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'Wild Card'
(Nuclear Blast)

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


When Floor Jansen, the Amazonian Dutch singer with the killer voice who fronted After Forever got the job as the new singer (on tour at least) for Nightwish I wondered what that would mean for her Revamp project who were due to do a follow up to their self titled debut album.

As it turns out somehow during a triumphant mammoth trek across the globe with Nightwish where she shone on the songs from both previous vocalists and recorded a soon to be released dvd she somehow managed to find the time to write and record the second Revamp album 'Wild Card'.

As someone who loved After Forever I wasn't sure about the heavier, more bombastic direction of the Revamp debut and so I approached this follow up with trepidation. I have been pleasantly surprised though as while this is at times a very heavy album there's plenty of melody on offer and some quite magnificent vocals.

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I didn't really expect to find a song like 'Nothing' with it's gentle, almost sweet verses before the inevitable big chorus. The three part epic 'The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown' is dark and heavy as you might expect of a song where Floor explores some difficult personal experiences but the staccato rhythms and changing time signatures grew on me and there is always that sub-operatic soaring voice to hang on to when you think you might lose track of all that's going on.

For the record I'm no great fan of grunting vocalists, it's a style of singing I put up with when the music is good enough to keep me interested and it's disappointing to me that a singer of Floor Jansen's quality feels the need to do some grunting in this band.

This shows up in some places here along with guest slots from the likes of Devin Townsend and Mark Jansen but when you hear Ms Jansen stretching her singing voice to it's limits and soaring ever higher on the choruses of said trilogy and the magnificent 'Distorted Lullabies' you can forgive her (with the proviso that the album would be even better without any grunting in my opinion!)

The band sound tight and heavy here but with little individual instrumentation that really stands out apart from the odd guitar solo, it's a band performance driven along by guest Johan Van Stratum from Stream Of Passion on bass designed to back up the star singer. Stream Of Passion's own fabulous singer Marcela Bovio is credited as being in the choirs which pop up in many of the songs but so far I haven't been able to spot her anywhere!

Verdict: This is for me a much better album than I expected and while it may be a little short of any real stand out songs(there's no obvious single to me for example) I really enjoy it and would happily recommend it to any fans of Floor Jansen or anyone who likes their female fronted metal hard and heavy but with slabs of melody too.

Floor Jansen: Vocals
Arjan Rijnen: Guitars
Jord Otto: Guitars
Ruben Wijga: Keyboards
Matthias Landes: Drums
Johan Van Stratum: Bass (this album only, Henk Vonk is now the full time bass player)


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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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