Download Festival –LIVE REVIEW by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy
The UK’s biggest rock and metal festival returned to its full glory with its first full-scale event three years after the pandemic following the historic pilot event last year. It was a surreal and joyful feeling to be back at Donnington for festival goers and bands alike and was the sentiment of the weekend. We have all waited so long for live music to return, and it was worth the wait. The variety and calibre of music, the atmosphere and unusually stunning sunny weather made this anticipated return even better.
The intro guitars remind a bit of old HIM distortion, but then silence comes and Lauri’s voices is accompanied but strings…. and aside from being reminiscent of all the collaborations with Apocalyptica, my mind went straight to one of my all time favorite songs of theirs dating back to the album Into, “Last Waltz”. But as the song flows on, there are also heavy vibes from their album Black Roses and those words, “black roses” are even entwined in the lyrics. The song is a bit fragmented in my opinion, stops and starts, heavy distorted guitars that fall off abruptly into the delicate gothic victorian strings. I like all the elements and am really happy to hear the whole band again (after the last few albums that seemed to drag Lauri’s solo electronic pop album out and out). That dark gothy vibe that drew many of us in and held fast through at least three albums (not to mention the similarity of the music video to the US verison of In The Shadows video…. the one that personally started me on this journey)… but also this newish raw, heavy, almost metal sound that you can hear in fits and start (also here and therein their Eurovision single “Jezebel”). I feel like the band has new life blown into them, and I am very eager to see what else is coming!
IANAI is a mysterious multi-instrumentalist project from Jaani Peuhu (Swallow The Sun), which includes collaborations from members of HIM, Massive Attack, Sisters of Mercy and The Rasmus. Through Jaani’s vision and the impressive array of guests, it is no surprise this debut album ‘Sunir’ embodies many sounds and influences, taking you on a beautiful, transcendent journey. ‘Sunir’will take listeners through the instrumentation of Scandinavia, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America and beyond.
Swedish Power metal heroes and history buffs are back, and like their previous album 2019’s ‘The Great War’, this new tenth assault, ‘The War To End All Wars’, deals with the First World War. The band had plenty more stories to tell from that time, so they continued with this theme, and the result is some of their best and most epic tales of battles yet.
Yorkshire metalcore heavyweights InVisions return with their most explosive and ambitious offering yet with third album ‘Deadlock’. This record with created and self-recorded by the band during the lockdownand mixed again by producer Joe Graves (Asking Alexandria, Deaf Havana, Glamour Of The Kill). ‘Deadlock’ asserts how the band is ready to take things to the next level.
Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash is back with his new solo album titled ‘4’. This release is his fifth solo album and fourth with Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. This year marks ten years since the band’s debut ‘Apocalyptic Love’. The new album will mark the first-ever release on the new Gibson Records label and is out on February 11th 2022. The band got to lay down the tracks live for this album, a first for the band and Slash. Recording live the way they did, was something Slash had always wanted to do, and producer Dave Cobb finally made this a reality at the famous RCA Studio A in Nashville, Tennessee. These factors add to the anticipation and excitement of ‘4’, a pivotal album for the band and the label.