KNOTFEST is coming down under!
It’s happening! No doubt by now you know the news that Slipknot are bringing their curated festival KNOTFEST to Australia in March 2023. The lineup is a killer mix of long-time favourites, new blood and both international and local acts. It’s actually quite a diverse lineup with something for metalheads of all persuasions. The team at Slipknot have picked each of these bands for a reason, even if you’re not familiar with all of them, you will be by the end of this playlist. A bunch of the bands have new material out too, with some having had multiple releases since they last graced our shores.
Before we jump into it, tickets are on sale today – get ’em here!
Here’s Wall of Sound’s guide to the classics and the latest slappers from each band on the bill. Spotify playlist can be found at the bottom too for those reading on the go!!!
Classic – ‘Surfacing’
March 2023 will mark more than 23 years since Slipknot first flew across the Pacific on the back of their debut which pushed nu-metal to breaking point. ‘Surfacing’ was played early in the set on that tour but is now a staple closer, with Corey referring to it regularly as metal’s “new national anthem”. They have had two albums since their last showing in 2016 so hopefully, we get a bit of everything.
New – ‘Yen’
Straight from our review of The End, So Far :
It’s Corey Taylor at his best, with a full range from country style to his massive clean/scream double tracked hook. The instrumental sections have Root/Thompson getting their heavy groove on with Sid adding scratches with Craig’s SFX. If it wasn’t for Jay Weinberg kicking his double bass drums, it would almost lean into grunge territory.
Classic – ‘Wild Eyes’
Their recent ABC doco labelled them “the biggest band you’ve never heard of” and here they are as the first band on the bill under the headliner. Straight up, only a band of Slipknot’s magnitude can follow the home crowd’s response to the riff chanting in ‘Wild Eyes’ and its anthemic refrain: “Viva the underdogs!” With Atlas recently celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary, it only seemed fitting that this song gets a mention, for being the go-to opus of that era of the band.
New – ‘Soul Bleach’
From our album review of Darker Still:
This is going to be the one to make all the metalcore elitists eat their words. If you thought PWD ‘sold out’ or went soft, this will prove to you they can still bash out one of your comfort sounds and remind you why they’re one of the best bands in the world right now. There are three incredible moments in this song that happen in succession – the breakdown callout, the breakdown itself and then Winston’s deathcore gutturals which completely blew me away.
If we don’t get to do our best gutturals back at Winston, it’ll be a lost opportunity!
Classic – ‘Holy Wars… The Punishment Due’
Legendary thrash band led by Dave Mustaine comes back to Australia for the first time since 2015. Since then they’ve had a few changes in personnel so it’s our first chance to see James LoMenzo and Dirk Verbeuren with Dave and Kiko Loureiro playing material from their last two albums, including the Grammy-winning Dystopia. Their recent sets are still jammed with classics though.
New – ‘Soldier On!’
From The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead review:
‘Soldier On!’ is a cool thrasher with a great hook about always battling on. It’s an immediate earworm well suited to life in the continuing pandemic and general shit storm that is life in 2020-2022.
Classic – ‘In Waves’
Another band with two albums out since their last tour, so hopefully we get something akin to their current Deadmen & Dragons Tour with songs from both albums and plenty of killer stuff from the back catalogue, like the always hard to top ‘In Waves’.
New – ‘Shadows of the Abattoir’
From our 10/10 In the Court of the Dragon review:
‘The Shadow of the Abattoir’ is the kind of epic song Trivium have in their arsenal and features what might be Heafy’s best vocal performance ever. The extended solos that breakout into replicating the vocal harmony are near perfect too. Paolo’s vocal modulation on the harmony for the last chorus is also ridiculously good.
Classic – ‘Rot’
Northlane returned to a festival stage after headlining the all-Australian Full Tilt Festivals throughout 2022. Since then we’ve got the new album Obsidian and both major city and regional tours. Those tours focused mostly on the additions of new material, but it would be sick to still feature ‘Rot‘ in the setlist, as this was the first track to feature Marcus Bridge after joining in 2014. It’s also really good with flames and shit!
New – ‘Carbonized’
From our Obsidian review:
‘Carbonized’ kicks off with on-edge basslines and that gravelly “I’m too sexy for my shirt” metalcore vocalist timbre that’s a meme by now. What I really like about this fourth song, however, is that it’s Northlane stating that abusers and predators in the music scene will not get away with their crimes. That we shouldn’t let them off the hook because their new album was super heavy.
Classic – ‘Twilight of the Thunder God’
Viking metallers rejoice as the Swedes return on the back of new album The Great Heathen Army. Expect plenty of fireworks and be prepared to get in the pit and row along to many an ode to Asgardian gods.
New – ‘Get in the Ring’
‘Get In The Ring‘ kicks off slowly, easing us into a fight for our lives with a killer drum and riff introduction before frontman Johan Hegg‘s growls return to your ears and you’re instantly captivated. This is a song for the old school metalheads among us. There’s plenty of solos, power metal instrumentals and death metal growls that’ll send chills up your spine if listened to at full volume.
Hot Take: The only time it is acceptable to do a rowboat in Australia at ANY heavy show, is with this band!
Classic – ‘Trigger’
This track may be divisive but it encapsulates the transitional phase of In Flames between their foundational melodeath-rooted sound towards a cleaner and refined evolution. ‘Trigger’ embodies that primed chorus with the crunchy outer edges that the band are known for creating in the ’90s.
New – ‘State of Slow Decay’
In Flames just knocked melodeath out of the park in 2022 with their revivalist string of new singles after years of straying from their roots. Perhaps it was The Halo Effect that reignited their melodeath roots, or maybe it was an itch they hadn’t scratched in a while. This song provides the shock value that solidifies the heavy return of In Flames.
Classic – ‘Counting Worms’
Simply for the arff arff halfway through.
New – ‘Forced to Stay’
Looming uncertainty unfolded in music form. Ominous deathcore/metal influences on the breakdown. Now, imagine that in a live setting.
Classic – ‘Holy Roller’
It speaks to the success of the Canadians that a number of tracks from their debut album, Eternal Blue, are considered classics. ‘Holy Roller’ has a degree of mainstream notoriety thanks to a young lady named Harper covering it for America’s Got Talent. With new material already out via their Rotoscope EP, Spiritbox’s Australian premiere will be a hot set to watch.
New – ‘Rotoscope’
From the bossman himself: “It’s got those alluring Courtney LaPlante vocals and screams that fans have been lapping up since the band first landed in their earholes.”
**Check out Browny‘s interview with frontwoman Courtney LaPlante here**
Story of the Year
Classic – ‘And the Hero Will Drown’
Taken from the band’s iconic 2003 album Page Avenue and an instant mosh pit including jam. A lot of you may be questioning their placement on the lineup, but after hearing this song, with its heavy undertones and upbeat tempo, your heart will start racing in anticipation for that circle pit.
New – ‘Tear Me to Pieces’
The band’s latest song is from their upcoming album of the same name. It throws back to their earlier years, in particular, their stellar album Page Avenge with plenty of screams and enough post–hardcore angst to send your mid-30s legs flying.
Classic – ‘Nail Biter’
The band don’t play around with a wide selection from the 2016/2017 era these days, but if this was your introduction to Alpha Wolf, then you know how far they’ve come from that point and how this single was what kickstarted it all. Would pay good money to hear Lochie Keogh tackle this on the BIG stage.
New – ‘Hotel Underground’
From their latest split EP alongside Holding Absence. Killer riffs and gnarly screams will send shivers up your spine as the band energetically throw themselves across the stage like supervillains escaping Arkham Asylum in Gotham City. (Let’s hope Third Eye Visuals is involved with their back stage/screen displays too).
The boys were stoked to be included on Knotfest, likening it to ‘Soundwave, but the 2023 edition’. Check out our chat with Scottie Simpson and Sabian Lynch here
Void of Vision
Classic – ‘Ghost in the Machine’
The phat, synth tones the band dabbled more in now can be traced back to their Disturbia EP where this single lay waiting for attention, From its release, it set up VoV for bigger and better things than they’d ever imagined and resulted in frontman Jack Begin losing control of his restraints as he climbed various music festival stage setups singing songs from it.
New – ‘HELL HELL HELL’
The new era of VoV has been nothing short of amazing, especially with the inclusion of James McKendrick’s clean vocals adding next-level impressions. Chronicles I: Lust and it’s follow-up CHRONICLES II: HEAVEN are well worth your attention and there better be a volume III inbound!
Classic – ‘The Worst In Me’
There’s a reason why this track has had over 28 MILLION streams on Spotify alone. It introduced so many fans to this band and their capabilities.
New – ‘Artificial Suicide’
When we released our album review of Bad Omens earlier in the year, a lot of you slept on it. Like A LOT of you. ‘Artificial Suicide’ was the drawcard that proved this band meant business and had an incredible melodic metalcore sound behind them. But they weren’t afraid to show off a completely new side and sound. That’s going to be an experience you do not wanna miss.
Cannot wait to lose our minds in the mosh when this starts up!
Classic – ‘Self Supremacy’
They were just here for Thy Art is Murder’s Human Target tour! The title track from their second album still got a run in a supporting set, and is a reminder of where they come from, combining hardcore with other metal tones.
New – ‘On Broken Glass’
New songs from Malicious Intent go to another level, led by the devastating single ‘On Broken Glass’.
Got a better song we should listen to prior? Tell us on our socials!
General On-Sale Now
Knotfest Australia 2023
Slipknot, Parkway Drive, Megadeth, Trivium, Northlane, Amon Amarth, In Flames, Knocked Loose, Spiritbox, Story Of The Year, Alpha Wolf, Void Of Vision, Bad Omens & Malevolence
March 24 | Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
March 25 | Centennial Park, Sydney
March 26 | RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane