If Killswitch Engage were an animal, they would be a Phoenix, for their uncanny ability to keep rising up from the ashes, stronger than they did before.

Since the return of Jesse Leach in 2012, Killswitch Engage have ramped things up considerably, returning with an amazing album in the form of “Disarm the Descent”. Add to that they have become one of the most consistent and brilliant live bands in the world, and today their return to the main stage of Download,  just adds another brutal entry in their impressive resume.

Whilst they get off to a slow start due to Adam D having technical issues with his guitar rig, that can’t stop Killswitch, who solider on regardless, and deliver a career spanning setlist of some of the most life affirming metal ever recorded.

It’s a testament to Killswitch‘s prowess that they manage to play an entire set of an hour with faulty equipment and not only do they not miss a beat, they still sound as ferocious and accurate as any band. All of that aside they look like they are having the time of their lives, whilst they do it.

Howard Jones era material sounds as vibrant and vital as it ever has and sounds almost classic as it goes head to head with the book ending tunes that round out the Jesse Leach era. Metalcore may be a genre that has become diluted and bereft of ideas in recent years, but in the hands of a band as special and important as Killswitch, it shows just how interesting it can be when done right.

I would not like to be any other band that has to step foot on the stage today after Killswitch, logging in one of the most incredible shows of the weekend, they also may have  stolen the award for best performances of this or any other weekend.

Download Festival – Official Website

Photo credit: Derek Bremner