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'An Atheist Monument'
(Massacre Records)
Release Date: Out Now

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus


Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Reaper, happy birthday to you-hoo!

This year is the band's 30th anniversary and to celebrate such a milestone the German Metallic quartet have unleashed their fourth studio album. The only mystery is, why have they only released four studio albums in 30 years?!

Apparently the band is shy of lyrics portraying dungeons and dragons, and also detests the idea of producing lyrics in praise of a deity or religion. Instead they are purveyors of words that state in no uncertain terms their aversion to organised religions. Therefore we receive an album title like 'An Atheist Monument' and complete with testosterone-fused attitudes and performances they don't compromise in their delivery.

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The gruff vocal performance of Daniel Zimmermann sits comfortably on the blunt Heavy Metal music backdrop they seem so at ease showcasing. The sound conjures images of eating a tasty burger coated in breadcrumbs which has been burnt on the outside. In other words you get a tasty-ish burger that you're familiar with but the taste is tarnished a little by that burnt flavour.

For some reason, (and I'm still wrestling with what it is that makes me feel this way) I really like this album and the band's full-on delivery. They sound pissed off, and most certainly they crawled out of the wrong side of the bed. The top quality salvo of 'Of Sheep And Shepherds', 'Horse Brigade' and 'Hail The New Age' all provide moments to please. Whether it is the edgy riffs of Benjamin 'Benni' Lodewig or the surprise of a chorus here and there amongst their maelstrom of brutish Metal, they know how to put on a show.

Incidentally, I went searching for the meaning of 'Hetoimasia' and discovered it translates as 'empty throne', and is associated with Roman and Greek times more than other eras from what I could determine.

Highlights including the marching '1943' and the foreboding 'Well Of Poison' are both dirty beasts of Metal and enchant with their dark imagery. 'Fields Of Joy' has been re-recorded for this release and sounds frantic and rapid like it's seeking out a bucket of water because its arse is on fire! Not exactly a top moment concealed within the fabric of the album, but it's no disgrace either.

Final track 'La Tristesse' looms heavily at a little short under eight minutes, lumbering with intent like a slobbering drunk brick-house of a giant. Listen out for the haunting whimsical choral vocal that subtly replies to cries of "The world is dark!" Surprises like this really add kudos to 'An Atheist Monument'.

The album isn't a classic, but it certainly adds some vinegar to your fish and chips. 'An Atheist Monument' is the Heavy Metal equivalent of slug pellets – in other words it is good for the garden and does the job effectively, yet is seen by some as cruel and aggressive.

Whatever your point of view, I wouldn't recommend standing in the way of a Metallic juggernaut that sounds like these guys; they don't know how to stop for pedestrians.

Realms Of Chaos
Of Sheep And Shepherds
Horse Brigade
Hail The New Age
Voice Within
Well Of Poison
Taste My Revenge
Ship Of Fools
Fields Of Joy [Re-Recorded Version]
La Tristesse

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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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