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(Candlelight Records)

jools green

Jools Green

rumplestiltskin grinder ghostmaker

Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - a name once heard you will not forget in a hurry and the same can be said for their sound as well. The crossover thrash quartet from Philadelphia have just unleashed their third album since their inception in 2002, 'Ghostmaker', follow-up to 2009s 'Living For Death, Destroying The Rest'.

Described by the band as "their fastest, darkest and most relentless album to date", this is a claim that on listening to the album, the music totally backs up. Certainly their brand of high speed thrash blended with hints of European death and black Metal and a bit more besides is both an exciting and winning combination that the band has perfected on 'Ghostmaker'. It's also good to see from their lyrical content and song titles that they are a fun loving bunch who whilst serious about their music don't take themselves too seriously.

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There are a lot of aspects to this album that really appeal to me, in particular the previously mentioned blend of thrash/death, also the twin vocals from Matt Moore (Absu) guitars and Shawn Riley (Woe) bass, which adds depth and dimension. There is something about the combination of these two voices that really works and amounts to so much more than if they were used in a more individualistic way. This is also an album where a lot of effort has been put into the composition and delivery.

The first of twelve excellent tracks is 'Those Who Are Unseen' which begins fast, with a menacing scream that clearly means business and a sound that pretty much defines the way this album will continue.

Next up is title track 'Ghostmaker' and whose chugging riffs I loved. Also the catchy 'Nightworms' has some epic opening riffs and a growl!

I loved the punchy guitars on 'Fucking Wild' and 'Dripping With Venom' has a wonderful blackened edge to it and I also enjoyed the eerie quality to 'Cold Haunting Death'.

The next track, 'A Lurking Thief', is one of the slower numbers with beautifully sinister riffs, 'You've Been Had' has some excellent opening riffs and 'Iron Jaw' is fast, fun, catchy and bursting with bouncy grooves.

'Get Out Of My Grave/Gigantic Graveyard' has an exciting, catchy, yet sinister groove which I liked and the excellent penultimate track, 'Run Through The Bastards', continues in the fast and furious vein of its predecessors.

Onto the final track, 'Desert Goblins', which has a tempo change half way through and tiny hits of black Metal woven into its construct; an excellent end to the album.

This is one of those albums that no matter how much you like it on the first play, you will like it even more with successive listens as it just grows on you and is definitely going to get a lot of attention from me for certain.

The cover art is by gore artist Mike Hrubovcak (Sinister, Hate Eternal, Cattle Decapitation).

'Ghostmaker' is out now on Candlelight Records.




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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