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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.

Mysticum (****1/2)

A totally unexpected performance by Mysticum, black metal beasts from Norway. I have rarely sat through such a psychedelic and entrancing experience, but boy, did I love it. You should not be an epileptic or be prone to seizures because these guys rely heavily on stroboscopes as their main visual effect. It also doesn’t help that the satanic, cosmic, scientific or just plain weird imagery that’s projected on their back screens is constantly changing and flickering. Musically it’s top notch industrial black metal, but you have to not mind or at least get used to the drum machine. These guys only play the strings live. Mysticum‘s show however does not suffer from it. On the contrary. Coming at you is a wall of sound and flashes that blind and deafen you. It’s most definitely an experience I will remember. I’ve found some online footage which you can check out below, just so you could have an idea of what their gig looked like.

Deathstars (**1/2)

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My expectations for Deathstars were extremely high. Partly after seeing the show from their industrial colleagues from Combichrist, but mostly due to the fact that I get quite nostalgic about them. And the show was a huge letdown. The music was on point but was not loud enough and suffered too many corrections for the set’s entire duration. But Andreas‘ voice never really came through the way it should have. Or at least the way I expected it to. It fell awfully flat. Oh well, off to Slayer it is.

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Slayer (****)

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It was an emotional goodbye from legendary thrashers Slayer who put on beautiful yet brutal farewell show for their Belgian fans. It is quite unbelievable that Slayer is the first of the Big Four to call it quits. It feels like Tom Araya and the gang have been around for forever and would always be around. But with the band getting older (and I suppose the still fairly recent passing of shredder Hanneman) I guess the time has come to hang it up.

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The actual Friday headliner put up quite the show with an amazing set list which would have fit a best-off album. The energy on and off the stage was incredible as Slayer kept us entertained for a whopping one hour an a half, ending their set with must-play classic such as ‘Raining Blood‘, ‘Black Magic‘ and of course ‘Angel of Death‘.

After the show was over Araya lingered on stage for a while to give us one final salute, speaking to us endearingly, his last words still sounding in my head. “I’m gonna miss ya”, he said. We’re gonna miss you too, man. Thanks for these long wonderful years of epic thrash metal. Allow me to yell it out one last time: SLLLAYEEEEEEER!!!

Set list:
Repentless
Evil Has No Boundaries
World Painted Blood
Postmortem
Hate Worldwide
War Ensemble
Gemini
Disciple
Mandatory Suicide
Chemical Warfare
Payback
Temptation
Born of Fire
Seasons in the Abyss
Hell Awaits
South of Heaven
Raining Blood
Black Magic
Dead Skin Mask
Angel of Death

Time to get some shut-eye at the camp site. After such an emotional farewell show from Slayer, I did not quite feel like celebrating. And frankly running around all day, checking out as many bands as possible is incredibly fun but also extremely tiring. No, I’m closing up shop early today. The second day at Graspop Metal Meeting awaits.

All picture credits go to Graspop Metal Meeting.



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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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