Takedown Festival is getting bigger and bigger as the years roll by, something clearly evident by the calibre of some of the bands they are able to attract year on year. As noted in our preview feature, when you looked across the Takedown line-up, there were just so many potential 'band of the day' moments, and believe us many did stake their claim on what proved to be a fantastic day brimmed full of chaos, fun and top performances.

First up on the day, as much of the huge queue were being cooked in the mental weather outside, The Catharsis (9/13) hit up the Total Uprawr! Stage and wow did they make an impression. Considering it was only about 2pm, The Catharsis dropped a set like they were the band headlining. It is pretty safe to say now that across the whole day on this stage they actually sounded the best as they showcased material from last year's release Romance. They just proved to be a perfect example of a band giving there absolute all at the moment, not at all phased by the position they held on the bill. There was certainly still a buzz around it much later in the day.

After a quick dash across the venue, we were able to catch the back end of Western Sand (8/13) who slung an excellent dose of swagger and rock n' roll at the crowd. You can definitely draw comparisons to the likes of Fozzy here, as the band roll through proper chest beating, chant-along heavy tunes which really had the crowd won over. The key player here was certainly the front man, whose charisma and personality was certainly the driving force; if he didn't care then the whole band would suffer. If you like Southern style heavy rock then you'd enjoy Western Sand so catch them soon if you can.

Speaking of swagger as well, there was plenty of that when The Howling (8/13) hit the stage, and fair play to them as some of their set clashed with Feed The Rhino over on the main stage. They are certainly a band coming into the attention of a lot of people at the moment, and 2014 could prove to be a big year for them with some pretty big shows lined up already.

Speaking of Feed The Rhino (11/13), well what can we say, absolutely stunning. A small peruse of their twitter feed would show that the band had come off stage at Hammerfest in the early hours of the morning, yet they were able to crack on down to Southampton and unleash probably the heaviest mid afternoon show the South Coast has ever seen. The crowd initially filtered in relatively slowly, but once the Main Stage was packed out the atmosphere in there was absolutely intense. The pit was huge, and just so overexcited it didn't know what it wanted to be, whether they were going for a circle pit, wall of death or classic mosh it didn't matter everyone was having a great time, with Lee Tobin of course having his mandatory wander through it all. The best part of the set seen the band introduce the crowd to material from the forthcoming new album The Sorrow And The Sound which sounded absolutely punishing.

Back over to the TotalRock stage now and R13 favourites Skarlett Riot (9/13) are hammering together yet another barn-storming heavy rock set. The musicianship between the four members in this band is brilliant, with front woman Skarlett beaming from ear to ear as they relentlessly won over the crowd. They give a good blend of powerful vocals, roaring solos and thunderous riffs, all of which are best suited in a live environment. If you've heard their EP Villains and you're still undecided, check this band out live and you will get it.

In a bit of a change of pace over on the Total Uprawr! Stage, Idiom (9/13), were tearing the place apart. They might not have created the same kind of buzz The Catharsis did earlier in the day, but they were not far off. Some of the riffs were staggeringly heavy, chugging through the rib cage of everyone in attendance. Front man Matt just certainly knows what he is doing, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. The pit during the final track, with the bass player right in the midst of it all, just epitomised the impact Idiom made with this performance. They were at times dogged by the same muddy sound issues a lot of bands on this stage had throughout the day, but there will certainly have been a fair few buying their music in the days following.

Next up came one of the day's main events which seen Turbowolf (11/13) return to the live setting after six months away recording a new album. Obviously not on purpose, but the set up was long, and only served to build up the tension even more. This wasn't their own gig, so there were plenty of people in the crowd who didn't have a clue what to expect, but with the ferocity and brilliance of this band live there is no way anyone stood in that room didn't enjoy it. It was in no way clear that this was the first gig for six odd months. With a new album on the way Turbowolf were able to bring in a couple of new tracks which sounded just as big and powerful as some of the old favourites like A Rose For Crows and Read + Write. The reception these new tracks got as well would have sat very well with the band who were clearly delighted. This gig served as a brilliant starting point for the year Turbowolf are about to have. New album on the way, plenty of tours and a vastly growing fanbase, 2014 is set to be BIG.

Rounding off the day it was a shame to be greeted by such a poor sounding performance from Rise To Remain (4/13). Fair enough a lot of the issues were not their fault but you could barely hear what was going on and as the set went on it just sounded like a couple of random guys who'd never played an instrument before in their life just decided to thrash away at what they decided to pick up. It was a shame, especially considering the band stepped up to help out the festival in order to replace Chimaira.

All in all though this was a really great start to the festival season for so many. Takedown is growing year on year, and proves to be yet again one of the most important UK events to showcase and put on some of the best emerging young talent in Metal, Punk and Heavy Rock.