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'The Good, The Bad And The Damned'
(Independent release)

jools green

Jools Green


Just their name, 'ZUD', had me sufficiently intrigued to want to listen to their debut album, 'The Good, The Bad And The Damned'. Their name is apparently derived from the Mongolian word, "zud", which roughly translates as: a particularly snowy and cold winter, one in which many livestock animals are killed by the cold. Very bleak, OK, so now I am definitely interested.

The quartet from Thompson's Point in Portland, Maine, describe their music as "Old school sleazy n' cheesy Bluesy rockin' Black Metal. Old Mayhem and older Bathory mixed with Roky Erickson, early Van Halen, Ash Ra Temple and a slew of other classic rock, psyche and various NWOBHM influences." Quite a combination, but a pretty accurate description, and the slant they take on this mix has quite an original quality to it.

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After the intro 'Portal To Infinity' there are four tracks and they are all pretty lengthy totalling over forty minutes. All are fascinating listens, a clever mix of primal Black Metal and raw Rock and Roll, with a touch of the psychedelic also at times. It has a rough, rocking groove to it and even made me think of Darkthrone at one time for the blackened punk attitude.

There are some great melodies in the mix and the vocals are harsh and gritty yet crystal clear. I also enjoyed the drum work which pummels away and at times seemed to jump right out at you and then slip back into the background again.


I can't fault the album, nor pick a favourite, between first and longest, 'Skull Shaped Bell' which has a beautiful opener, catchy and exciting and a track that sticks in the mind, 'Blood And Twilight' darkly hypnotizing with a dirty, slightly psychedelic edge, the slow and sinister to open, 'The Junction', at times so darkly atmospheric and at others manic and insane or the final track, 'Dendrite Fumes' which employs atmosphere building sound-bites as it opens as well as selectively throughout and has a very harrowing feel as it progresses, an excellent album ender.

The tracks are killer and fun, atmospheric and emotional, bold and exciting, with, in places, quite a profound message behind them.

The album was engineered and mixed by Todd Hutchison (AOK Suicide Forest, Falls of Rauros) at Acadia Recording Co in Portland Maine and mastered by Tore Stjerna (Watain, Repugnant) at Necromorbus Studios in Stockholm Sweden. Limited to 333 hand numbered CD's so if you want to try and get hold of a copy, contact them at: bogusrendition@gmail.

So to finally quote the band, this album is for; "Those who know that no friends or glory waits at the end of the line, only death... and that there is nothing to do about it but to learn to enjoy the torture that is life through the bizarre but unique opportunities which it can present, to embrace the wastelands in the pouring rain, to smile at death, to wink back at the world when the time comes, knowing that the only thing left to say is "later twerps..."."

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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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