The final countdown to GMM 2015: part 4

In eleven days we are officialy opening the doors of Graspop Metal Meeting 2015. Time to take a closer look at the bands performing at the festival!

Stray from the path

With bands such as Sick of It All, Madball, H2O and many others, New York has been a hardcore hotspot for several decades. Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming each of those bands on the GMM stage so we thought we’d try some new talent this year. Stray from the Path stands for brutal and aggressive hardcore with politically inspired lyrics. Formed in 2001, they’ve released seven studio albums to date. Their music features influences ranging from punk to metalcore to alternative metal. The songs on their latest album ‘Anonymous’ are boot-to-throat and the lyrics are political nitroglycerine. What are you waiting for?  (Text: Nick Tronckoe)

Friday 19 June - Jupiler Stage - 20:20 to 21:10


My Dying Bride

‘Records are made to be broken’ is a popular saying that this British band takes to heart. This summer My Dying Bride will chalk up their 9th GMM appearance! The melancholic death/doom metal band apparently appreciates continuity because 25 years into their career they are still with the Peaceville record company, a notable exception in the music business today. My Dying Bride’s music has always transcended the boundaries of what is traditionally regarded as death or doom metal. The alternation of clean and melodic sections with brutal and uncompromising passages is part of their unique signature. This summer also provides an opportunity to get reacquainted with original guitarist Calvin Robertshaw, who has recently returned to the fold to replace Hamish Glencross. (Text: Stef Maes)

Friday 19 June - Marquee - 20:45 to 21:55


In Flames

These melodious rockers have been a force in the world of metal for 25 years now. From their death metal roots they evolved into all-round musicians who live for their music and leave no stone unturned. They chose to record their latest album in the legendary Hanso Ton studios in Berlin, where they followed in the footsteps of music icons such as U2, Iggy Pop and Depeche Mode. Upon first listen to the new ‘Siren Charms’ CD, it is immediately obvious that this is a mature band. They are eager to prove as much on their sixth GMM appearance, just in time for our 20th anniversary edition. (Text: Stef Maes)

Friday 19 June - Mainstage 2 - 21:10 to 22:25



Few bands on the extreme metal scene have undergone as many stylistic changes as Samael without betraying their roots. Initially a doom/black metal band, the Swiss outfit gradually integrated electro and industrial elements into their music, making it almost danceable. Nevertheless, the occult remained a source of inspiration for the Swiss combo and this also had an impact on their sound. They’ve been a guest at our festival on five previous occasions and they’ve managed to surprise us every time. Combining the best elements of their two most popular albums, ‘Passage’ (1996) and ‘Solar Soul’ (2007), their last album ‘Make Way for the Antigod’ (2011) is the perfect way to whet your appetite if you’re unfamiliar with Samael. (Text: Morbid Geert)

Friday 19 June - Metal Dome - 21:20 to 22:10



KISS have been the undisputed flag bearers of theatrical hard rock for over four decades. From the very outset in 1973, founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, the only members remaining from the original line-up, focused on the visual aspect with the band members’ painted faces and outrageous stage outfits. By the time they abandoned the face paint, KISS had earned a reputation as one of the best-selling acts of the seventies. They continued to make history in the eighties with a string of gold records while on stage they can always count on the unwavering support of the gigantic ‘KISS army’. Released to universal critical acclaim, 2012’s ‘Monster’ confirmed that Gene Simmons (bass), Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar), Tommy Thayer (lead guitar) and Eric Singer (drums) are as hot as ever. (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)

Friday 19 June - Mainstage 1 - 22:35 to 00:05



The Norwegian loner Ihsahn is world famous for his prominent role in Emperor, the uncrowned kings of black metal. After the last reunion shows last year, Emperor was finally laid to rest as the band members were not willing to postpone the inevitable purely for financial gain. So at the moment Ihsahn’s solo project is the only one left but that’s fine by us. Operating under his own steam, Ihsahn is making his mark as a solo musician who continues to shape extreme metal in his unique and inimitable way, his black metal roots blending effortlessly with the most complex progressive elements. On stage Ihshan is joined by the members of Norwegian progressive metal band Leprous, who were trained by the master himself. Ihsahn did a great job in 2012 when he had to compete with Twisted Sister on the main stage. If you went to see the crazy sibling last time, this is your chance to make amends. (Text: Morbid Geert)

Friday 19 June - Metal Dome - 22:45 to 23:45


Marilyn Manson

A bit of controversy never hurt anyone; Marilyn Manson has been proving that for nearly 20 years now. The four-time Grammy nominee is best known for his hit albums ‘Antichrist Superstar’ (1996) and ‘Mechanical Animals’ (1998). The shock rocker’s new album is scheduled for an early 2015 release and the title, ‘The Pale Emperor’, is quintessential Manson. Marilyn Manson is so much more than a mere musician. Apart from the author of such classics as ‘The ‘Beautiful People’, Manson is also a gifted painter. As an actor, he has appeared in both feature films and TV series, e.g. the last season of ‘Sons of Anarchy’, where he portrays a white supremacist inmate. Love him or hate him but a Marilyn Manson performance never goes by unnoticed. (Text: Stef Maes)

Friday 19 June - Mainstage 2 - 00:15 to 01:30


Hawk Eyes

Hailing from Leeds, UK, Hawk Eyes are pretty unknown in these parts but across the Channel they’ve been a part of the heavy music scene for over a decade. With two full CDs and several EPs to their credit, they’ve evolved from a DIY hardcore outfit to more of an alternative rock band with an edge and the occasional nod to stoner rock. With the imminent release of their third full CD and a title like ‘Everything is Fine’, how can things go wrong? If you’re into alternative rock and metal with stoner influences then Hawk Eyes is definitely worth a try. (Text: Stef Maes)

Saturday 20 June - Metal Dome - 11:15 to 11:55


Lower than Atlantis

English kids in Dessel… Yet another band making their first appearance at Graspop is British rock quartet Lower than Atlantis. Formed in 2007, Lower than Atlantis is rooted in the punk rock scene but that didn’t stop them from experimenting with hardcore influences early on. The band kept evolving and eight years and four albums into their career, Lower than Atlantis is firmly established on the alternative rock scene. The band hasn’t altogether abandoned its punk roots but, much like the musicians themselves, the music has clearly matured. Just check out their recent self-titled fourth album if you want to know what the rave reviews are about. (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Saturday 20 June - Mainstage 1 - 11:30 to 12:10


Orphaned Land

The guys from Orphaned Land feel that ‘people should be judged by their hearts and inner sincerity, not their religious beliefs’, which is quite a statement for a band with Israeli roots. Their mix of progressive, death & doom metal is spiced up with oriental influences. Unsurprisingly, their lyrics are politically inspired although they refuse to take sides: their music expresses their personal take on the situation in their home country. In 2014 the band won the Metal Hammer Award for ‘Global Metal Band of the Year’. Formed as long ago as 1991, this summer’s show still marks their first GMM appearance. This has all the makings of a memorable occasion for the band and GMM fans alike. (Text: Steven Verhoeven)

Saturday 20 June – Marquee - 12:00 to 12:40



Speed is not Orchid’s main concern. This band prefers to slow things down a little but don’t worry: Orchid is an excellent old-school doom metal band so you won’t be falling asleep anytime soon. Hailing from San Francisco, this American band likes to flirt with occult rock and heavy guitars and their sound has often been compared to early Black Sabbath. Orchid provides the perfect soundtrack for a night of wandering amongst ghosts, fairies and forest spirits. Orchid are the perfect band to take a breather from the ultraviolence in the line-up while still being doomy and gloomy enough to please the metal masses. (Text: Robby Embrechts)

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