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'Scattered Horizons'

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

sirens cry

Prepare your ears for some progressive, symphonic power metal from Austria as Siren's Cry unleash their debut studio opus 'Scattered Horizons'.

Containing a mere nine tracks, you may begin to raise some concern, but thankfully those nine songs are for the most part busy and engaging. Apart from an intro' which lasts for one minute and thirty nine seconds and is pleasant enough for setting up the mood; it's a journey of musical excellence with the remainder of the tracks on offer.

Swirling keyboard flurries like a group of butterflies fluttering on currents of air accompany some mean riffs as 'S3V3N' swaggers into earshot. Katie Joannes settles into the gathering momentum of the instrumentation with her melodic vocal lines and the power grows as they combine. Within this one track alone, there are hints of jazz, operatic and hook-laden vocal moments along with a choir-like vocal backing in places. It's a grower as there's so much to digest.

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With my head and ears spinning, 'Oratory And Sins' bursts into life. It's immediate to all that hear this album that the musicianship is top notch. 'Oratory And Sin' provides a hook and a more accessible structure with some fabulous keys from Michael.

With the looming dark atmosphere similar to the Omen movies, a male choir provide some stimulation to the listening experience in this track for a brief moment, but as with the predicating song there are twists and turns throughout.

The progressive nature of this group also means that they use everything and anything they can to reach their desired result. 'Elegy of R'lyeh' throws so much at the listening experience including a rough male vocal narrating for a brief moment before it's gone, then a complex musical arrangement and a blast of blatant jazz interlude in and amongst the maelstrom of audio.

Joannes is still singing when the song fades out and makes me wonder if the original version of this song just continues for another twelve minutes, and someone in their infinite wisdom decided that the song was going to blow some brain cells at that full length version?!

A true highlight then knocks on the door in the shape of 'Draconian Spectrum' which sits amongst these tracks comfortably.

Something akin to digestible on the first few listens, and then gets better when you revisit more often.

I'm compelled to just throw my arms in the air and say that this is layered way beyond my comprehension and give up, but there's something really interesting and addictive about 'Scattered Horizons'. As a unit, Siren's Cry retain strong melodies and moments of sheer beauty, but they act as stepping stones to other musical outbursts that all join like a dot-to-dot in such a novel way.

If you enjoy sitting down in your trusty chair, dim the lights and stick on a pair of headphones to listen to an album from start to finish, and you admire virtuosity and fantastic musicianship, this will be a genuine delight.

'Cold Amber and Scalding Tears' is the shortest song here and is a melodic masterpiece. Almost like a commercial break amongst the audio storm, a chance to take a breath before the soft and symphonic-style opening of 'Sahara Sagas – Part I'. Incidentally, what have you done with 'Sahara Sagas – Part II'? You can't have a 'part I' without implying there's a 'part II' lurking somewhere?!

Whilst I'm on a bit of a soapbox, is it just me that gets annoyed when you look at a track list and see an introduction/theme/instrumental bit listed in its own right, but when you listen to it, that titled bit goes directly into another song seamlessly? Why not miss out that titled bit and make the instrumental/theme/introduction just a part of the song that it flows effortlessly into and in doing so, you have one song title that gives a better impression to the potential fan of the music what is on offer?!

Back to the business in hand, and 'Sahara Sagas – Part I' is still going and has my ears overwhelmed as it clocks in at over nine and a half minutes. Progressive metal fans are going to lap this up. Some tasty riffing takes place at the start of 'Serpents of War' before making way for a little bass, and then a different riff springs up. This song gallops along with the prolific melodic vocal line gently riding on top.

'A Controversial Mind' signifies that we're on the final straight. This song starts softly before building up the tension. This song has so much momentum and energy invested into it, with all involved injecting their focus and self-belief into it, you can't help but smile. All of the personnel are given room to showcase their abilities, with no one instrument being cranked up louder than any other and this makes the album bearable.

They announce to those who seek them out on a popular social networking site, that they have three main areas of influence. There are soundtrack influences, classical influences and the more contemporary rock/metal influences. You understand once you've heard 'Scattered Horizons' why they have broken down such things into categories.

The scattered horizons they speak of with the album title are quite plausibly the many different styles and sounds, paces and vibes that have been melded together for all to hear? It was captivating and refreshing, blatantly complex and yet appealing simultaneously.

With three of the songs being easier to digest in the form of 'Draconian Spectrum', 'Oratory and Sins' and 'Cold Amber and Scalding Tears', it makes for a well paced album overall. Perhaps that was intentional, like these songs are moments to catch your breath before diving under the surface of their energetic progressive endeavours elsewhere?

If you have the time and are partial to progressive elements in your metal/rock collection, you could certainly do a lot worse than give these guys a listen.

Vocals: Katie
Keyboard: Michael
Guitars: Phil
Bass: Sören
Drums: Frederic

1. Introitus
2. S3V3N
3. Oratory and Sins
4. Elegy of R'lyeh
5. Draconian Spectrum
6. Cold Amber and Scalding Tears
7. Sahara Sagas – Part I
8. Serpents of War
9. A Controversial Mind

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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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