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(Century Media)

scott adams

dio this is your life


This is the only word that can truly, accurately sum up the sheer Heavy Metal killing power of 'Splinters', the second album from UK crust-death behemoths Vallenfyre.

From the quickfire anger of opening track 'Scabs' through the calamitous, gloom-laden (and so suitably titled) 'Bereft' to the closing title track, Gregor Mackintosh and his company of downcast souls will squeeze the living breath from your lungs with sheer, unrelenting, adamantine volume and brutality.

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Whilst 'Scabs' comes rushing from the traps like a crusty greyhound, it's 'Bereft' that first gives an inkling of just how dangerous a band Vallenfyre have become. Sounding almost (but not quite exactly) like something off the first couple of Paradise Lost albums – but infinitesimally heavier, if that's possible - 'Bereft' is the sound of misery and loss in recorded form.

But whereas PL would have carried on in the same vein for the next half hour, Vallenfyre – profiting from the roving 'solo project' air that still hangs around the project, dart immediately back into the fast stuff, with the sub-minute-and-a-half grind madness of 'Instinct Slaughter' wrecking your ears in an insanely heavy bout of instrument abuse;

It's almost as if the band is hell bent on retelling the story of UK extreme Metal song-by-song, but then things take a distinctly celtic turn (can you see where we're going here?) with the rampant death Metal heroism of 'Odious Bliss', a ravening beast of a track that without a word of a lie wouldn't have sounded out of place on Morbid Tales. Fast, furious, filthy - '...Bliss' is all of these things, old school enough to appeal to the purist yet wrapped in a supremely brutal modern production that really does give you the best of both worlds.

'Savages Arise' carries on in much the same vein, although it doesn't have quite the same appeal as 'Odious Bliss', but at two minutes forty in length it doesn't overstay it's welcome before giving way to the more substantial Aghast, which in turn runs seamlessly into the desolate 'The Wolves of Sin'.

Whether uptempo or down, there's no rest from the relentless barrage of riffage (Mackintosh and six string partner Hamish Hamilton Glencross are simply crushing throughout, the unrelenting drum barrage (courtesy of Adrian Erlandsson) or Mackintosh's guttural howling. All three elements fuse together with devastating effect on 'Cattle', before 'Dragged To Gehenna' picks up the pace again for some more morbidly melancholic mayhem.

The slow-slow-quick-quick-slow chug of the axes works particularly well here, and for the first time the subsonic rumble of bassist Scoot really comes into it's own.

Penultimate track 'Thirst For Extinction' is perhaps the weakest track on show – in relative terms, that is… the bugger still crushes – but the title track 'Splinters' closes the show in best crushing, doom-laden early PL/My Dying Bride style. It's a splendid song, full of woe and sorrow, and a fitting end to one of the most supremely heavy, consuming albums you'll hear all year. Titanic stuff.

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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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