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Why Muse headlining Download festival will be great


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They're going to make Donington feel even more Supermassive


Another year, another Download announcement, another legion of hard rocks fans bleating and slamming their tattooed fists that a certain headliner 'aren't metal enough'.


"Prepare to be bottled," said one fan on Facebook. "Were S Club 7 unavailable?" said another - it's a petty and unfounded argument for myriad reasons, but where to begin?


Having headlined both Reading and Glastonbury twice now, not to mention selling out Wembley countless times, it's astounding that Muse still face so much opposition when it comes to something so simple. However, it's refreshing - they're still open to a challenge.


Raised on Nirvana, At The Drive-In, Primus, Deftones and Rage Against The Machine, Muse's foundations are deeply rooted in hard rock - you can hear this best in their endless riff-based jams between songs that send thousands into a feral frenzy on a nightly basis.


Not only that, but they've written some of the finest and most celebrated rock anthems of the last 20 years. We're struggling to think another rock band that can pen a track as batshit mental as 'Plug In Baby' or 'Knights Of Cydonia' and make it univerally connect with masses the world over. They're true champions of riff-based guitar rock - and for that alone, they should be welcomed with open arms.


Beyond that, they've found fame this side of the millenium. If all you want is the same old touring museum of hits from the legacy acts and dinosaurs that have been topping festivals for 30 years or more, then you'll get the festival you deserve: backwards, stagnant and ignorant.


Next, let's dismiss this notion that they're not a 'heavy' band. True, there's no breakneck thrash metal, they're not Dying Fetus, Nekrogloblikon, HatePlug, FukCharge, Foetalitarian or MurderShaft (two of these metal names are real - see if you can tell which). But listen to the likes of 'Dead Star', 'Stockholm Syndrome', 'Hyper Music', 'Agitated' and 'Hysteria' and you have a band with far more imaginative energy and shameless moshability that of the thrash dross, wanky emo and hair-metal-lite that is presented as 'worthy'.


Not only that, but all signs point to the next Muse album being heavy as hell. They've promised something raw, rockier and loaded with face-melting riffs. They're working with AC/DC producer Robert 'Mutt' Lange and are booked in to play many similar metal events across Europe. They're not likely to be setting themselves up for a fall.


Having frequented Download on many occasions, it has always proven surprising at what an open, fun and friendly environment the atmosphere and festival-goers create - that's what the metal and rock crowd is supposed to be: an inclusive community of friends. If you start turning on your own with negativity and threats of violence, then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.


The organiser of one of Europe's most popular and respected metal festivals knows what he's doing. He hasn't booked Ed Sheeran or Imagine Dragons. He's booked Britain's best stadium rock band - renowned for putting on one of the greatest shows on Earth. Rejoice that it's heading to Donington.


Here's a handy playlist of some of Muse's heavier moments

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