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Judith Fisher
judith fisher
19th July 2011

slam cartel

'Handful Of Dreams' is the debut album by London based six piece Slam Cartel and will be released on 26th July.

Having recently played a slot at Sonisphere and with a tour to back up the release in the offing, I was rather looking forward to checking out this bunch.

Consisting of Giles Van Lane (vocals), Marc Neudeck (bass), Tommy Hendriksen (Guitar), Steve Campkin (drums), Adam Lee (keyboards, guitars), and principle songwriter Terence Warville (ex Simulator) on guitar, this first album for Slam Cartel was produced by George de Angelis (who, as Trevor Horn's right hand man, worked with Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and Pet Shop Boys) and recorded at Soniczoo Studios and certainly had the pedigree to be something really good.

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'Wishing Eye' kicks off in fine style with a monster riffs and walloping big drums on the intro then slips into a catchy rocker, 'Handful Of Dreams' is also rather fine, albeit a touch reminiscent of the Foo Fighters and then we hit the cover of Talking Head's classic 'Once in a Lifetime'.

Now although things start well, I'm not really sure this works for me. Turning such an off the wall tune into an Americanised rock song is something for only the brave or the foolhardy, and even given their best efforts it doesn't quite hit the mark.

'Breathe' is a slick ballad but next song up 'Shine' attempts to mix up Rage against the Machine with some melodic rock and this is where I begin to lose faith.

The problem for me with this band is that they seem to suffer from an identity crisis, their songs aren't coming across solid but flit from genre to genre and there's little fluidity in them.

When they do hit a rockier, punchier sound throughout like in 'Hold Me' and 'Mismatched Ties' they start to shine and there's no doubt that this bunch have lots of talent, but it just feels like they are trying to cover too much ground and in so doing lose a lot of appeal.

This is a pretty decent album that will definitely appeal to a rock crowd out there but with a little less production and a little more edge, once they've found their own identity I think Slam Cartel could come up with something a hell of a lot more exciting than 'Handful of Dreams' and I for one really look forward to that.


Wishing Eye, Handful Of Dreams, Once In a Lifetime (Talking Heads), Breathe, Shine, Hold Me, Free Again, Mismatched Ties, Goldenstream, Powerstorm, Maybe Sometimes, Sundown, Walk a Mile



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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