No matter how overworked the word "died down" is, but this is how Metal Madness festival ended up last Saturday, on May 26. The one-day heavy metal music event, which took place at the MonteRay Live Stage club in Kyiv, gathered a solid line-up, featuring Ukrainian and Belarusian bands, and only the most persistent admirers of guitar and vocal madness in the best sense of the word were able to 'survive' it with the buzz in their ears.
Powerful riffs, brutal slam and reckless stage diving — all this for more than six hours could be observed during the sets of the metallers Palay (Odesa), Try Lying Awake (Kyiv), Bojevilla (Kyiv), Sectorial (Boyarka), An Argency (Minsk), the headliners of MegamasS (Kyiv), and several hundred guests of the festival.
The Odesa-based act Palay deserves special attention at least for the reason that this brisk quintet performed for a half-empty hall, which did not affect the quality of their half-hour performance. The evening had barely begun, football fans were already marching in the capital on that very day, so the modest "crowd" gathered near the first set of Metal Madness.
This didn’t bother the guys who, at one stroke, warmed up the first guests of the festival, and they themselves cut fully loose, rocking the audience with the songs "Перший залп", "Катма любові" and other tracks from their repertoire, estimated by the fans.
Try Lying Awake
As the hall filled with the listeners, the performing relay passed to the post-hardcore players Try Lying Awake from Kyiv. Unlike their predecessors, the musicians did not swing on the floor and rush between spectators, but gave an equally confident and vigorous set, giving pleasure musically and visually. The band performed tracks from their debut LP "Life Imitates Art" (2016), as well as the recently released single "ZERO".
In a gloomy purple light, the hall was plunged by Bojevilla, perhaps one of the most formative groups in the "madness" festival’s line-up ['Bojevilla' means 'madness' in Ukrainian — Noizr]. Shortly before their gig in Kyiv, this chaotic and unpredictable quintet experienced some changes — two members, the bassist Vitaly Gurtovenko and sampler Olexandr Ostapenko, have left the band, so Bojevilla performed as a quartet, introducing their new bass player Sergey Gula (Dysphoria).
The changes did not affect the group in any way and the fans got everything in full that could be expected from Bojevilla, namely reckless stage diving into the crowd, watering and torn clothes, and with it tons of massive riffs and a new track from the upcoming album.
The set of the Boyarka-based metallers Sectorial not only stood out by their genre and manner of performance style, but literally became a fresh breath of air in the hall, which by that time was soaked with the smell of spilled on the floor beer.
And even though this time the quartet performed without branded chips like 'the woodcutters’ uniform' and a number of ethnic instruments, the half-hour set still distinguished itself with their inherent nature concept, impressive drum parts and harmonious work of the band as a whole. For Metal Madness, the musicians prepared a diverse tracklist, which led the listener through the dark depths of a forest to the sunny glade, where the fans willingly set out to dance.
Another guests of the evening were the deathcore act An Argency from Minsk. Their performance, in my opinion, was perhaps the brightest one in Metal Madness’ program. Despite their youthful appearance, the guys gave a solid show, and their skillfulness and ferocious vocals can give odds to many of their colleagues. For over 40 minutes, their set was accompanied by unabated slam and circle pit, encouraged by the musicians, while they were performing the best tracks of their studio albums "Through Existence" (2016) and "Eternal Legacy" (2018).
By the end of the evening, the headliners of which were MegamasS, it was really hard to bore way through the crowd to get closer to the stage. The festival’s guests began singing the band’s songs even before the musicians have appeared from behind the scenes with the sullen single "Bone Throne". The violent quartet closed the one-day fest with an almost hour's performance, during which, without a break, unloaded into the hall a ton of guitar and vocal ruthlessness.
In general, the annual Metal Madness made a positive impression, helped by a strict timing (with a maximum delay in 5-10 minutes), as well as vivid and varied line-up. At the same time, some of the festival’s visitors negatively commented on sound quality, which is a frequent problem of the MonteRay Live Stage club. During the whole evening, it was really necessary to use earplugs, and even in this case the mentioned above buzzing in the ears remained an unpleasant sediment.
The main disadvantage, alas, were the visitors of the festival themselves, who turned the site at the bar into a beer marsh, which was carried around by shoes throughout the hall. Some dancing individuals were not at all embarrassed by glasses in their hands, from which the drinks flowed both to the floor and to the spectators in the neighborhood.
Photos and report by Yuri Somov
Translated from Russian by Anastezia
Noizr Zine thanks Mad Art Promotion for accreditation