Kicking things off Saturday morning are last-minute additions 3 Children Of Fortune and while the young threesome ooze self-confidence and adolescent exuberance, their hot-and-cold brand of hard-rock does little to impress or inspire the rapidly growling audience in attendance.
Originality may not be Welsh quintet Hondo Macleanís strongest attribute; but with a tight, polished and accessible collection of melodic hardcore delicacies, the boys from the valleys look set to be one of 2005ís most unexpected success stories.
Performing in tribute to recently departed guitarist Brian Ottoson with a picture of the late six-stringer adourning the stage, sextet American Head Charge battle through early technical difficulties to deliver a whirlwind performance of favourites old and new, including a venomous rendition of the now compulsory 'Loyalty'.
You never know what to expect from LA outfit Open Hand. Despite a lazy stage presence, their sound is a refreshing fusion of metal, rock and grunge, giving them distinction from many of the bands on this weekendís bill. Just a bit more effort would have turned so many more heads.
As the bigger players begin to emerge on the Ozzfest day, Every Time I Die show why they deserve the reputation they've built. Huge A-bombs of metallic fury bombard the depths of your gut quicker than you can say hardcore, with the band's acrobatic performance matching the crowd's insanity as the moshpit turns into a tsunami of surfing bodies. Finishing with a request to have every bottle in Donington thrown at them, the band get suitably showered in plastic missiles, beer and piss - a maniac's performance that shows what a festival is all about.
Every Time I Die have set the pace and it turns even more extreme as the metal beast Unearth begins to roar on stage. The extraordinary percussion and guitar riffs flow with pure anger and the band shred up the stage with their no holds barred pure metal. The crowd are adoring every second as they hammer the old and new proving that heavy metal is showing no signs of slowing down and Download will certainly remember it. Truly Impressive.