Co-authored by Mark Wrigley.

Apollo Stage

Better than Danish bacon... Volbeat

With Saturday’s diversities fresh in our memories, come 11:00 am it’s time to climb aboard the huge musical roundabout once more with Volbeat (11:00 – 11:30) kicking off the Apollo Stage. These guys literally are one of the best things to come out of Denmark since bacon and some lager or other. Imagine Elvis colliding with Metal whilst throwing in a slice of Rockabilly for good measure. Volbeat are damn addictive, and anyone who can put out a cracking version of ‘I Only Wanna Be With You’ is spot on with us. Should be a top opener to get the day going. So, once you’ve got a party going, the best way to really ignite the flames would be to throw in something laced with ferocity and speed, or in other words Arch Enemy (12:10 – 12:40). Michael Amott sits high in any “greatest metal guitarist” charts for a reason, his fretwork is fearsome, and talking of fear, Angela Gossow could probably eat any man alive Knebworth, but by god has she got some vocals. We weren’t overly keen on their latest long player ‘Khaos Legions’ but if they spew out ‘Nemesis’ we’ll forgive them.

Paul Gray

Parkway Drive (13:20 – 13:55) are next up to bat. These antipodean noiseniks will be more than happy carrying the brutal baton handed over from Arch Enemy. Their style is to look inconspicuous and then brutally bludgeon your audience into a frenzy. These guys have forged themselves well and truly into the Metalcore heavyweights, both in the UK and the US and if Parkway Drive cause as much damage at Sonisphere as they did at Download a few years back, Knebworth is in for a treat.

At 14:00 there will be a 2 minute silence in tribute and honour of Slipknot’s number 2 Paul Gray. Please be respectful.

Deafening people since '75

Next up on the Apollo stage the behemoth that is Mastodon (14:50 – 15:50). We could throw in some words about them ‘Crack(ing) The Skye’ at Sonisphere, but we’ll leave that to others. This guys are quite simply superb, and the masters of reinvention and keeping their sound fresh. Mastodon are generals of their craft in a truly progressive style. They have created a huge reputation for crushing live shows along with each blistering album. This is one set highlighted in the TINAS schedule. Motörhead (16:45 – 17:45) are set to turn up the volume and see just how loud Sonisphere can go. Bastion’s of British Metal at its finest, Lemmy and Co will serve up a treat. Ultimate workhorses that helped shape metal today, miss Motörhead at your peril. Anyone with any hearing left after Motörhead may be up for a bit of ‘Break Stuff’ with Messers Durst and Borland as Limp Bizkit (18:45 – 19:45) bring their ‘Gold Cobra’ to the event. These boys were superb in their heyday and in all honesty ‘Chocolate Starfish’ was a belter. Lets’ hope they are still belting live.

Sunday Apollo stage though is all about Slipknot (21:00 – 22:30). The masked marauders are destined to lay waste to the Knebworth masses. Their Download headline slot a few years back is now legendary, and with Sonisphere being one of their first live performances since the tragic passing of Paul Gray, Sunday night will be huge, dramatic and emotional. Corey Taylor is no stranger to Knebworth with acoustic sets for the past two years, but this year he is the spearhead of the Slipknot tribal assault. Slipknot will deliver fury, force and power. Apollo will be closed in style.

Saturn Stage

In Flames

Fading playground sounds anyone?

A quick about face following Volbeat on the Apollo stage will point you in the direction of Saturn, and first up to open the innings is Miami metallers Black Tide (11:35 – 12:05). These guys are very much ensconced in the traditional style of heavy metal with their sound nestling nicely between Motley Crue and Iron Maiden… but with a youthful twist. Next out of the hutch on Saturn is reformed hip hop crossover merchants House Of Pain (12:45 – 13:15) who will surely be ensuring Sonisphere ‘Jump’s Around’ for a good half an hour. Worthy counterfoils to Mr Durst’s Bizkit. We’ll have all had a bit of fun and excercise from House Of Pain on the Saturn stage, and of course the 2 minutes for Paul Gray, by the time Sweden’s In Flames (14:05 – 14:45) join the event, to bring down some serious attitude and tunes. These guys are instrumental in shaping the current melodic death metal genre and are well regarded as heading the curve. In Flames are currently on the back of TINAS approved album ‘Sounds Of A Playground Fading’ and Sonisphereshould be a great sounding board for their slightly lighter approach.

Airbourne (15:55 – 16:40) are Aussie nutters, highly entertaining nutters at that, and anyone who witnessed Joel O’Keefe’s scaffold conquering antics at Sonisphere in 2009 will no doubt agree. Airbourne really do rock, and they rock hard. It’s high octane, party time all the way. O’Keeffe is a frontman that you cannot take your eyes off, mesmerising, but also because you just don’t know what the hell he will do next.

Progressive metal in it’s finest comes colliding with Saturn following Airbourne’s antics as it will be time for Sweden’s finest, Opeth (17:50 – 18:40). Mikael Åkerfeldt’s minions will cause cataclysmic shifts with their genre encompassing progressive metal. Epic destruction is what we can expect from these scandanavian deathsters. many have cited Opeth as influences from jazzsters to down an out pig squealers, but no-one has managed to capture the pure driving power that Åkerfeldt possesses. As a band some of team TINAS have yet to see live, this is one of the most eagerly anticipated sets for us. So Saturn will need closing off and that task this year falls not to a band of epic proportions, but a weird looking comedian from the West Country, Bill Bailey (19:55 – 20:40). Armed with musical interludes and surreal comedy, Bailey really is one of the funniest blokes on the planet. Known for his laid back approach and comedic outlook and observations on society, Bailey could have the Sonisphere masses in pieces as they gear up for Slipknot. Bill Bailey is ready… Are you watching Metallica?

Bohemia Stage

Kylesa

Kylesa

Mr. Nice – Howard Marks (11:00 – 12:00) opens the show on the Bohemia Stage on Sunday. From school teacher to international drug trafficker, Marks’ story is certainly a controversial one. Get there early to hear what he has to say. Bristol rockers Turbowolf (12:30 – 13:00) get the music under way. The quartet have been tipped for big things and recently completed a UK tour supporting Black Spiders. US sludgemasters Kylesa (13:20 – 13:50) come from a long line of sludgy progressive Georgian bands, Mastodon and Baroness to name but two… Kylesa are sure to blow the roof off the Bohemia Stage with their epic live performance! Returning to Sonisphere after a blistering performance at last year’s event, InME (14:10 – 14:10) this time tread the boards on the Bohemia Stage. The Essex quartet have evolved over their 15 year history, and today their blend of technical and melodic rock still hits home  with fans old and new.

It’s that time of the day again, the moment when the cages are unlocked and the comedians are let out for a few hours of exercise… First up to vent his spleen is Jason John Whitehead (15:00 – 15:25), the Canadian self confessed “funny guy” will have you in stitches before he has even said hello! Picking up the baton next is Jason Rouse (15:25 – 15:55), a fellow Canadian, will cut to the chase with his edgy humour. His show is not for the feint hearted! Continuing with the controversial themes will be Aussie comedian Brendan Burns (15:55 – 16:25), who has won awards titled “So I Suppose This Is Offensive Now” and also once gave out magic mushrooms to his entire Glastonbury audience (it was legal at the time!). Lovable rogue Sean Hughes (16:30 – 17:00) closes out the comedy segment. Hughes has been a mainstay on British TV for the best part of 20 years. A comedy legend, one that is guaranteed laughs.

Cancer Bats

TINAS favourites Cancer Bats

Getting back to the music now with Anberlin (17:15 – 17:50), the American rockers emotive sound has often seen them tagged with the emo label but they have many more layers of complexity to them, a band certainly at the forefront of modern rock. TINAS favourites Cancer Bats (18:10 – 18:50) hit the Bohemia Stage with their precision hardcore. With three immaculate albums under their belts and countless explosive live displays Cancer Bats have proven they are the real deal. Miss this band at your own risk! Everybody loves Pirates, right?…and everybody loves metal, so when you put the two together and get Alestorm (19:10 – 19:40) then you know you are in for a treat! The Scottish buccaneers will regale you with songs about pirates, rum and Terrorsquids! If Alestorm got the party started then Four Year Strong (20:10 – 20:55) will be the band to truly set things off… The Massachusetts pop punkers have a seriously infectious vibe and devilish sense of fun. You can’t help but love them!

Headlining the Bohemia stage are Irish vintage rockers The Answer (21:25 – 22:25), their 70’s rock style reminiscent of Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones but with a modern edge. Following a stint on the road in the US with rock titans AC/DC, The Answer released a DVD “412 Days of Rock N Roll” chronicling their time on the road. Pulling the short straw for the graveyard shift are Bat Sabbath (22:55 – 23:25) and Stan SB (23:45 – 00:15).

Jägermeister Stage

The Safety Fire

The Safety Fire

Fresh faced pop punk outfit Fletcher (11:00 – 11:30) get the Jäger Stage party going. Since their inception in 2009 they have been gathering rave reviews for their self-released efforts. Progressive metallers The Safety Fire (12:00 – 12:30), who recently toured Europe on the League of Extraordinary Djentlemen tour with Periphery, are definitely a band to catch! Northern Irish progressive rockers Mojo Fury (13:00 13:30) have trodden a long and winding path to get to where they are today. The eclectic Irishmen recently released their debut album “Visiting Hours of a Travelling Circus” to wide acclaim. London powerpop/punk band Turbogeist (14:05 – 14:35) mix their punk sounds with macabre aural imagery while thrashing some heavy alternative rock. Like the sound of that? Then get down and see them! The heavy metal scene in India is about to explode and the catalyst for this explosion are Demonic Resurrection (15:00 – 15:30). The extreme metal quintet mix a blend of black, death and symphonic metal with lashings of melody to create an irrepressible sound that is going to result in DR forging a path in the northern hemisphere!

Amplifier (16:00 – 16:30) are one of Britain’s finest acts; three minds came together in Manchester from different corners of the British Isles in 1999. Since then they have toured relentlessly with an insatiable work ethic, resulting in widespread respect and a boatload of fans! London trio Mad Dog (17:00 – 17:30) describe themselves as “blues, whiskey, cigarettes, soul, and a whole lot of rock n roll”. Sounds good to us, see you there! Reading’s Exit Ten (18:00 – 18:30) have been making a name for themselves over the past few years with scores of stellar live performances and face-melting releases. Their brand of progressive post-hardcore is brim full with energy and has seen them share the stage with such luminaries as 36 Crazyfists and Avenged Sevenfold. Welsh five-piece Anterior (19:00 – 19:30) blend progressive metal with thunderous metalcore to produce a sound is original and technically inventive, and very memorable…

Fozzy

Fozzy

From the squared circle to the Jägermaister Stage Fozzy (20:00 – 20:45) front-man and WWE wrestler Chris Jericho shows he has more than one string to his bow. Formed by Rich Ward over a decade ago, Fozzy has seen a number of line-up changes but have released four albums in that time. The latest “Chasing The Grail” was released last year through Napalm Records. Splitting the dual headliners are experimental noise makers James Cleaver Quintet (21:15 – 21:45). Closing the Jägermaister Stage are stoner metal legends Orange Goblin (22:15 – 23:00), described as the best underground band and one of the best live bands the UK has ever produced. We can’t think of a better way to end!

Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage

Sonic Boom Six

Sonic Boom Six

London based trio Arcane Roots (11:30 – 12:00) begin the proceedings on the Red Bull Stage on Sunday; their debut mini-album received many rave reviews. Followed by Feed The Rhino (12:30 – 13:00), the Kent quintet have gained a lot of praise from their live performances and their debut album. Scottish Pop punkers Autumn In Disguise (13:30 – 14:00) take to the stage next. Leeds based post-hardcore band The Ocean Between Us (14:30 – 15:00) have been tipped for big things. Up next are fellow post-hardcore band Floods (15:30 – 16:00), the St Albans quintet are virtually playing in their back yard! 2011’s hottest new band, according to Big Cheese Magazine, Dangerous! (16:30 – 17:00) bring their UK tour to a close at Sonipshere.

Pop punkers Title Fight (17:30 – 18:00) are the real deal, their debut full-length “Shed” was produced by Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools and Quicksand legend Walter Schreifels! Alternative metallers Don Broco (18:30 – 19:00) provide the penultimate show of 2011 on the Red Bull Stage, with Sonic Boom Six (19:30 – 20:15) taking the headline slot. The Punk, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Ska band from Manchester have been described as “the most compelling soundclash to rise from the underground for years”.