In case you missed it, the Australian leg of Download Festival stormed through Melbourne and Sydney over the weekend, leaving a trail of sweat, leather and spilt beer in its wake. While the festival looked to be threatened by the late cancellation of headliner Ozzy Osbourne and NSW's freedom clamping festival regulations, the festival pulled through to be a massive success by all accounts. With a wildly diverse lineup and a fanbase to match, Download Festival proved itself once again to be the ultimate Mecca for metal fans in Australia - here's our top five moments from the Melbourne leg of the festival.
1. The metal community is surprisingly wholesome?
What do you get when you put 20,000 scary-looking metalheads into a single concert venue? Surprisingly wholesome times. Despite all the battle jackets and steel cap boots, everyone was looking out for each other's safety and being extremely respectful - something that every festival should be aiming towards. The Amity Affliction even stopped their set mid-song when they noticed a punter had fallen down in the heavy mosh, ensuring that the fan was back on their feet before they resumed. There's a valuable lesson for other bands here.
2. Polaris are one of Australia's strongest musical exports in years.
This Sydney metalcore band has a reputation of being one of the most high energy and exciting live acts in Australia at the moment, and their performance on Monday afternoon exceeded expectations. Competing with a clashing set time with international punk legends Pennywise, Polaris succeeded in captivating their crowd and performing one of the best sets of the day.
3. Fever 333 are definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Lyrics with a political agenda have been around since the beginning of music. This mixed-race rap-metal band have said that they want music to be "more challenging and more confronting." While their angry, relevant lyrics about inequality, racial injustice and police corruption speak volumes to the masses, Fever 333's tracks consist of a super catchy hybrid of hip hop, punk and metal, which has these boys on the highlight list of everyone who caught their set on Monday.
4. Circle pits will never not be fun.
Thy Art is Murder won circle pit of the day during their set on the Dogtooth Stage, sending almost their whole crowd sprinting around the sound tent. Another special mention has to go to Aussie metal act Aversions Crown, with their unexpectedly high-energy circle pit at the Ascension Stage resulting in absolutely raucous scenes.
5. Slayer will forever reign supreme.
If anything can make a metalhead choke up and cry, it's the Slayer farewell tour. The crowd's energy was at it's absolute peak for the 90 minute final set on the Red Stage. Opening with 'Repentless,' it seemed to suddenly click that this band, front and centre of the metal community for so many years, were well and truly giving us one last thrashing. The show itself was faultless, with a tight set, lots of fire, and none of the band members showing any signs of fatigue for the entire 90 minutes, with the band finishing with the ultimate '80s thrash trifecta of 'Raining Blood,' 'Chemical Warfare' and 'Angel of Death' - a fitting farewell to one of the best metal acts to have done it.
(Feature image via Download Festival Australia Facebook.)