download 2013 newWith the latest raft of Download-bound bands confirmed for this summer’s annual Castle Donington shindig, metal heads are already working out how many circle pits one body can take.

With Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein one of the heaviest ever headlining trios today’s announcement reinforces the view that the UK’s biggest and best metal fest is getting back to its roots.

But concerned classic rock fans everywhere have been left wondering what’s in it for them in the East Midlands this June? 

Today’s additions included Down, Korn, Enter Shikari, Cancer Bats, Asking Alexandria and Parkway Drive. They join fellow heavyweights Mastodon, Motorhead and Bullet For My Valentine on a bill that suggests promoters Live Nation have shifted their focus.

Veterans UFO, AC/DC clones Airbourne, Brit crew Heaven’s Basement (becoming more metal by the minute) and newbies Buffalo Summer offer the only hint of classic rock at a festival that’s featured everyone from Def Leppard to Aerosmith and Slash to Mr Big in recent years.

And with space on the main stage severely restricted it seems any hope of seeing the likes of Van Halen, Rush, Aerosmith, Whitesnake, Journey et al at Download 2013 rests on any or all of the above agreeing to second stage status.

Last year’s festival saw the likes of Little Angels, Quireboys, Tyla from Dogs D’Amour, Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach, Terrorvision, The Union and Rival Sons join Slash for a classic rock celebration.

And with Reckless Love, Steel Panther and The Treatment providing an 80s metal throwback there was plenty to keep the retro crowd rocking.

But this summer’s bill is all about metal with a hint of punk (The Gaslight Anthem), alt-rock (The Hives) and emo (Thirty Seconds To Mars) thrown in for good (or bad) measure.

Of course there are still the ‘loads more bands to follow’ and today’s new additions don’t mean it’s curtains for the classic rock fraternity where Download 2013 is concerned. And maybe a more metal Castle Donington opens up a return for the much-missed High Voltage Festival in London later this year?

But those of us who have come to appreciate Download for its recent diversity and inclusiveness are beginning to wonder whether we’ve had our moment in the Derbyshire sun (and rain and wind and freezing cold)…and whether we might as well pack nothing more than denim and leather for what looks like being the loudest metal festival in living memory.