After a solid first year, Download Festival Australia returns in less than a month for round two. Here’s who we’re most excited to see from this 2019 line-up! [PC: Digital Beard].
Converge have somehow carved out an incredible legacy off the back of utilising heavy feedback, unintelligible screaming, chaotic riffs, shifting meters, odd-time rhythms, and general sonic harshness. And it’s fucking sick! Their Download Festival Australian 2019 appearance, their first time out this way in what feels like yonks, is bound to feature strong attention to last year’s ‘Beautiful Ruin‘ EP, as well as 2017’s solid ‘The Dusk In Us‘ LP, like ‘I Can Tell You About Pain‘ and ‘A Single Tear‘. But this won’t just be some kind of latest-material-only run, as there’s bound to be plenty of great cuts from their past material for the band to rip and tear through. I’m talkin’ about: ‘Eagles Become Vultures‘, ‘Dark Horse‘, ‘Axe To Fall‘, ‘Concubine‘, ‘Aimless Arrow‘, and ‘Heaven In Her Arms‘, among so many other Converge bangers. It’s going to be complete and utter madness when the Massachusetts quartet hit the stage. And I can’t wait for it.
Code Orange are the “it” band right now for modern heavy music, netting Grammy nominations, blowing up in popularity, scoring massive collabs, getting big deals, and even guitarist Reba Myers making history by being the first woman to score an ESP Signature guitar; the viper-shaped Reba Meyers LTD RM-600. Fuck yeah! But whatever you may feel about this band’s attitudes, their sound, or even their image, so much of this wouldn’t be happening if they didn’t have solid live shows to back it all. Which is what Code Orange do so well: putting on physical, violent musical performances were it’s an assault of heavy riffs, movement, samples and long hair head-banging. Watch any live video of them playing and seeing how they incorporate their industrial elements in an organic way means that they’re replicating any and all songs more than well enough, so it never feels lacking. What you hear on-record is what you get live. Whatever releases they pull from these upcoming Download Australia sets – ‘Love Is Love//Return To Dust‘, ‘I Am King‘, ‘Forever‘ or last year’s ‘The Hurt Will Go On‘ EP, or all of the above – if the below hate5six live clip is anything to go off, these Code Orange kids be well-prepared and energised. Drop B riffs are forever.
The 2019 line-up of Download Festival Australia has been played out a little by many people as “dad-metal, due to the inclusions Ozzy Osbourne (on his supposed final run), Judas Priest, Alice In Chains, Pennywise, amongst others acts. Of course, most of the people saying that won’t be going nor consider even buying tickets, anyway. So who cares what they think? Yet there’s one aged thrash metal group that I’ll be putting away some time for come the big day: Slayer. Of the Big Four, Slayer have some of the best output (not a perfect track-record, but there’s more hits than misses and that’s more than Metallica and Megadeth can say), and they’ve been instrumental in the growth and influence of newer hardcore and metal artists. Their legacy is clear as day, and their importance to metal music is paramount even today. Considering this is apart of their final run, this is most likely gonna be a classic set, full of both old and new gems. And it’ll just be damn cool to see these classic, kick-ass thrashers one last time. I’ll be watching, will you?
While 2014’s ‘The Black Market‘ was decent at best, and while 2017’s ‘Wolves‘ is the most mediocre Rise Against record yet, I still have so much love in my heart for what these American punks do. They’re still one of my favourite bands, a perspective that comes down to two key factors: great songs and greater live shows. It’ll no doubt be a standard Rise Against show, though: ‘Ready To Fall‘, ‘Saviour‘, ‘Help Is On The Way‘, ‘Re-Education (Through Labor)‘, ‘Give It All‘ and the planet-sized ‘Prayer Of The Refugee‘ are all a given for their live performances. But here’s the thing: they’re all good songs, songs that really come into their own when recreated in-the-moment live. I know it, fans know it, and the band themselves know it too. Hence why you can expect hit after hit for these shows. The sing-alongs are going to be loud and the energy is going to be furious, that’s for damn sure.
All of the sick local talent:
There’s some real heavyweights on the local side of things for Download’s next Aussie instalment.
I’ve written a lot about Sydney’s Justice For The Damned here, and if you aren’t listening to them by now, then what the actual fuck are you even doing? The band have gotten incredible mileage off of 2017’s killer ‘Dragged Through The Dirt‘ LP, and their latest single ‘No Brother, No Friend‘ is some grim, frosty blackened hardcore if I’ve seen it. The future is going to be bright, but also savage as well, and this feels like a nice stepping stone into album number two. Then there’s Melbourne hardcore heroes Outright, who put out a fiery 7″ last year by the name of ‘Holler‘, tackling everything from fascism to sexism. And you can easily expect a riffy, hardcore hollering once they mount these Download stages next month. Outright have never disappointed live, and I doubt they’ll start to now.
Polaris are pretty much flying on cloud nine lately, crushing it overseas with the likes of Architects, and are heading into the rest of 2019 on the back of not one, not two, but three fully sold out headline runs across Australia. Basically, these Sydney metalcore dudes are in high fucking demand lately. Download also seems like a great send-off for ‘The Mortal Coil‘ cycle, as they no doubt turn their sights onto new materiel come later 2019. And then we’ve got Twelve Foot Ninja, who are going to be injecting some Latin and prog vibes into their groovy and tight, low-tuned brand of metal. I actually caught the TFN clan live back in January 2018 and they blew me away. Expect much of the same top-notch live performances when this out-there prog-crew hit up Download Festival AU.
Who are you most keen to catch come Download 2019? Grab tickets here if you so wish.
SYDNEY, MARCH 9th – PARRAMATTA PARK
MELBOURNE, MARCH 11th – FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE