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'The Last Neanderthal'
(Minotauro Records)

scott adams


NOSTALGIA ALERT!! I know, I know... I know the whole point of this 'doom resurgence' is a wholesale rejection of modern production mores and of an all-embracing acceptance of trad values.

But it has to be said (and if it doesn't I'm saying it anyway) that the current proliferation of bands trying to sound like classic Ozzy-era Sabbath is really pushing the credibility of 'the doom scene' dangerously close to exhaustion point.

Ogre, natives of the wonderful state of Maine in the US, at least have the excuse of not using this as some sort of exercise in bandwagon jumping. They've been at this lark since 1999, when bands like sHeavy were laying the foundations of this whole neoDoom renaissance; So they at least have some roots and form – doom is their business, etc etc...

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And business on 'The Last Neanderthal' would appear to be pretty good. Booming in fact, if the superior guitar tones coming out of axemaster Ross Markonish's amps are anything to go by.

It's a classic three piece instrumental format, of course – what was good enough for Tone, Geezer and Bill obviously works for Ogre, and why not?

The Ogre way is a simple formula that relies on the three constituent parts working fluidly as one, and throughout... Neanderthal Markonish and his cohorts Ed Cunningham and Will Broadbent (bass and drums respectively) are never less than tight as the proverbial. When everything clicks, as it does on the thunderous and aptly named Warpath, the effect is crushingly irresistible, and you can tell that this is a unit that means business.

They have the confidence to change things up a little, too, with the neat little instrumental 'White Plume Mountain' carrying the whiff of the Ozarks and nefarious mountain business being undertaken under cover of darkness. It breaks up the sludge nicely, and sets up album closer, the eleven minute epic 'The Hermit', extremely well, whilst their cover of forgotten seventies nugget 'Soulless Woman' (apparently recorded by another – long lost – outfit by the name of Ogre) is a jaunty take on the sort of proto pop Metal Sabbath themselves were churning out circa 1976.

It's a welcome, light hearted blast of – and here's that word again – nostalgia, but it serves well to take the mind off slightly more worthy but uninspired material like 'Bad Trip' and 'Son Of Sisyphus', which do tend to weigh the album down a little in the middle.

Not an unqualified success then, and Cunningham's Osbourne-worshipping howl does become a little grating at times, but overall if you're in the market for some uncomplicated, honest to goodness riffage then you could do a lot worse than 'The Last Neanderthal'. Worth a punt.

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More Scott Adams right here.



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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