Bliksem headlined the Jupiler Stage like seasoned professionals on Thursday last year so it’s not exactly a surprise that we invited them back for an encore. After their stellar performance at GMM the best was yet to come because a few months later they released their sophomore full-length with ‘Gruesome Masterpiece’… and a masterpiece it is! It’s obvious that Bliksem have grown both individually and as a band. Whereas their previous material was primarily thrash-oriented, ‘Gruesome Masterpiece’ is a much more varied effort with influences ranging from stoner and grunge to thrash and doom metal, and from Alice in Chains to Sabbath. The power ballad ‘Mistress of the Damned’ would never have been included on Bliksem’s debut but it certainly doesn’t sound of place here. Bliksem are not innovators but they’ve made one hell of a heavy metal album and their new-found versatility is bound to win over a bunch of fresh souls. Or are you a fan already?