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'Season Of Arrows'
(The Path Less Traveled Records)
Release Date: April 15th 2014

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

season of arrows

Cool name for a band; no wonder they decided to title their album the same.

This Doom-loving quintet is an interesting proposition actually. Their album was shoved in to my sweaty palms with only the promise of unveiling the nine tracks which were concealed within, and when I found out they came from Nashville my eyes were opened!

To think that Nashville for many years was associated with country-themed music and gradually over the last few years is gaining a reputation for being the beating heart for an area producing song-writers of many different musical genres.

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The line-up includes a haunting female vocal from Stormie Wakefield, Brandon Shepard on guitar alongside the other guitarist David Gates; bassist Shawn Van Dusen who also provides backing vocals and Brad Lawson wielding the drum-sticks of time.

United in their focus and passion to bring a Doom-ridden filthy sludge-fest to our ears, they were apparently started in only January of this year and here we are with an album on our hands already! That is the epitome of a quick turnover.

'The Loved One' was quietly made available as a taster or a single back in late January to be followed by 'Soul Of The City' in early February. So if you're the sort of person who likes to dig deep and try to be at the head of the queue, you may know about these guys. For the rest of us, I'll bring us up to speed with things.

The overall vibe suggests they recorded it live and crusty in a cosy yet dark corner of a cellar somewhere. There's a spooky reverb with the vocals and the cymbals have plenty of snarl. All you need to know is presented with opening number 'Submersible' although when you read their press release, it implies these are hook-laden and pop-fuelled Doomy gems. Being a fan of cheese and hooks, most of the material here wasn't overly immediate as it took my ears a few rotations before picking out anything that would drive me to addiction.

Two tracks stretch the band and the listener nicely which ride into view via the foreboding shapes of 'Columns' and 'Trace Elements'. The former maintains a rapid attack only to slow down the sludgy onslaught by bringing in the heavier artillery during certain intervals. Listen out for a delicious breakdown around the middle section where the bass and drums get to breathe. The latter is glorious in a tension-building arch which paces itself with decisive intent.

'Rival' is quirky thanks to the guitar parts and the rest of the band adding to the moments of unity. Not ones to exhaust their gimmick, they continue to mix things up. Other tracks like 'Sleepwalkers' and 'Bad Weather' have good intentions and some appropriate Doom-like ingredients but don't really hit the mark like on other parts of the album. Those other parts including 'The Loved One' and 'Soul Of The City' and the marvellous 'Columns'.

When you have this on repeat, you're glad there are only nine tracks to wade through. I would deduce this album is for a specific mood and on occasion when spinning this 'rotating plastic demon' (a quote from 'The Wizard' by Paul Hardcastle if you're interested) I wasn't always in 'that' mood.

'Season of Arrows' is relentless and monotonous within its groove of Doom-soaked filth. If that sounds like your idea of Shangri-La then you know what you'll be spending your hard earned money on, but if you're a little diverse and restless in your tastes then I would recommend grabbing the one track 'Columns' and savouring their sound and style with that morsel alone.

The Loved One
Soul Of The City
Ox Blood
Trace Elements
Bad Weather

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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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