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(Metropolis Records)

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

skinny puppy

Canada has a leading light within the electronically-minded Skinny Puppy and their endeavours to bring industrial experimentation to the masses. It seems somewhat futile making comparisons to their different eras, as they delve whole heartedly in one direction bringing out specific elements of their sound, and then releasing something very different on their next release.

The real trick to loving this band comes in the form of embracing each album as a separate entity; despite the common thread flowing throughout their back catalogue being their manipulation of programmed beats, layers of electronica and those wonderful rough vocals.

'Weapon' lyrically addresses the idea of just such a concept; weapons and all that comes with them. Musically, it brings all manner of early-inspired industrial carnage, stripping back the layers to give the listener the bare mechanical bones of what each track is about. For a band that have been releasing albums since 1984, you'd obviously expect some firm understanding of the genre from them and an expert grasp on delivery. They do not disappoint.

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With wornin' starting the rampage of analogue sounding blips and bloops, you know your ears are in safe hands. Pulsating and driving rhythms push forth until you suddenly realise that four minutes and fifty seconds have passed you by already. Rolling forwards like a retro robot with spikes and spanners intent on harming the ears, illisiT with the refrain "This is the criminal age" and saLvo with the all encompassing narrative at the tail end, maintain a solid continuity.

gLowbeL offers up some melody to the proceedings without losing the plot, whilst solvent completes the first half of 'Weapon' with a touch of mechanical precision. If only I could get my kitchen appliances and console games to work together in a perfect industrial harmony like this!

The second half of 'Weapon' begins with paragUn which is full of regimented groove and once it fizzles out, survivalist brings about a plodding and lumbering disappointment. Clocking in at just over the six minute mark, tsudanama is the longest track. "Hey destruction!" is a great opening to a line of lyrics, and that is the case in point with this. Musically, it's a busy beast and switches from industrial fireworks to a more restrained backdrop as the vocals flow in time one moment and become a narrative the next.

The last two numbers on this album retain their own personalities, as plastiCage carries the vibe of being a cool addition to a Gothic nightclub playlist, complimenting flashing strobes and seducing the many black-clothed clubbers who twist and turn in time to the beat. On the other hand, terminal begins with a slow menacing opening, gradually growing into itself as beats creep in and amongst the shadows that loom overhead. This is more about atmosphere than its predecessors.

With Nine Inch Nails due to release 'Hesitation Marks' before the end of this year, one can only speculate on what the best industrial album will be in 2013. But whatever you do, don't rule out the Puppies!

Skinny Puppy:
Nivek Ogre
cEvin Key
Dwayne R. Goettel

Skinny Puppy: 'Weapon' Tracklist:
1. wornin'
2. illisiT
3. saLvo
4. gLowbeL
5. solvent
6. paragUn
7. survivalisto
8. tsudanama
9. plasiCage
10. terminal

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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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