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European Release Date: 7th September 2013

Nik Underwood

nik underwood


SpiralArms boast an impressive Bay Area Metal pedigree in the form of guitarist Craig Locicero whose mid-late 80s outfit Forbidden featured Robb Flynn (later of Vio-lence and of course Machine Head) and Paul Bostaph who has filled the drum stool of practically every thrash band ever, including SpiralArms vocalist Tim Narducci's previous band Systematic who were Ozzfest stalwarts in the early Noughties.

Rounded out by Chris Lombardo (bass), Brad Barth (keyboards), Ron Redeen (drums) and Anthony Traslavina (guitar) this sextet have the experience and ability to produce high quality Metal with a strong melodic edge without being shackled to their aforementioned thrash roots.

'Freedom' is SpiralArms' follow up to 2010s debut 'Highest Society' and is a straight-up homage to classic rock and Metal with its Zep and Sabbath influence proudly on it's cut-off sleeve. Riffs are big and bluesy, vocals powerful and choruses soaring, all anchored by a rock solid rhythm section and keyboards used sparingly yet to maximum effect.

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By the band's own admission 'Freedom' is a more straightforward sophomore effort and features a "back to basics" approach and indeed Narducci, also serving as producer, captures a real "live" feel to the songs on offer here as well as delivering some sonic tricks to give colour and effect.

A few people have mentioned the word "Stoner" in relation to the SpiralArms sound and although there are elements of that detuned guitar sound, the combination of all of the collective influences and indeed the players makes for something much more complex than mere "Stoner".

Opener 'Dropping Like Flies' is the lead single and has a driving COC style riff that gets the head banging from the get go. 'Hold Me To The Sky' has a great middle breakdown with some Deep Purple style guitar/keyboard trade offs then a Peter Frampton-esque talkbox call and response.

The bluesy 'Exit 63' showcases Narducci's vocal range and leads into 'Blackmoon Morning' which finds him In Scott Weiland territory over an exotic Zeppelin descending guitar figure.


A double hit comes with 'Drugs & Alcohol' followed by 'Dealer' (although it should be the other way around! - so I'm led to believe anyway!) the former fast and furious the latter woozy and reminds me of a discombobulated search for the Nightbus.

'Lover's Leap' is an acoustic lament for the Scarlet Woman that comes across as a slowed down nod to Skynard's 'Tuesday's Gone' but with an edge of malice replacing the regret. Next up is my personal favourite, 'Tomorrow's Dream', that is cut from the same cloth (cloak?) as Black Sabbath's 'Supernaut' complete with effects-drenched guitar solo.

Title track 'Freedom' is built around a massive chorus that Myles Kennedy would kill for and keyboard player Brad Barth supplies the Joe Cocker swells to keep afloat a festival sized crowd. Closer 'I Lay Low' is a funky mash up of Soundgarden's 'Superunkown' and 'Spoonman' with a Bad Company chorus!

I realise that I've name-checked a LOT of bands in this review and it might come across as if SpiralArms are somehow derivative or devoid of originality but this is not the case. Each song has a definite familiar aspect, be it a guitar hook or vocal nod but yet seems fresh and the album zips by in no time and never feels like it drags it's heels.

SpiralArms were a surprise to me but I am definitely a convert. If you like any of the bands I mentioned check them out! Word has it they will be heading to Europe in the Spring next year so keep your eyes peeled for those dates too.

Release Date Europe: October 7th 2013
Release Date US/Canada: October 8th 2013
Release Date: Germany: October 4th 2013

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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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