Last Saturday, the fans of different metal genres came together to choose the "Best Metal Band", as well as to see the winners of "Best Metal Album" and "Best Metal Video" at the fourth annual awarding The Best Ukrainian Metal Act which took place at Kyiv’s Bingo club. This year, 7 bands competed for the main statue. Among them were Morton (Kyiv), Septa (Odessa), Psionic Arc (Kyiv), Aghiazma (Kyiv), 1914 (Lviv), The Nietzsche (Odessa), as well as BUMA-2014 winners, the quartet Jinjer (Gorlivka). The evening was closed by the last year's winners Space of Variations (Vinnitsa) as a special guest.
BUMA-2016 program began in the second half of the day and lasted until midnight. During this time, the bands performed the short sets, the host announced the results of the jury’s voting for "Best Metal Album" and "Best Metal Video", and the audience, meanwhile, have made their choice on the main prize. So, Jinjer won in the category for "Best Metal Band", which, considering the amount their fans, was quite expectedly. Also, the grove metalheads tool one award for the music clip "I Speak Astronomy", filmed for the song from their latest LP "King Of Everything". The third award for "Best Metal Album" went to Odessa’s group Septa, whose spectacular release "Sounds Like Murder" came out just at the end of last month, but was truly worthy of the majority of votes.
A series of performances were opened by Kyiv’s band Morton. The group of the well-known sound producer Max Morton has only recently returned to the stage after a long break, though the musicians were able to hook the listeners with a first-class heavy/power metal. Noizr Zine asked the band’s leader about his impressions of the performance and the best releases of the year.
Max, you played a great set. What are your impressions of the show?
Max Morton: Thank you. The impressions are good, the only thing that there were some technical problems, but It seems like it was not so noticeable from the outside. The last time I performed at the BUMA in 2013, I can not tell how it was in 2014 and 2015, but this time it’s very cool.
What are the most memorable releases that you have heard this year?
Max Morton: For me, it’s a new album by Jinjer, because I worked on it as a sound engineer and producer. Due to the large amount of work in the studio, I honestly do not really check out other releases, so I do not want to talk about something that I haven’t listened to. From singles, again, I worked on Aghiazma ["Zombie Dogs" — Noizr], I can highlight them, and, perhaps, our single [Morton’s new song "Through The Never" feat. Jinjer’s Tatiana Shmaylyuk — Noizr]. We came back after a very long break.
In this case, it will be interesting to know what do you think about criticisms of Jinjer’s new album?
Max Morton: Honestly, I have heard only positive feedback. If you do not judge by words, but by deeds, so firstly, Jinjer have released the album via Napalm Records. Secondly, as a sound engineer, I personally know how they play, and I know how much they work. In the CIS countries, there are not so many responsible, talented and hard-working musicians. It seems to me that all critics are such people who are very often wrong. There were many examples and not only in music, when a talented person was ripped to shreds, and then he kicks everyone's ass.
What's your view on this year’s BUMA leaders?
Max Morton: In my opinion, everything is fairly. As for the video, it was filmed for one of the strongest Jinjer’s songs on the album, they chose it successfully and made a good clip. And as for Septa, I can not comment their album, because, honestly, I have briefly listened to it, but for sure I’ll check it out. But if people have voted so, probably they deserve it.
Septa and The Nietzsche (Odessa)
Odessa-based musician Eugene Tymchyk brought at once two bands Septa and The Nietzsche to BUMA-2016. The Nietzsche’s performance, as it was noted shortly after the event by many visitors, was worth watching because of the bright costume show (yes, these were the same cowboys, who once have performed their own version of "Brokeback Mountain 2" in Kyiv, and this time they showed a kind of a party by Marvel and DC comic book heroes). But nevertheless, the studio works of both bands were included in the list of nominees, which speaks for itself. Let's remind that "Sounds Like Murder" won the award for "Best Metal Album", besides Septa took the second place in the rank of "Best Metal Band" after Jinjer. That's what the frontman of both bands have told us:
In my opinion, you gave all your best during the show. And what are your impressions?
Eugene Tymchyk: Straight fire! After coming on stage, it seems that we have been waiting, and we are not used to this. Usually we act in a certain grab bag where most of the audience are waiting for someone bigger than us, where we are sort of consolation prize for those who come to the headliners. And here we came on stage at the venue, where everybody knows us, they know the lyrics and what they’re listening to. I’ll remember this concert for a long time.
What does this award mean to you?
Eugene Tymchyk: Recognition of course. Generally, it’s apparent that BUMA gains more and more prestige and status every year. And this fall it was interesting to see all these speculations about who will take the reward and who won’t win. Good to see something like that. And I hope that there will be more nominations next year.
Did you expect that the album will be called the best?
Eugene Tymchyk: It will be a lie if I say that I didn't expect it. I saw the listeners’ feedback to the album, the feedback of Ukrainian and foreign media. Taking into account that the Ukrainian journalists, most of whom I know, chose the albums, it was plain how the wind blows. But still, there was no certainty because we had a very strong main competitor, and there is no good to be so presumptuous. In the end, it was a very pleasant surprise.
Why, do you think, "Sounds Like Murder" stands out among Septa’s other albums and among other contenders in this category?
Eugene Tymchyk: Honestly I do not know. It's hard to imagine what others hear in your songs. But I think that our thoroughness could bribe the experts. And of course, the production has also become a key factor. Well, it seems to me that there is a consensus among critics about our uniqueness, not only in Ukraine but also in the world in general. But maybe I just like to think so. But I do not see that someone do not agree with the result in this category. So it is quite natural.
Psionic Arc (Kyiv)
The event was followed by Kyiv’s band Psionic Arc, which for many was the dark horse of the festival, however, thanks to its energetic set, they caught the fancy of the majority of BUMA guests. By the way, the band’s vocalist is a well-known Artem Pronov from SLIPPY INC, one of the most prominent photographers and cameramen in Ukraine. Psionic Arc commented on their performance at the event:
"For us, it was the largest gig at this stage and the second challenge was the fact that half of the staff fell ill fiercely. Temperature and all other things. But we are more than satisfied with the show. Thanks to all who rocked with us and for each review after the concert!"
Without any prevarications, Jinjer have become favorites of the evening. There was barely room to move near the stage, but the fans, who missed the band badly, just dropped one by one, so violent slam was there. Jinjer’s first performance in Ukraine in a long time consisted largely of songs from the new album, which, apparently, the audience liked. A little bit later, the band’s frontwoman Tatiana Shmaylyuk told us about her impressions of the show and work on "King Of Everything".
Congratulations on your victory! Was it expected?
Tatiana Shmaylyuk: Thank you. In fact it was unexpected. As for the video, we really noticed the videos much more better than ours. We were very surprised when we saw Doomeye’s clip ["Everyone's Dignity" — Noizr], it was something special. We rewatched it many times. And as for the performance, I have not been so worried for a long time, honestly. We really become disaccustomed from Ukraine, everyone is so new, we have a very different look at the audience now.
What are the most memorable releases that you have heard this year?
Tatiana Shmaylyuk: Honestly, I have not listened to heavy music for a long time. For me, metal music doesn’t exist already. I'm trying to pull away from it, it's too hard. If you work at a factory for the manufacture of sockets, you will hardly come home and produce the sockets again. The same goes for me. It’s a job, which undoubtedly brings pleasure, but still need to pull away somehow from it. If I had listened to this fucking metal all the time, there would be no diversity in our music. I have stopped to follow the heavy scene, especially in Ukraine...
How do you react to the criticism of "King Of Everything"? Are you satisfied with the album?
Tatiana Shmaylyuk: Today we played here at most a new album, which is quite ambiguous estimated by the listeners, yes. Someone does not understand it at all. Previously, we had only the old stuff that we played a lot and people know him, it today was a different Jinjer.
We are very pleased with it, the album has received 90% positive foreign reviews, we haven’t ever know about the criticism. The fact is that it was recorded in a very harsh conditions, time was running out. Therefore, we have recorded the stuff we kept in mind. There was a lot of improvisation, I came and I did not know my vocal parts. I had only the text, and sometimes I hadn’t even it. It was stressful, it was tough. When I wrote the lyrics, I had to digest and suffer some life's events.
What is your opinion on this year’s nominees?
Tatiana Shmaylyuk: Today, many people, whom I would like to see here, haven’t performed. I have not heard some of today’s bands before, so it would be quite strange if I estimate them.
Once again I had the opportunity to watch with great interest a short set by the shock rockers Aghiazma. The metal quintet generously gave portions of contagious energy to fan zone and seemed to have not any thought about the event’s results. Later, the musicians willingly shared with us their impressions.
Guys, how are you doing tonight?
Aghiazma: Cool, we like everything today very much. There are a lot of people here because it's one of the coolest concerts of the year and all were waiting for it. Also voting attracts the masses and creates a holiday atmosphere with acupuncture backstage, the bands make eyes at each other, wondering who will win today. And in fact, all of them drink and have a rest, everyone has fun.
Today, the view has been expressed that there are more Ukrainian bands which could have also competed for the BUMA’s nominations, and what do you think about it?
Aghiazma: The bands were selected partly subjective, partly by well-known personalities in our underground community, they, perhaps, have the right to do so. Seven groups is a lot of it, if to invite more bands, then it would be necessary to do a three-day festival. The jury is still more than one person, they are all competent, well-known people, they selected the bands by some criteria, not for nothing.
Whose 2016’s releases have stuck in your playlists?
Aghiazma: I constantly listen to Sinoptik "Interplanet Overdrive". Their album relaxes somehow, takes you in some past. Today there are bands which play different modern music, but Sinoptik return us at that time when you get a lot of fun. Jinjer’s latest album is also very powerful.
The members of the Lviv-based band 1914, wrapped up in theme of the First World War, did everything possible to create the appropriate atmosphere during their show. The hall was filled by purple light, big screen broadcasted creepy videos of wartime events, and the real battles erupted on the stage. At the end of the evening, 1914 took the third place in the list of the best metal bands according to BUMA and remembered, perhaps, the most impressive performance with a high level of skillfulness and meticulous work on its concept. Later, we were able to talk with the quintet’s leader and mastermind Dmytro Kumar.
Dmytro, 1914 gave very intense and atmospheric show, and I think, many got into it. How do you think?
Dmytro Kumar: I understand that here we are pretty alternative band. The groups which performed before us, the audience who came to listen to them — they are still a little bit in a different style. But in general, as far as I could see from the stage, people perceive the show, seemed they liked it. On the other hand, it was interesting for us because it's a different audience. Usually, those who come to the black/death metal concerts, and there are people who listen to trendy modern music, metalcore and so on. It would be interesting to bring this audience our message, what we’re singing about, the theme of the First World War. Let's see, if it worked or not, whether anyone is interested. But in general, it was a good concert.
What 2016’s releases could you highlight?
Dmytro Kumar: Kyiv's band Forever Wasted released a great album [self-titled record "Forever Wasted" — Noizr], but it was posthumous. Our Lviv’s group Octopus Kraft released a very cool album ["Through a Thousand Woods" — Noizr], Balance Interruption presented a very interesting one ["Door 218" — Noizr]. It is difficult to call to mind all million bands, but there were interesting releases this year in Ukraine, not much, but a few albums I gave listened to with pleasure.
By Yuri Somov
Translated from Russian by Anastezia