Graspop Metal Meeting - Dessel, Belgium 23.06.07

Event: Graspop Metal Meeting 2007
Written by: Thryce
Published: 06.07.2007
For twelve years now the Graspop Metal Meeting traditionally stands for Metal, Beer and Rain. And this year was nothing different. Some even claim this year's line up was the best one to date. Through the years, GMM has become one of the biggest metal festivals in Europe with this year over 100,000 visitors. Thanks to a rather comfortable exam schedule, I was one of the 35,000 who came down to Dessel on Saturday. Here's my report.

Graspop Rating System
* : Terrible. Disband please.
** : Disappointingly bad.
*** : OK, but really nothing more.
**** : Good and highly enjoyable
***** : Fantastic!

Suhrim: One of the surprises of the day was the Belgian Grindcore-ish Brutal Death metal band Suhrim. For me a perfect start of the festival, and a great make up for the missing of Brutal Truth who played earlier that day. Another Belgian band to believe in! And I will certainly try to catch them again sometimes.
Rating: ****

Stone Sour: At first I wasn't really intending to see Stone Sour, but apparently during a show on mainstage there aren't any other concerts scheduled in both Marquees and the Metal Dome, so I was kind of obliged to watch them since there wasn't anything better. And believe me, anything would have been better than Stone Sour. I already found their music pretty bland and unappealing, and also live they failed to enjoy me. On top of that, Corey Taylor's binding drivels got annoying after a while. But fortunately they didn't play "Bother", so I guess that's a good thing. All in all, a forgettable performance.
Rating: **

Atheist: One of the only and last shows in Europe of Atheist, and I could be there! Also live Atheist is one of the best slightly-Thrashy Technical Death bands and there are few other bands that can outclass their superiority. Atheist put down a tight and solid set with songs from their three full lengths. I was really happy to see them and they didn't let me down at all. Although their flawlessness and technical tours de force, the response from the crowd was not particularly high. Nonetheless - and as I texted to the fellow Staff at Hellfest - Atheist were grand and they ruled. Enough said.
Rating: ****

Life Of Agony: Whilst I was still under the impression of Atheist, the day reached the first highlight as soon as Joey Z. ran up the stage in his Metallica raincoat, a few minutes later followed by the small mainman and grasshopper Keith Caputo, for the occasion stylishly dressed in a fancy jeans, a purplish shirt and a dark blazer. His other accessories were a pair of 70's sunglasses and a glass of rosé wine. But after a few songs, after "Weeds" to be precise, he already was crawling and dancing stripped to the waist. Also LOA put down a magnificent set playing about the whole 'River Runs Red' album, but also some songs from their three other albums. It was a fantastic experience to see LOA live for the very first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last. The band is still filled with enthusiasm and full of contagious fire. And also live this quartet runs like a bulldozer, especially that Saturday since Keith's vocals were really top-notch. After less than an hour the show was over, a bit short maybe but it was absolutely great!
Rating: *****

Devildriver: To be honest I'm not a hundred percent sure if it even was Devildriver. Though, it couldn't be Scarve because they already ended around the same time as LOA. And it couldn't be Bloodsimple either, since they cancelled and got replaced by Devildriver, who also played on main stage the day after. Either way, it was a really horrible performance: repetitive and uninspiring songs, unvarying and unintelligible vocals, uncomplicated riffs that got repeated the whole song long… The kind of band that is really nothing special since you can find those by dozens. Certainly not my type of thing.
Rating: *

Cannibal Corpse: Somehow I lost forty-five minutes somewhere, because when I came close to Marquee 1, Cannibal Corpse just announced the final song of the show "Hammered Smashed Face". Killer song of course, but unfortunately the shower of rain was less cool. Guess I have to see them again some other time.

Heaven & Hell: Next band was Heaven & Hell, also known as Black Sabbath: The Dio Years. And it must be said; nowadays Dio is obviously a better singer than Ozzy. Together with guitarist-genius Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice on drums, these guys still know how to rock! The albums "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules" are legendary albums, and so, also this show was pretty legendary. Heaven & Hell played a very solid set, and certainly a recommendation. And their performance was totally worth the second shower.
Rating: ****

Drowning Pool: Drowning Pool were actually unexpectedly good. They played better than I thought they would. And they also played some well-tasted songs like their "Rebell Yell" cover, their commercial hit "Bodies" (there's nothing wrong with liking this song. It's a killer song live.) and of course their Pantera cover of "Cowboys From Hell". The one and only moment I totally freaked out. Good show. Nothing more. But certainly nothing less.
Rating: ***

Korn: Again a mainstage band I really didn't need to see. I already saw them before, and I found them better that time. Now their performance was rather weak. I will make only a few remarks since I don't like to write a proper text, as they don't deserve it. Joey Jordison is really not a bad drummer after all. There is nothing wrong with performing in a kilt and playing a bagpipe, even if it is Korn. I really don't like the new songs from the latest and upcoming album. Jonathan Davis' voice was rather faint and unconvincing. For one song he even used an oxygen bottle with helium. The intro, solo and ending of Metallica's "One" are obviously overrated, so no need to play those, right? (Yes, irony. If you only play the "Darkness imprisoning me" part and abruptly stop right before the solo, then don't bother to play the song at all). One, two, fucking my shoe??? Fuck that shit! Their keyboard and "Nu" effects but also the long intervals between the songs get rather annoying after a while. Korn was lucky the crowd was really enthusiastic and cooperative. My fries with mayonnaise and the cervelat tasted much better.
Rating: **

Dimmu Borgir: The Norwegian Symphonic Black Metallers of Dimmu Borgir were rather calm and moderate that night. They played unconvincing and they gave the impression their Graspop show was nothing more than a simple routine. The only flicker was "Spellbound By The Devil". Don't really think I will catch them again during the Invaluable Darkness Tour, as they didn't leave a lasting impression. After a rather disappointing and terrible version of "The Serpentine Offering", we left and headed towards mainstage to get a nice spot for Maiden. I kind of screwed up that one though, since I had to wait twenty-five minutes for my beer.
Rating: ***

Iron Maiden: Scream for me Graspop! Finally I got to see the Heavy Metal legends of Iron Maiden. And their performance was absolutely fantastic. The show was dubbed "A Matter Of The Beast - Summer Tour", so those both albums were obviously in the spotlight with five songs from each album in the setlist. It was regrettable that no "Brave New World" songs were included, but after such a terrific night, it was gladly forgiven. And maybe they can make up for it next year. Hopefully they also bring their outstanding stage backgrounds and gigantic drapes and dummies. Some say Bruce Dickinson has the best vocals in Heavy Metal, and you can say whatever you want about him, but he is indeed a superb singer and most of all a charismatic frontman who makes the band even more legendary as they already are. The whole band was in good shape, the crowd enjoyed it immensely and the show was simply outstanding.
Rating: *****

Iron Maiden Setlist
Different World
These Colours Don't Run
Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
The Trooper
Children Of The Damned
Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
For The Greater Good Of God
The Number Of The Beast
Fear Of The Dark
Run To The Hills
Iron Maiden
2 Minutes To Midnight
The Evil That Men Do
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Conclusion: I got what I came for: great shows from Atheist, LOA and most of all Maiden. The surprises came from Suhrim, Heaven & Hell and some songs of Drowning Pool. Also it's remarkable that the atmosphere at Graspop Metal Meeting is really terrific. Of all the festivals I've been to so far, Graspop is certainly the most enjoyable one. It was a memorable and great day, and an excellent way to take a small break during the exams. Long Live GMM!



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Comments: 7  
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Thryce - 06.07.2007 at 20:51  
And no I didn't see that naked guy, lol. And we didn't have any SIXPACK either...

Last thing to add: TIMMY!!
Baz Anderson - 06.07.2007 at 21:06  
haha.. maybe it wasn't Devildriver you saw.. because they put on a very good live performance..
I would love to see them live..

shame about Cannibal Corpse as well.. they were probably my second favourite band at Hellfest.. really really great live!
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.07.2007 at 22:08  
By reading about DevilDriver it must be them... terribly bland and uninspiring songs and so on...
Baz Anderson - 06.07.2007 at 23:17  
well obviously some people like them, and some don't.. and I would hazard a guess that the people that don't just havent given them a good chance because they are a bit more 'popular'
this review sums up Devildriver nicely:
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.07.2007 at 23:19  
Written by Baz Anderson on 06.07.2007 at 23:17

well obviously some people like them, and some don't.. and I would hazard a guess that the people that don't just havent given them a good chance because they are a bit more 'popular'
this review sums up Devildriver nicely:

Believe me I have givven them more than one chance
Okay DD isn't as bad as Coal Chamber but still damn generic and bland and uninspired IMO.
Doc Godin - 07.07.2007 at 22:48  
Written by Baz Anderson on 06.07.2007 at 21:06

haha.. maybe it wasn't Devildriver you saw.. because they put on a very good live performance..
I would love to see them live..

Its true, Ive seen them twice and both times they stole the show, the devildriver massive circle pit is always fun.
The Voice - 10.07.2007 at 15:42  
No band can play such great seven songs in a row to end a show, no man can sing as good and as intense as Bruce does, no metal band will ever be a bigger contribution to this genre than the true pioneers.

And when Bruce screamed, "shut that light off, will ya?!" to be finally able to look at US, the crowd, well he touched me again, fifteen years later. Real Live Dead Tour 1992 or Graspop 2007, the quality of his voice remains the highest possible, hair cut and clothes were indeed affected by age

For me, best metal festival ever...wacken has got the name, graspop got the bands

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