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Graspop Metal Meeting 2019 – Day 1 (21/06/2019)

After a solid “Day 0” warm up with bands like Concealed Reality and Aborted, and a well-deserved good night’s sleep after a party in the Red Bull Metal Dome with Goe Vur In Den Otto, we kick off the first official metal-laden day at Graspop Metal Meeting 2019. Oh, how I have been looking forward to this.

Bleed From Within (***)

Bleed From Within, I’ve been following for a very long time. Ever since they released their EP ‘Welcome To The Plague Year‘ back in 2007. Damn. Has it really been that long? It’s good to see these Scotsmen finally getting the recognition I thought they always deserved. It wasn’t the first time they played Graspop, but it sure felt that way. And I mean that in the most positive way possible. The Jupiler Stage was packed with old school fans and a lot younger and newer faces. Although I am somewhat out of touch with their last release ‘Era‘, I was not surprised at my enjoyment of the new material. It looked like everything was the way it was supposed to be.

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Testament (****)

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In case you weren’t done with good ol’ thrash metal after Death Angel, you could get a second fix at Testament. More granddads playing with such energy, you wished you could trade your own with them. Highlights of the set were ‘Practice What You Preach‘, Into The Pit’, and ‘Disciples of the Watch‘. By the way, you could play a drinking game with Testament. And I don’t mean WITH the band, although I’m sure that would be awesome, but with their show. Vocalist Chuck Billy especially. Drink every time he plays air guitar. He does it so often it seems the poor guy missed his calling. Oh well, I can’t play guitar either.

Setlist:
Brotherhood of the Snake
The Pale King
More Than Meets the Eye
Practice What You Preach
The New Order
Into the Pit
Electric Crow
Over the Wall
Disciples of the Watch
The Formation of Damnation

Municipal Waste (**1/2)

Onward to thrash metal from the next generation. I usually love Municipal Waste but somehow their performance at GMM 2019 did not convince me at all. A lot of people said the same apparently. It felt as though their hearts weren’t in it. They didn’t move around a lot on stage and there’s not much of a personal touch in the interaction with the crowd. It all feels a little too synthetic. Their gig at Jera Open Air the week after was a little bit better in terms of energy, but still… something seems to be missing and I can’t put my finger on it. The set list was very pleasing however.

Setlist
Mind Eraser
Sadistic Magician
The Thrashin’ of the Christ
Poison the Preacher
Beer Pressure
Terror Shark
Headbanger Face Rip
Slime & Punishment
Breathe Grease
Under the Waste Command
You’re Cut Off
Wave of Death
Unleash the Bastards
The Art of Partying
Born to Party

Combichrist (****1/2)

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After the snoozefest that somehow was Municipal Waste, Combichrist completely destroyed the Red Bull Metal Dome. I did not know Combichrist at all, so my surprise was even bigger when I discovered they played industrial metal with a hint of Prodigy-like aggrotech. Me being a big fan of the latter, I was in for quite the party. And only at about 5 pm at that! The crowd exploded jumping around like maggots, crowd surfing, moshing, banging their heads as the electro-metal blasted forth from the speakers. They couldn’t resist playing a Black Sabbath cover either. Maybe not as cool as hearing Geezer Butler play it two days later with Deadland Ritual, but still. Combichrist‘s sound packs quite the punch, probably due to them using two drum kits on stage, which made the band’s performance all the more impressive.

GMM19_combichrist_©RobinLooy-14-wm


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Wim

Wim is an avid enthusiast of any form of extreme music that ranges from ridiculously profound to profoundly ridiculous.

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