Hell yeah, only six days to go until the start of the 19th edition of Graspop Metal Meeting! Let’s take a closer look at the bands playing this year.
The popularity of the Swiss pagan/folk metal band ELUVEITIE has soared in the last few years. Their music is a combination of traditional Celtic folk music and melodious death metal with obvious Gothenburg-style influences such as At The Gates and In Flames. The result is a unique blend of metal that is becoming increasingly popular. The eight-piece from Winterthur, Switzerland, couples musical themes from countries and regions such as Ireland and Brittany with lyrical inspiration taken from Europe’s rich Celtic past. The end result is an ironclad guarantee of a great party and if you happened to catch their three previous GMM shows, that won’t come as a surprise.
Saturday June 28 – Marquee - 17:45 to 18:40
By the time frontman Blackie Lawless founded W.A.S.P. in 1982, he was already a veteran of the American metal scene. Lawless, who joined New York Dolls at the age of eighteen, released W.A.S.P.’s self-titled debut in 1984. The album made a big impact with the singles ‘Animal’, ‘I Wanna Be Somebody’ and ‘School Daze’. The Crimson Idol tour (2007) featuring the 1992 concept album of the same name is of course legendary and in 2012 they went on a special tour in celebration of the band’s 30th anniversary. Known for their larger than life stage performances, W.A.S.P. will feel right at home on the main stage!
Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 2 - 17:50 to 18:40
When this American band burst upon the scene in 1992 with their hugely successful debut ‘Foul Taste of Freedom’, they were one of the few bands to make this kind of impact from the get-go. In the years that followed they were able to build on that success thanks to the unbridled enthusiasm they brought to both the studio work and their live shows. The pioneers of NY crossover are celebrating their 23rd anniversary this year but the petrol tank is far from empty. Under the expert wings of ex-Crumbsucker Gary Meskil, the quartet recently finished work on their excellent new album, ‘The Final Revolution’. True fans tip their hats to these crossover veterans. (Text: Robby Embrechts)
Saturday June 28 - Jupiler Stage - 18:05 to 18:45
Rolling Stone magazine labelled them ‘the best metal band of their generation’ while others feel they are ‘one of the best hard rock bands ever’. Fact is that Mastodon, who’ll be making their fifth GMM appearance this year, is a band that always makes an impression, frequently surprises and never disappoints. Mastodon are a very versatile band, integrating numerous heavy genres in their songs including sludge, stoner, alternative metal, progressive metal, ‘heavy’ metal and more. As a result they are impossible to pin down but the music of bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor is invariably complex, engaging and creative. Formed in 2000, the band’s 2002 debut ‘Remission’ made an immediate impact and the following year they became an instant crowd favourite on their GMM debut. The power of Mastodon lies not just in the surprising and many-layered compositions. More than anything else it’s their incredible musicianship that continues to wow crowds around the globe. Also, thanks to the incessant touring the band is a well-oiled live machine. By the way, word has it a new release is in the stars for 2014... (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)
Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 1 - 18:50 to 19:40
Cult of Luna
The seven-headed post-metal monster Cult of Luna is making its Graspop debut this summer. Over the years, the sound of this Swedish band has evolved from heavily doom-influenced material to a less aggressive form of metal with orchestral interludes, which is one of the reasons why they are often named as one of the pioneers of post-metal. Think dark, ponderous, repetitive and crushing guitars that pull up a gigantic wall of sound. Electronica features prominently on their latest album, ‘Vertikal’, but somehow they manage to integrate this influence seamlessly into a progressive, doomy whole. More than worthwhile! (Text: Steven Verhoeven)
Saturday June 28 - Metal Dome - 18:50 to 19:40
The top flight of the Norwegian black metal scene is still dominated by the usual suspects – and deservedly so since they are the ones courageous enough to push the boundaries of the genre. When it comes to experimenting, Satyricon definitely takes the crown: following their epic period they switched to post-black, including the integration of industrial elements, but on their most recent albums they went back to the essence by stripping the music of its frills and leaving nothing but the skeleton. The duo Satyr and Frost are still pulling all the strings and with such a varied catalogue we’re really looking forward to their first GMM show since 2006. (Text: Geert Struyven)
Saturday June 28 – Marquee - 19:20 to 20:20
Some consider the sleepy town of Savannah, Georgia, to be the sludge metal capital of the world. And who can blame them? Few towns are home to the likes of Baroness, Black Tusk and... Kylesa. The sweltering heat of the Deep South permeates their stomping sound that will appeal to fans of Melvins and Queens of the Stone Age alike. Sludge, stoner and crust punk and a touch of psychedelic rock make for an exciting mix. Guitarist/frontwoman Laura Pleasants and Philip Cope are the two remaining founding members and they write the bulk of the material. Also, get ready for a genuine drumfest because the lineup includes two drummers! (Text: Geert Struyven)
Saturday June 28 - Jupiler Stage - 19:45 to 20:35
When Trivium made their GMM debut in 2006 they were touring the old continent as openers for Metallica together with Avenged Sevenfold. Even back then the pundits predicted a glorious future for Trivium and what do you know, they were right. The best part of a decade later, Trivium has built a great live reputation and their latest album ‘Vengeance Falls’ illustrates that these guys are ready for the changing of the guard. On the new disc, the band’s many influences blend together into a modern heavy metal record that puts them firmly in the big leagues. Get ready for yet another scorching metal set because the future of metal has arrived. (Text: Stef Maes)
Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 2 - 19:50 to 20:50
The Dillinger Escape Plan
Few bands are a genre unto themselves but The Dillinger Escape Plan is one of them. Some label their music hardcore, some call it metal and others claim they pioneered the mathcore genre. One thing’s for certain, though: their music is chaotic but very recognisable and unique, which has allowed them to carve out their own niche on the metal scene. The musicianship is top-notch and their live sets are extremely tight and energetic: these guys frequently leave the stage with more bruises than a boxer after a fight. Last year the band cancelled its performance, but will be back this summer!
Saturday June 28 - Metal Dome - 20:40 to 21:40
Alter Bridge’s fourth album, ‘Fortress’ (2013), received critical acclaim across the globe. It’s a stand-out album that has cemented Alter Bridge’s reputation for providing a unique mix of (hard) rock, alternative metal and post-grunge. In 2004, shortly after the demise of Creed, guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips teamed up with singer Myles Kennedy to try and recapture their erstwhile Creed success with a new band. Following the first two Alter Bridge albums, Tremonti, Marshall & Phillips picked up where they left off with Creed while Kennedy focused on a project with Slash. Fueled by the hit single ‘Isolation’ (2010), Alter Bridge’s third album, ‘AB III’, opened the door to more commercial success. The band members continued their involvement in their respective side projects until the recording and release of ‘Fortress’, their best album to date. (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)
Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 1 - 21:00 to 22:00
It’s hard to imagine but unfortunately it’s also true: this summer’s festival will mark the GMM debut of the post-metal pioneers of Neurosis. What started as a hardcore band in 1985 morphed into one of the most influential alternative acts of the last twenty years. Over time, the hardcore and punk influences were replaced with a heavier and much darker sound that even includes ambient and, certainly since the last record, folk elements. If you’ve seen them before you will undoubtedly remember that the atmosphere at a Neurosis gig is absolutely unique. (Text: Steven Verhoeven)
Saturday June 28 – Marquee - 21:00 to 22:00
Two years ago Limp Bizkit amazed both friend and foe with a hard-hitting headlining show that topped off the second festival day. Their obstinate mix of nu-metal lavishly covered with a hip hop sauce was one of the day’s highlights and the crowd in front of the stage really let their hair down. This GMM-edition Fred Durst and friends will be providing top entertainment as headliner on Mainstage 2 on Saturday June 28. Their new album, ‘Stampede of the Disco Elephants’, is scheduled for an early 2014 release so there’s new material to look forward to as well. Judging by their previous GMM show we’re in for crazy costumes, the occasional striking cover and boundless live energy. These guys know how to whip an arena into a frenzy so come prepared. (Text: Steven Verhoeven)
Saturday June 28 - Mainstage 2 - 22:10 to 23:40