The final countdown to GMM 2015: part 6

Hell yeah, only nine days to go until the start of the 20th edition of Graspop Metal Meeting! Let’s take a closer look at the bands playing this year.


The 2011 debut of super doom/death project Vallenfyre was a welcome surprise and a breath of fresh air. Founder and Paradise Lost guitarist Gregor Mackintosh, who also assumes vocal duties here, enlisted the help of Paradise Lost drummer Adrian Erlandsson and My Dying Bride guitarist Hamish Glencross. Vallenfyre’s sound hearkens back to the sound of the late 80s Swedish death metal scene. Whereas Paradise Lost have been toning down the aggression in recent years, Vallenfyre does nothing to curb the old death metal anger. Mackintosh has a surprisingly efficient death growl and his despairing, misery-soaked leads blend in wonderfully with the rumbling, galloping rhythm section and the crunchy riffs. Their sophomore effort, ‘Splinters’, builds on the first album and if retro and metal supergroups are all the rage right now, Vallenfyre is certainly one of the finer examples. As this is a side project, they don’t get to perform live all that often so this is a must-see for old school death& doom metal fans! (Text: Morbid Geert)

Saturday 20 June - Marquee - 16:15 to 17:05

Code Orange

Formed in 2008 in Pittsburgh when the band members were still in their mid-teens, this American punk/hardcore band initially self-released their work. Just three years later they were signed by Deathwish, a label with an eye for young and raw heavy music talent. Their full-length debut ‘Love Is Love/Return to Dust’ provided a tantalising taste of things to come; follow-up ‘I Am King’ (2014) really put Code Orange on the map. Their mission is clear: conquering the world with a brand of hardcore the likes of which the world has never seen before. What sets them apart are the elements from other genres such as punk and sludge that add an extra dimension to their music. Listen to these young dogs with an open mind and they’ll blow your socks off. You’ve been warned... (Text: Nick Tronckoe)

Saturday 20 June - Jupiler Stage - 16:40 to 17:20



In 2014, Godsmack released yet another stunner of a record with ‘1000hp’. The title of this sixth album is a reminder of what GMM fans can expect from the Boston sons come GMM2015. If you’ve caught Godsmack live before – perhaps at GMM2012 when they were invited by popular request – then you know what we mean: Godsmack stands for a generous helping of American rock/heavy metal with influences ranging from Alice in Chains to Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Sully Erna’s voice is reminiscent of the late Layne Staley and James Hetfield and the riff-laden music is fuelled by a powerhouse rhythm section. They’re a major draw in the US and the new ‘1000hp’ CD is the next step to claiming a similar status on this side of the Atlantic. (Text: Steven Verhoeven)

Saturday 20 June - Mainstage 1 - 16:45 to 17:35


Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil have been the flag bearers of the Italian metal scene since before the millennium. Theirs is a unique brand of metal that struck a chord with audiences all over Europe. Starting out as a gothic metal band, they were initially successful in Europe alone but their 2006 album ‘Karmacode’ finally helped them break into the mainstream US market. Lacuna Coil’s sound has evolved quite dramatically over the years: their most recent CD ‘Broken Crown Halo’ showcases a mature and internationally acclaimed alternative rock and metal band that hasn’t forgotten its gothic roots. The band’s intensive touring schedule has won them a loyal worldwide fan base and quite deservedly so: Lacuna Coil sounds fresh, innovative and dark at the same time. (Text: Nick Tronckoe)

Saturday 20 June - Metal Dome - 17:30 to 18:15


Sonata Arctica

The Finnish masters of melodic power metal are also coming to Graspop Metal Meeting 2015. When Sonata Arctica burst upon the power metal scene in 1996 with ‘Ecliptica’, their innovative brand of melodic power metal turned a lot of heads. Over the next few albums they continued along the same vein: stellar guitar solos, intricate melodies and Kakko’s soaring voice cemented the band’s reputation. They also toured with the likes of Stratovarius, Rhapsody and Nightwish. Some of the early fans didn’t appreciate the pop-rock feel of their most recent albums, but 2014’s ‘Pariah Child’ signals a return to the vibe of their earlier work. Are you ready for a masterclass in Finnish power metal? (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Saturday 20 June - Mainstage 2 - 17:45 to 18:35



Korpiklaani or ‘Clan of the Wilderness’ initially played folk music before Finnish colleagues Finntroll inspired them to change musical directions and add metal to the menu. For over a decade, the masters of Finnish folk metal have been the perfect antidote for boredom. They always get the crowd moving and drinking – and not necessarily in that order. Korpiklaani are always in a festive mood and that’s just what we need for our anniversary edition. With eight albums in just over a decade, they’re as prolific at writing music as they are at drinking and partying. Their ‘Manala’ album was released in 2012 and that means it’s their longest pause between new albums so who knows, there may be a couple of new songs in the offing. (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Saturday 20 June – Marquee - 17:45 to 18:40


We are Harlot

Ever since 2011, Asking Alexandria frontman Danny Worsnop has been dropping the name of his side project left and right: We Are Harlot. No brutal British metalcore here, though, this is something completely different: together with Jeff George, Bruno Agra and Brian Weaver he plays rock ‘n’ roll in the best Aerosmith and Van Halen tradition. It took until 2014 for We Are Harlot to release their first single, probably due to Worsnop’s busy touring schedule with his main band. Their debut single ‘Denial’ gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect: a generous helping of heavy rock reminiscent of the eighties but with a modern slant. Are you ready to rock ‘n’ roll? (Text: Steven Verhoeven / Translation: Nick Devos)

Saturday 20 June - Jupiler Stage - 18:25 to 19:05


Five Finger Death Punch

In 2009 Five Finger Death Punch was forced to cancel its maiden GMM show at the eleventh hour but we’re confident their GMM2015 set will be worth the wait. 5FDP has featured on the GMM most wanted list for several years. In other words, expectations are high but that is nothing new for one of the main exponents of ‘American’ metal. These guys are known for their brutally honest and often introspective lyrics and they’re a popular favourite among the United States Armed Forces. On their most recent releases ‘The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, vol.1 & 2’, they enlisted the help of some impressive friends. It’ll be interesting to see who, if anyone, joins them live on stage at GMM for some pure and unadulterated metal, American style. (Text: Steven Verhoeven)

Saturday 20 June - Mainstage 1 - 18:45 to 19:35



It gives us great pleasure to announce the return of the flag bearers of Irish metal. Ireland’s black metal pride have always been able to capture the country’s melancholy soul in their pagan metal hymns without resorting to the traditional bagpipes and flutes. Instead, Primordial deal in repetitive and hypnotic riffs. Their latest offering ‘Where Greater Men Have Fallen’ features powerful music with intelligent lyrics that evoke the wounds of history. Coming on the heels of the universally praised ‘To the Nameless Dead’ CD, their inspired performance at GMM2008 was one of the highlights of that edition. They’ve set a high standard for themselves but judging by their new album they are more than ready to pick up that gauntlet. (Text: Morbid Geert)

Saturday 20 June - Metal Dome - 19:15 to 20:05


Arch Enemy

A Swedish death metal band with a leading lady whose furious grunts will bring any man to his knees? That can only be Arch Enemy. The band’s announcement that singer Angela Gossow was trading in the microphone for a more modest role behind the scenes and was to be replaced by Canadian singer Alissa White-Gluz came as a bolt from the blue. Some feared for the band’s future but with release of the brilliant new album ‘War Eternal’ such concerns were easily put to rest. Those who have seen the band live recently will confirm that Arch Enemy are as tight, powerful and energetic as ever. Judge for yourself at GMM2015! (Text: Niels Desmedt)

Saturday 20 June – Marquee - 19:25 to 20:25


Alice Cooper

The man known worldwide as Alice Cooper started out in the music business in 1964. Alice Cooper was initially the name of the band fronted by American vocalist Vincent Furnier. Despite the commercial success of ‘School’s Out’ (1972) and the eponymous single, Alice Cooper disbanded in 1974. Furnier promptly appropriated the name and embarked on a highly successful solo career. In the early years, Alice Cooper didn’t shy away from controversy and became the figurehead of the new shock rock scene, a theatrical incarnation of the extremely popular glam rock genre of the early 70s. Thanks to the classic ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ (1973) and the single ‘Elected’, Alice Cooper enjoyed a brief spell as the biggest rock act in the world. The influence of Alice Cooper on the metal scene can hardly be overestimated. He is credited with being the first to introduce horror imagery and musical theatre to heavy rock and even carved out a career as an actor. Following the split and having assumed the persona of Alice Cooper, Furnier continued to churn out hit after hit including ‘Only Women Bleed’ and ‘How You Gonna See Me Now’. Cooper briefly turned his back on the shock rock scene, a move that was met with disapproval. After returning to the fold, both ‘Poison’ and ‘Hey Stoopid’ sold millions of copies worldwide. Things went pretty quiet on the Alice Cooper front in the nineties but with the dawn of the new millennium Alice came back with a vengeance. ‘The Eyes of Alice Cooper’ (2003), ‘Dirty Diamonds’ (2005) and ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’ (2011) signalled a successful return to his roots. (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)

Saturday 20 June - Mainstage 2 - 19:45 to 20:45