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Graspop Metal Meeting (Belgium): Day 3 Sunday (29.06.2014)

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Last Updated on 09:38 PM by Nikos Nakos

After the amazing and intense second day it took a while for me to get started again. Grimm Gent, however, was already out early to score their backstage passes. All pictures belong to Graspop Metal Meeting and the respective photographers. Click on a band’s name to see their setlist.

(Grimm Gent) When we returned to the festival grounds we first head out to POWERMAN 5000: an energy bomb. ROB ZOMBIE’s little brother totally throws himself and tries to pass his enthusiasm to the crowd with allure. Although this industrial band is less popular than other bands in the genre they keep growing. There is still some stretch on this band and we firmly believe they can become an established name.

(Phoenix) The stoner black of GLORIOR BELLI (Marquee) had appealed to me when doing my research so they were the first to draw me away from the comfort of my tent. Unfortunately I was rather disappointed. I didn’t feel like I was treading through muddy swamps. Instead I had the impression watching a nervous band, just going through their set, unable to wake me up from my third day blues and slumber.

Luckily SCORPION CHILD proved more energetic in the Metaldome. Their retro sound was grooving, bluesy and got the first people moving. With only one album out, this band shows promise for the future to rock out for much larger crowds on a bigger stage and later on the day.

       scorpion child

Expectations were high for the show of CYNIC but these were unfortunately not met. Musically the progressive metal was good enough to make fans of technicality drool. However, the show was plagued again by noise coming from Mainstage 2 and the flow of the show was interrupted by too many breaks in between songs due to technical problems/miscommunications (?) on stage. At times it looked more like a rehearsal than a live performance. A real shame because the songs the band did play were amazing. Making it extra special is the fact they are currently touring with Sean Malone live on bass for the first time in 20 years!

cynic

Zakk Wylde is becoming a common sight at Graspop Metal Meeting with no less than three passages of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY in the last four years. And then I would still have to add his performances as Ozzy’s guitarist. So I did not give this show my full focus. My attention was drawn by classics such as ‘Suicide Messiah’ and ‘Stillborn’ revealing Wylde was good at voice (which has been different in the past). I can appreciate a nice guitar solo, but unfortunately he stretched it out for way too long again. Looking around at the distracted (and occasional downright irritated) faces around me, I was not alone with this opinion. Take a break from Graspop, Zakk, and return with new energy in a few years.

black label society

I never gave TIAMAT the attention it deserved and therefore just planned to check out the band. It was also my last chance to see them perform with Johan Edlund as he will retire from the band due to health issues. I enjoyed the show and the atmosphere hanging in the Marquee. Friends who are more into their music told me it was not the best performance, but the band definitely convinced me to look up more of their repertoire.

tiamat

Next, I had to make the choice between two bands performing without their original singer: ALICE IN CHAINS (without Layne Stayle) and DEATH DTA (without Schuldiner). Somehow I was convinced Death was also programmed on Wacken Open Air so that I would be able to see them later this summer. Sadly, I was wrong and I missed my chance. Luckily ALICE IN CHAINS delivered an amazing performance softening the regret. William DuVall proved to be a worthy replacement for the late Stayle and Cantrell and others kicked of a killer show with “Them Bones”. “Nutshell” was played semi-acoustic and dedicated to the passed away band members. By the end of the show the band dared to make a prediction about the USA defeating Belgium in the World Cup. Well, a few days later Belgium wiped out that hope.

alice in chains

You could see the World Cup was always present at this year’s edition. The field on the third day of festival colored quite orange between the usual black . Each year a few thousand people from the Netherlands make their way down to Belgium for Graspop and they were all supporting their country’s team against Mexico. The organizers had even provided two large screens for them to watch the game. The other difference in dress code today was the higher visual number of metal- and hardcore fans. With WE CAME AS ROMANS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, COMEBACK KID, SUICIDE SILENCE, HATEBREED and BRING ME THE HORIZON it was a top day for fans of these genres. I managed to view the last part of the BRING ME THE HORIZON’s show and saw an enthusiastic and dedicated crowd, be it somewhat younger than the average age on the festival. Idol Oliver Sykes orchestrated his troops of fans with ease and the front of the stage was a whirl of moshing, circle pits and wall of deaths. With few other bands this weekend I heard fans sing along so loud.

(Grimm Gent) HATEBREED has only 1 mission: Destroy Everything. Always a party during this band and eye candy for the mosh pit fanatics. Unfortunately after seeing Hatebreed live a few times we have to conclude not much has changed. Always the same recipe, only a different location. If this is positive or negative we leave up to you. All in all a good performance.

hatebreed

(Phoenix) Where the melancholy of TIAMAT did not seem to please every fan, PARADISE LOST played a very strong and diverse set digging from all their different styles over the years. The co-founders of doom even went back to the records of Gothic and Draconian Times. With Nick Holmes’ interaction with the crowd everyone seemed to be enjoying him- or herself and despite the dark music I saw many smiling faces leaving the Marquee.

paradise lost

With SOUNDGARDEN another grunge dinosaur graced the line-up of this year’s Graspop Metal Meeting. “Too soft” is what some would say, “It doesn’t belong on a metal festival” is what others would say. The fact is that a lot of metalheads also like these older bands that, while not strictly metal, have influenced the genre somewhat many years ago. Also the weather gods gave their blessing as for the first time today the sunrays shined bright from the setting sun and Chris Cornell even had to put on his sun glasses. A distant fiery red sky announced the end of the third day was near and with that also the finish of  the whole festival.

(Grimm Gent) ROB ZOMBIE, whom we had looked forward a lot, turned out to be a bit of a letdown on this edition of Graspop. We have seen them take over the grounds with an amazing show in the past, but today it was a bit more lame.

rob zombie

(Phoenix) I left for one last brutal party with MESHUGGAH! It proved to be one hour of brutal pounding. No compromises, no excuses. I really hope the band pays the light guy extra because it seems like one hell of a job to keep up in the rhythm with these guys. The impressive light show only adds to the effect. It was a feast for the fans of technical metal and I certainly felt satisfied for my last dose of pure aggression.

In the meantime everyone was gathering to witness living legends BLACK SABBATH. If there was one band at the festival no one could argue about if they are worthy of the headliner position it was Ozzy, Iommi and Butler. Main questions were: would Ozzy be good at voice? And how healthy was Iommi feeling after his fight against cancer? I had heard nothing but positive reviews of their performance at Hellfest (France) and Ozzy was only increasing the anticipation when he started shouting “I can’t hear you” in the microphone backstage before the band even came on stage. Looking back I still can’t really grasp what I witnessed in the next hour and a half. Sabbath put themselves alone at the ultimate top of best performances of Graspop 2014 with this show. You could hear how these three have influenced every metal band we listen to today and after all these years they still do it with such grace. Butler’s little bass solo before N.I.B. would make your jaw drop and the perfection of Iommi’s riffs would make you fall on your knees in adoration. The beauty of the little smile Iommi had on his face during the entire show is just heartwarming. And Ozzy? Ozzy is just Ozzy. Crazy as hell, but you gotta love his enthusiasm on stage and his silly walks as the 65-year old ran across stage like he was still in his twenties. After Paranoid we were left to digest the best show of the whole festival.

black sabbath

Normally, MEGADETH would close the festival as second headliner but unfortunately they had cancelled due to the death of bassist David Ellefson’s brother. Instead we got a one hour mash-up of 30 seconds of some of the best metal songs. Can somebody please shoot the person responsible for adding “I got a feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas? Not. Funny. The party moved on to the Metaldome’s ‘best of’-DJ set until 5am in the morning when also there the beer taps were closed and the music was switched off. There was nothing left, but stumble towards the tent and get a few hours of sleep before we had to collect all our stuff and tents and head towards reality and normal society. Until next year, the 20th anniversary edition!

I hope to see some Greek flags in the audience next year! I will make sure to come say kalispera and share a Belgian beer with you guys. Until then, feel free to ask me anything you would like to know about Belgian’s biggest metal festival!

(Other band playing on this day but not reviewed: COLLIBUS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, SUICIDE SILENCE, COMEBACK KID, CROSSFAITH, GLORYHAMMER, SCHIRENC PLAYS PUNGENT STENCH, LETLIVE., RHAPSODY OF FIRE, ANTHRAX, THY ART IS MURDER, VANDENBERG’S MOONKINGS, DEATH DTA, WE CAME AS ROMANS, SEBASTIAN BACH, ARCHITECTS, METAL CHURCH)

 

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