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'Down Among The Dead Men'
(Cyclone Empire)

jools green

Jools Green

down among the dead men

The self titled release, 'Down Among The Dead Men', is a collaboration between Dave Ingram (ex-Benediction and Ex-Bolt Thrower) and Rogga Johansson (Ribspreader, Paganizer and Bone Gnawer and more...) two musicians whose work has held me enthralled for many years.

It's also a project that from the moment I heard rumours of its conception, I was pretty confident, would be nothing short of superb. It is in fact a delightfully brutal Metal and Punk crossover, awash with raw Punk energy, blended perfectly with simple, effective riffs for that faultless, harmonious blend of face ripping goodness.

Vocally Dave sounds as good as he did on his very first Benediction album, 1991s 'The Grand Leveller', if not even better with an even richer, brutal edge to his growl. Much of the guitar work has Rogga's unique signature sound about it and I would have been disappointed if it had not. The trio are completed by guitarist Dennis Blomberg (Paganizer), with the drum work covered by session drummer Erik Bevenrud's, who's precision drumming is nothing short of excellent.

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Consisting of thirteen tracks, all short, sharp and to the point, from the shortest at one and a half minutes, the darkly ominous 'Doomsday Manuscript', to the longest, but still compact at just over the three minute mark, the punchy and fast paced 'Adolescence Of Time'.

The intense, exciting pace to opening track, 'Draconian Rage', immediately captures your interest and continues to do so for the next thirty minutes. Next up, 'As Leeches Gorge', has a good guitar break mid way, adding interest, excitement and intensity, also the vocals are powerfully intonated on this track, rising up repeatedly to a scream on the line: "You only consume", this emphasis working to great effect.

If I had not already known who was playing on this album, the signature riff patterns that appear at the one and two minute mark on 'The Epoch' would have announced to me "Rogga is in the building". Classic Rogga excellence.

dowen among the dead men

'Bones Of Contention' is a short sharp and rather splendid battering for the ears. The punchy yet ominous 'Dead Man's Switch' has an excellent guitar opener. 'A Handful Of Dust' is angry, crusty and excellent, brace yourself as the vocals rip through your already trampled and broken remains. 'Infernal Nexus' is exciting, punky and brutal, rendering complete annihilation of the senses in less than two minutes, what a combination!

The intense pace of 'Dead Men Diaries' sweeps you away in the melee. It's very difficult to choose a favourite but 'Venus Mantrap' just has the edge, it's slightly slower paced, about mid tempo and punchy, with some fabulous guitar breaks and is lyrically intriguing, a catchy and very memorable track.

A fast paced track made even more exciting by the three guitar segments set at the beginning, middle and end, on title track 'Down Among The Dead Men' has such a lot packed into just over two minutes. The final track 'The Stones Lament', is another that has the classic Rogga touch to the guitars, an excellent final track.

It could be that I have just found my album of the year, anything that comes after this now has a much higher criterion to meet.

The album will be available from Amazon or Cyclone Empire via from 22nd November.

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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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