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jools green

I had already decided this was destined to be an interesting night, just with the mix of bands in the line-up. I had sneaked in the back door but had already noticed a sizable crowd gathering around the front a whole hour before doors were due to open.

In the next hour this crowd pretty much doubled in size so when opening act, Denver Thrash Metallers Havok hit the stage they were met with a very respectable sized audience. Greeting everyone with "What's up Plymouth? It's time to party!", was the only encouragement needed and by the second song, 'Fatal Intervention', there was even a bit of a pit starting to form.

havok the point of no return

For a first visit to Plymouth they were certainly making a big impression and having no difficulty warming up the crowd. There were a noticeable number of Havok fans at the front who knew the songs and were more than delighted as they announced: "This is a song about driving wasted and smashing your face through the windshield. This is D.O.A.!" This track reactivated the pit and they quickly followed it with 'Covering Fire', another crowd pleaser. Ending with 'Afterburner', Havok went out on a high note with the crowd wanting more.

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Staying with thrash but changing continents, next up and maintaining the party atmosphere were Angelus Apatrida from Spain. Opening with 'You Are Next' from their new album 'The Call' and following in rapid succession with two more new tracks, 'At The Gates Of Hell' and the excellent 'Blood On The Snow', both very popular with the crowd.

This they followed with the title track from their previous album 'Clockwork' before returning to the new material with 'Killer Instinct'. At this point guitarist/vocalist Guillermo takes a momentary pause, asking: "Are you enjoying the night so far?" and causing the crowd to erupt further by also asking if they liked beer!

Next, another new track, 'Fresh Pleasure', before ending their set with two more from the 'Clockwork' album. 'Blast Off' and 'Legally Brainwashed'. It was good to see such a technically excellent and talented band being well received and to see a couple of people wearing Angelus shirts in the crowd.

The final support act of the night was the band I was most looking forward to seeing, New Orleans' blackened death Metallers Goatwhore and I for one was not disappointed.

The change of genre brought a change of atmosphere, more serious and intense but still equally enjoyable. There were a noticeably large number of Goatwhore fans. And vocalist Ben was constantly in contact with the audience, knuckle bumping with the enthusiastic crowd throughout the set.

Opening with 'Collapse In Eternal Worth' from the new album 'Blood For The Master' and maintaining the frenzy with older material 'Black Art Of Deception', 'Carving Out The Eyes Of God' and 'Alchemy Of The Black Sun Cult' before returning to the new album again for 'When Bone And Steel Meet' and 'Judgement Of The Bleeding Crown', finally ending their set with another older song 'Apocalyptic Havoc' with the crowd yelling for more.

I start to wonder at this point how headliners 3 Inches of Blood could compete with what hit the stage before them but the reception they were met with answered that question for me.

They also choose to open their set with a new track from their new album, 'Leather Lord' and alternate throughout their set between old and new. It was clear from the reactions that the audience had made themselves well acquainted with the new material.

'Deadly Sinners' was followed by 'Metal Woman' and at this point a healthy looking mosh pit had developed. Continuing on with '4,000 Torches' from the new album and 'Battles And Brotherhood', an older favourite, crowd participation continued at a good level.

Ending with 'The Goatrider's Horde', '3 Inches Of Blood' left an ecstatic crowd begging for more.




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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