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'Live In Antwerp'
(Nuclear Blast Records)

Tony Conley

tony conley


Kadavar serves themselves well with the excellent live set, and set the stage for where this German band of rockers goes next.

As I often do, when confronted with a newer band's offerings that suggest a strong connection to rock's long distance past, I'll A/B them next to the actual artifacts of the past to see how they stand up. I put Kadavar's latest, 'Live In Antwerp', up next to The Who's 'Live At Leeds', Blue Cheer, and Black Sabbath, and I think it makes the case for rock being quite alive and well.

Kadavar is lead by guitarist/vocalist Christoph "Lupus" Lindemann, and he's the real deal - he writes great riffs, plays like a true guitar hero, sings well, and seems to be continually stepping up his game. Combined with the war toms beaten by Christoph "Tiger" Bartelt and the loping bass of Simon "Dragon" Bouteloup you get the power trio from hell - great rock is being made here.

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Classifying Kadavar may turn out to be the work of the lazy, though. They're an excellent band by any standard, and if you dig feedback drenched hard rock that's driven by a rhythm section that's actually adding to the music and not just along for the ride, you'll find this live outing to your liking.

The band has been working the road hard for the last few years, and it shows - Lindemann's performance on 'Living In Your Head' shows him to be getting better and better as a guitarist and a frontman. I've seen some fairly ragged (drunk?) performances by the band on various YouTube clips, but they're on fire from start to finish on 'Live In Antwerp'.

His soloing in particular has become much more refined and when he kicks on the way pedal for his ripping display on 'Doomsday Machine', it's most impressive - I'm thinking early Maiden and Iommi when I hear this, and that's all kinds of good. Hell, maybe I'm even hearing echoes of the Band Of Gypsys.

The band's last studio outing, 2013s 'Abra Kadavar' showed the band to be growing as writers, and I think this is something that is overlooked in this age of instant gratification - it takes some bands a few year, a few tours, and a few records to find their feet, and Kadavar is evidence that with hard work and efforts come results.

They're blessed with a record company, Nuclear Blast, that seems to get this notion. They stick with their acts and everyone seems to be growing together as a team, and that's how this thing is supposed to work. I hope these guys really take their time on their next studio offering, because if they do, they might truly blow some minds.

'Broken Wings' is one of the best examples of the band's growth - Lindemann's tone is soaked with feedback of the musical sort, and the band slows things down enough to where there is no place to hide, and they nail it. If Jim Morrison had ever fronted the Sabs for a song, it may have sounded a lot like this.

'Bartelt' is one of the finest hard rock drummers I've heard of late - he's not heavy on the chops, but he's always right for the sound, and he drags along 'Dragon Bouteloup' nicely. Lindemann's solos are classic examples of blues inflected rock, and it's his singing and playing after the solo are exemplary. The sky is the limit for this guy.

At just over eleven minutes, 'Purple Sage' is the album's epic, and it sounds like the end of the world in stereo. This is what stoner rock is all about - it definitely takes you on an audio trip. There's more effects and reverb here than anywhere on the album, and it's better than many of their forefather's trips down similar paths. This is what I always wanted Iron Butterfly and Blue Cheer to sound like.

So, while the songwriting isn't up to Pete Townshend's level, this bunch still stands proudly beside their predecessors - not at the top of the heap of history, but not a bad listen for even a moment. This is a fine document of where Kadavar are as of today, and it suggests that things are only going to get better for these Berlin rockers. Lupus Lindemann is becoming a star, and he's picked the right few friends to accompany him.

If you're not yet hip to Kadavar, jump on this one, and if you already are, you're going to love what they've done to their catalog onstage. I'd love to see this bunch partner up with a strong producer for their next one - I think they have a classic up their sleeve yet to be revealed.

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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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