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'Calculations Of The Ancients'
(Minotauro Records)

jools green

Jools Green

super massive black holes

I have always found Canadian Metal completely without boundaries, with no set style or sound that specifically defines it as Canadian, instead choosing to be inspired by a broad array of global influences they deem the best and adding their own individual slant to a sound.

Canadian experimental Metal outfit Super Massive Black Holes formed in 2010 as a casual "play-anything" project, the brainchild of Denver Bergreen (guitar, ex-bassist 'Chaos Logic'), along with Jake Reimer (guitar, bassist/vocalist 'Statue Of Demur') Clay Steadman (drums, 'Inspected By 40', ex-'Seven Deadly Grins') and Tristan Peterson (bass 'Skulldozer') are even more unrestrained than their fellow countrymen.

Their debut release, 'Calculations Of The Ancients', is a unique blend of death Metal, rock, technical, jazz-fusion and progressive with a hint of blues and probably more besides. The result, after four years, is an intriguing and thought-provoking listen.

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The album consists of nine tracks packed with powerful grooves and spiralling melodies that, because of the broad spectrum of musical styles utilised, gives a final result that is uniquely different and often delightfully discordant, designed to zigzag across genres.

This is well demonstrated on the penultimate and longest track of the release, 'Ghosts Of Bhopal', whilst all the time maintaining their roots in Metal.

Lyrically, inspiration comes from concepts based on scientific principles, wrapped in metaphors from human experiences, beliefs, insecurities and questions about the world around us, something else that sets it aside from the norm.

The musicianship across the release is good, as you would expect from such an adventurous release and the vocals are death Metal in style, with a harsh edge to the roars and no cleans, making a very strong contrast, particularly against the jazz-fusion aspects and when opening track '(Sub-molecular) Transmogrification Of The Oriphy' began, I found myself open mouthed with surprise.

'Dyatlov Pass Incident' opens on a bass heavy and doom edged groove which helps break up the intensity well. Breaking up still further next is '∞÷µ' a brief, acoustic guitar led interlude before 'Distance To The Great Attractor'.

super massive black holes

I have no strong favourites on this release, it's definitely an album you view as a whole and either like in its entirety, as I did, or not. What did attract my attention was the good use of sound-bites to open on both 'Holographic Principle' which has a superbly spooky opening and the final track 'Lift the Veils' with its somewhat scary distorted spoken intro, which sets the scene well. They also help to break the music up a bit and add extra interest.

Some of the tracks are have a lighter edge, particularly the guitar led instrumental 'Mathematics Of Emotion' and the track 'Refracted Kaleidoscopic Photons' also starts out that way but takes a brutal turn mid way as the vocals kick in and are embellished by spiralling riffs.

I have to commend 'Super Massive Black Holes' for 'Calculations Of The Ancients' as the whole project was a total DIY effort with everything being produced by guitarist Denver Bergreen, from the artwork and layout which looks crisp and professional to the engineering, mixing and mastering.

'Calculations Of The Ancients' is not an easy listen but I don't believe it was meant to be, however it is thought provoking and challenging. Oh, one final word of warning, this is not recommended listening with a hangover as this is an album that sends your head into a spin!

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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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