It is needless to say that the alternative music... hell...all the music scene in Latvia is an absolute disaster. Although the country has been independent for more than 25 years now, many years of the Soviet occupation and the Iron Curtain have taken it's toll on the older generation of metalheads. The newer generation probably wants to follow their popular idols in modern "extreme", "-core" and "brOOOtal" metal, which is not a bad thing in itself if the songs they put out into the world would not be just a pathetic recreation of what they've heard from the bands they were influenced by. That said the ones that try to be more or less artistic and creative could either do better job at it or are poorly recognized by the community. I tend to think of my band as the latter.
Last friday I went to the alternative.lv yearly music awards. My band wasn't nominated in the final, but as me and the drummer have some friends in that circle, and both of us are terribly out of touch with what is happening in a bit more popular music scene in Latvia, we went anyways to at least drink some beer and catch up with folks. Besides I was fucking pissed that the band "Darrva" was nominated for the award "best music video of the year". Thank the gods that they did not get it as it would have been a disgrace to all of us. If you haven't seen this pathetic recreation of "Behemoth", here you go:
There might even be a slight chance of Adam "Nergal" Darski getting leukemia again, if he would see and hear this atrocity.
I don't know about you, but I have an unexplainable urge to punch the vocalist in the throat and make him choke to death.
The main event of the evening for me was that the band "Tesa" won the award "album of the year" with their latest release "GHOST" thus restoring my faith in Latvian nation. The album, in my own honest peasant opinion, is their magnum opus - both musically and production-wise. These guys are veterans and icons of the genre here, and along with "Solaris" were the gateway bands to "Neurosis" and "Isis" for me in my early youth. If you haven't heard them, you are ought to do so.
Other than that I thought this might be the right time and place to present you with some of the most honorable releases in Latvian music scene for the past ten or so years...again this is only my exclusive opinion.
Solaris - The truth can only be learned by marching forward
I remembered the first time I got a hold of their 3rd album "Portraits Noires" when I was a youngster...damn, it was THE shit!
Still consider them being one of the best things that Latvia had to offer the world in post/sludge genre. And this particular album was the most mature of them all when it came to the song-writting and structure.
Omerta - Crown of sevenOne of the best live bands in Riga to this date.
Pink Elephant - Mellowing
I was introduced to this band by my band's guitar player. I did try to fight listening to them at first to be honest... but, oh gods, never have I been so wrong in my life - THIS IS FANTASTIC!
Have been hooked on them ever since.
The Big Bluff - Self titledA bluesy rock band worth every cent you pay them.
Besides they had one of the most bizarre live performances I've seen by far.
Burned in blizzard - Riddle of perception
This one song is worth your time and money. The main riff is a killer, I'm getting chills every time I hear it. Maybe I'm just saying this because I was a long time Pantera fanboy, but who knows.
The rest is a total mehfest of "Trivium" like vocals and guitars - I mean, why? JUST WHY?