Pioneers of Ukrainian Pagan Black metal Paganland set to play on Infinite Agony Ritual 3!
Infinite Agony Ritual 3 fest will take place on May 4th and 5th (2018) in Vilnius and Kaunas, Lithuania, featuring bands from Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Poland and Estonia!
Paganland recently performed XX anniversary show within West Ukrainian Division Act III. Full show available here: https://youtu.be/AxO3zhlOd_s
Infinite Agony Ritual 3:
PAGANLAND was founded in 1997 by Ruen and Bilozor in Lviv – one of the most beautiful Ukrainian cities, whose developed traditions incorporated the European cultural spirit of the last millennium, and every stone breathes with centuries-old history of decline and revival, wars and temporary rest.
The natural mysticism hidden in the Carpathians’ greatness, the dense woods and pure mountain sources could not but affect musicians with Pagan outlook, therefore their debut demo "Gods of Golden Circle" (1999) and the demo "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" (2008) one way or another had been nearly related to Pagan Metal.
The line-up’s changes, routine of rehearsals, hardships of concert activity caused the group’s breakup in 2005, but three years later the group revived and in 2011 recorded the first full-length album "Wind Of Freedom", having resumed their concert activity. This album was released in 2013 by Svarga Music. One year later band records a second album called "Fatherland" which is dedicated to all Patriots of Ukraine fighting against Russian aggression.
PAGANLAND is a group of persons holding the same views, who respect and love their native land, their nation, their language and who are convinced that the Ukraine is the cradle of all Slavonic people with improbably interesting history forgotten and distorted for the last ten centuries. Megaliths and petroglyphs of Kamennaya Mogila (the Stone Grave), the sanctuary-observatory of Khortytsia, the ancient observatory of Mavrinsky Maidan, the mysterious zone of Suppert… The runes of "Veles’ Book" and runic manuscripts from the library of Anna Yaroslavna (Queen of France and Princess of Ukraine)… Secret knowledge of molfars and volkhves… How many of the people worldwide at least simply heard about all of this?
The group members try to express their love of the native land, the nature in their lyrics and music, as well as draw attention of their listeners to the fact that not only money and lie rule the world in the period of the Epoch of Pisces. The human can and has to stand up for the truth, and the truth of life had been established long ago by our ancestors. All meaning of the group’s creative activity is the tribute to our land, our ancient culture, our history.
There are your standard heavy metal festivals – and there is 70000TONS OF METAL. Just imagine: You’ve just returned from a beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after spending hours enjoying the sun and white sand on a wonderful Caribbean beach. Feeling the warm wind blowing in your face, you are now sitting in a hot tub on a giant cruise ship, up close to a large stage, headbanging to your favourite band. You are watching from one of six whirlpools with a direct view of the stage on the pool deck, which is the biggest open air stage structure to sail the seas. It’s loud. It’s full of metalheads from all over the world. Sounds perfect? Well, it is ......
It’s been more than a week now since most fans have returned home from a more than successful 70000TONS OF METAL 2018 - round 8, more than a few of them still suffering from a serious case of PCD (post cruise depression) following four incredible days on board the Independence Of The Seas. More than 3,000 metalheads boarded the ship together with 61 bands, each of which was going to perform at least two shows (124 shows on 4 stages in total) during this unique event at sea. Some fans spent the shore day in Turks and Caicos with their favourite band during one of the various artist-led shore excursions. Picture yourself swimming with Meshuggah in the awe inspiring presence of majestic stingrays, or snorkeling with Aborted and Exhumed by your side to make you feel safe. Wolves on a safari? Sure, go on a coast-to-coast island tour with Wolfchant!
On top came the one of a kind All-Star performance “Jamming With Waters in International Waters” featuring members e.g. from Kreator, Sabaton, Cannibal Corpse, Destruction, Sonata Arctica, Meshuggah, Enslaved, Primal Fear, Dark Tranquility, Voivod, Seven Spires and many more, playing all time heavy metal and hard rock classics together on stage for the first time ever.
And there was another premiere, a record rather, that no one expected to be broken after last year’s peak of 74 different nationalities represented on board: 2018 beat 2017 by one more nation and proved once again that 70000TONS OF METAL is the most global cruise, uniting 75 nations on board this year. Germany, USA and Canada were among the top five of the most represented nations aboard. The youngest sailor was only 1 year old, the oldest turned 79 on the ship.
Coming up: Round 9
So watch out, Sailors: After the cruise is before the cruise. Fans can already look forward to round 9 of 70000TONS OF METAL, THE original, The World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise sailing from Miami/Ft. Lauderdale to Labadee, Haiti and back, January 31 – February 4, 2019.
German female-fronted thrash metal act Dying Gorgeous Lies are confirmed for Hard Rock Laager 2018 in Estonia, going onstage on June 30th. Get more information on festival at https://www.facebook.com/hardrocklaager. Facebook Event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/177061902871684
As previously announced, Dying Gorgeous Lies will join, as Main Support, the German Thrash titans Destruction on their shows in Saint Petersburg and Moscow:
February 15 – Opera Concert Club – Saint Petersburg
February 16 – Moscow Hall – Moscow
Upcoming Dying Gorgeous Lies Festivals:
Hard Rock Laager 2018 - Estonia - June 30th
Metal Days 2018 - Slovenia - on July 22nd-28th
German Female fronted thrash metal act Dying Gorgeous Lies‘ powerful stage presence creates a toxic essence generating an ominous seething in front of every stage that puts all metal heads under its spell. Watch the band’s “First World Breakdown” video here: https://youtu.be/uB2y3Y3lPYU
Italian progressive rock / metallers Heretic’s Dream are now confirmed as main support for Katatonia's shows in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. Check out the details below.
December 04 - Klubi Tapper - Tallinn
December 05 - Melnà Piektdiena - Riga
December 06 - Loftas - Vilnius
As previously announced, Heretic's Dream will share the stage as special guests on Amaranthe's shows in St. Petersburg and Moscow, as follows:
December 01 – Saint Petersburg – Aurora
December 02 – Moscow – Volta
Just recently the Italian progressive rock / metallers Heretic’s Dream joined the Finnish progressive metal masters Amorphis on the 10th Eclipse Anniversary Shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Spika tour Agency has released the full video of Heretic’s Dream show performed at Zal Ozhidaniya Club 13.05.2017, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIEGJ36VUZE
Italian Gothic Metallers Lightless Moor are confirmed to support the Finnish Folk Metal Lords Korpiklaani and Iceland's Metallers Skalmöld on their shows in Tallinn and Riga, see the details below.
at Rockclub Tapper - Tallinn, Estonia
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/892860097485784/
at Melna Piektdiena - Riga
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1148740015198418/
Lightless Moor's new album “Hymn for the Fallen” is out via Wormholedeath / Aural Music Group through worldwide digital market and CD. Watch “Qualcosa Vive Attraverso” official lyric video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqGvULr4GaU
Who would have honestly thought that on this cold, dark and weary mid-Winter's night, that three bands from both sides of Europe would ignite a sweat-pit so hot and steamy in the 02 Islington Academy, that everyone would be clambering around for their ice cold beers? Well you could blame the incessant rampaging of the crowd, or you could blame the magical wizardry of Londoners Pythia, Estonia's Metsatöll and Finland's Ensiferum for their encapsulating and unrelenting assault of metal at it's finest. A night full of bard, folkloric anthems and continual salutations towards the bands unfolded.
Let us indulge in the night's gig and diverge from the near verbose verbiage given above.
A lot was expected of Londoners Pythia at tonight's gig that the overall reaction post-performance was one of slight disillusion and disappointment, despite the heroics of keeping their cool intact and letting themselves go, Pythia never managed to shift out of third gear. Sure their pedigree of late ought have safeguarded their show from criticism, but they seemed out of sync at times, failed to keep the crowd on their toes and above all (which actually isn't their fault) did not fit in tonight's themed gig that well.
Power / Gothic Metal? Folk Metal? You get the idea, it's like putting a Black Metal band with a Glam Metal band, there again imagine a Blackened Glam Metal band? Deviating here, much like what Pythia did at times during their set. It wasn't completely pretty and yet whilst there were glimmers of hope that could have lead to something magical sparking, the fire just did not ignite and this meant that the crowd were left in a state of boredom to the band's dismay.
On another night Pythia may well have blasted the ceiling, but this night it was not meant to be, surely there needed something folkloric to not only get this crowd (and pit) open, cue Metsatöll
Metsatöll brought with them their folkloric antics and atmospherics that would almost certainly have resulted in them being awarded the coveted 12 points at Eurovision, if this was Eurovision that is. Instead the crowd might as well have given them maximum points as they swayed, moshed and ritualistically headbanged to the beauty of Estonian Folk Metal.
Here is a band who despite their language differences; they sing in Estonian, managed to ignite the venue without any restrictions. Not strangers to the British shores, this Baltic horde mix Folk Metal with Thrash Metal to develop something that's fast, heavy, danceable, even funky if you wish to call it that. They even weaved a traditional Pagan song into their set, which was prominently instrumental and was well received by the crowd.
Harking back to the band's antics, one such antic was Varulven playing the Estonian bagpipes behind his back, we've all seen guitarists do this trick (Varulven is one too) but bagpipers? That little trick got a wow from the crowd, however there was an even bigger wow directed towards to the whole band as they laid down the foundations for their Finnish neighbours Ensiferum, and closed their performance with a song about love and beer; the latter of which was flowing like a gushing stream.
For a band who has been knocking around for 17 years, they certainly showed no signs of stopping.
* FYI that is not our meme.
Ensiferum, having celebrated 21 years activity and 15 years since their debut self-titled album dropped, were never destined to set a foot wrong in this most audacious of nights (you know the references). Having just released their latest effort "One Man Army", this show as part of their tour of the same name (as the album) could equate to a thousand-strong horde running riot, crashing into and smashing everything in sight, including you.
That was the sheer force exerted by the Finnish sextet tonight, a full-on onslaught of 'Finnish folkloric anthems' and by that came the bards in metal form, reciting their majestic scripts that will have no doubt be spoken of and sung to on this night.
Whilst the pits opened and closed, the headbanging became rhythmic and the dancing ensued due to the band's uncanny nature of knowing what makes their fans tick. Ensiferum have been there and done it, they know what it takes to make a night unforgettable and as they unleashed song after song, the crowd did not appear to show any signs of slowing down.
Joined on stage by their new live musician Netta Skog (ex-Turisas) of whom took part on the tracks 'Cry For The Earth Bounds' and 'Descendants, Defiance, Domination' on the band's latest album, Ensiferum signed off each song played in style and as the night drew closer and closer to the end, it was apparent that despite the disappointing start by Pythia, both Metsatöll and Ensiferum drew out their swords and did battle, leaving the crowd gasping for air and emerging as valiant warriors born.
Ensiferum this night justified their worth as Finnish Folk Metal leaders as well as pioneering idols, this was a night that everyone in attendance would never forget.
 RHYS STEVENSON
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