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Andy Rawll
3rd May 2017

pain of salvation
Pain Of Salvation just before the line-up change...

Icelandic musician Ragnar Zolberg has confirmed on social media that he has left popular Swedish prog Metal band Pain Of Salvation by mutual consent. This was confirmed by band leader Daniel Gildenlow on the Pain Of Salvation Facebook page.

Zolberg joined the band in 2012, following the departure of original guitarist Johan Hallgren for family reasons. His charismatic stage presence, guitar skills and vocal range were widely appreciated.

In 2014, when Daniel's health was severely compromised by a potentially life threatening infection, Ragnar stood-in as lead vocalist at the Prog Nation at Sea festival. Most significantly, he co-wrote the music for the recent 'In The Passing Light Of Day' album that many recognise as a strong return to form following a series of lack-lustre releases.

The extent of his contribution is apparent from the melodic themes on songs like 'On A Tuesday' and 'Meaningless', which appear fully formed on early versions with his previous band. When combined with Daniel's haunting lyrics, the expert arrangements and exquisite performances from the band, it's no surprise that the album has garnered such acclaim.

As ever, there are two sides to the story and sadly, it appears that the root cause relates to Ragnar's dissatisfaction with the artistic and financial recognition of his work with the band. This is also a reflection of the harsh commercial realities of the Metal scene, where even successful bands struggle to break even after the costs of recording and touring are taken into consideration.

It would be a great shame if the great momentum, achieved by the band with the new album and scintillating recent live performances, cannot be maintained.

Johan Hallgren has agreed to rejoin the band after a five year absence. Not only does this allow the band to complete forthcoming tour dates, it also stabilises the line-up. However, during Hallgren's previous tenure, Daniel was the sole songwriter on the large majority of albums like 'Remedy Lane'.

It remains to be seen whether the lack of a writing partner will spur Daniel on to further creative highs or whether he need to seek contributors from outside the band to ensure strong follow-up to 'In The Passing Light Of Day'. What we do know, from his brush with death in 2014, is that Daniel is a fighter and a survivor and will take the band forward, whatever the adversity.

As for Ragnar, the profile and respect of his musical gifts that he gained during his time with the band are invaluable. As a result, many will be looking forward to whatever project he embarks upon during the next phase in his career.




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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