Killswitch Engage – Zippo Encore Stage – Saturday 19:55 – 20:40

Killswitch Engage are a band that has made a huge name for themselves in the last 10 years,  they have lead the charge over at Roadrunner Records for a new breed of metal coming through, they have released back to back classic albums, and they have come full circle with the re-emergence of original singer Jesse Leach to the fold.

In fact, today’s sub headline slot on the second stage is the band’s debut UK performance with Jesse, some 10 years after the release of “Alive Or Just Breathing,” the album that propelled the band into the spotlight. Everything about the band’s set is a celebration of Killswitch Engage‘s past, present and, to some degree, future.

Opening with a devastating ‘Fixation on the Darkness’ the band clearly has one thing on their mind and that is total destruction. The band wastes no time in reacquainting themselves with the Download audience as well as introducing Jesse to it, as we all know the band is no stranger to Donington, but this time the fire burns bright inside of them.

The majority of the set is built around “Alive Or Just Breathing” alongside the Howard era classics such as ‘My Curse’, ‘The Rose of Sharyn’ and ‘The End of Heartache’ which sound absolutely blistering today. It really is a game of two halves, as we finally get to hear the original Jesse era material smashed to bits by the man himself as well as hearing him doing an amazing job covering the newer material.

Sadly, the band doesn’t play any new material from their forthcoming album, but that’s a minor quibble in an other spectacular set that once again proves to the masses what a truly outstanding band Killwsitch Engage are when they are on point. They ended the set in time honoured tradition with their blindingly good version of the Dio classic ‘Holy Diver,’ leaving the audience elated and wanting more, whilst almost leaving us to ponder how quickly they can come back and kick our asses all over again. Welcome back boys, you’ve been missed.

Killwsitch Engage Download 2012 setlist:

Fixation On The Darkness
Rose Of Sharyn
This Is Absolution
The Arms Of Sorrow
Self Revolution
Life To Lifeless
My Curse
The End Of Heartache
My Last Serenade
Holy Diver

Photograph by Mark Latham Photography