WWE NXT Superstar Aleister Black's Top 8 Bands To Watch At Download

Aleister Black NXT
Aleister Black

Following on from the success of last year, WWE’s NXT brand will be rolling into Download festival this June for a weekend of high-octane sports entertainment. Already confirmed for the event are Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka and Eric Young. But we’re most excited about the MOST METAL SUPERSTAR ON THE PLANET Aleister Black. Don’t believe us? Look at his entrance.

But what bands will Aleister be watching across the weekend? Well, we had a chat to find out!

Protip: If you see him in the pit, keep your distance.

Touché Amoré

“The first time I heard Touché Amoré, it really stood out for me because they combine aspects of hardcore with these almost life-like lyrics that are so relatable to who I am as a person. I got hooked on that band the first time I heard them. I’ve never seen them, so I definitely want to see them play.”

Venom Prison

“I discovered Venom Prison a couple of months ago. I started listening to it and it’s disgusting in a good way, it’s just gnarly, they’re a gnarly gnarly band and they take no prisoners. Sometimes you come across a band and they sound so evil. Remember when you found that one band where you thought ‘Yeah, this is me right here,’ Venom Prison kind of did that for me. The genre that they’re playing, there’s so many bands that try to do what they do, but you really get that eerie, creepy vibe to about their music, having the right pitches in the vocal tones, it speaks to me, it’s rare, but Venom Prison did that for me.”


“I’ve been a fan of AFI since I was 14 years old. AFI have made a huge transition in their style over the years and it hasn’t hindered them. They went from this punk hardcore music to you-name-it! This music will forever have the AFI edge, just in a different package.”

Code Orange

“Have you heard anything like Code Orange in this genre? The different styles, the female vocals as well, the song Bleeding In The Blur, I’ve never heard anything like that from a hardcore band, it’s wild. I’ve labeled them hardcore but they’ve transcended that genre completely, I don’t know what to call them. I know as human beings we like to label everything but I can’t put Code Orange in a box, and I think that’s a very good thing. It’s hard to find something that gives you music you haven’t heard before.”

Every Time I Die

“I got into them seven or eight years ago, and their guitar player Andy has become one of my best friends in life. I worked at Download and he was playing with Every Time I Die, and after that he came over to the Progress Wrestling booth and we became friends from the first two sentences that we said to each other. And of course, Andy dabbles in professional wrestling. He’s huge.”


“They’re just old school. It’s Exodus, c’mon! How can you not love Exodus? It’s just old school, they’re still going, they’re still kicking ass, it’s still loud, it’s still obnoxious, it’s still heavy and it still rips!”


“You’ve got to watch Slayer, I can’t just name all these bands and not name Slayer. If you’re at Download you have to watch Slayer. I’ve watched them a couple of times now and it’s going to happen again.”


“You’re not going to get any more chances to see them. Aerosmith have persevered throughout the years, they’ve always been a great band, and it’s just such a cool thing to see them at a festival like Download and I’m so pumped for them.”

Download festival takes place at Donington Park on June 9-11, you can find tickets and line-up info here.

Steel Panther: why we love Download Festival

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.