Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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After ten years Sarajevo will be in the centar of metal world when, on two days in April, metal music fans will be able to enjoy the performances of great foreign, regional, and local bands, all organized by a young association for the promotion of alternative music – “Primarch”.

Sarajevo’s “Yu Heavy Metal Festival” from the 1980s, when the late Želimir Altarac Čičak was the organizer, in the iconic Youth Center, is still synonymous for older fans of this musical expression today as a great event of its kind. About twenty years into the future, the great team from “Sarajevo Metal Fest Promotions” brings back big heavy metal festivals to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, when big names like Exodus and Misery Index are playing in Sarajevo. Unfortunately, due to the change of generations, Sarajevo was left without major heavy metal music festivals for ten years, and last year, after two successful local festivals, the team from “Primarch” took upon themselves the responsibility and difficult task of returning Šeher to the European heavy metal map.

The festival, which has been held twice so far in the former club Johnny (the 2020 edition was canceled due to the Covid pandemic), finally got its name from now on, and, as the organizers hope, for many years to come – Eternal Flame Fest.

On those two spring days, April 12th and 13th, in Sarajevo’s Dom mladih, as many as 12 metal bands (six on both days) will perform for heavy metal fans and guitar music fans in general, from almost all subgenres of that music, so that, as the organizers say, top entertainment is guaranteed.

“We chose the youth center because of the connection with the Yu Heavy Metal Festival, and also because of the fact that it is the best space in the city for an event of this type, both because of the space itself and the possibilities it provides, as well as because of the location”,

says Primarch.

Besides Primarch, Centar Skenderija and Sarajevo Disk participate in the implementation of the Eternal Flame Festival, and the service is responsible for online ticket sales.

The lineup of bands that will perform at the festival is composed in such a way that most subgenres of metal music are represented, so that the colors of traditional heavy metal are defended by Sarajevo’s cult band Gnu, as well as London’s Primitai. Banja Luka’s Cornix and Belgrade’s Infest are in charge of the speed of thrash metal, and to feel the pulse of asphalt in the hall there are even three hardcore bands: Last Drop from Doboj and Urban Instinkt and Despotic Bullet from Tuzla. There is New Storm from Bihać (nu metal groove), while Paraliza Buđenja from Sarajevo will lead the audience through the avant-garde. Of course, the metal festival wouldn’t be what it is without the extreme subgenres of that music, so Tuzla’s Soul Cremation, Italy’s Hateful, and Slovenia’s Ensanguinate will be responsible for demonic vocals, heaviest riffs and fastest drums.

Last Drop is a Doboj hardcore – metal band, known to Sarajevo fans of this music for one of the best live performances last year, when they performed before Belgrade’s SMF and blew away the iconic AG club. They have a large number of gigs behind them, and see for yourself what they sound like.

Cornix is a thrash bomb from Banja Luka and will be a real treat for fans of more modern thrash sound and bands like Evile or Municipal Waste. Until now, they have not had the opportunity to play for the Sarajevo audience and there is no doubt that they will have one of the more notable performances at the festival.

Formed in 1994, Gnu is the most experienced band on the lineup of this year’s festival. Gnu dusts the good old heavy metal/hard rock sound, and they say they are in the same level as the old Gnu from the 1990s. Gnu remained in the hearts of older Sarajevo metalheads for their gigs under siege, as well as their performance at the legendary “Rock Under The Siege” festival in 1995.

Hateful is a super-fast technical death metal locomotive from Modena, Italy, they have been around for 27 years and have three studio albums. Hateful already had one performance in Sarajevo, in the crowded former club Johnny, when they drove the audience to delirium with their virtuoso riffs and blastbeats. The band members insisted on seeing the energetic Sarajevo audience again as soon as possible, and Primarch made it possible for them.

New Storm is a nu metal storm that has yet to cover the BiH metal scene. For fans of bands such as Slipknot or Static-X, New Storm will certainly get Dom mladih on its feet, as the biggest nu metal bands in America used to do in the second half of the 1990s. Fans of fat nu metal riffs and scratches on the turntable, we advise you to take the Adidas shoes out of the closet.

Urban Instinkt is Tuzla’s most famous export product after salt and detergent. Their performances are so charged with energy that the phones of everyone in the audience are charged. Urban Instinkt is well known to Sarajevo’s hardcore/metal crew, so no one who likes a good mosh will miss their performance.

Despotic Bullet is from the same Tuzla streets as Urban Instinkt (they even share some members), with the difference that Despotic has a slightly fatter and more brutal sound, following the example of iconic hardcore bands such as All Out War or Earth Crisis.

The only misfortune that could befall Soul Cremation is that they were not founded in Florida sometime in the mid-1990s of the last century. The music they play is death metal in the manner of greats like Aeon or Blood Red Throne, with riffs that cut the air and vocals from the depths of hell. We hope that Dom mladih has enough support pillars because the brutality of their concert will cause the collapse of the entire building. The best thing about Soul Cremation is that the band is neither from Sweden, nor from Florida, but from Tuzla!

Paraliza Buđenja is perhaps the best debut band that appeared in Sarajevo in the last 20 years or so. Made up of some of the best young musicians who have honed their craft in the capital, Paraliza Buđenja, for a band that has only played two gigs, sounds like some of the more experienced bands from the West. The band plays experimental metalcore and everything related to them is professional, from the approach to the gig, the production of the album, to the great video:


Led by Srđan Bilić, Primitai are always a welcome guest in Sarajevo, and until Iron Maiden comes to the capital, Primitai is here to carry the flag of real English heavy metal! Kilometer-long solos, harmonies on guitars, angelic vocals, anthemic choruses, with surgical precision… Everything is there that a great heavy band should have. Primitai is a serious story and anyone who goes to the toilet or gets a beer during their performance will have something to regret.

Ensanguinate is a Slovenian factory of old school death metal, only for true fans of old school in the manner of old Possessed. Ensanguinate has been a household name in the extreme metal world for some time now, and their 2022 album “Eldritch Anatomy” received rave reviews from metal media such as “Metal Sucks”, “Rauta”, “No Clean Singing”, Angry Metal Guy”, “Metal Epidemic”, etc. Melodies so evil you’ll feel like the floor under the stage is going to open up and throw us all into hell and chainsaw-like riffs will make their performance the talk of the town. talk for days, and in some cases it is also advised to spread fear. They are playing in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time, and they prepared a special set of songs just for the Eternal Flame Fest audience.

The brutal death/thrash bomb from Belgrade, Infest, have been on the scene for 22 years and are one of the best metal bands in this part of Europe. This year, Infest have the epithet of the main headliner, and we can describe their music as something so brutal, fast and fierce. This is their second ever performance in Sarajevo, and the organizer promises whey protein to anyone who can bear the weight of their riffs. What to say except “We are all Legion 666!”

All this for only 40 KM (20 €)! Tickets will be on sale at the Sarajevo Disk branch in the commercial city of Skenderija and through the service. Tickets will be 50 KM on the day of the festival, so you better hurry up and buy them! For guests outside BiH, a special “Metal Fest Package” has been organized in which, for €50, the ticket includes accommodation in the city center for two nights of the festival!

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