Ten bands you MUST see at Download Festival 2022: Opinion

Download Festival returns once more to deliver one of the finest weekends in rock and metal.

Download Festival is the festival for heavy metal fans. Headlining this years festival on the hallowed grounds of Donington are heavy metal giants Iron Maiden, KISS and Biffy Clyro.

One glance at the poster for the festival shows the calibre of talent that will be taking to the stage. Steel Panther and The Darkness are going to provide one of the biggest nights of fun to close out the festival on the second stage and Funeral For A Friend are going to make their long awaited return. Elsewhere, Baroness will perform and the brilliant Code Orange return to UK shores; Download stalwarts Korn will also, once again, provide a stellar set.

Whilst everyone rightly has their preferences, we’ve picked out a handful of bands that we feel must be seen at Download this year.

To buy tickets for Download Festival 2022, you can follow the link HERE. It promises to be a brilliant three days of music!


Skindred are no strangers to the big stage. They have performed on the main stage at Download Festival before but with each passing year, their name seems to get bigger and shine brighter on the poster. Skindred are a good time band and will undoubtedly bring it with a blistering set and perhaps the biggest Newport helicopter ever! Just make sure you follow Benji Webbe’s instructions and take part in one of the biggest rituals Download has to offer.

Venom Prison

Four albums into their career, British death metallers Venom Prison have shared stages with some of the biggest and best the world of metal has to offer. Their latest album, Erebos, promises to be bothering end of year lists in 2022 and their slot on the Dogtooth stage on the second day of the festival is one not to be missed. Expect technicality, passion and blistering music. Lead vocalist Larissa Stupar was described by Kerrang! as “metal’s most important – and uncompromising – voice”. Miss them at your peril.


Recently signed to Nuclear Blast, Malevolence are one of the finest metal bands around. Always uncompromising and always bringing anarchy; the Sheffield band are readying their third LP – Malicious Intent. On Broken Glass was their first offering from their forthcoming record, bolstered by the addition of the chugging might of second single, Life Sentence. Expect afternoon energy from all quarters during their set.

You can read the feature that Alex Taylor, vocalist with Malevolence, wrote for our Why I Love column here.

Ayron Jones

Ayron Jones released the brilliant Child Of The State in May 2021 (our review here). We believe that Ayron Jones isa ticking timebomb and that, sometime very soon, he isgoing to explode into everyone’s consciousness.  Perhaps his opening slot on the second stage on the opening day of the festival will be the spark that lights the fuse. Expect an enthralling blend of grunge, heavy rock, blues and soul.

Sleep Token

Sleep Token are a band that have slowly crept up bills everywhere and play prior to Friday night Avalanche Stage headliners, The Ghost Inside. Heavy metal and electronic music have a rich history together. Sleep Token blend together gigantic riffs, electronic licks and anthemic vocals with pop hooks to create their unique sound.

If you want to find out more, read why VENUES singer Lela loves Sleep Token here.

Blues Pills

Blues Pills burst onto the scene almost a decade ago with a slew of blues tinged psychedelic stoner rock jams. Their debut LP was lauded by critics and their subsequent output has also scaled these heights. Their last record, Holy Moly!, was one of our favourites of 2020 (our review here) – expect to hear plenty of this record with a smattering of tracks from their back catalogue. Elin Larsson is one of the finest singers around, and also one of the most underrated – they will knock your socks off!

Bleed From Within

Bleed From Within are veterans of the metal scene. They have been plugging away since around 2005, smashing crowds around the head with their brash metalcore/deathcore. Their placing on the Dogtooth stage on the second day of the festival amongst the aforementioned Venom Prison, Sepultura and Dying Fetus, promises to be an endurance test for the hardcore fans amongst the masses. One thing is for sure – it will be sweaty.


A.A.Williams is a firm favourite on At The Barrier. Only taking to the stage in 2019, she has created a fantastic body of work in such a short space of time. Debut, Forever Blue (review here), was a startling, stark and devastating debut. She released a fantastic selection of covers entitled Songs In Isolation (review here) during the pandemic and has started playing some of her biggest headline shows in the past few months. Expect emotion to ooze as Williams delivers an afternoon set on the Dogtooth stage.


Fresh from a mammoth European jaunt with Ghost where we caught them live (review here), Twin Temple are making waves amongst the heavy metal world. Whilst not boasting the heaviest sound, their Satanic doo-wop has enthralled audiences for years. Their latest single is entitled Let’s Have A Satanic Orgy and the heaviness of the content will certainly be a draw for many followers of the Evil One. They will be a highlight of the weekend as they help draw proceedings to a close on the festivals third day.


Airbourne have played Download many times. They are perennial party starters with wild shows that take the stage to the crowd (and sometimes the stage stantions), with their AC/DC worship. If you have never seen Airbourne before, expect one of the biggest Marshall walls you’ll ever see, tight rhythms, open riffs and a crowd lapping up every moment as they play late on day one of the festival before Frank Turner.

To buy tickets for Download Festival 2022, you can follow the link HERE. It promises to be a brilliant three days of music!

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