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I’ve never been to Download Festival and unfortunately I won’t be going this year, but it doesn’t mean I can’t get excited for it!

An announcement by Download saw 33 acts added to the lineup with Rammstein, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath announced as the headliners for the 2016 festival. This year looks good for the UK’s biggest Rock festival, with a plethora of noteworthy bands including rock legends Motörhead*, Megadeath and Saxon, as well as up-and-coming bands like Milk Teeth, Counting Days and Black Foxxes.

Although often thought as solely centred on heavy rock/metal music, Download, like many other festivals, will be home to a variety of acts spanning multiple genres including: indie-rock, punk-rock, alt-rock, nu-metal, metalcore and symphonic metal among others.

But which bands should you look out for while you’re wandering the grounds of Donington Park? Here are 5 personal suggestions to get you started!

Skindred are probably the band you are most likely to have heard of of the 5 in this list. Based on a mixture of reggae, punk and metal influences, Skindred are definitely one to see at Download this year.

Their latest album, Volume, contains a number of hard hitting tracks that are sure to go down well at Donington Park. Volume, Under Attack and Hit the Ground are bound to get the crowd jumping, while fan favourites like Ratrace, Nobody and Kill the Power will have the crowd wanting more.

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Milk Teeth
An alt/indie rock band who utilise both female and male vocals, Milk Teeth are one of the “more accessible” bands that will be at Download 2016. If heavy metal isn’t your sort of thing then be sure to stop by Milk Teeth’s set.

With only two EPs and a couple singles, Milk Teeth don’t have a huge back catalogue. However, it’s enough to get a feel for their style and fall in love with their sound. Due to the nature of Download, Milk Teeth will probably stick to their grungy, alt-rock songs, like VitaminsBrickwork and Grease.

Another up and coming band are Dead! With only one EP and a couple singles, Dead! are looking for their big break and Download 2016 could be the place. What I consider to be an alt-rock band, Dead! are another accessible listen.

Their 2014 EP “Tu Me Manques” is well worth a listen and is available on spotify. If you’re looking for a couple suggestions however, I would recommend listening to their 2015 singles Skin and Enemy as well as their older single Phantom.

One of the more “out there” bands that will be at Download this year, is TesseracT. TesseracT are a progressive metal/djent band and is definitely not what you would consider to be “mainstream” music. If you’re looking for something different however, or  curious as to what progressive metal/djent sounds like, give TesseracT a listen.

If you’re just curious as to what progressive metal/djent music is like, I would say just listen to any of TesseracT’s songs, however, if you’re looking for specific suggestions, songs like Dystopia, Of Mind – Nocturne and Nascent are a good place to start.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Although you may not have heard of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, you may have heard of a band called Gallows. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes was formed last year by former Gallows frontman Frank Carter and follow a similar sound.

If hardcore punk is your sort of thing, or you’re a fan of Gallows, stop by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes at Download this year. With only one 34 minute 10 track album to listen to, Blossom, it makes sense to listen to the whole thing. But if you’re looking for suggestions: Fangs, Beautiful Death and I Hate You, will give you a taste, and the range, of their style.

So there you have it, 5 personal suggestions for you to check out at Download 2016. I tried to make them as varied as possible to give you a taste of the different genres that will be at Download this year. I also refrained from listing the “big name” acts, so that you might discover something new.

Just a quick note about the playlist and a heads up, it features 3 songs for each act announced (other than Gutterdammerung and Ghost who I couldn’t find on spotify) and 5 songs for each of the headliners. The songs are my personal favourites from each band and quite a few do contain explicit language, so if you’re wondering why some big hits might be missing, that’s why. Anyway, enjoy!

*Due to the tragic news of the death of Motörhead frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmster, it is uncertain whether or not Motörhead will be performing at download 2016 at this time. However, their songs will be kept in the playlist as a form of remembrance.