A dislocated shoulder? A minor setback for a metalhead!

A weekend at Graspop Metal Meeting really takes it out of you. Barely recovered from a three-and-a-half hour onslaught by Guns N’ Roses the night before, thousands of metal maniacs flocked to the festival arena for the start of the 'traditional' three-day event. On the menu: a full day of excellent bands interspersed with the odd chat, tasty snacks and a bit of shopping on the side.

Whereas in the old days the metal world rarely ventured off the beaten track, modern hard rock and metal bands have long since broken down the genre barriers. The day two line-up illustrated this evolution perfectly. Zeal & Ardor combined negro spirituals with breackneck-speed black metal, while the deranged rappers from Hollywood Undead appealed to the younger metalheads. Circus and metal, a combination the Swedish pranksters from Avatar know all too well. But it gets even nuttier. Star Wars in a metal jacket? Why not? The space lords from Galactic Empire took metal to the galaxy. Another eye-catcher today was Septicflesh singer-bassist Spiros Antoniou. Apparently a dislocated shoulder is no reason for a metal musician to cancel an appearance at GMM. With his arm in an impressive sling, Antoniou soldiered on, borne by the admiration and gratitude of the metal army.

Iron Maiden is the headliner with the most impressive track record at this year's edition and they had the honour of closing day two of GMM2018. The new Legacy of the Beast Tour brought back a few forgotten classics such as opener 'Aces High' as Eddie looked on approvingly from under the wing of a life-size replica of a Spitfire. Parkway Drive then proceeded to prove they fully deserve headliner status at a major metal festival.

More to come tomorrow with another batch of leading bands such as Accept, Marduk, Kreator and Megadeth, who will pave the way for day three headliners Volbeat and Marilyn Manson.

As the festival is completely sold out there are no more tickets at the box office.