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(Good Fight/Entertainment One/Membran)

jools green

Jools Green

Within the Ruins Elite

'Elite' is the third full length from Within The Ruins, an extreme Metal quartet from Westfield, Massachusetts. My first thoughts on hearing 'Elite' was: "Phwoar!! What a sexy album!!", because I was immediately seduced by the contrasting mix of an abundance of excellent technical guitar work melded with harsh vocal screams that are well executed, consistent and clearly decipherable throughout the tracks, always a winner with me.

Their sound is rooted in the foundations of modern death Metal, hints of classic thrash with the addition of technical solos that have an unusual quality to their construction. They have cleverly blended multiple Metal subgenres into a mix that is uniquely their own.

The whole album, start to finish, is an exciting listen, opening on 'Terminal' a great little instrumental intro that serves to give you a real taster of what to expect from the next ten tracks and acts as a warm up, preparing your ears for the intensity that will follow.

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On several tracks the technical elements and the guitar solos I thought were particularly impressive, innovative and dexterous and in addition to the strong technical edge on this release you can also look forward to some great chugging breakdowns and djent elements throughout.

Those standout tracks were 'Feeding Frenzy', the album single, which in the words of the band is a "direct attack on the trend following transients who overcrowd the music community, those who are eating themselves alive."

'Absolute Hell', where some of the harsher realities of life on the road for a touring band, slugging it out and making strong commitments to the art are addressed, 'Ataxia II' a catchy and memorable instrumental that picks up where the instrumental of the same name, from 'Invade', left-off and final track 'Dreamland', where l loved the use of the spoken sound-bite.

within the ruins

The consistent high quality continues with the remaining tracks on this heavily guitar led album and in amongst the technical intricacies there is a serious and sinister tale with a twist on 'The Charm', a dark tale of revenge. 'New Holy War' has an interesting, distorted opener. The bass started to shine through on the spiralling and intricate 'Solice'. Title track 'Elite' is slower paced but not by much and is a real builder and a brooder.

I loved the lyrics on 'I, Blaspheme', darkly profound as well as technically brilliant. Penultimate track, 'Weightless' has some of the fastest, most intense and shrill guitar work my ears have ever witnessed, alongside darkly passionate lyrics.

The whole album encompasses the most intense and exciting elements of a broad spectrum of Metal genres, the tracks are energetic and catchy but also a good amount of harmonies in the compositions, building on what they achieved on their previous releases, Josh Wickman, the producer has certainly helped to bring the best out in the finished product and the album certainly lives up to the title 'Elite'.

It will be interesting to see where they go from here. This is such a great album I hope it attracts a lot of interest if only just on the basis of the increased technicality and djent elements, which wasn't quite as prolific in their previous albums.

I also hope this album starts to bring a greater level of recognition to the band, they deserve it.

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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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