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'In The Present - Live From Lyon'
(Frontiers Records)

Phil Kane

phil kane

Let's get one thing straight, 'In The Present – Live From Lyon' is a master class in how this sort of stuff should be done. The sound is crystal clear, the balance is bang on and the musicianship, as you would expect, is effortless in its virtuosity. The album was recorded in 2009 when Yes toured to show off their new vocalist Benoit David.


He does an excellent job too, initially sounding almost identical to Jon Anderson but as you listen you realise that there are subtle differences and this live album is all the better for them. There is a three disc edition of this album with a DVD of concert excerpts and interviews, but the CDs alone more than take care of business.

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The track list includes captivating takes on old classics such as 'Siberian Khatru', 'Roundabout', 'Starship Trooper' and 'Yours Is No Disgrace' but to be honest, if you used a pin to pick a track whilst blind folded you would be guaranteed to pick a killer where ever the pin landed. Yep, it's that good.

I find a lot of progressive stuff suffers from the inability to find and keep a groove, a common blunder amongst the younger progressive outfits. Here, Yes show us that a band does not need to be intricate beyond the comprehension of mere mortals to be progressive and yes, keep that bloody groove. To be progressive does not have to mean continuously changing time signatures and keys and Yes demonstrate this effortlessly on 'In The Present – Live From Lyon'.

Even the most evangelical Metal head needs to chill occasionally and this album makes the perfect soundtrack for just such a moment. Yes may be a trio of old duffers bolstered by a couple of young whippersnappers but they can still knock out an absolute killer album that sounds fresh and vital. Even the tracks older than your ma-in-law's whalebone corsets sound like they were written yesterday. Excellent. Get it.




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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