Everyone in Ukraine is pushing back against Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked attack. A week into the war, Russia is attacking civilian areas and his continuing to push ahead to take major cities like Kharkiv, the second-largest city in the country.
Along with everyone else, Ukrainian musicians are speaking out. That includes KHORS, a local black metal band. This is a quote from Konstantin Zmievsky, who is a member of the band.
“We don’t have apolitical bands here in metal anymore. Not just in metal, you can’t be an apolitical musician. You can’t be apolitical in Ukraine. After the Russian invasion and the occupation of Ukrainian territories in Donbas and Crimea.”
Their latest record is a concept record based on the Kholody Yar Republic, an era when there was a tiny sliver of Ukrainian independence from 1918 to 1992 before it was subsumed into the USSR.
Another group is called Drudkh, which has delved into the word of legendary Ukrainian poet and national hero, Tara Shevchenko. They also have an album dedicated to Stepan Bandera, the founder of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationals (Full disclosure: Bandera was also an alleged Nazi collaborator. This links Drudkh to a genre known as National Socialist Black Metal, some far-right Nazi shift. Apologists explain this away as a reaction as a political and cultural reaction to what Ukrainians have endured over generations, largely from Russia.)
Then we have 1914 which are based out of Lviv. They’ve released songs based on the battles of Verdun and Gallipoli as well as other battles from both World Wars.
If you want to dig deeper into Ukrainian black metal and how they’re standing up against Russia, check out EuroNews.