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Johnny Main

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symphony of pain

If you look up the meaning of the term "Gothic metal" online, the definition reads that it "...combines the heaviness of doom metal or death-doom with the dark atmospheres of gothic rock juxtaposed with the dynamics of classical instrumentation" and that pretty much sums up the music that is created by Symphony of Pain - a duo who produce dramatic and melodic rock with gothic overtones to create some unique and very enjoyable material.

'Hydeology' is their debut album and starts off with 'Mister Hyde' which, from the very beginning, you just know that it's going to be a great track. The keyboard/bass guitar intro gives a really atmospheric start to the track before the lead guitar and drums burst through.

Vocalist Tracie Law has a great vocals range and this only adds to the gothic feel of the tracks as his vocals soar during the chorus. Instead of the ubiquitous guitar solo, the band opt for a violin solo instead which just further enhances the overall Gothic feel of the song.

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'Lonely' has another wonderfully atmospheric intro with the sound of rainfall starting things off before an acoustic guitar and subtle drum pattern take over. Law's vocals on this track are matched perfectly with those of the other key member of the band, Pamela Chowhan, and together they produce an exquisite song which is actually one of my favourites on the album.

The slow subtle start gives way to a heavier section towards the end which acts as a counterpoint to what went before. Again, the violin solo midway through is played beautifully and gives a genuinely haunting quality to the song - all in all, though, great stuff.

symphony of pain

Likewise, 'Kiss The Bride' has another sound effects laden intro (this time it sounds like a barren landscape) before the piano intro comes in. Law's vocals are much more sinister sounding here and as the song unravels, it really does sound like a mini epic comprising, as it does, of several different movements.

Some of the vocals are spoken in only whispered tones whilst others are given a more regular singing performance creating some great moments. The song is seemingly longer than its five minutes as it shifts from piano driven harmonics to a harder guitar driven sound with both Law and Chowman producing truly outstanding instrumental performances. The track does have a rather abrupt ending, however, and you are left wondering if this could be the central piece for a future concept album.

Indeed, the epic 'Kiss The Bride' is connected to the very next track - 'For Now I'm Dead'. The former track tells the story of a wife poisoning her husband and the latter song is about the deceased husband returning to haunt her - maybe not suitable material for younger people certainly, but nonetheless, these two tracks are a great piece of storytelling.

'For Now I'm Dead' itself is actually a lot faster paced than 'Kiss The Bride' and the track bounces along quite nicely (despite its downbeat lyrical content) and again, Law's effects laden vocal track is incredibly atmospheric and the memorable chorus just seeps into your consciousness after relatively few listens I have had this CD so much over the past month and a half, and the songs just more interesting every single time you listen to them.

Also worthy of a mention here, is 'Broken Clown' which starts off with a really good guitar solo (reminiscent of 'Suite Sister Mary' by Queensryche) before Law comes in with his soft vocals. This band are very good at producing, for use of a better phrase, power ballads and this is one of their best.

The acoustic guitar and violin work so well together that you just can't help but love this song. One thing I would like to hear, though, is a stripped down version of the song with just the voice and an acoustic guitar and violin - a Symphony Of Pain classic in the making? I certainly think so.

The bottom line with this album, then, is that if you're looking for something a bit different to listen to, then this album could be exactly what you're looking for. There's something wonderfully unique about the album and Symphony Of Pain should be congratulated for producing a piece of work that shows Gothic rock at its very best.

Mister Hyde
Darker Side
3rd Mauvement
Sister Change
Am I Dreaming
Kiss The Bride
For Now I'm Dead
Out Of My Head
Broken Clown
Nightmare Life

You can hear the track 'Am I Dreaming' here:

Symphony of Pain are:
Tracie Law - Vocals/Bass/Guitars/Drums
Pamela Chowhan - Violin/Piano/Keyboards

Official Website:

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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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