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'Hail The Apocalypse'
(Red UK)

Johnny Main

johnny main


'Hail The Apocalypse' is the fifth full length studio album by Swedish band Avatar, and the first time I've come across the band if I'm honest, despite the fact they've been producing material since 2003.

After listening to this opus, however, I'm more than happy to recommend this album to you if you're looking for something a little different.

'Get In Line' is a fast paced number with vocalist Johannes Michael Gustaf Eckerström navigating his way through the rather wordy verses with ease while the chorus is spat out with what seems like an extra bit of venom. The guitar track drives the song onwards with drummer, John Alfredsson, playing a fairly simple but effective beat. Eckerström shows how good he really is with some sustained notes and the different vocal styles he incorporates throughout the song from (almost) spoken word to an aggressive singing style.

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'What I Don't Know' has an almost Black Sabbath feel to it (think 'Planet Caravan' and you'll get what I mean) before the main guitar riff kicks in. The track has an upbeat rhythm and with the addition of some backing vocals during the simple chorus helps to cement the song in your brain.

The slower mid section adds something extra to the song as does the well performed guitar solo. Definitely one of my favourites of this album – so much so, in fact that it's been added to my Summer 2014 playlist.

'Something In The Way' is another slower number and with the oft repeated phrase of the title Eckerström gives another great performance. This is an epic number and a highly rated track for me, with its slow, measured and incredibly heavy tone as the drums beat out a steady rhythm while the bass guitar from Henrik Sandelin joins in with some solid low chords.


The addition of keyboards in the background gives the track a gothic feel and the only negative thing is the sudden stop which completely kills the song. Unless, of course, it serves as an intro to the final number, 'Tower'.

By far and away, though, the most unusual track here is 'Puppet Show' which is really a cleverly written comedy song, but with a twisted edge. The joyful fairground opening gives way to the vocals which are joined by some heavy guitar adding a creepy undertone to the track.

The slower mid section has some piped music taking over adding an extra bit of menace to the sound and as the track begins to speed up you genuinely being to wonder where the sing is going and how the band came up with such a bizarre track. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of these people who hates clowns but thinks song is just genius!

You can see the official video for 'Bloody Angel' here:

You can see Avatar live here:
Friday 8th August – Alcatraz Metal Festival, Kortrijk, Belgium
Saturday 9th August – The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes, UK
Sunday 10th August – Bloodstock Festival, Derbyshire, UK
Sunday 5th October – Louder Than Life Festival, Louisville, USA
Saturday 25th October – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland

'Hail The Apocalypse' Track list:
Hail The Apocalypse
What I Don't Know
Death Of Sound
Vultures Fly
Bloody Angel
Tsar Bomba
Puppet Show
Get In Line
Something In The Way

Avatar are:
Johannes Michael Gustaf Eckerström – Vocals
Kungen – Guitar
Tim Öhrstrom – Guitar
Henrik Sandelin – Bass
John Alfredsson – Drums

Avatar Online:
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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