Graspop 2008 review

The 2008 edition of the Graspop Metal Meeting was once again a resounding success with some excellent bands, a record-breaking crowd (about 135000 visitors!) and of course beer and hamburgers galore. I managed to get there for all three days and really enjoyed myself.

So, let's have a look at what I think were the top 5 performances:

5. Arch Enemy:
Arch Enemy was much better than I expected them to be. The Marquee was totally packed and you could see the horns go up all the way till the end with each song. They also played my two favorite Arch Enemy songs: "Dead Eyes See No Future" and "The Last Enemy". So no complaining from me.

4. Deathstars:
Deathstars was for me the discovery of 2006. I saw them live that year at the Biebob too, and last friday at Graspop. It was one of the first bands I saw, and it seemed like they were having a good time too. I am a big fan of their deathglam and live shows. They found a niche and I can see them grow a lot in the coming years. I guess a lot will depend on their next release due out later this year. Oh, and if you're not convinced yet, they had the largest crowd of good looking metal girls.

3. Immortal:
Black metal pioneers, Immortal, came to Graspop this year for a reunion gig. Once again lots of people in the Marquee, and a very nice show with fire and pyrotechnics. If they keep this up, they might become the KISS of black metal.

2. Ministry:
It was a difficult choice between Morbid Angel and Ministry (as they played at the same time), but as Morbid Angel will be coming to Belgium again in the fall, I decided to go the farewell gig of Ministry. And boy was I glad I did that. The sound was good, the band was having a good time and the crowd was going wild. It really is too bad that a band of this calibre decides to call it quits.

1. At The Gates:
Another reunion gig, At The Gates, totally blew me away. I still remember buying their "With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness" release as one of my first more extreme cd's. This band had the best sound at Graspop this year by far. It was a 40 minute energy burst without equal. When the show ended it, you could see people looking around, saying: "it was good, but why didn't they play Blinded By Fear?" at which point the band comes back on stage and the intro to Blinded By Fear starts. Excellent! I celebrated by buying their tour-shirt.


New Crimson Falls song online

Belgian deathcore formation Crimson Falls have just put a new song online, called " A Period Of Consequences". You can check it out on their MySpace page. It turns out to be layered song with a lot going on inside it, and the intro should be able get a pit started during live shows in no time. You might have to wait a bit before you can see them live however, as they will be concentrating on rehearsing and recording their next full length.

Oh, and one more thing, the song will only be up for one month, so listen while you can!

Full disclosure: My brother plays guitar for Crimson Falls. So I make no garantees on being unbiased...