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Download festival review – Slayer cast dark spells with ferocious swan song set

Parramatta Park, Sydney
British hard rock festival brings angst, anger and a lot of black lipstick to western Sydney’s peaceful parklands

Without the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, who sadly cancelled his appearance at Download weeks before kick-off, expectations run high for the long-running heavy metal festival’s Sydney premiere. Held in Leicestershire, England since 2003, and trialled for the first time in Melbourne last year, it has now come to Parramatta Park. Usually home to tranquil family picnics and games of hacky sack, today the park has been infiltrated by skull tattoos, black lipstick and enough green hair to cause fainting spells among a boatload of grandmothers. Slayer, apparently on their final world tour, are the band most punters are here to see.

With vomit on my shoes courtesy of a young gentleman named Jimbo, I arrive in the mosh pit shortly after lunch time. Fever 333 formed a year into Trump’s presidency and boy are they furious. Jason Aalon Butler’s lyrics take in homicidal police, inequality and racial injustice. Midway through the set Butler climbs the rigging, before leaping back on stage to howl into the microphone about Rodney King.

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Source: The Guardian – Download festival review – Slayer cast dark spells with ferocious swan song set

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