Metal fans raise hell!

The Belgian tricolour reigned supreme in the festival arena on day three of GMM. Musical highlights were just as plentiful as the Belgian goals against Tunisia.

The gents in Backyard Babies shook the festival arena awake with a generous dose of Swedish rock ‘n’ roll. Sweden was king this morning as the ladies from Thundermother delivered the first death blow of the day in an ecstatic Metal Dome. Meanwhile the Polish clerics from Batushka baptised the Marquee with an ethereal and unconventional mix of Russian Orthodox chants and punishing black metal.

Religion and metal have never made for the most obvious of combinations. Although there are exceptions, of course. Skillet may fold their hands devoutly off stage, on stage they take no prisoners and they do not repent. The metal gods from Accept embodied everything heavy metal stands for with a tight delivery, stellar vocals and an attitude that left the faithful throwing metal horns long after they’d vacated the stage. Arch Enemy? Frontwoman Melissa White-Gluz has a throat to rival any man’s and the musicianship of this Swedish melodic death metal outfit is beyond dispute. And there was even more Swedish muscle to be had with Marduk. After nearly thirty years of fiendish black metal they unleashed the seven circles of hell both on and off stage.

Meanwhile the atmosphere in the festival arena was spectacular. Belgium had just made mincemeat of Tunisia at the World Cup in Russia and many of the bands used the result to whip the metal crowds into a frenzy. Kreator took no prisoners with an all-out attack. No nuclear payload though: the German thrashers’ conventional weaponry packs more than enough punch to do the trick. Dave Mustaine’s Megadeth is one of the most influential and prolific thrash metal bands and as usual they lived up to their enviable status.

Many fans are unsure as to what the future will bring. What will happen when the older generation of leading bands decides to pack it in? Well, there’s no need to panic: in the wake of a convincing headlining show by Parkway Drive, the Danes from Volbeat once again proved their mettle as one of the headlining acts for the future. ‘Seal the Deal’? Signed, sealed and delivered as far we’re concerned.

Time waits for no one… Tomorrow is Sunday, the final day of metal mayhem of yet another vintage GMM year. Fear not because we’re going out with a bang! Body Count, Hollywood Vampires, Judas Priest and Ozzy ‘the Godfather of Metal’ Osbourne… life on the Dessel plains is sweet…