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'I Will Survive'
(Frontiers Records)
Release date: 1st November 2013

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

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In 2001, we were introduced to this entity as they unleashed their self-titled debut album. In 2004, we were then treated to a second helping when they presented Melodic Rock fans with 'The Raging Fire'. Fast forward that time machine to 2013 and we are about to indulge our ears with 'I Will Survive' from the creative brains of Mike Slamer and Billy Greer.

If you're a little unsure of the identity of these two masterminds, then let me quickly fill you in. Slamer made a name for himself in a UK-based progressive rock band called City Boy during the 70s who released seven albums during 1976 to 1981. Mr Greer is more often associated with the band Kansas since joining their ranks in the 80s.

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'I Will Survive' contains eleven strong melody-based slick examples of the lighter end of the Rock music genre and is another gem unmasked in time for the Christmas market by a shrewd record label. Keyboards dance and twirl in and out as some restrained guitars bring up the rear. Oh, and listen out for some tasteful violin from David Ragsdale on 'Sea Of Dreams'.

Ragsdale has worked with Kansas throughout the 90s and apparently began playing the violin at the age of three. Now that's what I call devotion!

Other guests that provide their support to this album include a talented fellow called Terry Brock. For more about this guy, please do your best to check out his rather excellent 'Diamond Blue' album where he taps the sound of Leppard a little amongst his own brand of melodic rock.

This album begins with an instrumental work out as the title track goes through the gears, and gradually we receive the message loud and clear that this set is going to be a collection of top quality syrup. Take highlights where harmony vocals and soft sprinkles of instrumentation allow the songs to breathe and stimulate, like on 'What Love's Supposed To Be', 'It's Just A State Of Mind' and #'Down' for example.

On the latter, the guitar gets a groove in places and is notable for being chunky.

'I See You There' is so sweet it could have been wrapped up in layers of Walt Disney before being dipped in sugar. This isn't a criticism as it not only sits comfortably within the context of the rest of this album, but provides a slower and suitable change of tempo until the chorus leaps out of the fabric of the song.

The same overall vibe can be experienced on the track 'Time And Time Again' where the verses are soaked in emotive expression and tasteful backing from the instruments before injecting a hook-laden chorus.

Since Greer and Slamer's musical output in a band called Streets during the 80s, it is evident how much enjoyment the two get out of creating together. Slamer is credited for not only producing and mixing 'I Will Survive,” but also gets credits for his contribution on guitar, keys and programming. Greer is the focal point in other ways as he plays bass and provides some solid lead vocals.

'I Will Survive' is coated in an irresistible case of whatever adjective you can conjure and should satisfy melodic rock fans who appreciate the finer moments of the lighter end of rock music.

Dare I say that this release could be good for a present this Festive Season? The benchmark recently has certainly been raised in this area of the rock scene, although due to the amount of the good stuff available it may simply be down to loyalties as opposed to the quality of the music.

Billy Greer: Bass, Lead Vocals
Mike Slamer: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
Chet Wynd: Drums

Special Guests:
David Ragsdale: Violin
Billy Trudel, Terry Brock, Bobby Capps: Background vocals
Barry 'The Blade' Johnson: Guitar
David Manion: Keyboards

Produced and mixed by Mike Slamer

1. I Will Survive
2. Lay In On The Line
3. I See You There
4. It's Just A State Of Mind
5. Sea Of Dreams
6. Time And Time Again
7. When Love Sets You Free
8. Down
9. The Only One
10. What's Love Supposed To Be
11. I Want It All

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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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