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Judith Fisher
judith fisher
3rd March 2011


Release date: March 28th 2011

It's late at night - OK, very early morning - and I'm flicking through a pile of CD's up for review – a bit of skatecore, heavy rock, a couple of AOR albums – decisions, decisions; which one to do, when all of a sudden this rather stonking track comes belting out of the speakers and there it was, the one for me.

China are a Swiss five piece who've been around the music scene for a long time shifting through line up changes, stops and starts, 'best of' releases and varying sounds since 1985 but, finally, mainstay and original member, guitarist Claudio Matteo has stopped buggering around and got this band into a period of stability, harnessed all their talent into a cracking bunch of tunes and they are now getting ready to release their fifth studio album on March 28th this year.

And what an album it is! For anyone who's not yet heard this band, if you like your Rock served up in a big, dirty, guitar driven, hard assed wall of sound then this is for you.

'Light Up The Dark' blitzes into a hard rocking mesh of monster riffs and thumping drumbeats, 'Hey Yo' conjures up memories of Quireboys and The Wildhearts thrown into a walloping mix of high tempo sleazy US blues then 'She's So Hot' stomps its feet, wails and screams in some fired up unadulterated rock and roll and I swear I caught a hint of Diamond Dave in those vocal harmonies!

They may be a bunch of Swiss guys but you'd never guess it, China have captured some serious Americana within their music as 'Girl On My Screen' steams along tipping its hat to early 'Crue while 'Lonely Rider' takes a more melodic AOR path without losing a beat, a track to get you singing along and swigging that bottle of Jack 'til it's done.

Not being a ballad type of girl, I was a little taken aback by the fact I rather enjoyed 'Gates Of Heaven', a track which eases gently along with almost a hint of country keeping pace alongside some heartfelt guitars until 'On My Way' swings us back into action with some uplifting grooving and infectious beats bringing in a nice switch of tempo and feel to the album.

'Stay' is just a gorgeous swaying little number stuffed full of melodies and harmonies lulling us into a false sense of security until they kick back into the much darker, sleazy sound of 'Deadly Sweet', singer Eric St. Michaels throwing some serious venom into his voice. Normal service is resumed for the rocking 'Trapped In The City' and 'Right Here, Right Now' and we finish with the stamping, guitar riddled 'Flesh And Bone'.

This is a seriously fine rock and roll album bursting full to the seams with great tracks, and using the fine production talents of Chris Johnson (Buckcherry, Evanescence) and Michael Parnin (Kings X) to the full, 'Light Up The Dark' will be the one to thrust CHINA to the fore again after a long time lost in the mist.

Get the shots lined up, volume at 10, leather jacket at the ready, then let your hair down and enjoy!



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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