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'Sons Of The Sea'
(AVOW! Records)
Release Date: Out Now

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus


What do you get when you mix the talents of a producer known for his work with Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine and Bruce Springsteen amongst so many others, and the main brain behind Incubus?

I'll tell you what you get, you get an Alternative Rock album which mixes light and dark and offers up something sounding modern and contemporary. Brendan O'Brien has collaborated with Brandon Boyd on what is a beautiful collection of songs.

When this was first presented to me, I figured it would be some sort of self-indulgent side-project that wasn't going to be worthy of my ears, but that opening thought proved to be very unjust and ignorant. (I head to the corner of the room and hang my head in shame!)

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If you do go ahead and check this album out, look for the version which tucks three acoustic versions on the end. 'Space And Time', 'Come Together' and 'Lady Black' are all given such treatment which only goes to showcase that despite the studio trickery and lavish-sounding production values on this album and the original versions, they can still stand proud as songs in their own right without losing any of their personality.

The music itself conjures up images of sparkling stars in a clear dark night sky. We're not talking about guitar-prominent pieces of music or even fairly upbeat rocking moments either, just well crafted songs that embrace modern sounds and arrangements. I recall hearing an album by Smash Mouth and feeling they had taken stock of their pop sensibilities too much, although it was still a good album.

Perfect for a summer day when the sun was shining and you felt your mood was dwelling in a happy place. That exact sentiment applies to this self-titled debut album.

'Untethered' floats down to the ground like a feather on a still day zigzagging through the air with the most subtle of industrial influences appearing right at the tail end. 'Where All The Songs Come From' is another fine swaying breezy example of what these two can create.

One surprise that is worthy of sharing concerns their cover version of a Leonard Cohen classic nugget called 'Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye'. The main vocal melody is still evident, although it's hard to focus on as the modern instrumentation blossoming around it is rich in texture.

Don't enter the listening experience thinking that you'll be hearing some sort of oddball rendition of Incubus, you will instead be witnessing an artist who enjoys stretching his abilities and exploring new horizons where he can express emotive outpourings that flow like water through a canyon.

Boyd and O'Brien have both nurtured a collection of elegant tracks which won't do much for the Metal fraternity as a whole, but for those who enjoy some light relief from the heavier moments from the Universe of Rock will appreciate the soothing touch that it offers.

Jet Black Crow
Space And Time
Plus Minus
Great Escape
Come Together
Where All The Songs Come From
Lady Black
Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
Space And Time [Acoustic]
Come Together [Acoustic]
Lady Black [Acoustic]

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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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