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'A Fool's Game'
(Undergrowth Productions)
Release Date: January 14th 2014

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

primate x

As I sit here now, it feels somewhat ironic and appropriate to be reviewing this debut full length album by a Swedish quartet who titles their collection 'A Fool's Game' on what is April Fool's Day. Oh, how I smile to myself over such a coincidence. (I don't get out much you see.)

Forgive my digression, this album is heavy and well executed. The production values are good with the guitars coming across like audio razorblades and the vocals crystal clear despite the angst and aggression injected in to them.

You may have heard their single 'Surrounded' unleashed on our listening pleasure back in 2012, but if not then you find your ears submerged in an overlaying melancholy vocal wave which winds its way over some Doom-like instrumentation which exhibits progressive tendencies.

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Thinking about it, why don't you press play on the official music video for their track 'Game' to receive a full-on introduction to Primate X...

There must be something extra special in the water over there in Stockholm as 'A Fool's Game' knocks out songs like 'Fool' with its rampant opening riff before mixing things up and offering up a tasty chorus; album-closer 'Telescope' which has Felix spreading his magic with the guitar and Emil working like a Trojan on bass; 'Another Thing To Ignore' casting its moody shadow over a gasping throng and rinsing out every single morsel of emotion that each band member possesses.

'A Fool's Game' is not for the light of heart. It soaks up intensity like I change my socks each morning, and yet provides a sound that hints at familiar thanks to the sincere warmth captured by lead vocalist JP. The overall ebb and flow of the album follows some constantly changing beats presented by Max and you really get a sense of the chemistry the band have with each other.

When you're confronted with lighter shades of their sound as they tackle 'Dying Bloom' which incorporates a soaring chorus after lulling your ears into a false sense of security with a laid back verse, and then the restrained punishment of a track like 'Flying Blind' with hints of Living Colour, Disturbed and something unique to their chemistry; texture is rich and the album has longevity as a result.

Ten tracks which beat with a progressive heart and sharing a mixture of emotion and arrangement; solid production that wraps up the entire package and some competent musicianship, make this album something of a strong release. I find myself remembering that this is their first full-length album, so I'm curious to see how Primate X grows from here. But for now, there's no denying that 'A Fool's Game' isn't an April Fool's joke played at my expense, instead it's been a rewarding experience playing it on repeat.

Broken Glass
Flying Blind
Another Thing To Ignore
Dying Bloom
Plastic Fantasy
Suspended In The Silence

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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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