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  WEARING SCARS
Album Launch Gig
The Black Heart, Camden, London


Luke 'Loki' Milne

Luke Loki Milne



Days after the release of their debut album, 'A Thousand Words', Northampton-based Metal act Wearing Scars descend upon London for their first ever (yes, ever) live performance. Held in the intimate venue of The Black Heart in Camden, the beer starts flowing a good few hours before the band take to the stage to deliver the content of their album launch party.

Somewhat bizarrely, Chris Clancy and co. decide against a supporting act to warm the crowd up, and as their set opens it's apparent that the venue's attendees haven't quite had their sufficient fill of the good stuff to loosen their necks, taking a few tracks before their cheers and general responsiveness are aroused.

I will admit that it seemed a little odd for Wearing Scars to opt out of bolstering their crowd figures with the assistance of a well-known local act, however I suppose the attention is intended to be solely on their new material. In truth, this decision (conscious or not) hasn't affected numbers too much, and although The Black Heart isn't quite filled top capacity, it's still pretty buzzing as the band deliver their first few tracks of the night.

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Clancy makes short work of seeking to engage the fans with an admirable stage presence. I use the word "admirable" as it's no secret to anyone who frequents The Black Heart that the stage area isn't the most forgiving in regards to space. Bunched together and restricted to a small surface area in which to strike a pose, it's clear from the offset that Wearing Scars are a band whose sound and feel warrants a more forgiving staging area, enabling a little more freedom of movement to play with.

In any case, as the performance rolls on in front of a thick crowd, Wearing Scars deliver a thick, broad sound that seems befitting of a festival or arena setting. Backed by the chunky, riff-heavy guitar performance of ex-Sacred Mother Tongue's Andy James, Clancy (formerly of Mutiny Within) pulls off an impressive vocal performance that is sadly a little buried a little too deeply into the mix.

The crowd doesn't seem to mind too much, but it's certainly a noticeable element that brings a little disappointment for me. Having had the chance to wrap my ears around their debut album ahead of the night's gig (which has been given a fantastically polished shine), I was looking forward to hearing some belting vocal passages from Clancy, and I feel a little cheated.

Sadly it's not just the vocals that have suffered at the hands of undercooked sound quality; with slightly muddy guitars and an overpowering backline emitting from the venue's sound system, I find myself presented with a muddled mixture of sound that doesn't seem to serve the band's music justice. It's a real shame, as 'A Thousand Words' is an excellent album with some great musical moments, but I just can't seem to get into the live performance laid out for me at The Black Heart.

This disjointed sound presentation seems only to fix itself during the performance of 'Butterfly' and 'Wearing Scars', where the guitars and drums back down enough to let Clancy's voice really shine through - and it really does. The crowd belts the lyrics back at Clancy, who adopts a cheeky grin as he leads the fans on through the choruses. It's a fantastic example of the band's grasp on their fans in such a short space of time, and bodes well for their future.

Overall, I feel a little cheated by Wearing Scars performance at The Black Heart. Their debut album is most certainly worth a listen, and I would be foolish to suggest otherwise. It's been reviewed here and highly recommended not only by MetalTalk but many music review outlets across the board.

One slightly disappointing fact about being a music journalist, however, is that I often find myself unable to truly kick back and appreciate a live gig; while the crowd have clearly enjoyed the musical content of the band's album launch, I find myself noticing and picking away at the little things that don't seem to bother anyone else - such as the rather cheeky addition of a backing track to bolster the band's sound with backing vocals. A minute point, I know, and I'm fully aware that the acoustics of the venue are a variable that lies out of the band's control, but these elements do present a barrier for me in regards to the band's performance nonetheless.

Wearing Scars are a band I've really enjoyed listening to, and I've definitely played through 'A Thousand Words' more than a handful of times since its release. Though I personally found their debut live performance a little underwhelming, the bittersweet taste left in my mouth will surely wash wish time, and I'm not going to pass up future opportunities to see them perform.


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1.9.15







WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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