The final countdown to GMM2014: part 5

One week left until Graspop Metal Meeting 2014! Over more than 100 bands are taking the stage this edition, so it couldn’t hurt to check out those bands.


Skyharbor is the first Indian band ever to make it onto our bill. They are still relatively unknown in these parts but established metal bands like Lamb of God and former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman view Skyharbor as a hot prospect. Friedman was a guest musician on their debut ‘Blinding White Noise’ and meanwhile Skyharbor have made their European debut in Germany. Those of you that are into prog rock with a generous helping of djent - think Meshuggah – will welcome Skyharbor with open arms. (Text: Stef Maes)

Saturday June 28  - Jupiler Stage - 13:20 to 14:00


When you’re a band whose main lyrical interests are vampires and werewolves, it’s not that easy to craft a believable image for yourself. So when Romanian opera-trained singer Attila Dorn joined Powerwolf with his love of Romanian werewolf lore, all the pieces of the puzzle finally fell into place, both musically and conceptually. From then on, Powerwolf has moved from strength to strength, building a solid and fiercely loyal fanbase that grows with every new album. They opened the main stage in 2012 and the crowd response illustrated the band’s potential. Their new release ‘Preachers of the Night’ is another step up for these power metal heroes so heed the gospel of the wolf! (Text: Stef Maes)

Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 2 - 14:00 to 14:45


Music from our own backyard! And not just any music because Amenra are finally making their Graspop debut this year. Hailing from Kortrijk, these underground legends have been making inroads into the big leagues of the doom/sludge genre and they are an inspiration to loads of bands that are just starting out. Amenra are known for their fierce live shows steeped in darkness, emotion, inner suffering and spirituality. More than a mere music event, an Amenra performance is an emotional rollercoaster. Open yourself up to a new experience and enter the Church of Ra. (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Saturday June 28 - Metal Dome - 14:05 to 14:50


What can we say about Nile that extreme death metal fans haven’t heard a thousand times before? We could point out that they single-handedly gave the death metal scene a new twist by seamlessly integrating oriental elements in their ferocious death metal mix. Or we could remind them that Nile’s songs betray a level of musicianship that would put many a prog band to shame. Or we could state the obvious and say that their live shows are flawless and of unequalled intensity. If this is news to you then hopefully we’ve aroused your curiosity; if you did know then we’ll see you in front of the stage in the Marquee. (Text: Geert Struyven)

Saturday June 28 – Marquee - 14:45 to 15:35


What could be more beautiful than husband and wife sharing the stage for a generous helping of heavy rock? Husband John (vocals/bass) and wife Korey (guitar/keyboards) Cooper of Christian rock band Skillet would undoubtedly agree. Don’t let the Christian thing bother you, though. In the good old US of A, the band has been going from strength to strength, selling over 2 million albums to date. Corey Taylor (Stone Sour/Slipknot) is one their biggest fans. Skillet rocks like a hurricane and their highly entertaining American rock/metal alternates between a venomous bite and a tender caress. Last year they opened for Nickelback in a packed Forest National and they blew the roof off. Definitely one of the most promising GMM debuts this year. (Text: Stef Maes)

Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 1 - 14:55 to 15:40

Protest The Hero

Protest the Hero is a metal band whose music is influenced by a variety of metal subgenres and it’s this variety that sets them apart from many other bands. If a mix of progressive metal, mathcore and power metal strikes your fancy then you’re in for a treat. So far, Protest the Hero have been able to surprise the fans with every new release and almost 15 years into their career, they are a well-oiled live machine. Three years after their previous visit GMM is ready for another dose of Protest the Hero’s unique brand of metal. (Text: Robby Embrechts)

Saturday June 28 - Jupiler Stage - 14:55 to 15:35


A millennium ago, the Vikings raided our shores, along the way pillaging monasteries and laying waste to coastal villages. Nowadays, the Scandinavian invasion is a musical one and black/viking metal heroes Enslaved have been at the forefront of that movement for twenty years now. Whereas their early efforts were limited to lightning-fast black metal, they have long since metamorphosed into virtuosos of extreme metal. Progressive song structures, psychedelic elements, a vintage Hammond organ and Pink Floyd-inspired guitar work go hand in hand with aggressive sections that sting every bit as hard as their early work. These guys are no stranger to the carrot-and-stick approach, a characteristic that pays dividends on stage. It’s been nine years since their last GMM show so it’s high time to get reacquainted! (Text: Geert Struyven)

Saturday June 28 - Metal Dome - 15:40 to 16:25

Gamma Ray

With Gamma Ray we’re adding another power metal giant to this year’s lineup. The band around Kai Hansen was founded in the late 80s and is commonly viewed as one of the key contributors to the genre’s distinctive sound, as illustrated by cracking tracks such as the bombastic ‘Heading for Tomorrow’, the pounding ‘Walls of Jericho’ and of course the classic ‘Land of the Free’. Just last March they released their latest feat called ‘Empire of the Undead’. Thirty years after the band’s inception, the new album is proof positive that Gamma Ray is still a force to be reckoned with in the power metal genre. What to expect from Gamma Ray? An energetic show, an unrelenting drive and a steaming cauldron filled to the brim with epic power metal! (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 2 - 15:50 to 16:40

Legion Of The Damned

This Dutch death metal machine has graced the GMM arena on numerous occasions thanks to their excellent live reputation. Mixed by long-time producer Andy Classen, the new ‘Ravenous Plague’ album is set for an early 2014 release and is reminiscent of the band’s debut. The new CD also features new guitarist Twan Van Geel. Legion of the Damned stands for the kind of technically refined death metal that always results in a mega mosh pit, sore neck muscles and lots of fun. Expect breakneck speed riffing and insanely fast drum work in a perfectly balanced mix of classic death and thrash metal. (Text: Stef Maes)

Saturday June 28 – Marquee - 16:15 to 17:05

Walls of Jericho

Walls of Jericho, the hardcore band from Detroit, had to tone things down following singer Candace Kucsulain’s pregnancy and the birth of her daughter in 2011 but three years later they’re moving through the gears again. Their heavy breakdowns and razor-sharp riffs cut straight through concrete and Walls of Jericho is one the few bands able to get the entire crowd moshing. How do they do it, you ask? Simple, by crushing all resistance and going balls out for 60 minutes. Live on stage, Walls of Jericho are one of the tightest outfits in the genre. (Text: Nick Tronckoe)

Saturday June 28 - Jupiler Stage - 16:30 to 17:10


You may wonder why we sometimes bill bands that were here just two years earlier but if you know Gojira that’s a rhetorical question. When the likes of Metallica personally ask a band to go out on the road with them that definitely means something! Their music has lots of unexpected twists and turns and they sound like a hybrid of Morbid Angel and Voivod. Their studio work is finger-licking good (just listen to their latest album ’L’enfant Sauvage’) but the stage is their natural environment. The songs hit like a cluster bomb and it’s incredible that so much violence can carry such a profound ecological message... Come and see why this amazing live band leaves no one untouched. (Text: Geert Struyven)

Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 1 - 16:50 to 17:40


With over 1,000 live shows under their belt, the Brits from Amplifier are an experienced live band. The Mancunians also know their way around a recording studio but it still took them five years to record their self-titled debut ‘Amplifier’ (2004). Their sophomore album ‘Insider’ was released two years later but it was 2011’s double CD ‘The Octopus’, deservedly labelled ‘a modern classic’, that got the message across to a larger audience. Amplifier’s music stubbornly resists categorisation and that suits these guys just fine. Personally, we’d go with ‘progressive rock meets alternative metal meets Black Sabbath’ including the occasional nod to Tool and Pink Floyd. The ‘Sunriders’ EP was released a few months ago and it’s a teaser for ‘Mystoria’, the next studio record that’s scheduled for a September 2014 release… (Tekst: Wim Vander Haegen)

Saturday June 28 - Metal Dome - 17:15 to 18:00

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