The final countdown to GMM2014: part 4

In eight days we are officialy opening the doors of Graspop Metal Meeting 2014. Time to take a closer look at the bands performing at the festival!


In the summer of 2010 came the announcement that Nergal, frontman of Polish blackened death metal giants Behemoth, had been diagnosed with leukaemia. The prognosis was grim but Nergal stared death in the face and grinned back defiantly, determined as he was to get back on stage. He triumphantly returned to GMM in 2012 even though the effects of his illness were still clearly visible. Meanwhile he’s on top form again and with ‘The Satanist’ Behemoth have released their tenth and best album to date. It’s a fiendish masterpiece that showcases a side of the band we hadn’t seen before. As for their GMM2014 show, we’ve got an orgy of extreme metal to look forward to. After all, Behemoth is one of those bands that always deliver on stage. (Text: Geert Struyven)

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 2 - 21:10 to 22:10


With every new album, the Swedes from Graveyard use their unique mix of classic heavy rock, blues and a pinch of psychedelia to explore the boundaries of their musical creativity. The band formed in 2006 when four Swedish blues rock musicians grew dissatisfied with the musical direction their respective bands had taken. Seven years later, more and more music lovers are falling for Graveyard’s energetic and emotionally charged music with a touch of jazz. Their songs sound like a metal mix of Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin. The 2012 release of their third album ‘Lights out’ took them on a tour of the major European festivals. (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)

Friday June 27 - Metal Dome - 22:10 to 23:10

Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold may well be the youngest ever headliners at Graspop Metal Meeting. With three previous GMM appearances under their belt these California sons have really hit the jackpot this time. The key to their success? Complex metal with influences from every possible subgenre and a rock-solid live reputation. Also, singer M. Shadows’ vocal performance has improved dramatically in recent years. Their previous European tour in late 2013 made it obvious that Avenged Sevenfold, or A7X for short, are among the top dogs of the new metal generation. The new album, ‘Hail to the King’, topped the album charts in both the UK and the US. (Text: Nick Tronckoe)

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 1 - 22:20 to 23:50


Polish your rifles and don your favourite helmet because Sabaton are back! Following their brilliant show on the GMM main stage in 2012, Joakim Brodén’s power metal quintet will once again transform the Dessel plains into a no man’s land to rival the Westhoek. The Swedes recently released their ‘Swedish Empire Live’ DVD on the Nuclear Blast label and the same boundless energy captured on that live recording will result in another GMM victory next summer. Only singer Brodén and bassist Sundström remain of the previous lineup, but the new Sabaton lineup has meanwhile matured into a well-oiled machine and is ready for yet another Primo Victoria! (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Friday June 27 - Mainstage 2 - 00:00 to 01:15

High Voltage

It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll. Well, High Voltage has been at it for 22 years and ranks among the world’s best AC/DC tribute bands. What better reason to unleash classic rock anthems on a crowd of insane metalheads? Apart from the usual suspects, their dynamic show also includes a number of surprises and less known AC/DC tunes. High Voltage is not just any AC/DC tribute band: High Voltage breathes AC/DC! (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Friday June 27 - Metal Dome - 01:30 to 02:45

Civil War

Early 2012, Sabaton fans were shocked to learn that no fewer than four members were leaving the band. Fortunately this exodus signaled neither the demise of Sabaton nor the end of the musical careers of Daniel Myhr, Daniel Mullback, Oskar Montelius and Rikard Sundén. On the contrary, breeding will out, as they say, and the Swedish quartet soon joined forces with bassist Stefan Eriksson and singer Nils Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors, Lion’s Share) to form Civil War, an ambitious new player on the power metal scene. Last year’s eponymous debut EP contained five indestructible power metal anthems and their first full-length album, ‘The Killer Angels’ (2013), continued along the same vein. The good news is they’re coming to Graspop Metal Meeting this year. Considering the band members’ pedigree we have no doubt they’ll deliver the goods live! (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 1 - 11:30 to 12:10

Carach Angren

Carach Angren is undoubtedly the biggest black metal sensation of the Low Countries in recent years. They craft unique compositions born from classical music and subsequently covered with a black metal sauce. Whereas symphonic black metal simply becomes awkward in many cases, Carach Angren has turned the process into an art form. Multi-layered and intricate, their songs are also catchy enough to stick in your head. Factor in their genuinely creepy ghost stories and you’ve got a recipe for success. This Dutch trio also has an enormous live potential so there are plenty of reasons to introduce them to our GMM crowd. (Text: Geert Struyven)

Saturday June 28 - Metal Dome - 11:30 to 12:10

In Solitude

Fans of classic heavy metal should gear up for In Solitude, a Swedish combo that’s been rocking out for 12 years. It took the band from Uppsala five years, a handful of demos and several personnel changes to complete their full-length debut. The addition of guitarist Henrik Palm twelve months earlier had not only given the band a much needed adrenaline injection, it also resulted in a more substantial mix of melodious heavy metal with a magical – if not occult – atmosphere. Their 2011 album ‘The World. The Flesh. The Devil’ (2011) brought them wider recognition in Europe and opened the door to larger festivals. In Solitude will undoubtedly make a significant impact this summer with the powerful songs off their 2013 album ‘Sister’. (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)

Saturday June 28 – Marquee - 12:00 to 12:40


French band Dagoba will kick off proceedings on Main Stage 2 on Saturday 28th June. Founded in 2000 by singer Shawter, they now have five excellent albums and one EP to its credit. Their pounding mix of groove and industrial metal will kill your Friday night hangover in no time. (Text: Graspop Metal Meeting)

Saturday June 28  - Mainstage 2 - 12:20 to 13:00


Saying that Nails is a band to watch is hitting the nail on the head. GMM2014 is only their second visit to our little country. Nails is a bone-shattering blow to the brain thanks to their dark and brutally intense blend of hardcore, grindcore, doom and death metal. Capturing the essence of this band in a few short words is no small feat but if you can imagine what Cro-Mags-meets-Napalm-Death would sound like then you get the general idea. Nails was founded by Todd Jones (ex-Terror). The first two albums were exceptionally short but these were limited issues. However, their third CD, ‘Abandon All Life’ may well signal their big break. (Text: Robby Embrechts)

Saturday June 28 - Metal Dome - 12:35 to 13:15

Prime Circle

Echt dik gezaaid zijn ze niet, de Afrikaanse hardrockbands die het ook in onze contreien proberen te maken. Eén daarvan is Prime Circle uit Johannesburg, Zuid-Afrika. Voor velen zijn ze ook vandaag nog een nobele onbekende, maar in eigen land rijgen de heren de awards aan elkaar en scoort elke plaat moeiteloos platina. Opgericht in 2000 zorgde debuutplaat ‘Hello Crazy World’ in 2002 meteen voor een gouden plak. ‘Live This Life’ (2005) bevestigde de sterrenstatus in Zuid-Afrika en met ‘All Or Nothing’ (2008) kwam er ook interesse uit het buitenland. De band toerde even in het Midden-Oosten, veroverde India en wist zelfs de Londense hardrockscene warm te maken. ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ (2010) bleek een tussendoortje, maar ‘Evidence’ uit 2012 bleek wel de juiste zet. Prime Circle maakte de oversteek naar Europa en gaf onder meer in Duitsland, Zwitserland, Nederland en België gesmaakte shows weg in het voorprogramma van 3 Doors Down. Muzikaal vist het Zuid-Afrikaanse vijftal in de eerder klassieke hardrockvijver, maar ook een portie postgrunge is nooit ver weg. (Tekst: Wim Vander Haegen)

Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 1 - 13:10 to 13:50


No matter how extreme their music, Swedish metal bands always seem to have an ear for gripping melodies. Necrophobic is a prime example: together with Dissection and Naglfar they are one of the founders of the ‘blackened death’ subgenre and every new offering is an onslaught of seamless riffs and screaming solos of superhuman quality. They’re celebrating their 25th anniversary this year but the fire is burning brighter than ever, as illustrated by their latest effort, ‘Womb of Lilithu’. Following the recording of this album, frontman Tobias Sidegard was convicted for domestic abuse and subsequently fired from the band. He is to be replaced at the earliest opportunity. (Text: Geert Struyven)

Saturday June 28 – Marquee - 13:20 to 14:05

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