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'The Final Journey'
(AFM Records)
Release Date: 24th February 2012

Phil Kane

phil kane

To some this sort of stuff is pagan or Viking Metal. To others it's symphonic and black but when it is as good as this, any degree of micro pigeonholing is academic; futile even. 'The Final Journey' has the camp melodrama and comic book power that is sometimes lacking because of people's over developed sense of self importance.

black messiah the final journey

As with previous albums, Black Messiah (or the Rhur Vikings) has taken a lot of inspiration from the Norse sagas and legends, icing their Metal with folk influences from further east, a mix they have put together quite effectively. The album is also littered with those big long ship born male voice choruses that give the impression that Black Messiah desperately yearns the brother hood of the Viking creed.

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The speed Metal opener 'Windloni' kicks the album off good and proper, setting the pace with its deceptive symphonic intro and the fiddle led 'Der Ring Mit Dem Kreuz' and 'Into The Unfathomed Tower' gallop along with a Slavic jauntiness.

The vocals throughout the album are delivered predominantly as raspy grunts which get a bit relentless after a time. The band has not been afraid to use acoustic and orchestral arrangements, understanding the power of the orchestra when it is let off its leash, a power which a lot of bands fail to exploit or for that matter, comprehend.

It's all good theatrical stuff with half of the album taken up with the epic 'The Naglfar Saga', the first part of which, 'Prologue – The Final Journey', a reflective, if archaic spoken word piece, offers a very welcome respite from the album's Metallic onslaught.

The only problem with 'The Final Journey' is the bloody drummer, Brööh. Black Messiah really should learn to turn him (or her, I dunno man) down, if not off altogether. The album groans under the weight of constant double kick drumming; a blunt tool lacking subtlety that is very often overused for the want of a bit of extra creativity. Rather than adding any kind of sense of urgency, it just irritates and worse, it sounds like yer Granny's bedside clock ticking away whilst smacked off its ticker on speed.

'The Final Journey' is the perfect deterrent to parents whilst you set up that table top invasion of The Golden Realm down at your local gaming emporium. It is a festival of sword waving bravado that will almost certainly be guaranteed inclusion on the collective iPods of the next Norse invasion of England as it waits to disembark its North Sea ferry.

Above all, it sounds fantastic when played very, very loud. Well worth a punt.




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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