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'Above The Fray'

Andy Millen

andy millen

Jehangir Aziz Hayat

When your debut album is a multi-award nominated and winning one, then the expectation is high for your second. Such is the case for 'Above The Fray', Peshawar based Jehangir Aziz Hayat's follow up to the successful 'Between The Lines' which collected him Best Male Alternative Artist, Best Alternative Recording and Best Alternative Video Under $5,000 at the Indie Music Channel awards in 2012.

So, does 'Above The Fray' live up to the expectation? The album departs slightly from hard-rock edge of 'Between The Lines', blending a grunge sound with melodic overtones, at times dipping into the Indie rock territory occupied by bands such as Killers, all pinned on his soft yet edgy vocals.

The album artwork is simple, drawn by his cousin's daughter Sarah Arshad, and sums up the main ideas behind the lyrics. As the school of fish are living together without conflict, so we must rise above the fray and not allow ourselves to be bogged down by the petty conflicts, instead concentrate on the positives and grow.

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The title Track and opener, 'Above The Fray', sets out the style perfectly. A simple two-chord riff opens for a couple of bars before the drums kick in and the song comes to life, a grunge anthem with a catchy chorus and a good solo to boot.

'Riddling Rhymes' is up next, a more melodic song about deception and lies, before the grungy riffs return for 'Inside Outside' and 'Never Mind', which is dominated by a bass guitar riff par excellence.

'Vacant Rhymes' is the first ballad of the album; a bluesy bass riff leads into a simple guitar sound again with a catchy chorus. The soft melodic 'Doing Alright' which has the hallmarks of an indie rock classic follows this.

Next up is 'What Makes Me Happy' and it's a real feelgood song. This just bounces along pulling you in, a good track to listen to after a bad day.

Jehangir Aziz Hayat

The indie rock style 'Calling On' is next up, then the grunge returns with the sludgy riffs on 'Seems So Sound' then 'Planning Escapes' is followed by 'Chains Of Change'. Opening with a clever drum riff from Saad Salman, this song takes the best track award for its well-timed contrast between the verse riff and the heavy chorus.

The final track, 'No Room For Defects', dips straight into Nirvana territory, ending the album where it began.

So to answer my question, this does more than live up to 'Between The lines' - it exceeds it completely.

Well written, performed and produced, intelligent lyrics and a well rounded distinct style. It is hard find fault with this, so I am not going to - 5 beers well deserved here.

Music and lyrics composed by: Jehangir Aziz Hayat
Guitars, bass and vocals by: Jehangir Aziz Hayat
Co-Produced by: Jehangir Aziz Hayat and Sarmad Ghafoor
Engineered, mixed and mastered by: Sarmad Ghafoor
Drums by: Saad Salman





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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