In January, thrash titans Slayer devastated metalheads across the globe, announcing they were calling it a day, along with a mammoth good bye world tour. After thirty-seven years, twelve studio albums and countless shows, Slayer's place in music history is secure as one of The Big Four (alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax): they helped define the thrash-metal genre. Even amongst peers of that quality, Grammy Award winning Slayer still proudly stand alone and remain one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history. With Tom Araya’s unmistakable vocal, Kerry King and Gary Holt's slaughtering guitar riffs, and Paul Bostaph’s hostile drums, and nasty as fuck lyrics, Slayer continue to whip their fans into anarchistic, antichrist fuelled frenzies unmatched by any other act on the planet. Not many bands can add being banned from the Hollywood Palladium for twenty-five years to their resume! This coming March, Slayer will land at Download fearlessly, aggressively and without contrition!
There are few heavy metal bands that have managed to scale the heights that Judas Priest have during their 40-year career. Formed in the early '70s in Birmingham, England, Priest were one of the first metal bands to exclusively wear leather and studs – a look that began during this era and would eventually be embraced by metal heads throughout the world. JUDAS PRIEST went on to change the face of heavy metal. A 2010 Grammy Award win for 'Best Metal Performance, a 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, the current album 'Firepower' released in March 2018 has become the highest charting album of their career plus scorching their way round the world in sell out shows on the Firepower tour has cemented the presence and influence of JUDAS PRIEST at an all-time high!
ALICE IN CHAINS
Over the course of their remarkable career, Alice In Chains have garnered multiple Grammy nominations, sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and amassed a diehard international fanbase whose members number in the millions. They remain one of the most successful and influential American rock bands of all time. Touring in support of recently released album ‘Rainer Fog’ which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock, Alternative and Hard Music Charts and No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Album Chart. The album, which is the band’s first in five years, has been drawing rave reviews from fans and critics alike, with Kerrang! writing, “it’s prime Alice In Chains and the work of a band still managing to hit new peaks of their powers.”Uproxx wrote that the album “boasts undeniable energy and rhythm,” Loudwire praised the band for “still making music that holds up to their legacy” andQ Magazine lauded the quartet for “juggling power and poignancy like masters.”
Ghost are a Grammy® Award-winning rock band from Linköping, Sweden. The bands critically acclaimed third full length, Meliora and its accompanying EP Popestar, elevated the Swedish rock band into the pantheon of rock greats and resulted in a Grammy Award for ‘Best Metal Performance’. Their current album Prequelle delves into the plague, the apocalypse, and dark ages – with a stage show to match. Entertainment Weekly declared them: "One of the most dynamic loud bands on the planet." Fans have come along for the ride for years, not knowing for certain who was behind the anonymous band…Not to be missed!
For 18 years, Rise Against has kept their moral compass steady, using their international punk platform to speak out for social justice. After two successful underground releases, 2001’s ‘The Unraveling’ and 2003’s ‘Revolutions per Minute’, the activist, straight edge, vegetarians catapulted into the mainstream with 2004’s ‘Siren Song of the Counter Culture’ and have never looked back! Their 8th studio LP, 2017’s ‘Wolves’, like all Rise Against records, tackles political struggles alongside personal ones, creating songs as complex as their fans, and is about recognizing the power within all of us; it's a primal call for the prey to become the hunters, delivered in their signature mix of hardcore punk and melodic hardcore.
THE AMITY AFFLICTION
The Amity Affliction will be landing at Download off the back of their fourth consecution ARIA #1, for their latest LP ‘Misery’. Gympie’s much-loved metalcore sons are loved for their passion, integrity and unflinching honesty. Their latest release weaving electronic elements and even bolder hooks into their signature sound, reinventing the bands anthemic songs. Amity have carved out an international career off the back of their raw, exposing lyrics, wrapped in a package that allows fans to take in the heaviness, still leaving with a smile on their face. They are without a doubt one of Australia’s most successful heavy music exports, sold out world tours and heavy music press favourites, with the three videos from the new record – which form part one, two and three of a short film written and co-directed by frontman Joel Birch - already clocking over 1.5 million views to date!
Since the release of their 2001 debut LP, ‘All Killer, No Filler’ that delivered anthemic radio hits ‘Fat Lip’, ‘In Too Deep’ and ‘Motivation’, Sum 41 have taken the world by storm with their signature blend of rock and pop, skate punk. The Grammy nominated, Juno Award winning, multiplatinum selling Canadians have released six LPs since their formation in 1996 and garnered a reputation for one of the most heavily touring acts in rock. In 2014, lead vocalist Deryck Whibley was hospitalised fighting for his life, due to alcoholism. After one month, he was released as an outpatient to beginning his road to recovery. His song writing partnered his recovery and in 2016, the band released their most intense, cathartic and all-around finest work in years, ‘13 Voices’ to a hungry, unwavering fanbase. Sum 41 land in Australia for Download 2019 as in impenetrable unit, to deliver a dynamic, impassioned set!
It’s rare that a career gets a second shot, let alone a whole second act, but then Anthrax isn’t your average band. Formed in New York in 1981, the group that would go on to sell over ten million records and become the living embodiment of America’s hi-top wearing, riff-spitting, ear-thrashing answer to the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal has undergone not one, but two complete eras - but that isn’t their real achievement. More than the group who let a fledgling Metallica crash on their studio floor in 1983, who became a lightning rod for geekdom by immortalizing Judge Dredd with “I Am The Law” in 1987, who enthusiastically raised a middle finger to the critics and unimaginative fans alike by collaborating with rappers Public Enemy in 1991, and who - in 2011 with the release of ‘Worship Music’ - proved that classic albums aren’t a bygone concept, the story of Anthrax is one of gritty determination in the face of outrageous odds, and one of the Big Four alongside Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica!
Few bands have endured with as much demonstrably California-encompassing vibrancy as the Hermosa Beach, CA institution that is Pennywise. Pennywise possess the power to merge the subversive with the celebratory, they reign unchallenged, outside the margins of the mainstream, a staple on the worldwide festival circuit, revered and championed by generations of fans filling theaters and clubs. Each Pennywise record is chock full of fast-paced anthems expertly engineered to inspire radical change, personal empowerment, relentless hijinks, and reckless fast times. On paper it may read like a mess of contradictions, but on record, it sounds like California. At this point, three decades since the band’s DIY beginnings in 1988, Pennywise classics like ‘Same Old Story’, ‘Fuck Authority’, ‘Alien’, ‘Homesick’, and ‘Bro Hymn’ are as fundamental to punk rock and hardcore as stage dives and guitars. Pennywise summon all the best and brightest of SoCal punk spirit, consciously exposing the world’s flaws as well as their own, and celebrating life loudly, we are beyond stoked to welcome them to Download 2019!
Since their inception in 1998, Pennsylvanian rockers Halestorm have toured extensively with a diverse variety of artists, including Eric Church, Avenged Sevenfold, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, ZZ Top and Evanescence. They made history when their hit single ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ ascended to No. 1 at Active Rock radio in the U.S, making Halestorm the first-ever female-fronted group to earn the top spot on the format. They’ve played toured the world and performed at festivals like Taste of Chaos and Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. The band scored a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 2013, and front woman Lzzy Hale was named the ‘Dimebag Darrell Shredder of the Year’ at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in 2016. Both Halestorm and The Strange Case of… were certified Gold, further evidencing Halestorm’s massively supportive fanbase. Halestorm’s latest album Vicious was released on July 27 2018, and debuted at #16 on the ARIA chart, their highest position to date in Australia!
Polish death metal band Behemoth are no strangers to blasphemy. Over the course of the last 27 years, they’ve pushed the boundaries of black metal and heresy alike. Behemoth have been pivotal in the establishment of the Polish extreme underground metal scene. Time and again, the government of their native Poland has charged them with various “crimes” such as tearing up a bible onstage in 2007 and using the Polish coat of arms on a Behemoth t-shirt in 2017. We welcome their sacrilege with open arms to Download 2019!
ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES
For the uninitiated, punk super-group and cover band extraordinaires Me First and the Gimme Gimmes consists of Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape on the guitar, Scott Shiflett (Face to Face), on the other guitar, Lagwagon drummer and Fat Wreck utility superhero Dave Raun on the skins, and are rounded out by Jay Bentley (Bad Religion) and incomparable crooner Spike Slawson (The Re-Volts and Uke-Hunt). Together, they are an outfit that has always operated more like a beer-hall Pussycat Dolls than a regular mortal band—contain so much hot air, so much pomp, so much attitude, that it’s a wonder that these guys can still manage to pull their five individual tour buses into the same parking lot, put their differences aside and belt out the ballads without clawing each other’s eyes out. But they do, for the love of the fans, the music, and of course, the applause. Be it Motown, Country, show tunes, Japanese Pop (sung in Japanese!), these seasoned punk rock pros have triumphed on every occasion in a way only the Gimmes could!
The scrappy upstarts from Warrnambool – a country town about 3 hours from Melbourne, announced their arrival with 2007’s 'Runnin’ Wild', one of the most talked-about and best-reviewed debuts in recent hard rock history. Metal Hammer handed them a Golden Gods Award for Best Debut Album and Classic Rock rightly hailed them Best New Band. Airbourne further marked their territory with the jaw-dropping follow up 'No Guts. No Glory' cracking the Top 40 in the UK, the Top 20 in Australia and Billboard’s Top 200. After unrelenting global touring that included co-headlining the legendary Wacken Festival and performing on the main stage at Download UK, the band released the critically acclaimed 'Black Dog Barking' into the world. The album reached #5 in Germany, Top 20 across Europe, Australia, and New Zealand; and Top 30 in Canada and the U.K. Airbourne bring a sound that UK’s Metal Hammer suggests, “takes seconds to memorise and a lifetime to shake off.”
Certain moments in life change everything. The trajectory splinters, and there’s no turning back. Detroit post-hardcore outfit I Prevail, are no strangers to this experience. After the release of the band’s 2014 debut EP, Heart vs. Mind, nothing would ever be the same. The EP moved over 100,000 copies as the band toured with the likes of Hollywood Undead and Crown The Empire. Meanwhile, the group’s cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ sold 300,000-plus singles, went Top 20 on Active Rock Radio, and generated over 22 million views on YouTube and 17 million-plus Spotify streams. Everything aligned and set the stage perfectly their debut full-length, ‘Lifelines’, merging entrancing hooks and a powerful and pummeling sonic backdrop, it debuted at #3 on Alternative Albums, #4 Hard Music Albums, #5 Rock Albums, #9 Top Album, and #15 on the Billboard Top 200, and a nomination for Breakthrough Artists in 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards. 2017 saw them with a summer long main stage slot on the Vans Warped tour, and 2018 sees them land, full pelt on Download!
THY ART IS MURDER
Thy Art Is Murder furiously charges once more unto the breach, clawing and spitting against the dying light and a seemingly inevitable collapse of existence. The Sydney metal crew have redefined a once cast aside and maligned subgenre, proudly reenergizing and representing the best in extremity. A new generation of death metal acolytes and vintage thrashers alike, enthusiastically proclaim the band’s unrelenting aggression, cementing a reputation with an increasingly fervent international fanbase. Following the release of their crushing fourth LP 'Dear Desolation', Thy Art Is Murder smashed a SOLD OUT Australian tour, tore through 30-dates across the US with Dying Fetus, and completed their longest ever European run, including a headline slot on the metal stage of Europe's beloved Download Festival. Capping off an epic 2018 supporting Parkway Drive on their huge arena tour, Thy Art Is Murder show no signs of mercy as they storm into 2019.
2018 is the year that Sydney five-piece, Polaris have cemented their place in the global scene among Australia's most elite heavy music exports with a metalcore torch held high in their hands. In January, they toured with seminal down-under heavy heroes Parkway Drive and a show-stealing appearance at their second Unify Gathering. They have slapped a sold-out sign on all three of their Australian headline tours this year including their most recent national tour headlining their biggest shows to date. One of 2017's most anticipated heavy releases, Polaris' debut album, ‘The Mortal Coil’ stunned audiences and critics upon its release in November, landing at #6 on the ARIA Album Charts and #1 on the Independent Albums Chart, scoring a Triple J Feature Album. Polaris gain a reputation as one of Australia's most invigorating live heavy acts.
TWELVE FOOT NINJA
Melbourne hard rock outfit Twelve Foot Ninja have cemented a cult following off the back of their brand of heavy, hard, alt rock. One of Australia’s hottest, most innovative, and experimental rock bands, #1 on the AIR album chart, ARIA nom for Best Hard Rock album, Winner of Best New Talent at the US Golden God Awards, over 15 million views of their clips on YouTube they have toured all over the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia. Twelve Foot Ninja are often classified as heavy fusion or progressive hard rock but whatever genre you call them, they are known for their seamless genre hopping, soaring melodies over heavy rock, and witty music videos – they take an authentic approach to each style and tie it all together to deliver an inimitable sonic flavour.
After forming in Massachusetts in 1990, metal core architects Converge made their debut with 1994’s ‘Halo in a Haystack’. Quickly regarded as pioneers within the aggressive music arena, the band had a major breakthrough with 2001’s seminal album ‘Jane Doe’, a release praised as “iconic” by the A.V. Club. In November last year they released their ninth studio album ‘The Dusk In Us’, five years in the making, to glowing reviews, satiating a hungry fanbase who continue embraced them as one of the most love cult bands on the planet!
Back in the mire of the early nineties, from somewhere beneath a pile of wallet chains and cut-off army pants Frenzal Rhomb, emerged, their white suburban fingers clutching onto goon casks and bucket bongs and other appropriate paraphernalia. Before too long those fingers wrote riffs and those riffs became songs and their voices sung rhyming swear words in perfect(ish) three-part harmony. Come 2018, nine LP’s and countless sweaty shows later, the most hospitalised band in the world (Seriously, everything from broken drumming arms and detached guitar-playing retinas to an actual pig-borne tapeworm in the lead singer's brain), have confirmed they’ll be performing at Download Festival 2019!
Whether it’s because of their from-the-heart lyrics, their warm and welcoming stage presence, or their undying support for the local music scene, Luca Brasi truly are the rock n roll brothers we all wish we had. 2017 saw the Tasmanians hit the road to play the biggest shows of their career; multiple sold out headlining runs, as well as doing the festival circuit with Laneway, Splendour In The Grass and Falls! In a time where everyone is focusing on what they’re missing out on, Luca Brasi are continuing to take us to school, putting something out into the universe to say thank you for what they have!
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Code Orange breaks any mould and refuses to be easily defined. Garnering a Grammy nomination for the title track off of their most recent album, Forever, the band continues to seek to obtain the unobtainable. Pushing against every boundary, shedding every label, they have quickly become known as one of the most exciting bands in hardcore/metal music.
In 2018, the United States of America feels ripe for a musical uprising. Divided more than ever in its 242-year history over systemic issues of immigration, race, class warfare, inequality, and misogyny, the time for change is now. Californian hardcore punk outfit Fever 333 are ready to lead the charge. Comprised of vocalist Jason Aalon Butler [ex-letlive.], drummer Aric Improta (Night Verses), and guitarist Stephen Harrison (ex-the Chariot), the Los Angeles trio lock and load gnashing guitars, guttural beats, and brazenly bold bars and then pull the trigger on a hard-hitting hybrid of hip-hop, punk, and activism.
WAR ON WOMEN
Baltimore co-ed feminist hardcore-punk band War On Women were born screaming at the world, formed in 2011 from a solid foundation of driving riffs and in your face vocals that attack the listener both sonically and lyrically! Penning catchy and confrontational songs that touch on rape culture, street harassment, the gender wage gap, transphobia, and other vitally pertinent social issues. They have been touring relentlessly since the release of their debut self-titled full LP in 2015. War On Women are neither a crew of young bucks nor a contagion of seasoned legends. They don’t fit neatly into metalloid machismo or hulking hardcore tropes. They have nothing to prove, and there’s nothing more delightfully dangerous than that.
Since first bursting out of the UK pub scene in 2012, Slaves have gone onto become of the UK’s most ferocious live bands, and their brand of high-energy punk rock has won them fans worldwide everywhere from Melbourne to Moscow. Fresh from the release of their critically acclaimed third album, Acts of Fear and Love, Isaac Holman (drums, vocals) and Laurie Vincent (guitar, vocals) are bringing their anthemic new songs to people, smashing up festival stages and venues alike in a joyous, celebration of big riffs, big beats and even bigger choruses. You owe it to yourself to see this band.
Since Alien Weaponry released their debut album ‘Tū in June 2018, fans, bloggers, the music industry and the media worldwide have raved about the trio’s unique blend of thrash metal and their native language, Te Reo Māori, earning them the deserved title of heavy music’s ‘Next Big Thing’. The band toured Australia and Europe in the second half of 2018, where they sold out venues and attracted record numbers to stages at Wacken Open Air (Germany), MetalDays (Slovenia), Bloodstock (UK) and other festivals. Their single ‘Kai Tangata’ has spent 3 months in the no. 1 slot on the Liquid Metal show’s Devil’s Dozen, broadcast by New York based Sirius FM and syndicated throughout the USA. In 2017, the teenagers from the tiny town of Waipu in Northland won the prestigious APRA Maioha award in New Zealand for their song ‘Raupatu. They were also finalists at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
NEW YEARS DAY
Conceived by powerhouse frontwoman Ashley Costello, an everyday teen consumed with the music and imagery of trailblazing heroes like My Chemical Romance, Marilyn Manson, and AFI, while equally obsessed with the grand theatricality of the macabre. New Years Day is her creative vehicle through blood, sweat, tears, and makeup brushes, clutching and clawing forward with a tight grip on creative control through early line ups, demos, and an obscure debut. Crossing genres, their pop punk tunes have gained them fans across the globe, with Costello providing the perfect inspiration to any young woman who wants to make a mark in the heavy music scene. We welcome them to Download 2019!
You witnessed the brutality of High Tension at Download last year, since then, they have been basking in the release glow of their critically acclaimed third LP, ‘Purge’, continuing to tramp their charismatic chaos to stages around the country, led by the rancorous screaming vocals of frontwoman Karina Utomo! We are beyond stoked to have their fierce metal back to obliterate Download 2019!
JUSTICE FOR THE DAMNED
Western Sydney’s heavy hitting Justice For The Damned came out of the gates swinging with their Greyscale Records debut “Dragged Through The Dirt”. The band have proven they understand the concept of hard work with tour after tour after tour; first doing their own headlining run, before supporting Thy Art Is Murder around both Australia and then straight to a thirty date run through Europe before returning home to support shows with In Hearts Wake, Miss May I, and Parkway Drive, before rounding things out with Polaris on their sold out Dusk To Day tour.
Australian metal slayers Aversions Crown are like a cataclysmic storm making landfall, with a modus operandi to destroy everything in their path! With a slew of festivals and here and overseas in their wake, the Brisbane outfit have refined and sharpened their already potent mix of brutal death metal speed and violence with eldritch atmospherics, audio manipulation and vocalist Mark Poida’s otherworldly vocal range and ability into a new level of destruction.
Melbourne hardcore band Outright, led by one of the countries favourite frontwomen in heavy music, Jelena Goluza, who is totally unrivalled in her thirst for strength, equality and justice, join Download off the back of the release of their new EP, ‘Holler’. Since their formation in 2010, one thing has remained unwavering in Outright’s presence and impact: their passion for the music that they make and the ideas they support!
From the darkest realms of Tasmania, comes the beast that is Ruins. Formed in 2004, Ruins’ journey has been one that exhibits passion and dedication to their craft - dark, heavy and extreme music. The five-piece band from Hobart have rightfully earned their reputation as being one of the most distinctive, dark, and heavy acts in the country. The sheer raw and primal nature of their music is hard-hitting, bleak and will have you windmilling in no time.
Devilskin are a phenomenon in their native New Zealand, their Platinum selling debut album We Riseentered the NZ national album charts at Number 1 and stayed in the top 40 for over 54 weeks! Devilskin have earned a formidable reputation by earnestly demonstrating commitment to unpretentious musical values, writing songs that have depth and passion, and a relentless touring schedule. Their tactical instrumental attack is balanced by the seductive Jennie Skulander and her incredible voice that sweeps from whisper to roar, rips with power, drips with melody and captivates with sincerity.
EAT YOUR HEART OUT
Novocastrian outfit Eat Your Heart Out carry on the tradition of Australia’s impressive history of musical outliers from Nick Cave and Silverchair to The Amity Affliction and Parkway Drive, but they do so unequivocally on their own terms. The group’s grunge-y pastiche of emo energy, punk power, and pop palatability immediately ignited excitement around the world upon their emergence in 2012. Their lyrical honesty ensures that the message resonates loudly in the end.
Australian pop sensibility with modern progressive heaviness - this is the cult force that is VOYAGER will perform at Download Australia 2018. VOYAGER’S sensationally anthemic songs offer huge soundscapes, pop and prog sensibilities with catchy and thought-inducing instrumentals. With concerts described as "amazing chemistry blending pop with heavy, technical and progressive riffs", VOYAGER are consistently a live force to be reckoned with so be sure to witness them. With 6 full-length albums under their belt and shows throughout North America, Europe and Asia with the likes of Deftones, Opeth, and more. The five-piece from Perth is now firmly entrenched in its international repute as "the band who doesn't sound like anyone else".
THE BEAUTIFUL MONUMENT
Melbourne-based, The Beautiful Monument are a locally brewed force to be reckoned with. The group inject listeners with instantly relatable lyricism that levitates around themes of psychological strains, the pains and perils of broken relationships and the incessant impact of various forms of abuse. Embraced by fans and critics alike for their engaging live shows and genre diverse song writing. The girls have no intention of slowing down, kicking off the year in a big way at Download before the highly anticipated release of their sophomore album.
After a year spent making a name for themselves as a must see live act on Australia’s alternative club circuit, Sydney screaming rap rock electro pop mutants RedHook officially spawned in 2018. The arrival of their debut singles ‘Minute On Fire’ and ‘Turn Up The Stereotype’ rapidly exploded on YouTube with over 2 million streams and garnered them rave reviews across Australia’s top national & community radio stations and music sites. Featuring the core songwriting duo of Emmy Mack and Craig Wilkinson, two strangers from opposite ends of regional NSW, RedHook create unique challenging alt-pop music that fuses multiple genres including rock, rap, metalcore and electronica, with lyrics that aim to inspire fans to keep fighting against the forces of darkness -both in the real world and inside their own heads.