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'The Three-Faced Pilgrim'
(Woodcut Records)

jools green

Jools Green


Finland's Alghazanth have seen quite a few changes in their line-up over the last eighteen years, all of which must have been pretty positive as they now present their seventh full length, 'Three faced Pilgrim', their best to date.

I had hoped this would be the case but I knew 2011s 'Vinum Intus' was going to be a pretty difficult album to match. I was blown away when I heard that album and happily, I am equally blown away by this latest offering.

My biggest concern was the vocals, always a very big point with me, as the previous two releases 'Wreath Of Thevetat' and 'Vinim Intus', the vocals were covered superbly by Goat Tormentor (Mikko Kotamäki – Swallow The Sun). This album sees the return of guitarist and co-founder member, Thasmorg, as vocalist, who hasn't covered lead vocals in over a decade, since their first album, 'Thy Aeons Envenomed Sanity' after which he stepped back to concentrate on guitars and only performed backing vocals. On this release he has done a superb job after such a long break.

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Alghazanth have always incorporated a strong melodic edge into their otherwise traditional brand of Black Metal, giving a highly reflective and powerfully emotive edge to their sound and the lyrical aspects of Alghazanth still, as they always have, revolve around Satanism and all that it entails, with lyrical content covered again by the other co-founding member, drummer Gorath Moonthorn, something that has given a positive edge on this and the two previous albums that he covered the lyric writing duties.

The album consists of six tracks, spanning an enchanting forty-six minutes, opening with the slow, reflective paced 'In Your Midnight Orchard'. Immediately as the blackened riffs combine with the melodic keyboards the atmosphere builds and as the vocals come in they hit you square in the chest and the effect is powerful and moving.

The vocals are balanced with choral style backing vocals adding a strongly emotive edge to the sound. The range to Thasmorg's vocals is impressive, ranging from a deep rasp to a shrill yet wonderfully tortuous scream.

Gentle but distorted riffs rise and fall as 'To The Pearl On High' opens, the pace quickening with the arrival of the vocals and although a quicker tempo, the highly thought provoking feel is still constant. I love the pace of 'Promethean Permutation' a classic Black Metal plod, overlaid with melodic orchestration to soften and add atmosphere. It's difficult choosing a favourite on an album of this quality but this is one of the tracks I like slightly more.

Intense from the offset, 'AdraMelekTaus' also featured on an EP as the title track in October and I am glad it is also included here as it features the very best vocals of the album. The pace is also up tempo with a very powerful feel to the construction of the track.

A gentle guitar led opener on 'As It Is Fated' is quickly superseded as the tempo rises just before the one minute mark while final track, 'With Sickle And Scythe', is another winner with me. The combination of a classic plodding Black Metal pace and intense riffs overlaid with harsh vocals and melodic keyboards makes a stunning album ender.

This album also turns a full circle with Jari 'Tupi' Tuomainen returning as the engineer for 'The Three-Faced Pilgrim' as he worked as an intern at Tico Tico studio in 1998 when Alghazanth recorded their first full length, 'Thy Aeons Envenomed Sanity'.

'The Three-faced Pilgrim' is a beautiful melodic Black Metal album, superb musicianship and beautifully constructed compositions that have been executed to perfection.

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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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