Last week I gave an overview of my favorite Ukrainian and Russian bands. I mentioned that I hadn’t heard them say anything directly about Russia or the war/possibility of war — that’s changed. I thought I’d share with you some notices from musicians in Ukraine.
First, and most exciting/depressing, is that Drudkh decided to release a new video way ahead of schedule in case they don’t survive. From their record label’s statement accompanying the release:
Ukrainian black metal stalwarts DRUDKH are now releasing the official music video for the new song, “The Nocturnal One”. The video was originally not slated for release until later this year, along with a new record from the band. However, due to the increasingly dangerous situation in their homeland, being situated in the epicentre of the invasion and with no safe borders to reach, the band has requested that the video be released immediately as they are currently uncertain of their own future or safety.
DRUDKH has always shown unwavering pride for their country through their music. This poignant statement is a testament to their fighting spirit and love for their homeland. The new record and its details will be revealed in time. Due to vinyl plant delays, the album release is delayed until late 2022.
Season of Mist has been in contact with Drudkh over the phone today.
They stated the following:
“Even though we weren’t supposed to share any statement or music until later this year, we are grateful to get this new track out here today. It represents HOPE, may it strengthen those who need it.”
Our hearts go out to Drudkh and all our Ukrainian artists.
Here it is; it’s really quite good. One notices the blue and gold color scheme toward the video’s end — those are the colors of the Ukrainian flag if I’m not mistaken. So perhaps a patriotic anthem to inspire the troops — if there’s anybody on the ground that still has internet access.
The following message from an eastern Ukrainian metal festival’s organizers was reposted by Nokturnal Mortum on Facebook:
To all our friends and supporters all over the world.
Here is something we all should know and remember:
war and russia’s military invasion of Ukrainian territory started back in 2014. It is a hybrid war, filled with blood, death, russian lies, russian propaganda, and russian fakes. This is how they have always behaved for decades: faithful heirs of their soviet past, they continue to assert that Ukraine, the Ukrainian language, and culture haven’t ever existed. They were destroying everything Ukrainian then, adjusting everyone to the patterns of the bloody system, and killing those who did not agree; it is no longer a secret that this is what they would like to proceed with now.
The masks have been dropped, and now the russian aggressor is openly declaring its intentions. The war it has been waging in Ukrainian territories since 2014 threatens to move into an open, much more destructive and bloody phase. This is a threat not only to us but to the entire civilized world, to all the principles by which it is built and exists.
Ukrainians will resist.
And you can help us.
Here are options for supporting the Ukrainian army and helping it defend us and you against russian aggression (all options include international payments):
International charitable foundation “Come back alive”:
Charity fund “Army SOS”:
(В Україні є можливість підтримати армію навіть з “ковідної тисячі”: https://markobook.com/?filters=product_cat)
Crimea is Ukraine.
Donetsk and Luhansk are Ukraine.
We will fight for our land.
Another Ukrainian band, Ezkaton, just released a new record this month (that’s quite good, by the way, see selections below) but sent out the following message to their Bandcamp followers regarding shipping of new orders:
Sorry guys. We have Russia invasion. Delivery will be late for unknown period. Russia bombing city in 60km from me. Wish us luck!
A while back an Israeli colleague of mine wrote that her edits on a manuscript we were working on might be late because Hamas was shooting rockets into her city and her grad students had been called up to defend the country, so things were a little bit weird at the moment. Difficult for an American to put himself in the headspace of people who live in that kind of environment; any attempt by one of us to understand what’s going on in those parts of the world has to start by reckoning with that fact. Damn. Anyway, the next day Ezkaton sent this:
Thanks to all of you for total suppoort! Things here not going well. I hope, that tomorrow I will take weapon in my hands. For the first time in my life, but I hope – not the last time. I still getting orders for wooden boxes, CD’s and t-shirt. I dont want to dissapoint you – CD’s of To Those Who Fell were burned in Kyiv werehouses that have been destroyed by bombs. After our victory – all your orders will be delivered by me, or my family. Thank you again!
He later linked to the same “charitable”* organizations as NM, so if you feel motivated to contribute to their war effort, that’s probably a good link to use. Here’s that new Ezkaton record — atmospheric and merciless with great keys. I hope he survives to make more music inspired by his new brutal life experiences. But if not, enjoy Valhalla brother, it sounds like you’re earning it.
* I give scare quotes to “charitable” because, well, it’s a donation to an army and could very well go towards killing people, so not exactly the Salvation Army or the Red Cross. Seems weird that a military would be raising money on the Internet, but it’s probably better than how we fund our own operations.