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Les-Fest, Valley International Park, Crossford
Friday 28th June

Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid

johnny main

hell to pay

This Glasgow based quartet are the originators of the Blood Metal genre, and if there's one thing that you want on 'Thrash Night' it is a band so crushingly heavy that most of the other bands that played before them appear like pale imitations of what a true Metal band are like.

The band are as tight as the Inquisition sticking you in a Medieval Head Vice with lead guitarist Callum Kirk playing blistering solo after blistering solo thought the set. One of my favourite solos is actually on the first song they play tonight, 'Wings Of War', which is just an immense song to start their set with.

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Their set lasts just an hour, but it's very clear from their show tonight that they have the experience and the talent to take the band to the next level, and their high billing tonight (third last band on) reflects on this fact. 'Pestilence' has bassist John Clark Peterson and drummer Quzzy working together seamlessly and they provide super-strong foundation for the band, whilst Kirk lays down some immense solos scattered throughout the set.

Vocalist Scott Anderson is just the consummate front man, energizing the crowd whilst battering his guitar into submission. His attempts (or should that be orders!) to get the growing crowd to start a circle pit during 'Impaled' are met with a roar of approval and gets the faithful banging their heads down the front, and even a momentary loss of vocals does nothing to dampen his enthusiasm.

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'The Way Of The Twilight Or The Aura Of Flies' has the venue on its collective feet once again as the band storm their way through the song with Anderson giving a particularly impassioned performance – so much so that one suspects that he could actually throw down his guitar and hurl himself into the moshing masses in front of him at any point!

Firm favourites 'Blood Soaked Banner', 'Manuel's Mile' and 'Forgotten King' all get an airing tonight and even the furious rendition of 'Bastards On The Gallows Or Bastards On The Rack' – is that not just the best Heavy Metal song title ever? – which is performed towards the end of the set shows no sign of the band taking it easy tonight.

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Having witnessed Achren supporting Death Metal legends Hypocrisy earlier in the year, they are certainly one of Scotland's premier death Metal bands, and they look set to have a bright (or should that be a doom filled!) future.

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Achren are:
Scott Anderson – Vocals/Guitars
Callum Kirk – Guitars
John Clark Paterson – Bass
Quzzy – Drums

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Set List:
Wings of War
The Way of the Twilight or the Aura of Flies
Blood Soaked Banner
Manuel's Mile
Bastards On the Gallows or Bastards On the Rack
Forgotten King

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Official Website:

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Scott plugs one the festival sponsors...

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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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