said: 

We are incredibly excited to be playing our first festival appearance in five years at this year’s Download Festival. Download has always been one of our favourite festivals in the calendar and this year is going to be the best yet! We can't wait to hit the stage again and enjoy the mayhem.

Cult British alt-pop punks, ‘A’, are another act to return after years of rumours and hearsay for their first Donington appearance in a decade.

Speaking on their Download Festival comeback, frontman Adam Perry said: 

We are stoked to be playing Download again, I think the last time we played it was 10 years ago in 2005, so it’s been while! We are excited to announce that Shay (formally of Kids in Glass Houses) will be joining us on bass for the show and it feels great to have “A” back in our lives. Looking forward to seeing some old and new faces down the front!

Alongside them, Apocalyptica, the world’s favourite titans of neoclassical metal return to Download for the first time in seven years to prove that the cello can be as mighty as the axe, while two giants of rock and metal music over the past 20 years, Max and Igor, bring the Cavalera Conspiracy to Donington for the first time in seven years.

Apocalyptica’s Eicca Toppinen said: 

It has been a while since we played Download last. We love the festival and have great memories to play there and to see other bands and friends. Finally we release a new studio album – Shadowmaker – and we are proud we are able to premiere the new touring cycle for England at Download.

Meanwhile neither Cavalera brother pulled their punches when describing what Download fans can expect.

Iggor said: 

I am super excited to be part of this amazing line up for Download 2015, we can't wait to hit the stage and display some brutality from our new record. See you all on the pit!

Max said: 

I am excited to return to Download with Cavalera Conspiracy!  I promise you all the most brutal show ever!

Other exciting acts bound for Donington include Modestep. The rock-dubstep crossover marauders join the line-up for Download 2015 ahead of the release of their hotly anticipated second album, London Road.

Josh from Modestep said:

We feel privileged to be coming back to Download for a third time, we hope this will be our heaviest show yet. Our first ever show as a band was at Download, so it's always a moment for us to return.”

The Sword are also back, with the Texan stoner-doom-sludge-merchants confirmed for Download just in time to hit the studio in March to record their fifth album, while Sylosis bring their signature mix of thrash and death metal back to Download for the first time since the release of January’s gigantic album Dormant Heart.

Emerging fem-punk rockers The Pink Slips make their Download debut this year, fronted by seventeen year-old Grace McKagen, whose father has dabbled with the bass guitar once or twice at Donington over the years.

Another enfant terrible heading to Download is the UK’s premiere blues rock prodigy, Aaron Keylock, the seventeen year-old Oxford resident who already shreds like a rock heavyweight. 

Among their fellow newcomers are metalcore cum punk powerhouse Beartooth, fronted by former Attack! Attack! frontman Caleb Shomo; and Butcher Babies, the Heavy Metal sirens famed for their confrontational performance style and horror-themed on-stage antics.

The Download faithful will also have a first opportunity to see Donington regular Ginger Wildheart moonlighting as an ass-kicking glam rocker with Hey! Hello!, and a first chance to witness former Ipso Facto singer Rosalie Cunningham’s intensely atmospheric progressive psych-rock project Purson..

Other homegrown talent coming to Download includes the melodic rock of Emp!re, powered along by Joe Green’s astonishing vocals, and London rap/electro/hardcore punk crossover experimentalists The One Hundred, while bands proudly maintaining the Midlands’ tradition of producing top class rock and metal music include Wolverhampton’s eighties-influenced melodic rockers Iconic Eye, their close neighbours, hardcore-grunge maestros God Damn, Telford’s uncompromising alt-grunge predators Hyena and Milton Keynes metallers Heart of a Coward – following the release of brutal new album Severance in November.

Other upcoming British acts setting foot on the iconic stages for the first time are Leeds alt-grungersAllUsOnDrugs, highly rated pop-punk quintet Roam, sludgy stoner rockers Dolomite Minor, Bath post-hardcore upstarts Decade, North East rockers Sirens In The Delta and pop punk tyros Love Zombies andTrash Boat.

Download 2015 will also feature some of the most mind-alteringly awesome new music from across the Atlantic and beyond, including the genetic experiment in post-apocalyptic doom-punk known as Code Orange whose fellow Pennsylvanians Crobot will also be serving up their steel-reinforced, supercharged blues rock to the Donington masses for the first time.

Other newcomers include Southern bluegrass-rock groovesters Blackberry Smoke, Texan Rockers American Fangs, the insane and distinctive melodic hooks of Dead Daisies – the Australian-American revolving door of Rock’s best and brightest – leaders in a genre of one and self-proclaimed “Hauntedmansioncore” proponentsNew Year’s Day, hard rockers Pop Evil and electronic horror-rockers Ghost Town.

In Hearts Wake join the Australian metalcore insurgency gripping Download this year, while highly-rated Finnish doom mongers Insomnium, New Zealand punk-rockers Rival State and Canadian melodic metalcore supremos Counterparts bring up-to-date what is becoming a truly breathtaking line-up.

This deluge of talent flooding Donington Park from June 12-14 will be joined by headliners SlipknotMuse andKiss, main support Judas PriestFaith No More and Mötley Crüe, and such rock and metal megastarsBlack Stone CherryEnter ShikariMarilyn MansonFive Finger Death PunchA Day To Remember,Slash and Miles KennedyBlack Veil BridesLamb of GodRise AgainstBilly IdolL7, Andrew W.K, In Flames, Testament, Parkway DriveHollywood UndeadClutchBody CountEagles of Death Metal,GodsmackMallory KnoxMotionless in WhiteMadballEvery Time I DieDragonforceBackyard BabiesCrown the EmpireNorthlane and H.E.A.T.