The final countdown to GMM2014: part 2

Ten days left until Graspop Metal Meeting 2014! This edition  we are welcoming more than 100 bands to the stage. Time to take a closer look at those bands.


Iceland is so much more than a country forged by fire and ice and plagued by untrustworthy banks. Perhaps because of its geographical isolation, the island has long been a breeding ground for obstinate but original bands. Its most famous pop and indie rock products are Björk and Sigur Ros and their metal counterparts are Sólstafir. Back in the day, they made Viking/black metal in honour of their forefathers but over the years they have broadened their horizon beyond the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Today they’re into post metal with a generous helping of psychedelic rock and their songs suit the vast, desolate and windswept landscape they call home. Sólstafir has built a rock-solid live reputation over the years so their Graspop debut should be more than interesting! (Text: Geert Struyven)

Friday June 27 – Marquee - 13:15 to 14:05

Primal Fear

In music, as in life, there are leaders and followers and Primal Fear clearly belongs to the former category. The German quintet has been going strong since the late 90s and stands for rock-solid, shatter-proof power metal of the highest grade. Bassist Matt Sinner, who also has his own band Sinner, and singer and metal god Ralf Scheepers are the driving force behind Primal Fear. Earlier this year they released their 10th album with Delivering The Black. The new album was made according to the band’s tried-and-tested recipe, much to the delight of their loyal fan base. Their gig this summer will mark their fifth appearance at GMM. We’re glad to have them because they never disappoint.

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 2 - 13:20 to 14:00


The young dogs from Battlecross have put out a couple of highly interesting calling cards in just a few years’ time. Both 2011’s ‘Pursuit of Honor’ and follow-up ‘War of Will’ are examples of old school thrash in a modern 21st-century jacket. ‘Pursuit of Honor’ met with favourable reviews worldwide thanks to the musicianship and the album’s high-energy content, two characteristics featured even more prominently on ‘War of Will’. Battlecross’ show is destined to be one of the most anticipated debuts at GMM2014. (Text: Stef Maes)

Friday June 27 - Jupiler Stage - 13:20 to 14:00

Miss May I

There’s no shortage of excellent metalcore at GMM2014. It seems like there’s no stopping the genre‘s popularity and there’s no end to the number of promising bands that keep popping up. One of the latter is Missy May I. In the seven years since its formation, this Troy, Ohio band has earned a reputation as a rising metalcore talent. Don’t let the band name fool you though: Miss May I stands for melodic but uncompromising music in the best metalcore tradition. By the time Miss May I mounts the Graspop stage, their fourth studio album, produced by Terry Date, will have hit the shelves. Miss May I is the latest in a long line of exciting Graspop newcomers to look forward to this year. (Text: Robby Embrechts)

Friday June 27 - Metal Dome - 14:05 to 14:50


The number of successful South African metal bands can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. Seether may have African roots but from a commercial standpoint, choosing the US as their new base of operations was definitely the right move. Seether is big business in the US and Europe also seems to have a soft spot for this alternative metal band. Seether has what it takes to become one of the revelations of this year’s festival. Their infectious songs bridge the gap between alternative rock and metal and if Nickelback ever goes grunge they’d sound like Seether. Look out for the screaming and pining girls on the first row because Seether not only has the look, they deliver the goods as well. (Text: Robby Embrechts)

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 1 - 14:10 to 14:55

Napalm Death

Napalm Death have been around for over 32 years and they are one of the oldest extreme metal bands on the planet. Emerging from the punk/crust scene, they decided to combine the genre’s raw edge with the toughness of metal, making them the godfathers of what would later be dubbed grindcore. The early years were marked by numerous personnel changes and shifts in musical direction until a stable lineup finally formed in 1991. Since then, Napalm Death have remained a force in the death and grind scene. The two-second songs from their early days were gradually replaced with more substantial compositions but that didn’t detract from their music’s intensity. Their politically inspired lyrics are still the main focal point and that’s probably the primary source of the unadulterated rage that still characterises their songs after all these years. (Text: Geert Struyven)

Friday June 27 – Marquee - 14:45 to 15:35


Huntress’ 2012 debut ‘Spell Eater’ was greeted enthusiastically by fans and critics across the globe. The band formed spontaneously when several members from underground metal acts like Professor and Dark Black ran into singer Jill Janus. Soon after the release of their debut, the press labelled Huntress as one of the hottest new acts and the band sought to cement that reputation one year later with the release of their sophomore album ‘Starbound Beast’. Huntress’ signature is a combination of thundering drums, leaden guitar riffs, ripping solos, catchy choruses and the four-octave range of Jill Janus. While remaining true to their melodious roots, Huntress likes to change it up a little with the occasional foray into thrash and death/black metal country. (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)

Friday June 27 - Jupiler Stage - 14:55 to 15:35


With the likes of Justin Bieber  you can be forgiven for thinking no good music could ever come from Canada. You’d also be wrong because the technical thrash of Annihilator has been around for several decades. Every thrasher worth his salt has a copy of Annihilator’s debut ‘Alice in Hell’ in his collection and the same goes for their sophomore album ‘Never, Neverland’. The band around gifted axeman Jeff Waters still knows how to spin a thrash yarn: 2013’s ‘Feast’ is consistently hailed as one of the best albums in Annihilator’s long career. Annihilator are a fast, technical and energetic thrash outfit with a seminal guitarist. Don’t miss out! (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 2 - 15:05 to 15:50

Of Mice & Men

Unsurprisingly, the band was named after the famous John Steinbeck novel. Of Mice & Men is still relatively unknown in Europe but that will change after this summer as Graspop is just one of the stops on their European tour. Still, they are no strangers to Europe. They’ve toured here with Blessthefall and they’ve even played Groezrock. Of Mice & Men is just the thing if you’re into bone-shattering metalcore. (Text: Steven Verhoeven)

Friday June 27 - Metal Dome - 15:40 to 16:25


Ghost were here just last year so why bill them again? Simple: their vintage occult rock/doom metal is as unique as their look and stage performance. Also, since the Marquee was much too small last year, this is a rematch for all the fans that simply couldn’t get in to catch a glimpse of the satanic orchestra. A Ghost show is a special experience: Papa Emeritus and his Nameless Ghouls conceal their identities behind their papal or monkly robes and plague masks but don’t be fooled by the clerical garb: the evil undercurrent in Papa Emeritus’s hypnotic voice betrays that the sextet do Satan’s bidding. Beware or their hybrid of Blue Öyster Cult and Mercyful Fate will draw you in... (Text: Geert Struyven)

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 1 - 16:00 to 16:50


When internal strife killed the legendary Celtic Frost in the wake of their brilliant comeback album ‘Monotheist’, driving force Tom G. Warrior refused to throw the towel. The alpha male assembled a new pack of eager young wolves and together they produced ‘Eparistera Daimones’, a record that shook the extreme metal scene to its foundations. Triptykon’s roaring combination of black metal and doom is characterised by long drawn-out riffs made of pre-stressed concrete and by pounding drum lines that highlight the music’s languishing vibe. Four years later, the new ‘Melana Chasmata’ CD is in the works and scheduled to be released before the summer. (Text: Geert Struyven)

Friday June 27 – Marquee - 16:15 to 17:05


Hailing from Arizona, Blessthefall has been a part of the metal scene for just over ten years and in that time they’ve been able to build a loyal fanbase here in Europe. Back in the States, Blessthefall is a top metalcore act in the August Burns Red category. Armed with their fourth album, ‘Hollow Bodies’, these guys are ready to make a lasting impression when they play Graspop next year as part of their European summer tour. (Text: Nick Tronckoe)

Friday June 27 - Jupiler Stage - 16:30 to 17:10

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