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metal talk
17 October 2013

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

simon mcbride

My last sighting of Iced Earth was an underwhelming headline show at the tiny King Tut's Wah Wah Hut club in Glasgow. I wasn't impressed with new singer Stu Block and the glorious melodic power Metal of the Matt Barlow days sounded muted and in the distant past.

A year can make a big difference though and out on tour as support to Volbeat Block came across as full of fire and confidence and handled the vocals well. The sound was good enough to allow their trademark mix of riffs and melodic solos to come through and we got an enjoyable 45 minutes of old fashioned fist pumping power Metal.

I have to say that they still didn't hit the same heights of a few years ago but if they can keep finding the right songs then there is potential for them to climb back up the Metal ladder again.

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I am late to the party so far as Volbeat are concerned. The Danish outfit have a 13 year history, five studio albums and a solid bunch of tours under their belt but this visit to a sold out ABC was my first Volbeat live show.

iced earth

It was clear to me from opener 'Hallelujah Goat' that this was one tight, heavy music machine but with a large dollop of fun and humour mixed in. The crowd were up for it from the first note and as they carried on through the likes of 'Radio Girl' and 'Lola Montez' frontman Michael Poulsen's big grin and happy demeanour was infectious, the venue was full of smiling, dancing people.

Volbeat have various influences but I would describe them as Metallica goes rockabilly with a touch of Johnny Cash and Green Day mixed in! 'Sad Man's Tongue' is probably the best introduction to that mix and the band start it with a crowd singalong to the man in black's 'Ring Of Fire' before rattling through some breakneck catchy but heavy rockabilly.


The fun continued with a little request covers section with the band playing little excerpts from songs by Dio, Rammstein and others and bantering with the crowd. Don't be fooled that this is a gimmicky band though. They were tight and together and I was very impressed with Poulsen's strong, melodic vocals; it's such a rarity to find a great male singer in Metal these days. They can also write some great songs as the crowd reaction to '16 Dollars' and 'Fallen' showed.

The ninety minute set finished off with a three song encore including their cover of Dusty Springfield's 'I Only Want To Be With You' and the crowd left sweaty and tired but smiling. Volbeat are highly recommended as a live act and not too shabby on album too.


Iced Earth

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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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