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Testament, Metreya, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

By Matt Foster


Testament blew the roof off the Art Factory.

Soundwave is not a metal festival. As much as some wish that this was not the case, most reasonable people know it's true. However, every other year they are really able to deliver and bring some truly amazing bands down under. Case in point is Testament's much anticipated sideshow in Sydney.

The Oxford Art Factory is an interesting little basement venue that was at once a great and terrible place to hold the gig. It was terrible in the sense that the place was clearly not equipped for metal gigs. With that said, I couldn't think of a better way to witness the world's greates thrash band (yeah you heard me) in action than by cramming a couple hundred people into a confined space and getting really up close and personal with the band.

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The support act for this evening's festivities was local act Metreya. This spirited young thrash act did a good job stepping up to the plate at the last minute after the previous support act spat the dummy and refused to tour here. Metreya's sound is old-school thrash metal played with a modern frame of mind and their set was a half-hour or so of riffy fun. Their sound reminded me a bit of the last Mortal Sin record in that while there was plenty of headbanging to be had, the band also seemed to have written actual songs rather than two to three minutes of d-beats. It can admittedly be hard to play in front of a crowd unfamiliar with you, but Metreya did a commendable job getting the crowd to participate and even managed to get a pit to open up on the last song, which is a bloody hard thing to achieve with a Sydney crowd. They're definitely a band to keep an eye on.

An hour's wait in between sets allowed anticipation levels to rise, drinks to flow and at least one broken glass before Testament finally took to the stage to ravenous adulation. Opening with the call to arms that is Rise Up off their latest release Dark Roots of Earth, Testament promptly set about dominating the night. The tightly packed environment leant itself well to the band's music. It made the middle-eastern tinged riffs to More Than Meets the Eye sound even more massive and started a sing-along from the crowd. The older material was perfect pit-fodder, with songs like The Preacher, The New Order and a particularly intense rendition of Over the Wall all provoking massive moshing mayhem.

It's definitely safe to say that we were treated to an up-close and personal performance. With bassist Steve DiGiorgio fist-bumping punters in-between impressive bass licks and guitarist extraordinaire Alex Skolnick playing those blistering solos of his tantalisingly close to outstretched hands. And I wonder how many metal fans in the world can claim the honour of having Chuck Billy, the man himself, screaming lyrics mere inches from their face?

The set itself was close to perfect with a good mix of new and old material. All time classics like Eerie Inhabitants were recived fantastically and Chuck took the opportunity to dedicate Native Blood to Australia's indegenous peoples. This writer had hoped against hope that they'd omit maybe one of their latest songs to play something off the vastly underrated Low album, but to no avail. Fortunately, their 3 song encore saw fellow diamond in the rough The Gathering get a seeing to with DNR and 3 Days of Darkness before closing out with the title track to The Formation of Damnation.

The set times plastered around the venue originally stated the band was to play for an hour. Testament wound up playing for close to 90 minutes which was an extra treat, as every minute spent in the company of these thrash legends is a minute well spent.


More Terror Australis 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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