As we know, here in Serbia it has been a long time since we had some concert of a big band in any kind of music, especially metal. But as we were one of the first countries in the world that opened bars and cafes, concerts and festivals came to our feet really fast. “Krv do kolena” (Blood to the knees) was one of many smaller music events that happened in Belgrade in recent times. I say small because of tiny place where it was organized, club Fest in Zemun. Not for the number of people that came there. It’s much bigger, even on the level of a big concert.
“Krv do kolena” is organized by a group of young ambitious people from the metal web site called “Serbian Underground Metal”. Big fans of metal culture and everything that’s connected to it. Attending concerts wasn’t enough for them so they decided to refresh the situation and make the metal scene in Serbia a little bit younger than it was. Big step I must admit. I know some people who tried and were left without healthy nerves, so good luck with it boys and girls.
First part of this festival happened on August 24th, 2019. Four bands popular among the younger audience, called Haste, Riverroth, Chemical Tomb and Oksimortus had the pleasure to make someone’s night powerful and special. I didn’t attend the event but I am sure it was awesome. Or rather I hope so.
Enough of small talk. Let’s go to real stuff and to see what happened on the first day of April. It won’t be a joke.
When I saw the event on social media I wanted to go, to be a part of our little metal horde and to support the scene. Since some big changes I needed a good free time. I didn’t know much about the artists but I heard about them. I went there as a journalist with a part of our Abaddon Magazine crew. We even got press accreditations. Trust me, I was very happy because it was my first time to go somewhere officially as a journalist. I felt special. Maybe I didn’t have a reason but it meant something. So, special thanks to the organizers. My colleague was a little bit mad because you spelled her name wrong but it was a funny moment. She said: “I bet they changed my name!” And they did. Ivona or Ivana they “both” were there.
The night started normally. An army of headbangers, mostly thrashers, were gathering in front of the venue. You know, beer, loud greetings, preparing for the moshes, etc… As I was talking to one of my friends I didn’t even notice how many kids were there. I thought: “Where in Gods names will all these people fit?” As we know how the energy of a metal concert can take you, people needed space. In one moment it was a little bit weird to stay outside so long, so I realized that the event is one hour late. Okay, I get it, it’s not just about organization, club Fest is known for that. I think some concert that should’ve been there didn’t even happen, really, but however it was one of those things on black lists that shouldn’t happen.
Everything else was in its place. Tone, place, many people, even the guys who were filming the concert. Good job, a memory remains. And finally everything somehow started.
First band, called W.D.S., had their first gig. I am thinking what to say next about them. I am sorry for being hush, but I don’t know what they tried. I thought they are one of those bands that are testing instruments. The youngest band, okay, the first gig, even more okay, but what is your idea? What are you representing? What is the main thing that you would like your audience to notice about you? Where is your image? Before making a band and hopping up on the stage, make that clear in your crew because that is very important. One single behind you and tons of cover songs. I can’t even say those were good covers. Okay, that’s how everybody starts but a little bit of originality and less of goofing around on the stage and you can run to the stars. Good job with heating up the atmosphere and great connection with the audience I admit, but you guys need to work. And hey, no hard feeling, W.D.S. gave what they could. You are young but it’s no excuse. So, to the work, soldiers!
Pleasant moment to see were the numbers of moshes and audience that wasn’t even tired for one second. They needed this fun so a smell of adrenaline was in the air all the time from the top to the bottom.
Band that took my heart was Y.O.X. A hardcore metal band from Valjevo / Čačak. Or, as they call themselves “vinjakcore”, brought so much energy and we all felt it. I can freely say they are professionals and their vibe and sound is much better than many popular metal bands from Belgrade. I hope they will continue their carrier on bigger stages and abroad. Y.O.X. really brought blood to the knees with their performance. My best impression of the night honestly.
After them, and the last band, that should have been headliners, but not for me, were War Engine from Novi Sad. Oh, it was my first time also to hear them. Good job on playing instruments, being free on stage and experience what thrashers like, but there are a few smaller details that took them off the throne of best performance on that bloody night.
I really admire their hard work and their tight connection with everybody, popularity and beautiful accent there, but I was waiting through the gig to hear what this big fuss about them is. Endless talking between songs and joking about everything they saw from the stage didn’t really fit in the subject they are talking about. Honestly, I even forgot how they sound. I only remember the monologues and flying female bra that was in the singer’s mouth… That’s it.
I would understand if they are some glam band like Mötley Crüe, but thrashers with songs like “Face Your Enemies” or “Stabbed”, that wasn’t so good or funny. Bad things on the side, adrenaline and endless moshes the band was causing were awesome.
I hope that this festival won’t end the next time if less people come. Please don’t give up. You can do it and become the main people for organization of concerts. Try not to be one of those who made one or two events and that’s it. This was a small step with some mistakes but it shouldn’t take you a step back or something. Just go forward, pay attention whom are you giving the chance to climb on the stage. I think everybody had fun on this concert, so you surely did a good thing. We need a young spirit to hit things up, bring new music and ideas. Smaller steps to the stars, better place, better bands and voila – you will get an unforgettable concert. You just started, take your time.
P. S. Due to technical issues we have no photos of the event to present. We apologize to the organizers and everyone involved in the event.