The final countdown to GMM2014: part 3

Nine days from now we’re kicking off the 19th edition of Graspop Metal Meeting. Reason enough to check out the bands playing at GMM2014!


Many are called, few are chosen. When Max Cavalera slammed the door on Sepultura in 1996, the rest of the lineup were faced with the challenge of reorienting their career. Against popular expectation, they succeeded with flying colours: Andreas Kisser, Paulo Jr. and Igor Cavalera, who was still in the band at the time, got giant singer Derrick Green to fill in for Max and he gave the flag bearers of Brazilian thrash a new lease on life. It wasn’t exactly plain sailing in the beginning but with the dawn of the new millennium Sepultura started to gain momentum. Meanwhile the second Cavalera had jumped ship and the new lineup went with a pitch black sound that was still rooted in metal but also welcomed hardcore and punk influences. Last year’s ‘The Mediator between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart’ marked the band’s 13th full-length release and its success had nothing to do with the proverbial luck. Sepultura are still at the forefront of heavy music and it doesn’t matter whether they’re playing smaller venues or an overflowing festival arena because they still arise under a pale grey - or any kind of – sky! (Text: Stef Maes)

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 2 - 17:00 to 17:50

Walking Papers

You probably don’t need us to tell you that Duff McKagan’s been rather busy since the split of the original Guns N’ Roses lineup. An all-round great guy and an accomplished bass player, McKagan’s been a part of several interesting projects including the very popular Velvet Revolver. A brief spell as a solo artist taught him he feels more comfortable as a band member, a fact clearly illustrated by his work with Loaded and, more recently, the Kings of Chaos (previously known as the Rock n' Roll All Stars). Meanwhile McKagan has also joined Walking Papers, an American rock band founded in 2012 by singer/guitarist Jeff Angell and drummer Barrett Martin, who used to man the kit for grunge band Screaming Trees. Theyfelt McKagan was perfect for the job and also welcomed keyboardist Benjamin Anderson, who used to be in The Missionary Position with Jeff Angell. The quartet released their self-titled debut in 2012. They’ve taken their blues-inspired hard rock on several successful tours overseas and Europe is up next. You’ve been warned … (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)

Friday June 27 - Metal Dome - 17:15 to 18:00


There’s no denying that doom metal has not exactly been over-represented at GMM in recent years but leave it to the genre’s uncrowned kings to fly the flag for doom metal at GMM2014. Founded over thirty years ago, this legendary Swedish band helped shape the genre and landmark albums like ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’ and ‘Nightfall’ have effortlessly stood the test of time. They also have a tradition of great vocalists with Messiah Marcolin and Robert Lowe as the most remarkable examples. Still, the band has had a pretty bumpy ride due to a number of ego clashes over the years. The latest upset came in June 2012 when singer Robert Lowe was fired from the band and long-time friend Mats Levén stepped in. Meanwhile he’s joined the band on a permanent basis and so begins a new Candlemass era with yet another stellar vocalist. Can’t wait to see how it plays out on stage. (Tekst: Geert Struyven)

Friday June 27 – Marquee - 17:45 to 18:40

Steel Panther

Let’s not beat about the bush here: DEATH TO ALL BUT METAL! That’s right, the one and only Steel Panther have kindly agreed to teach yet another hair metal masterclass at GMM2014. These LA legends obviously need no introduction: skintight leopard pants, exploded hairdos, bandanas and more makeup than your auntie at Xmas. Add the wonderful lyrics and phenomenal showmanship to the mix and you know you’re in the company of one of the true legends of glamrock. ‘Feel the Steel’ and ‘Balls Out’ paved the way and next April’s ‘All You Can Eat’ will undoubtedly make a major impact. Are you ready for one hell of a party? (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 1 - 18:00 to 18:50


With the exception of a short break at the start of the millennium, the Americans from Buckcherry have been churning out easy listening hard rock that’s been particularly successful in their home country. Europe is still sitting on the fence but the quartet’s latest album ‘Confessions’ may well signal their big break on the old continent. The new disc is somewhat heavier than earlier albums like ‘Buckcherry’ (1999) and ‘Time Bomb’ (2001). Following a three-year hiatus, the band headed by founding members Josh Todd (vocals) and Keith Nelson (guitar) released their 2006 comeback album ‘15’. The album contained several hits including live mainstay ‘Crazy Bitch’ and ‘Sorry’, which even broke into the mainstream charts. Their 2009 GMM debut made quite a few converts and five years and several records later Buckcherry is a well-oiled rock machine that will undoubtedly make waves at GMM2014. (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)

Friday June 27 - Jupiler Stage - 18:05 to 18:45

Orange Goblin

A Goblin is a mythical, evil creature that likes to play tricks on people and it’s an ugly little bastard, too, even if it’s not orange. Orange Goblin was formed in the UK in 1995 and to date they have released seven full-length albums and five EPs. Their music is a mix of stoner and doom metal with punk accents and several other influences thrown in the mix. They have earned a solid live reputation over the years and are considered by many to be something of a cult band. Their latest album, 2012’s ‘A Eulogy for the Damned’, was a long time in the making but has also been hailed as the best and most mature effort of the band’s career. With last year’s exceptional sludge metal performances in mind by Red Fang and the like, this is certainly another one to watch out for. (Text: Stef Maes)

Friday June 27 - Metal Dome - 18:50 to 19:40


In the eighties there were just a few metal bands with female lead singers and none have been more influential than Doro Pesch. Spearheaded by Doro, heavy metal band Warlock exploded onto the scene with the release of their debut, ‘Burning the Witches’. Doro has long since built a successful solo career and more than three decades later, her undiminished vocal powers and formidable stage presence have earned her the moniker ‘Metal Queen’ and the adoration of legions of metal fans. It doesn’t matter if it’s classics such as ‘All We Are’ or the more recent ‘Raise Your Fist in the Air’; before long you’ll be screaming your lungs out with the queen of power metal. (Text: Steven Verhoeven)

Friday June 27 -  Mainstage 2 - 19:00 to 19:50


Most prominent black metal bands today have been around since the advent of the genre in the early nineties. One of the most notable exceptions to this rule is probably Watain. Ever since their inception 15 years ago, they’ve left behind a trail of drugs, violence and blood, the latter preferably aged for several weeks at room temperature. Satan couldn’t be prouder! Mind you, this band is not about image: their previous GMM appearance convinced both friend and foe this is one of the leading bands in today’s black metal scene. Watain combine the rawness of Bathory with the catchy harmonies of Dissection. A Watain show is not your run-of-the-mill concert; it’s a mystical experience that’s worth delving into. (Text: Geert Struyven)

Friday June 27 – Marquee - 19:20 to 20:20


Two years ago, Emmure owned Marquee 2 and that was more than enough reason to invite them back for an encore. These guys couldn’t care less what anyone thinks about them and this attitude also characterises their music: brutal breakdowns combined with the raspy voice of singer Frankie Palmeri. Get ready for a bloodbath Dessel! (Text: Nick Tronckoe)

Friday June 27 - Jupiler Stage - 19:45 to 20:35


This year, the GMM air will once again be rife with cries of SLAAAAAAAAAYEEEEEEEEERRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!! The evil of Slayer has no boundaries and they show no mercy! These American thrash legends need no introduction because their perpetual hate offensive has been claiming souls worldwide for over thirty years now. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that also goes for Slayer. The band suffered a crushing blow last year when the angel of death sent riffmeister and founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman south of heaven but in 2014 Slayer are more brutal and merciless than ever. Fuelled by a newfound rage, battering-ram drumming, screaming solos and relentless riffs, the Californian thrash machine will bring an onslaught no one can survive. (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 1 - 20:00 to 21:00


Unida singer John Garcia is one the most celebrated stoner rock vocalists. He formed the band in 1998 following the demise of Kyuss and Slo Burn. Despite the promise shown by ‘The Best of Wayne-Gro’ (1999), a split EP with the Swedish band Dozer, and follow-up ‘Coping with the Urban Coyote’, Garcia still decided to put his Unida project on hold four years later to concentrate on Hermano and different Kyuss incarnations such as Kyuss Lives! and Garcia Plays Kyuss. In 2012 Garcia unexpectedly announced he would be reviving Unida but a few concerts into the comeback Unida was put on ice again so Garcia could concentrate on his new band Vista Chino. Still, good things come to those who wait and next summer Unida is finally playing GMM. (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)

Friday June 27 - Metal Dome - 20:40 to 21:30


In the early nineties, your average Swedish death metal band would roar over the crowd like a freight train with its basic but efficient rhythms and pounding, crunchy guitars. Then in 1995 the rules changed overnight when Opeth released their debut because these guys came up with Something New. Their complex and masterful guitar work put most prog bands to shame while at the same time conveying tons more emotion. Through the years they refined their distinctive sound and they became the flag bearers of ‘progressive death’, a title they vacated quite unexpectedly with the release of their tenth album, ‘Heritage’ (2011), that showed no trace of blast beats or grunts. While this is obviously a pity for the fans that liked the contrast and the dynamic of the old stuff but it’s also an invitation to potential fans that previously ignored the band because of this rough edge. No one knows what their next record will sound like but Mikael Åkerfeldt claims Opeth is done with death metal. Let’s hope they lift a tip of the veil before the summer. (Text: Geert Struyven)

Friday June 27 – Marquee - 21:00 to 22:10

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