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'New Horizon'
(Napalm Reocrds)
Release Date: 27th September 2013

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

the answer

The Downpatrick quartet are in the mood to party and have fun with their fourth studio album. It's an album that is very singular in vision and contains ten solid Rockin' nuggets with twists and turns that don't push the envelope to extremes. I wonder if they'll react to this when the time comes to record their next album, and they get a little more adventurous?

Let's not get distracted with speculation; we're here to know about 'New Horizon' right here, right now. With Toby Jepson at the production helm fresh from his duties with bands The Virginmarys, Fastway and others and his co-production activity on the Saxon album 'Call To Arms' in 2011, he's captured the band in fine form.

Complimented by this crisp and clear sound, 'New Horizon' overall flows with a very similar vibe that occupies their previous album 'Revival'.

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Mike Fraser, the highly respected producer, engineer and mixer who is associated with AC/DC and Metallica amongst so many others, mixed the album whilst the cover artwork is thanks to the late artist Storm Thorgerson. So as you can see, there are big names involved in this album which tells those who are paying attention that these guys really are striving for the best that they have. What about the music?

The title track fades in and is pure unadulterated top quality Hard Rock, well structured and well delivered. Some funky guitar introduces 'Leave With Nothin'' which encapsulates the distinctive tour de force that is The Answer. This brings us to the first single from the album, 'Spectacular', with its driving riffs and punchy energy.

The swirling lyrical refrain 'We Could Be Spectacular' rotates like helicopter blades in the head after you've been exposed on several occasions, although our words are nothing but empty chambers apparently.

'Speak Now' slows things down initially by letting us hear their tender side before cranking the guitars briefly for the chorus. "Its days like these that I'm forever on my knees", cries lead vocalist Cormac Neeson. The ride continues until we are confronted by a stammering rock n' roll style riff that launches 'Somebody Else' which evolves into what fans would expect, and that's a solid song.

There are no bad songs here, just some are better than others. 'New Horizon' contains a familiar swagger and treads on a path that is predictable and trusted, although it is done with a sense of confidence in their own identity.

The jarring riff that starts 'Concrete' has hints of Rage Against The Machine about it as it lunges and looms ominously before settling into more conventional territory that fans would recognise. With a tone of melancholy reflection 'Call Yourself A Friend' builds and proves to be a triumphant moment within their output. Listen out for that change in tempo as they head out of the gates; sublime.

'Baby Kill Me' contains a tasty groove and this is then topped by the following song 'Burn You Down', which has an extra ingredient of being an anthem. You can't beat a sing-a-long chorus can you? (That's rhetorical).

The final track 'Scream A Louder Love' does a great job of finishing 'New Horizon' and somehow despite this feeling like an effortless collection of good quality Hard Rock, I suspect that a lot of hard work and love has gone in to crafting each of the ten songs. In other words they make it look easy.

If you were hoping for an album that reflected the title of this album, then you'll be sorely disappointed. There aren't really any new horizons being explored here, but what you will receive is solid and well executed Hard Rock.

Here is a collection of short songs that don't really dwell on excess, and that's not a bad thing. As The Answer will tell you, "ain't got a heart if it ain't got a soul", and this thankfully has both in abundance.

Cormac Neeson - Vocals
Paul Mahon - Guitar
Michael Waters - Bass
James Heatley – Drums

1. New Horizon
2. Leave With Nothin'
3. Spectacular
4. Speak Now
5. Somebody Else
6. Concrete
7. Call Yourself A Friend
8. Baby Kill Me
9. Burn You Down
10. Scream A Louder Love

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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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