After years of begging, hoping and praying, the greebo gods have finally answered our calls. For the first time since the event’s inception in 2012, Slipknot will bring their now annual festival Knotfest to the UK next year. Taking place at the 65,000 capacity Milton Keynes Bowl on the 22nd of August 2020, the day is set to be a colossal celebration of Slipknot’s career and a day of jovial musical aggression, with this year’s events featuring names such as Gojira, Korn, Behemoth, Anthrax and more.
Despite yesterday's announcement of the festival, details regarding the line-up are pretty slim. With the full line-up due to come in the forthcoming year, we present the 10 bands that would be perfect for the festival.
Lets’ get the obvious name out of the way first. Following the release of their phenomenal debut long play The Mire in early 2019, Conjurer have spent the past two years establishing themselves as one of the most crucial bands of the UK metal scene. As proven countless times over the past few years, Conjurer are an act that are just born for the stage, an act that leaves nothing but ruin, shock and awe in their wake. A slot on the towering MK bowl stage will be the consummation of their success thus far and a daunting example of the things that are set to follow this band later into their career.
There’s a reason why the debut from Venom Prison is a constant presence within the endless Album Of The Year lists that are gracing the metal social echelon as of late. Ferocious, culturally aware and relentless, Venom Prison’s debut Samsara was the record that breathed crucial new life into the national extreme metal sound. With the band annihilating crowds left, right and centre this year, it’s hard to think of another extreme metal act more suited for this event. The only negative aspect of Venom Prison playing Knotfest is the real possibility that there might not be a stage following their set.
Employed To Serve
Employed To Serve don’t care what you think of them, their sound or their reputation. The windbreaker dotted collective are an act that revel and blossom in the bloodshed and jubilant violence that naturally unfolds before them. Their latest record Enteral Forward Motion is a nihilistic documentation of our caustic society, one that’s void of joy and optimism and furthermore, an offering that just resonates rage and hostility. An indisputable choice really.
Imagine if Pantera and Slayer drunkly hooked up one night and the resulting offspring was adopted by the urbanite and bodily fluid caked UK hardcore scene. This is about the closest we can get to summing up Malevolence up in a nutshell. Malevolence are a spin-kicking whirlwind of energy, with their live presence being renowned as hotspots of adrenaline and ultraviolence. With a new record on the horizon, it’s difficult to think of an act more suited to be the ambassadors of the UKHC scene at Knotfest.
You would love to see it. Potentially one of the UK’s most under-appreciated and underrated bands, Palm Reader are simply mesmerising and spiritually rousing live, with their impassioned craft consistently toying with genre conventions for spectacular effect. With the act having paid their rightful dues to the underground scene over the past decade or so, the Nottingham hardcore collective are more than deserving in bringing their phenomenal output to the masses and maggots that are set to descend upon Milton Keynes in the new year.
A bit of a contrast, yes, but hear us out. Anyone who has caught the typhoon of energy and action that is Vukovi live would know that this makes perfect sense. The hyperactive Scottish dynamos have quickly charted a reputation as one of the most wild, reckless and just plain fun bands on the planet – a sentiment they share with the headliners of this festival. With the new record Fall Better imminent, it’s hard to think of anything more enjoyable than witnessing the glucose infused Vukovi turning the MK bowl into their own personal playground.
Revulsion, disgust and pure malice. These are the three qualities that embody the sludgelords Mastiff. As evident on this year’s record, Plague, Mastiff spew corrosive and corrupting extreme metal sludge at it’s most noxious, with their work seeping into the pores of those who just happen to find themselves faced with this act. With their craft carrying enough density to birth a black hole, Mastiff would be more than capable in submerging Milton Keynes under a torrent of viscous metallic fluid.
Potentially the only musician who could also play both this festival and one’s wedding. Jamie Lenman is easily one of the most versatile musicians on this planet and a perfect choice to represent the music of this nation as a whole at next year’s Knotfest. Charming, articulable but musically punishing when required, Lenman would be the perfect outsider candidate for Knotfest. Whilst the likes of ‘Popeye’, ‘One Of My Eyes Is A Clock’ and any Reuben track would be more than enough to incite frantic motion at Milton Keynes, we can’t think of anything better than seeing thousands of mask dotted Slipknot fans awkwardly bopping around to ‘Pretty Please’.
This year has been hosted the dawning of a new age of UK extreme metal and leading that front are none other than Ithaca. Brutally seizing the spotlight with their ridiculously amazing debut full length The Language Of Injury, Ithaca are the hardcore band for the culturally poisoned modern age. Fervently bending the once firm conventions of the metalcore genre, the band are a mass of stringed dissonance, incendiary breakdowns and ecstatic violence. Following their widely successful year as a band, Ithaca storming the MK Bowl would be nothing less than a triumph for our national scene.
Self-confessed Slipknot fanatics, Blood Youth’s latest full length Starve is composed of the myriad of agitated elements that made Slipknot such a formidable force last decade. With the band’s output being directly inspired by the blueprint that Slipknot originally gifted the realm of metal, Blood Youth are very possibly our nation’s musical equivalent to the festival’s headliners. Plus, with their live performances being acclaimed as spectacles of blind momentum and motion, Blood Youth will evidently have the population of Milton Keynes eating out of their outstretched hand.
Knotfest UK takes place at Milton Keynes Bowl on August 22nd 2020. The full line-up is due to be unveiled early next year. Tickets for Knotfest UK will be available for for members of the Outside Of The 9 fan club on December 19th. Sign up here.