On December 8, another one day international indoor-festival Oskorei took place. Last year, having pleased extreme metal music fans with a solid line-up, which included both excellent Ukrainian acts (Nödutgång:Självmord, Sectorial, White Ward), and 4 venerable foreign bands (Panychida, Skogen, Bucovina, Ereb Altor), the event’s promoters decided not to dial down, inviting the cult Brits Cradle of Filth as this year’s headliner.
The event was opened by Belarusians Dymna Lotva — a young band that in just three years of its existence managed to sign a contract with German label Der neue Weg Productions and release two full-length albums "Зямля пад чорнымі крыламі: Дрыгва" (2016) и "Палын" (2017). It was a strategically correct decision to put them as the opening act, as many metalheads came specifically to the beginning of the event to catch their set, which interested me mainly due to the efforts of the band’s frontwoman — Katsiaryna Mankevich, whose emotional performing style resonates very much with Psychonaut 4’s vocalist.
The next act was Kharkiv-based Barkasth; I was lucky to see them at their debut Ragnard Reborn Novo Kolo festival (now Metal East) which was held this June in the musician’s native city. Like Dymna Lotva, the band’s members performed on stage in thematic outfits, but unlike the first group, that’s where all their show theatrics ended.
The intrigue of the evening, another Kharkiv group YGG, didn’t impress me much. Vastly, it was caused by the extreme vocals of the second vocalist, who, in my opinion, sounded pretty laboured. The image of the band’s members also did not add atmosphere (the musicians just weared T-shirts with YGG logo), especially in comparison with the other performing acts.
The audience was noticeably cheered up by Khors and the following Swedish act Nox Vorago. The first ones presented an exclusive program, playing tracks off the album "Mysticism", which has celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, and the second band stirred the crowd thanks to its vigorous and groovy setlist.
The main guests of the evening, Cradle of Filth, played a gig as part of the Cryptoriana World Tour. In addition to the songs from the new album, the musicians played the "immortal classics" ("Nymphetamine Fix", "Her Ghost in the Fog", "From the Cradle to Enslave", etc.), having pleased their die-hard old school fans. Later, their performance was praised most of all on the Internet, and, yes, there definitely were reasons for doing that — the band played the solid programm, creating a special sinister atmosphere due to thematic costumes and high-quality performance.
In general, this year’s festival clearly showed that here, in Ukraine, people are much more willing to visit multiple gigs of "well-established" artists like Cradle of Filth, than the performances of interesting, but not less well-known (in Ukraine) acts. Honestly, last year’s line-up for me was much more entertaining — taking into account at least the magnificent Swedish band Ereb Altor, who came to Ukraine for the first time, and played a very powerful performance! — But then there were fewer people. This year, for the first time in a long period, I personally had to watch the full house on the bars of the Bingo club — the long lines did not resolve for 15-20 minutes, and during the break between the sets, the bartenders did not have time to serve all those suffering for alcohol — so many visitors were at this evening!
It’s hoped that the local Ukrainian metal scene will gradually kill off conservatism in the perception of music, with the replenishment of the young listeners, and events with bands that are not so famous but worthy of a good-size audience will at least begin to pay off.
Noizr Zine thanks Oskorei Midvinter Festival for the accreditation
Pics by Kirai Gigs