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(Bakerteam Records)

jools green

Jools Green

inner shrine

Italian progressive Gothic Metal quartet Inner Shrine, formed in Florence, Italy in 1996, were one of the first symphonic bands to emerge from the European Metal scene.

Returning with 'Pulsar', their fifth full length album and follow up to 2010s 'Mediceo', considered by the band to be their "Ultimate musical statement - an intriguing concept about the end of the world and the creation of a new species, with a particular emphasis on the melodic death and Gothic influences."

    Their sound mixes classic Heavy Metal, doom, classical music and opera for a bleakly reflective and atmospheric effect, with a deep lyrical approach and somewhat unique, softly tortuous and haunting vocals. The eight tracks which span fifty-three minutes do have a certain charm about them and successfully reflect, to the greater part, the album's concept.

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In places it's a little too fussy with the over use of atmospheric sounds, such as on 'Immortal Force' but in other places it works well, particularly the heartbeat that opens 'Between' and the flat line drone that ends it. The screams of terror and sirens that garnish 'The Last Day On Earth' certainly lend an atmosphere of terror, without in this case, detracting from the doom nature of the vocals and instrumentation.

Thankfully also, the overall sound, to my mind, leans more towards a progressive melodic death/doom and the Gothic aspect is well reigned in.

I like the pace and tone of opening track 'Black Universe', the best track of the ,album and also the most extreme track of the album. A simple but effective opener of guitars and a windblown sound-bite on 'The Rose In Wind', the whispering vocals work to good effect also, as if they were a part of the wind itself; another good track.

inner shrine

'Pulsar' opens well with a beautifully mournful quality, with an appealing guitar segment just before midway but then there were some bizarre aspects to the sound, briefly, about the a halfway mark that I couldn't fathom, other than that, not a bad track. 'Peace Denied' has a rich doomy quality to the opener which I hoped would be maintained across the track but started it to lose my interest in places, but it does close with a nice solo, so it's not all bad.

'Four Steps in Gray' was delightfully doomy and bleak and although I can see how the cyber vocals fitted I can't say that I was over keen on them, however the track does have an appealing intensity towards the end.

In some ways I think the over use of sound-bites is a compensation for the vocals in places. They did both start to wear on me a little at times but at the same time there are a lot of very good elements to this album.

If you like an album to chill to but with a bleak edge to it you may well find this an interesting listen.

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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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