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'A Seventh State Of Mind'
Self-released: 7th September 2011

Pippa Lang

pippa lang

Justin McConville's life as the Heavy Metal Kids' guitarist (and vocalist when no guest stars are available) is, it appears, merely the tip of the iceberg as far as his creativity is concerned.


This, his self-released album, reveals a more experimental, and virtuosic side (but that's not all, be warned). Covering all instruments on 'A Seventh State Of Mind', he plays from a completely different angle to his HM Kids persona. Not quite standing on his head, but definitely a bit sideways.

'A Seventh State Of Mind' opens with two deceptively straightforward, old-style rock tracks with some blinding guitar solos, though there are hints that he's about to throw some odd shapes at us, judging by the psychedelic lyrics.

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By track three, 'One True Light', the album has definitely hit unstable territory. When I say 'unstable', I mean 'quirky', for Justin is evidently a hippy at heart, and has a distinctly off-kilter view of life. And, when I say 'hippy', I mean of the spacerock Hawkwind variety – that wholly British institution that created the missing link between punk and hippy cultures, hanging round in Portobello Road bedsits and taking too much acid.

'The Stranger In The Mirror', fourth track in, is even weirder. The rock is deeply entrenched and prevented from totally rocking its heart out by some curious minor-chord riffery.

In fact, the whole album reminds me of Judge Trev's Inner City Unit, who had tenuous links to Hawkwind in the nineties. Trev had a song called 'Special Brew And Tennents'. Justin's pseudo-punk contribution to the whipround is simply called 'Beer', though it's not very simple at all, sounding much like a Zappa outtake. After this, he continues to throw the rulebook out the window with 'Those Cold Emotions', for which it sounds like he's hired Kings X to do some disarming harmonies.

Justin returns to rocky territory at the end with the distinctly AC/DC-esque 'Taking Me Home' and suddenly, shockingly, it dawns on me that he sounds like Bon Scott! What the-?! So I've found myself listening to the album again and again, because I can't quite believe he's gone from no-holds-barred metallic rock to gone-with-the-fairies psychedelic spacerock, experimental jazz fare and back again. Oh, and I forgot to mention the acoustic instrumental in the middle. 'Five Minutes Ago' is beautiful, showcasing Justin's fine, winsome fingering skills – but it sounds like it's from another album, or planet, even.

'A Seventh State Of Mind' isn't going to set the world alight, but it's definitely worth further investigation to hear the many minds at work inside a musician's head. Well it is called 'A Seventh State Of Mind', after all…

Next HM Kids gig I go to, I'll be looking at Justin in a whole new light.

'A Seventh State Of Mind' is available at:




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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