Germany's - if not mainland Europe's - most prestigious rock festival, Rock am Ring announced their full lineup last month for 2019's outing.
Traditionally a major platform for rock and alternative music, the roster in its entirety highlights an expansion in diversity with a notable indie-pop representation (The 1975, Bastille), even domestic hip-hop (Marteria & Casper, Kontra K, Bonez MC & RAF Camora).
It's rock, however, that is the festival's forte with legendary artists Tool, Slayer, Die Ärzte, Slipknot, and The Smashing Pumpkins topping the behemoth bill. With rock 'n' roll coursing through Rock am Ring's veins from top to bottom, we've cherry-picked a handful of artists further down the pecking order that all warrant closer inspection.
You'd be forgiven for thinking the Berlin trio were cryogenically frozen after a Deep Purple gig and were awoken 45-years later, so convincing is their nostalgic, 70s aesthetic; suitably unkempt in the grooming department, their retro garments complete the 'Rock Lord' look of yesteryear.
Image aside, Kadavar's penchant for the occult, smoggy psychedelia, and Gibson SG-laden riffs places their evocative brand of stoner rock dead-centre in a Venn diagram between Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, and contemporaries like Wolfmother. Devil horns at the ready, then.
Intermittently releasing a handful of singles as well as an eponymous EP in the past few years, Alice Glass' return to the spotlight has been somewhat tentative following the fallout from Crystal Castles' well-documented demise.
Since then, she's undertaken a metamorphosis; no longer the combustible, vulnerable frontwoman known over the previous decade, Glass is as assured and magnetic on stage as her hypnotic electropunk balladry, wielding her past traumas as opposed to burying them.
Eagles of Death Metal
Rock 'n' roll is often victim to its own pouting seriousness. With Eagles of Death Metal, there's certainly no danger of excessive self-importance, however, as Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and lifelong-pal Jesse Hughes' brainchild bring a welcome dose of levity to the genre.
With your tongue firmly in your cheek, you'll be booty-shaking throughout the duration of their afternoon set. Tenacious D's Jack Black (a previous collaborator) appears on the bill the same day at both Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, so I wouldn't rule out a comedic collab between the two. Just don't expect any actual death metal.
Right the foot of the bill is Power Trip, the kind of thrash metal/punk you'd expect to hear on a 'skateboarding bails' VHS from twenty years ago, with chugging guitar lines reminiscent of 90s heavy metal icons Pantera. Prime riffage for headbanging, crowd-surfing, moshing, you know the drill.
The Texan's rowdy stage presence will undoubtedly set the riotous tone for the remainder of the weekend.
Interweaving outward aggression with complex introspection over the course of their near-15-year career, Foals have traversed sparkling indie, gritty rock, and meticulous time signatures all the while courting mainstream successes. For recent fifth album, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1, the emphasis was on a fuller groove; their live set-up has expanded to accommodate the band's dancier facets in preparation for their summer jaunt on the European festival circuit.
As one of the UK's most respected and feverishly adored live acts, the Oxford band appear surprisingly low on Rock am Ring's roster. They'll certainly earn their stripes in front of Germany's most raucous audience.