Next week, the metal and rock faithful will gather en masse for the annual pilgrimage to the hallowed turf of Donington Park for Download 2018. We pray to the weather Gods, dust off our tents, and seek out every booze related special offer we can find.

To get the most out of this metal family gathering, there needs to be some planning, some agreements, and nearly always some compromise. Hours can be lost in advance on clashfinder sites, planning the weekends activity… and no matter how many times we look at the lineups, our TINAS operatives are going to have to make a difficult choice between Marmozets, CKY and Savage Messiah!

Download is more than catching the main stage acts, its about opening your ears and checking other bands you might normally ignore, so, here’s a few acts, we think you should check out:

Savage Messiah – Dogtooth Friday

Proper good, old school British Metal. These four Lodon based lads are four albums into their career. The latest being “Hands Of Fate,” an offering with nods a plenty to the British metal masters; think Judas Priest with a side portion of Iron Maiden. Quality metal with less of their earlier out and out thrash shenanigans. Live, these boys deliver, and Friday at Download is the perfect time to warm up those headbanging neck muscles.

CKY – Encore Friday

Yes, yes, we know they clash with Savage Messiah, but we bloody love CKY. Riff after riff after riff, and with ‘96 Quite Bitter Beings’ they have one of our all time favourite tunes. They’ve been going for 20 years, sold over a million records and are on fire after coming off a tour with Skindred. Miss this lot at your peril.

Lawnmower Deth – Encore Saturday

Silliness, metal and quality/genius/stupid (delete as applicable) lyrics from Nottingham’s finest. These old timers are a festival favourite, and the perfect cure for the hangover from Friday. Too many highlights to mention, but anyone who can bring Kim Wilde to the metal masses deserves our attention.

Bury Tomorrow – Encore Saturday

This lot ride high on any TINAS playlist. Brilliant British metalcore from the Winter-Bates brothers and crew. We’ve followed thes guys closely over the last ten or so years, and every live show has been effervescent, energetic and storming. Perhaps more at home in a rammed tent, it should be good seeing them bring the energy to the bigger stage. We’re eagerly awaiting their new album “Black Flame” in July.

Milk Teeth – Avalanche Sunday

Perhaps an unexpected pick from our thrash loving team, but Milk Teeth have us hooked. South West addictive punky tunes. Quirky and catchy, these guys have hit us slap bang in the face and grabbed our attention. Edgy enough without overdosing on saccharine sweetness. A band we have never seen, so are looking forward to catching.

Wayward Sons – Dogtooth Sunday

Little Angels fans will already probably know about Wayward Sons… and the familiar name, but this band is far more than Toby Jepson rehashing Little Angels. This is bringing old school rock up to date. A quality album with “Ghosts Of Yet to Come,” and a storming tour to boot. Wayward Sons, in a tent on Sunday… count us in.