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70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Metal News for June 30, 2019

Last updated on July 15, 2020 at 7:48 PM ET

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2 news articles posted on this day.


Phil Anselmo On The Illegals And Playing Pantera

Over the course of my twelve years with Metal Underground, I've had the honour and pleasure of speaking with and meeting bands I grew up listening to, as well as some of my absolute favourite musicians such as Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ, Ashmedi of Melechesh and Barney Greenway of Napalm Death. This past week however, I was able to make a personal and professional dream come true, when I met up with one of metal's most famous figures; Phil Anselmo.

For many of us, Anselmo was an integral part of our youth, roaring the rage we felt as adolescents (and indeed, still do today) as the frontman of Texas based quartet Pantera. Anselmo has never been one to stay still though and in addition to appearing as a guest on albums by the likes of Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, Crowbar, Anthrax and even Anal Cunt, he's also been involved in countless bands, fronting such other successful groups as Down, Superjoint Ritual and now, The Illegals, with more releases to come from the first and third of these bands, as well as newer projects such as Scour and En Minor. So how soon will we be able to hear these new records? What has it been like performing Pantera material again on the festival circuit and how shocked was the boxing aficionado by Anthony Joshua's loss to Andy Ruiz Jr? For the answers to all of these questions and more, read on. More...

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Graspop Metal Meeting: Intro Night

There must be a hundred festivals in Europe by now. Every year a new one pops up, some grow, some wane, but a few sit rightfully in the hall of kings. This year, I made my sixth visit to one from the last category, travelling to the small town of Dessel in the east of Belgium, not far from the Dutch border, to once again experience the one and only Graspop Metal Meeting.

Graspop, as the name suggests, originally began as a more commercial affair, once being headlined by the likes of Simple Minds. In 1996 however, the organisers decided, having witnessed the popularity of the metal bands they'd booked previously, to steer the event entirely towards catering for metal, hardcore and punk fans and brought in the likes of Iron Maiden, Sick Of It All, Type O Negative and Slayer to kick off the inaugural brawl. Fast forward to 2019 and Graspop has become one of Europe's favourite festivals, with many bands also speaking highly of it. It boasts a consistently amazing lineup, serves as a cultural melting pot where people come from all over the globe to celebrate metal and offers fans an unforgettable weekend for a reasonable price. So was this year's event? Well...

Most festivals are advertised as three day affairs, normally the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but at Graspop, the party gets going on Thursday, as each year, many local bands as well as a few international names descend upon the half opened grounds to welcome those who have made the journey to Dessel. Almost as soon I had set up my tent, it was off to the Marquee to see one of my absolute favourite old school heavy metal bands, Raven.

Raven has for decades, worked tirelessly on their live performances and become one of the most revered performers among their peers. The Geordie trio rolled into Belgium on the Thursday and rightly received a very strong response from the crowd, who ate up such staples as "Faster Than The Speed Of Light" and "All For One." Despite forming forty five years ago, Raven still have an energy and playfulness about them that many younger bands lack. Raven is as fun as heavy metal gets, providing sing along anthems, dry humour and plenty of crowd participation. On a personal note, the band finishing the set with my favourite of theirs, "Don't Need Your Money," made sure that this was indeed the best start to a festival this reporter could have had. More...

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