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(Black Bow Records/Burning World Records)

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Jools Green


'Spectres' is the debut release from UK Sludge/doom Metal trio Bast and the long awaited full length follow up to their 2011 demo 'Branches In The Earth, Roots In The Sky'.

If you are not familiar with this EP or have not managed to catch them live, they play a mix of black Metal and doom that is heavy beyond belief.

In true doom tradition, the release is just five tracks, encompassing forty-six crushing minutes and opening with 'In The Beginning' which has a slow haunting builder but a minute into the track it develops a dark intensity to the sound that is oppressively crushing and this is completed by impressively harsh and tortuous vocals that are also clearly defined. Woven into this dark 'doomscape' there is also a psychedelic element which makes it all the more interesting.

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Something this deeply drenched in doom can't drop in tempo, instead on 'Denizens' the mood elevates to a refreshing lighter feel before the onslaught of a faster, more manic segment which gives this track a particularly experimental feel. The vocal boundaries are really pushed also with some superbly tortuous screams, all of this making it such a superb track.

Beginning on an intense and surprisingly upbeat tempo that still manages to remain as heavy as hell, title track 'Spectres' does drop away to a gut wrenchingly heavy and doom laden finale, the combination of which makes for an enthralling listen.

With its dark, psychedelic, droning opener 'Psychonauts' is the longest track at almost twelve minutes, eerie and haunting, expanding out into a drum beat and atmospheric bass build that has an astoundingly cavernous feel to its sound, a stunning, instrumental track with some very effective drum work.


On 'Outside The Circles Of Time' a gentle reflective opener plummets away to a darker doom rich mood. I love the vocals on this track, cleaner but with a rich harsh edge to them that become more tortuous as the sound becomes more dense and intense, demonstrating what a great vocal range Craig Bryant is capable of; an excellent final track to an equally excellent album.

The album was recorded at Skyhammer Studio, produced by Chris Fielding and the artwork is by vocalist/ guitarist Craig Bryant. The album will also will be released on black vinyl, limited to 300 copies with worldwide shipping available. This is a joint release between Black Bow Records and Burning World Records, Black Bow will handle vinyl and cassette and Burning World will handle CD and online distribution.

If you're a fan of Altar Of Plagues, Winterfylleth, Neurosis, Eagle Twin or Eyehategod you may well find this a more than interesting listen. I really enjoyed 'Branches In The Earth, Roots In The Sky' but Bast have really progressed since then and surpassed themselves with the superbly experimental and boundary pushing 'Spectres'.

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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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