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'Now Weaponized!'
(Guitarosity Records)
Release Date: 12th November 2013

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

randy ellefson

Despite sharing the same surname as the bassist in Megadeth called David Ellefson, they aren't related. They do both have one thing in common though; they are both passionate about all things of a music-related nature.

This is where you and I enter proceedings as we're here to analyse his latest studio-based offering which isn't any reflection on his classical guitar qualifications, neither anything in connection to his Heavy Metal band Z-Order. This is solely a solo instrumental Rock album which is yet another example of this workaholic's output.

Why do I dare to call Mr. Ellefson a workaholic I hear you cry?! Well, it just so happens he is a busy bee with not only a solo instrumental Rock tendency and his classical instrumental guitar releases, but also as an author of literary fantasy and active within his role as a certified software developer! I realise that this isn't what Ellefson is all about, as there are many other strings to his bow if any more were needed. It gives you an insight in to his active pursuits.

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Having studied Psychology myself, it wouldn't be a major leap to suspect that he is driven to accomplish all of these things on a grandiose scale due to some major health issues that plagued him during the 90s. For example in 1994, he had significant surgery which left him with eight plates in his jaw. Then in 1996 Ellefson was confronted with the potentially life changing situation of suffering tendonitis in both arms that left him, as he says, temporarily crippled.

Real life scares of this nature are undoubtedly going to resonate and challenge to the point that you think about life in different ways. His motivation from these life experiences may well have driven him to pursue his interests with gusto. Whatever the underlying force, 'Now Weaponized!' is unleashed on the unsuspecting Rock-loving community and I'm going to share my views on it.

'Now Weaponized!' took me back to when I first stumbled across 'Passion And Warfare' by Steve Vai or 'Flying In A Blue Dream' by Joe Satriani. The only major observations when comparing these albums is that 'Now Weaponized!' doesn't share any vocals or samples as is evident in places on both of those examples. This is an album with a good production and sound which highlights the inner Rock guitarist.

'Keeping Pace' is a busy Rocking composition whilst 'Moshkill' pushes the heavier side more. Melodic-driven Rocking tunes arrive in the shape of 'Mesmerize' and 'Promenade' which are both enjoyable but by the time you reach the final and twelfth track 'Farewell', you're a little exhausted.

Is this a case of musicians listening to each other's capabilities and comparing notes on what the other can achieve technically? Certainly, 'Now Weaponized' contains different paces and waves the flag proudly for being a definite Rock collection, but perhaps with something extra like more diversity this album might have kept the attention?

Samples or the odd vocal contribution to add a different texture, maybe some more variety in the structures of the tracks would have brought this collection to life a little more?

Avoid if you're a fan of the conventional attitude towards songs containing lyrics to sing along with, or if instrumental passages bore you. Embrace if you're a fan of Rock guitar-driven instrumentals with flurries of various displays of guitar playing. I'm no guitar player myself; just a HUGE fan of the entire scope of what constitutes as Rock music in this day and age, but I must confess this album was hard work for me.

With respect to the virtuosity and sheer energy that is Randy Ellefson, this album is like marmite. You'll either love it or hate it.

1. Serenade
2. Rapid Fire
3. The Thrill Of It All
4. Mesmerize
5. Keeping Pace
6. Crunch Time
7. Promenade
8. Moshkill
9. Ostinato
10. Surreal
11. Bounce
12. Farewell

Randy Ellefson – All guitars, bass and drums.





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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