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Stylus, Leeds
25th April 2016

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


By my reckoning it's been about eight years since Finnish pagan Metallers Moonsorrow played in the UK. I think their epic doom laden take on folk and Pagan Metal works really well on album but I had never seen them play indoors before so I was curious as to how it would work in an intimate setting. I say intimate but Stylus in Leeds turns out to be a nicely set out and pretty big room in the bowels of Leeds University's Student Union.

The acoustic pagan music that had been playing over the PA set the tone nicely so the band made their entrance without any great fanfare and launched into the title track of their latest album 'Jumalten Aika'. This a song typical of their style, twelve minutes plus of intense, epic metal. The sound takes a little while to firm up but even at full throttle it's noticeable to me that the melodic side of what they do really comes to the fore live.

Of course they are fiercely heavy but the three vocalist attack they use doesn't sound as raw live and Markus Euren's keyboards add a sense of grandeur to everything.

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As the set progresses they mix up new and old material but 'Suden Tunti' (introduced as their 'commercial' song) with it's seven minutes of crushing riffery goes down just as well as older material like the monumental soundscape that is 'Raunioilla'.

In truth I'm not sure that there are more than a few die hard Moonsorrow fans in tonight's respectably sized crowd but despite that and songs which are so long that they can only fit in eight to a ninety minute set, you can just see the audience getting more and more into their sound as the set progresses.


It is more about the music than the band's personalities but they all look the part and aren't afraid to get some clapping or singing going when they can. Between songs (which isn't a lot of time!) they show that they do have a dry sense of humour too. When someone shouts for a particular song bass player Ville Sorvali shuts them down with "We are not a jukebox, we are Moonsorrow!"

By the time they finish with the inevitable fifteen minute epic in 'Sankaritarina' the audience is right with them. Moonsorrow's sweeping grandeur is not the easiest Metal to reproduce live but tonight they made it look easy and showed that they have a style and substance all their own. It doesn't matter that they are singing in their native language, in any country where Metal fans are they can feel exactly what these guys are all about.

Epic, just epic.


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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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