The final countdown to GMM 2015: part 7

It is getting closer and closer. In eight 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!

Every Time I Die

It’s good to let your hair down sometimes. Just ask the lads from Every Time I Die: going for broke is the most natural thing in the world to them. Their performance at GMM2013 was very promising and this year we’ll be able to see how the American band’s brutal metalcore has developed. Contrary to many of their metalcore colleagues, Every Time I Die have been known to integrate southern rock and mathcore into their music. Every Time I Die is one of the favourite bands of the new generation of metalcore fans and it’s easy to see why. We’ll be seeing you in the mosh pit. (Text: Robby Embrechts)

Saturday 20 June - Jupiler Stage - 20:15 to 21:05

 

Korn

Californians Korn have been one of the leading nu metal bands since the early nineties. In fact, the band’s self-titled debut is widely credited with spawning the nu metal scene. Korn’s initial two albums were pretty successful but they didn’t really break into the mainstream until the release of 1998’s ‘Follow the Leader’, which created a large and fiercely loyal fan base for the band. With over 25 million records sold as well as two Grammy Awards and several MTV Awards to their credit, Korn is not afraid to keep evolving and introduce new elements, as illustrated by the band’s collaboration with world-famous DJ Skrillex. In addition, the return of guitarist Head in 2013 gave Korn a tremendous boost. Their GMM gig that year set the festival arena ablaze in spite of a steady downpour. A great addition to our 20th anniversary line-up! (Text: Stef Maes)

Saturday 20 June - Mainstage 1 - 20:55 to 22:10

 

At The Gates

When At the Gates formed in Gothenburg in 1990, no one could have predicted the future importance of the band: together with Dark Tranquillity and In Flames, they were one of the main progenitors of the so-called Gothenburg death metal scene, which featured slightly more melodic bands than their Stockholm counterpart. Whereas their colleagues chose to concentrate on the melodic aspect, At the Gates stayed the course as the hardest of the pioneering bands until 1996, when the departure of the Bj√∂rler brothers prompted a split in spite of the success of the seminal album ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ (1995). A decade of radio silence followed until 2007 and the announcement of a number of reunion shows that appealed to fans old and new. Nevertheless, the band stressed that no new album was or would be forthcoming… Until now, that is, because 19 years after the release of ‘Slaughter of the Soul’, At the Gates are back with their fifth full-length offering entitled ‘At War with reality’. (Text: Morbid Geert)

Saturday 20 June – Marquee - 21:05 to 22:05

 

Alcest

Can a metal band produce ethereal tracks that take you away from this earthly realm and let your thoughts stray to another world? If you’ve ever heard the French band Alcest you’ll know it’s possible. This approach marked the band’s early days when frontman Neige was still mainly inspired by black metal but over time the band’s rough edges were smoothed over into what is sometimes called ‘shoegaze’. For their latest album they travelled to Iceland to capture and translate the ethereal atmosphere into the tracks. If you’re looking to take a breather from the metal madness raging elsewhere on the festival grounds, the spiritual world of Alcest will welcome you with open arms. (Text: Morbid Geert)

Saturday 20 June - Metal Dome - 21:15 to 22:15

 

Judas Priest

Few bands have a track record that can stand the comparison with that of the mighty Priest. From the band’s inception in 1969, they went on to become one of the founding fathers of heavy metal. Forty-five years later, they are still going strong with their trademark twin lead guitars, Rob Halford’s impressive vocal range and a skintight rhythm section led by co-founder Ian Hill. Judas Priest first came to the fore in the second half of the 70s but it wasn’t until 1980 that they forced a worldwide breakthrough with the release of their landmark ‘British Steel’ album and the legendary hits ‘Breaking the Law’ and ‘Living after Midnight’. Follow-up ‘Point of Entry’ (1981) and especially ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ (1982) further cemented the band’s reputation. The 1990 release of ‘Painkiller’ showcased a band ready for a new decade of metal domination but unfortunately the new album also foreshadowed their untimely split. Following the departure of frontman Rob Halford, Judas Priest remained active but it wasn’t until Rob’s return in 2003 that Priest’s former glory was restored. This last decade has seen Judas Priest soaring to new heights with ‘Angel of Retribution’ (2005), ‘Nostradamus’ (2008) and also their latest album ‘Redeemer of Souls’ (2014), the first full-length Priest recording to feature K.K. Downing’s replacement Richie Faulkner. (Text: Wim Vander Haegen)

Saturday 20 June - Mainstage 2 - 22:20 to 23:50

 

Slipknot

A growth process is a question of ebb and flow. Life hasn’t always been kind to the guys in Slipknot. Formed in Des Moines, Iowa, the masked and overall-clad nine man outfit beat the odds to become one of the most successful metal bands of their generation. Despite the numerous personnel changes, despite going on hiatus three times and despite the untimely death in 2010 of bassist and co-founder Paul Gray and the 2013 departure of drummer Joey Jordison, Slipknot somehow continued to mature. The culmination of this process is called ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’, the band’s fifth full CD and a metal headbutt destined to be one of the favourites for metal album of the year. Over the years, GMM has had the privilege of watching this band grow and their set at GMM02015 is shaping up to be one of their most talked about performances yet. Paul Gray’s musical heritage proves that a new generation of major headliners is starting to emerge. (Text: Stef Maes)

Saturday 20 June - Mainstage 1 - 00:00 to 01:30

 

Kobra And The Lotus

Like a Storm

Blood is thicker than water and that’s probably why Chris, Matt and Kent Brooks decided to form a band together. Before long they realised they had something special going and the New Zealand brothers decided to move to Canada to further their career, a smart move since their full-length debut ‘The End of the Beginning’ was well received there. Before long things were moving along nicely on the live front as well with support slots for Creed, Shinedown and Alter Bridge, bands that play the same brand of modern metal as Like a storm. With their brand-new album ‘Awaken the Fire’, Like a Storm have set their sights on Europe. If you want to know what a hard rock song with didgeridoo sounds like then you should definitely give these guys a listen. (Text: Stef Maes) 

Sunday 21 June - Mainstage 2 - 11:30 to 12:10

Den Saakaldte

Black metal fans are in for a treat this summer. With Sarke and God Seed we had already billed two black metal supergroups and with Den Saakaldte we’re now adding a third. Consisting of a Greek, a few Norwegians, an Icelander and an Englishman, this international combo specialises in aggressive compositions with a touch of dark melancholy. New frontman Eldur (from Fortid) was faced with the hard task of replacing vocalist Niklas Kvarforth (Shining) but on the band’s second album ‘Faen I Helvete’ he passed the test with flying colours. Den Saakaldte is playing at an ungodly hour but that shouldn’t stop you from checking them out, if only because their live shows are few and far between. (Text: Morbid Geert)

Sunday 21 June – Marquee - 12:00 to 12:40

 

Pop Evil

The American band Pop Evil is pretty much an unknown quantity in Europe in spite of the three full-length CDs to their credit but GMM2015 is going to change all that. Stateside their infectious modern metal effortlessly sells out the bigger club venues. Last year they crossed the Atlantic for the first time to promote their most recent album, ‘Onyx’. Some of you will remember they did a great job opening for 5FDP in concert hall Trix (Antwerp) on that tour. This year they’re looking to make an impact during the European festival summer and Graspop is just one of the stops. Frontman Leigh Kakaty and friends certainly have what it takes to become one of this year’s sensations. (Text: Stef Maes)

 

Battle Beast

The subgenre of female-fronted bands has been gathering steam in recent years and this is also reflected in this year’s line-up. Formed in Helsinki in 2008, Battle Beast has toured with the likes of Nightwish, Sonata Arctica and Sabaton. They initially surfed along on the popular wave of old-school metal revivalism with a sound indebted to Judas Priest, Helloween and early 80s power metal in general. Meanwhile though, new singer Noora Louhimo’s greater vocal range has inspired a change in musical direction and as a result, the tracks on Battle Beast’s self-titled sophomore album are more accessible. If you’re into Doro, Nightwish, Sabaton et al, Battle Beast will quench your metal thirst just fine. (Text: Nick Tronckoe)

Sunday 21 June - Metal Dome - 12:20 to 13:00