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metal talk
(Century Media)
Release Date: 3rd March 2014

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus


Do you recall those gory glory days of Celtic Frost? Do you feel that Triptykon is awesome but lacks the more primitive and naive energy that Celtic Frost brought to the table in those heady days? If yes is your reply to both of these questions, then joining me on this quest to review this dark predator is something you should do.

Their self-titled debut is a bit of a tasty surprise as we gluttonise over the veins of a poor maiden sucking up every last droplet of her crimson juices. These Swedish fans of black Metal and the more shadowy of spectres had their demo profiled on the Band of the Week blog by none other than Fenriz of the mighty Darkthrone!

After a particularly prickly week, I was really up for this controlled collection of aggression and throwback horror atmosphere. Lead vocalist 'Hand of Doom' (yes, you read that right) isn't Thomas Gabriel Fischer the second, but his rasping and enthusiastic grunts and growls are more than sufficient for the music that backs him up.

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This remarkable quartet is rounded off with Black String pummelling the guitar, bass player Command and atmospheric drum abuser Ratwing. You've got to love this band before you even hear one note from this cellar-dwelling music machine.

I couldn't quite discern their lyrical directions, but according to the press release they like to explore the ideals of the dark and the unknown, along with inspiration from traditional horror literature and some rather disturbing visual material you'd not be lightly advised to place near your DVD player! With that all said and done, let's explore some of their twisted audio slime.

There's something novel about the guitar solo in 'The Fen' which appeals, and as for the 'trackula' they call 'Cellar Grave Vampire', well it bounces along like Dracula ate too many bananas when he rose from his coffin. 'Under The Grudge' gallops along like the headless horseman and is glorious because of the fact, whilst leaving a truly astonishing surprise at the tail end which I adored. Now that's the way to end an album. King Diamond would have approved whole-heartedly.

'Orexis' isn't just a word that I had to look up, but is a frantic way to open an album. I found out that this could either be a drug for men to assist with certain sexually related functions, or it's more than likely a word to sum up the mental process of change or how the action is affected. To follow such a compact assault of evil as that opening manifesto, there's a 'trackula' called 'Howl From The Coffin' which includes the real-time noises from Hand of Doom as he crawls from an actual coffin.

Apologies, my imagination began to fill in the blanks after hearing his vocal delivery just over halfway through this song. 'Ungodly Warlock' does the business and contains some truly Gothic sounding lead guitar whilst retaining a dirty groove worthy of a gravedigger on a busy day.

'The Bestial Anyss' provides another memorable highlight (or should that be lowlight?) from an album that packs in entertainment and grime within all of its crevasses. 'Vampire' is an album for those who yearn for something as downright 'gorious' as the earlier Celtic Frost music, or perhaps are hungry for some audio equivalent to warm blood. Listening to this album over the past few days brought out grey clouds, thunderstorms and frightened my cat. It can't be all that bad then can it?

Howl From The Coffin
At Midnight I'll Possess Your Corpse
Ungodly Warlock
The Bestial Abyss
Black Deserts
Jaws Of The Unknown
The Fen
Cellar Grave Vampire
Under The Grudge

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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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