System Of The Down at Download: a reformation worth shouting about

By lucy.jones on 01 December 2010

2010 saw the reformation of many bands that, put quite simply, should have stuck to the occasional Christmas panto and reality TV job. Cough. Take that. So as System Of A Down are announced as headliners for next year’s Download Festival, I ask, are they any different?

Hell yes! The SOAD reunion is unquestionably one of the biggest things to happen within the metal world this year. The rumours have been rife for a while, but now it’s finally happened, and what better place to see them reform than at the metal-sacred Donington Park? Some will argue that they have a lot to live up to after last year’s headliners, AC/DC, who picked up Best Headline Act at the 2010 UK Festival Awards, but my bet is that SOAD are going to blow everyone out of the water with an atom bomb performance. For one thing, emerging from a five-year hiatus is bound to give them a heap of fresh enthusiasm, and seeing as they don’t have a new album to promote, we can pretty much expect a ‘greatest hits’ set.  Songs likely to be played include classics such as ‘Toxicity’, ‘Chop Suey’ and ‘B.Y.O.B’, reminding us (like we need it) how truly epic this band really is.

What puts System Of A Down miles above most other metal bands is that they actually care about what they do. Their largely political lyrics are thought provoking and (usually) intelligent, sending out a big fuck you to the system, and in this current climate, let’s be honest, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Yet they manage to combine this with a unique and totally addictive sound. SOAD are like Pringles - once you pop, you undeniably can’t stop. You listen to one song, and you have to listen to the next... and the next, until you’ve happily worked your way through all five albums. Their live shows are no different either. Speaking from personal experience (Reading 2003), the crowd was left hungry for more, after creating the most gigantic circle pit I’ve ever seen! I for one cannot wait to relive this kick-ass show and will be counting down the days with pure anticipation until Download 2011.

Heavy-metal giants Avenged Sevenfold have also been confirmed, although their place on the bill is currently unknown. Again, another fantastic live band, and one who are sure to deliver a brutal performance for their fans. This could just tip the scale in the ongoing Download/Sonisphere tussle for best metal festival. So, with early bird tickets going on sale from 3 December, is this enough to tempt you into buying a ticket, or are you waiting to see what Sonisphere have up their sleeves before parting with your hard earned cash? Personally, I say roll on June!


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