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Review Of The Year

tina saul

BEST METAL MEMORY: Sitting on the rooftop of The Sanctum with Nikki Sixx

GIG: Motley Crue/Steel Panther, Wembley Arena, 14th December (below)

ALBUM: Ghost 'Opus Eponymous'


ARTIST: Rob Zombie

NEW BAND: Hostile

FESTIVAL: Download. Twisted Sister and Rob Zombie were killer.

VIDEO: Evil Scarecrow 'Robototron'. It wasn't released this year, but it was the first time I saw it

SINGLE: Austrian Death Machine 'Jingle All The Way'

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I'm going to start with my best Metal memory of 2011, as it's probably the easiest and that's a hard thing to say, given there have been so many! Being one of only a couple of people to interview CHEAP TRICK at Download Festival was close, but it got pipped to the post. Even though I'm finally growing up and MOTLEY CRUE aren't the be-all and end-all like they used to be, I still have a sweet spot for them. After all, if I hadn't seen their videos back in 1988 on MTV in San Diego, I might still be living in Birmingham, wishing for a life somewhere else.

So, on that note, I'd say sitting on the rooftop of The Sanctum for forty minutes alone with NIKKI SIXX, interviewing him about the launch of his book and Sixx A.M. album, 'This Is Gonna Hurt', definitely trumps everything else.

When you look back at 2011 and gigs, you can do nothing more than smile at the choice we had to pick from, what a year! Ones that stood out for me are ROB ZOMBIE at Brixton Academy, TWISTED SISTER at Download Festival (below), WHERE ANGELS SUFFER at London's Underworld and JUDAS PRIEST in Las Vegas.


Even those four alone are truly amazing gigs, but I can honestly say that my favourite of the whole year was MOTLEY CRUE at Wembley. You can read my review to find out why. Here's hoping that the Las Vegas residency isn't the last time we get to see them with Vince.

Album of the year is very difficult, as 2011 proved that rock and Metal are far from dead. So many bands released albums for the first time in years, so many reformed with amazing new line-ups and so many surprised me. As I look back, 'Unto The Locust' by MACHINE HEAD and MEGADETH's 'TH1RT3EN' are the obvious ones that jump out, but after seeing their set on Metal Hammer's Defenders Of The Faith tour, and subsequently revisiting their album, then the Album of the Year is GHOST's 'Opus Eponymous'. Yes, I know this was technically a 2010 release, but I only caught wind of it this year, so it gets my vote for 2011 - how could it not? I can't take it off repeat.

It's not the kind of album I'd normally seek out and I think that's why it's made it to my number one spot. Although the lyrics are steeped in satanism, it simply makes me smile for how well crafted it is. Album closer 'Genesis' is a beautifully hypnotic piece of music, and 'Ritual' pulls strongly from two of my all-time favourite tracks: Megadeth's 'Symphony Of Destruction' and Killing Joke's 'Love Like Blood'. As for the rest of the album, it simply takes direction from the best of the last forty years in music. I don't believe in 'knowledge of the hidden', so will just take this album as one that I will enjoy listening to for years to come.

2012, you have a lot to live up to.




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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