The sun was out on Saturday 13th April. So it was with sunglasses on that I set off in the early afternoon for the Gullegem Metal Fest. The event takes place over two days, Friday and Saturday, with no less than twelve bands on the bill. As I already had another gig scheduled for the evening, I was only at the fest for a few hours and unfortunately missed the headliner, Bark, who had made a big impression on me at Hell’s Balls Belgium a few months earlier. On Saturday morning, three bands were also competing for a place on the opening night the following year.

The Gullegem Metal Fest (GMF) takes place in a small town in West Flanders, a few kilometres from Kortrijk. The event has been around for decades, but took a long break between 2004 and 2022. Every year, a whole team of enthusiasts get down to work to make the best metal riffs resound in the protected monument “Dwarsschuur van’t Goet in Wynckele”. Many thanks for the warm welcome and accreditation!


When I arrived, I found a warm and welcoming place that was already very busy. Outside: the bar, a relaxation area and a DJ duo perched at the top of a tower in charge of maintaining the atmosphere between concerts. Once I’d collected my photo pass, I ventured into the huge barn that houses the heart of the GMF: a reasonably-sized stage overlooked by a huge flag with a skull, and very well equipped in terms of lights and sound. Cobracide from Bruges, winners of last year’s battle, are shaking up the barn with their well-executed thrash death metal. The five young musicians are very much at ease in front of an attentive audience as they defend their compositions, and they’ve clearly earned their place on the GMF stage.


The second band to take to the stage at Gullegem Metal Fest is no stranger to me, as this is already the third time I’ve seen them this year (and it’s only April!). Once again, Cathubodua sweep me away into their epic symphonic universe from the very first seconds. Despite a slightly different musical style on a thrash/death/brutal-oriented bill, the band quickly win over the audience thanks to the boundless energy poured out by the six musicians.

Fractured Insanity

The atmosphere changes radically with Fractured Insanity and their brutal death metal. The first big jostles in the pit appear, strongly encouraged by a piercing bassist-singer.

It’s with this gentle melody that my short visit to Gullegem Metal Fest comes to an end. A big well done to the organisers, the timing was right down to the minute, the atmosphere couldn’t have been friendlier and the stage is really nice. We’re sure we’ll be back for more!