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'A Different Kind Of Truth'
Out now on Interscope

Tina Saul

tina saul

Van Halen have been in the press a lot over recent months, with tour dates announced then cancelled, dates not announced but cancelled, the whole Download Festival anticipation letting down all the UK fans, and then the widespread disappointment of the release of 'Tattoo'.

van halen a different kind of truth

People were saying it was a joke, and die hard fans instantly recognised the striking resemblance to the previously unreleased 1977 track 'Down In Flames'. In fact, one fan has mashed the two songs together with the video, so you can see just how close it is for yourself.

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Was reworking their early songs a big shock to everyone? Quite frankly it was, but the signs were there. Rewind to November 2011 and in an interview with Rolling Stone, on hearing rumours that Van Halen had signed a record deal, Sammy Hagar said: "From what I heard, they aren't working with new material. Ed and Dave didn't actually write new songs. They took old stuff from previous sessions, and then maybe Dave had to go in and add vocals because they just had scat vocals, or even no vocal part at all."

I have to say he's right, but to be honest with you, I would rather hear rehashed late 70s work, than some attempt at becoming a band of this era. Let's face it, there aren't that many bands that can take the leap from century to century after such a long absence, so I'm thankful that they have so much stuff to work with from their early days.

I almost skipped 'Tattoo', the first track on 'A Different Kind Of Truth', after not being overly impressed at launch, but listening to it on a stereo vs. YouTube gave it justice and I'm glad I didn't press that button. Then when 'She's A Women' kicked in I couldn't help but smile. It's the Van Halen I know and love and instantly made me want to be out dancing to it with the groove laden sound, and a chorus paying homage to the soundtrack of my favourite TV show from my youth.

'Stay Frosty' is to this album what 'Ice Cream Man' was to their debut album 'Van Halen', 'China Town' showcases Eddie Van Halen's widely respected fret-work and 'Blood And Fire' is the kind of track that will see your fist pumping the air, regardless of whether you want it to or not. 'Outta Space' is by far the heaviest track on the album, and 'Big River' has a very similar feel to 'Runnin' With The Devil'.

Michael Anthony wasn't invited to the party, well he was ejected back in 2006 to be replaced by Eddie's son Wolfgang, which is a real shame as his backing vocals are definitely missed, but that's my only criticism with this album.

'Tattoo' is the weakest track of them all, so I find it an odd choice that they released it as the debut single. Maybe they knew it, so wanted to spark discussion and get the buzz and anticipation going for what was to come?

Who knows, but more importantly who cares? This album is a pleasure to listen to, featuring all the things you would expect with a Van Halen album, and should be on your list of must haves if it's not already in your stereo. It may take a couple of listens for you to fully appreciate it, if your expectation was initially soured by the first video, but stick with it.

Now come on Van Halen, let's get that extensive tour over to Europe please, to see how this truth translates to the big stage.




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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