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(Indie Recordings)

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Jools Green

hate mediatation

Blake Judd (Nachtmystium) began his Hate Meditation project in 2003, intending it to pay homage to black/death Metal bands like Beherit, Von, Profanatica and Blasphemy, but it has been dormant since the recording of the limited release, three track demo 'Condemned To Death'.

Having only heard rumours of that EP I was pretty excited to hear he had reactivated the project and that debut release, 'Scars' was in imminent danger of gracing my ears. The sound has somewhat changed from what was originally intended, drawing influences from many different genres of music, instead, raw gritty black Metal in a much purer form at the core, is what 'Scars' is all about.

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Opening on 'Prelude To Apocalypse', a dark and haunting instrumental intro of just under two minutes before 'The Deceiver And The Believer' rips into you, a massive chunk of classic styled black Metal, dirty, distorted, dangerous and haunting, an epic track that ticks all the boxes for me, epitomising all those great elements of black Metal. Across this lengthy track faster, dirtier, segments are broken by slower, more plodding segments and completed by deathly haunting vocals.

'Impure Rage' is dirty, malevolent and magnificent, with the vocals taking a stronger more venomous feel than the previous track.

'End Times 'is another longer track and another one that has been skilfully partitioned into faster and slower segments to maintain your interest, becoming very distant, dirty and distorted in its final closing minutes.

A blood curdling opening scream takes you by surprise on 'The Genocide March' before becoming a dark, dirty and sinister track with almost hypnotic qualities. Barely has the opening cymbal finished crashing before the evil hiss of the vocals are in your face on 'Wrath And Revenge', an intense, fast paced and exciting track with a great repeat riff that jangles away in the background amidst intense drums and more crashing cymbals.

Title track 'Scars' is slower paced, with a dark haunting beauty to the guitars, these are excellently offset with some of the most venomous and tortuous vocals I have had the pleasure to hear, an excellent contrast, before melding gently into the noise-scape outro, 'Shadow World'.

There is no denying Blake Judd has talent by the bucket load, from my perspective this is another resounding success from him, I love it. It is old school but with a better production which is still sympathetic to the feel that he is aiming to achieve, so it's not over produced.

When you listen you will hear strong influences from some of the black Metal greats of old. Who? Listen and find out!

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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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