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'Beyond The Martyrs'

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus


This five-piece Heavy Metal band hail from Pennsylvania and since starting out in 2007 have worked hard and earned some respect from the Heavy Metal loving community.

With two studio albums under their belt already plus an EP called 'Blood, Fire, Beer', this third effort lumbers forth with great intent and those doom flourishes are hardly evident in comparison to their previous recordings. Welcome to the twin-guitar attack of a pure brooding Heavy Metal act who have embraced Iron Maiden in splashes, Manowar in spirit and their own self-awareness of identity.

The eight tracks within 'Beyond The Martyrs' showcase some familiar but well executed riffs, along with a superb performance by lead vocalist Butch Balich who delivers each syllable with conviction. The opening three songs chug along writhing in Metal glory, whilst being overshadowed by a deeper sadness somewhere within constantly twisting, precise blows.

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Once you reach 'Trinity', the ebb and flow is disrupted by a jarring guitar foundation on which the song settles. Incidentally, there's an appropriate sample used of the Oppenheimer narrative when reflecting over the trinity bomb as he says “Now I'm become death, the destroyer of worlds... I s'ppose we all thought that one way or another."

After three minutes and fifty seconds of 'Four Candles Burning' which stomps with resolution and crawls through the halls of nevermore, the longest track on offer bursts into view. 'The Coward's Path' begins predictably before dwelling in moments of softer guitar. This makes way for distorted chords before going back into melancholy arrangements, and so the audio journey continues until a change of pace with rapid guitars whips up some urgency.

"Cast Out All Raging Spirits" continues where the first three tracks on this album left off and before you know it, the title track rounds off 'Beyond the Martyrs'.

This album closer is an instrumental which only goes to reiterate how strong the band is at structuring their music.

It isn't glossy, over-produced or a showcase for an individual virtuoso performance and ego. 'Beyond The Martyrs' is a five-piece putting their heart and soul into a workman-like presentation of a moody Heavy Metal sound, utilising their well crafted twin-guitar approach of Jason Mucio and Erik Johnson, and the passionate vocal delivery of Balich.

They feel like a band more than competent enough to create an anthem if they want to; that one song that could propel them above their brethren in the metal music-making fraternity. For now though, we must all settle on a third studio album that isn't anything else than what it is; a solid Heavy Metal workout with hints of doom, some progressive elements and impassioned old school influences.

Butch Balich - vocals
Jason Mucio - guitar
Erik Johnson - guitar
Andy Ramage - bass
Kevin Latchaw - drums

1. By Endurance We Conquer
2. No Peace Beyond the Line
3. The Hands of Time are Bleeding
4. Trinity
5. Four Candles Burning
6. The Coward's Path
7. Cast Out All Raging Spirits
8. Beyond the Martyrs

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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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