Top 10 Acts To See At Download 2018 - Part 2

Carrying on from our Part 1 for unmissable acts at Download 2018 (which you can find here) is our part 2 - this time we've picked a few underdogs but also a few bands that are perhaps lower down the billing, but whose influence on metal or just their sheer live presence makes them utterly unmissable for any aficionado of heavy music.


Riding high on critically-acclaimed release Debt, Plymouth’s powerviolence trio Helpless are going from strength to strength and laying waste to ears and stages all over. Channelling raw aggression, hatred and serious amounts of nihilism, Helpless deliver the kind of aural pummelling that isn’t for the faint of heart but is intensely cathartic. The band have the unenviable task of second band on stage on the Friday but are absolutely not one to miss. If you like powerviolence, grind, or just want something to flatten you on Friday morning, Helpless have got you covered.

What, When?: The Dogtooth Stage, Friday 8th June

Zeal & Ardor

Possibly one of the most unique prospects not just on the lineup this year but also in extreme metal right now, Manuel Gagneux’s one-man project Zeal & Ardor crafts a truly one of a kind fusion of soul, slave gang songs and black metal. He self-released debut record Devil Is Fine in 2016, which then saw a wider label-backed release the following year and he has an upcoming album Stranger Fruit due out on 8 June this year. There really is nothing out there like it; black metal, gospel and slave songs seem to have absolutely nothing in common and on first suggestion of such a sound you'd probably assume someone was mad. Swiss-American Manuel Gagneux was that madman, and boy you were wrong in thinking it doesn't work. If you like your music avant-garde, Zeal & Ardor is an unmissable proposition.

What, When?: The Dogtooth Stage, Sunday 10th June

Cancer Bats

Cancer Bats have been peddling their furiously entertaining Canadian take on hardcore for over a decade now and show no signs of letting up any time soon. Over time their sound has morphed from a more straightforward hardcore on Birthing the Giant through to the explosive Hail Destroyer whose title track became a firm fan and live favourite, through to latest release The Spark That Moves, arguably their most essential release since Hail Destroyer. As good as they are on record, a Bats live show is something else entirely, a cacophony of blistering hardcore, shit-eating grins and great times. If that doesn’t sell you, then their ludicrously good live favourite cover of Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’ really should.

Where, When?: Avalanche Stage, Friday 8th June

Napalm Death

Napalm Death should really need no introduction. Since forming in 1981, the band’s influence on metal cannot be understated; their seminal release Scum not only laid the groundwork but in fact created the now burgeoning grindcore subgenre. Despite this, the band have refused to rest on their laurels, constantly reinventing themselves over the years. Not content to merely invent a new subgenre, bassist Shane Embury has been involved in far more projects than can be counted and vocalist Barney Greenway's activism for multiple campaigns, including various equality and animal rights movements. Napalm Death's politically-charged, no-holds-barred approach is beyond reproach and the band simply must be seen to be believed.

What, When?: The Dogtooth Stage, Friday 8th June

Parkway Drive

Aussie bruisers Parkway Drive’s star has been on the ascendant for some time. Having started off with a fresh take on metalcore underpinned with vocalist Winston McCall’s full-throated roar that catapulted them into the big time, the band quickly went from strength to strength. Not comfortable to rest on their laurels, the band released the more expansive, experimental Ire that took inspiration from bands as far afield as Rage Against The Machine to craft a bold new sound that still retained all the hallmarks of Parkway. In 2018 the band have just unleashed latest album Reverence and it continues the boundary pushing started on their previous album and is set to catapult them well and truly into the stratosphere.

What, When?: Zippo Stage, Friday 8th June


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