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'Relaunch II'
Release Date: 8th September 2014

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus


Back in 2011, these melodic rockers presented fans with 'Relaunch' consisting of nine tracks in total. It showcased cover versions, a couple of acoustic versions of songs originally from their self-titled and much acclaimed debut album plus a brand new song. Similar intentions are on show this time around as the band reveals six cover versions and four original new compositions.

If melodic rocking versions of songs originally penned for John Farnham, Lady Ga Ga, One Republic, Rick Springfield, John O'Banion and Florida Georgia Line sound like your idea of audio nirvana, then look no further than this second collection in their 'Relaunch' series.

But before we get entrenched in opinion over these cover versions, let's focus on their original material.

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'Don't Look Back' begins with a robust approach before settling into its own skin. Tasty guitar is evident throughout and the chorus is sublime. 'Our Love' starts out with a tender vocal as the instrumentation creeps in to view. Sweeping along on a distinctive melody line, it is soaked in commercial appeal and really stands out as a great example of top quality melodic rock gem.

Both 'Downtown' and 'Standing On The Moon' are also original compositions which don't hold up as well as their two previous exhibitions of brand new material, but aren't the worst examples of melodic rock I've heard.

In fact Hank Erix stated recently: "The band has gone through some changes, we have a new line-up and we want this album to show that we are still paying tribute to the music that inspired us to form the band that is Houston today and that we're experimenting a lot more than ever."

Regarding their cover versions, Victor Lundberg guests on their version of the One Republic track 'Counting Stars'. It works well with the two male lead vocals and carries a pop suss without losing sight of their melodic rocking roots. The Lady Ga Ga cover version appears in the shape of 'Do What You Want' and features guest vocals from Lizette Von Panajott who really adds a husky female performance to a song that plods in places, but overall remains enjoyable.

One cover version you'd expect to be loyal and respectful delivers all the way, and that is the Rick Springfield track 'Souls'. It was made to measure and proves to be a highly suitable choice. Searching through the covers included here, the risk of selecting a lesser known John Farnham track to open up proceedings is a brave move. 'Justice For One' does survivie the scrutiny though before we're introduced to Houston's version of the John O'Banion track 'Love Is Blind'.

O'Banion very sadly passed away two days before his 60th birthday back in 2007 and wasn't recognised exclusively as a Rock music song-writer/singer as he tackled various musical styles. His track 'Love Is Blind' works well in this environment with perhaps the Lady Ga Ga cover coming off worst out of their choices.

Overall, this is promising good things from their third studio album of new material when it is ready to be released. In the meantime, we have 'Relaunch II' to submerge our ears in and it's good.

Thoroughly enjoyed the strong sense of melody and the production values are ideal. I believe on 'Our Love' there are contributions from members of Crazy Lixx and Reckless Love amongst others; thought I'd mention that. So all in all, there are guests, covers, solid arranged songs and plenty of melody. What more could you ask for?

Justice For One
Love Is Blind
Counting Stars
Don't Look Back
Do What You Want
Our Love
Standing On The Moon

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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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