Monday, 7 February 2011

Bulgaria - Sofia 2

Bulgaria - Sofia 1

“The guys before me have done a pretty good job but still I’ll try to give you a different look at Bulgarian hardcore.
I’m from Sofia Rebel Station which is an e-zine about hardcore, punk, crust and so on in the underground music that we all love.

As you can see from the title of our zine, I’m from Sofia which is the capital of Bulgaria and one of biggest scenes in our country.

Last Hope
This is the most famous, loved and successful hardcore band from Bulgaria with a solid reputation around Europe and Russia via few very successful tours. They play raging hardcore with profound lyrics in English and have one of the best stage appearance. They’re often described as the godfathers of Bulgarian hardcore proving that statement throughout the years and also working hard for the developing the hardcore scene, establishing “RE-ACT” booking agency together with the guys from Vendetta.

They are one of the oldest hardcore bands in Bulgaria starting in the mid-90’s under the name “Face Up” and playing furious oldschool hardcore, creating one of the most glorious days in the Sofia-Hardcore-Scene. Later after a few changes in the crew they named themselves Vendetta and start playing a great mixture of metalcore and hardcore. Their lyrics are mostly about of the life on the streets, the scene and presenting the “tough guy attitude”. At some point in the mid-00’s they renamed themselves ADIM, which stand for the latin “Amici Dei Inemici Mundi”. / The name of their album as Vendetta /. Recently Vendetta was resurrected and now they continue to enjoy their fans with tremendous shows.

By far this is my favourite band which I have the utmost pleasure to have seen countless times live. They play streetpunk and oldschool hardcore punk with social lyrics in Bulgarian. I’m not sure that I can explain with words how I feel about this band so I’ll just ask you to try getting in my shoes and understand that it’s not easy to write about your favourite band. Unfortunately they don’t play anymore and the fans just remember and still speak of their great shows.

A side project of Last Hope guys playing oldschool hardcore/punk and creating a huge following from the football terraces because of their catchy football sing-a-longs.

Nice piece of Bulgarian skacore with some brass section. Unfortunately they don’t exist anymore.

Oldschool hardcore from the end of the 90’s unfortunately I don’t have clear memories of their shows. They have participated in the famous 3-way split of Sofia hardcore bands together with Vendetta and Last Hope.

Omerta also was created at the strongest years of Sofia hardcore playing a furious style hardcore. After some years of silence the band resurrected with a few changes in the line up under the name “Rejection”. Rejection project is one of the most promising, “young” bands, playing hardcore with some thrash and crust influences. Their lyrics are also political, environmental and social pointed. Great to be seen in live performance.

The name stands for “Brothers from different mothers”. They’re also one of my favourite hardcore bands from the local scene, because of the atmosphere that they create when they’re on stage.

Brothers In Blood
Oldschool hardcore with one of the most memorable lead singers /also in Vendetta/ in the Bulgarian scene. Created a huge following among the skater society.

Death Squad
hardcore/metalcore band singing about unity and respect. Their CD “Commitment Punishment” is one of my favourite hardcore records presenting positive message and feeling.

Hardcore band which started under the name “Envy” and after some line up changes they changed their style also becoming the flagmen of beatdown hardcore in Bulgaria.

Melodic hardcore band with dark and emotional lyrics. I have no idea if they are still playing but I haven’t seen them live for some time so I guess they’ve broken up.

Under Siege
Radical antifascist hardcore. After few shows here in Sofia they split up.

Living Dead
Crust influenced hardcore band with strong environmental message. They don’t play often but still one of the active bands around.

Oldschool hardcore band which doesn’t exist anymore and although I have their demo CD I can’t tell much more about the band. Some of the older guys in the scene talk with praise about them, so I assume that they worth mentioning.

Metalcore band with two female vocals ( screaming from the depths of hell haha \m/ ) which existed for a very short time but left a memorable track in the male dominated scene.

Fight to Win
Again female led hardcore band with strong stage attitude, but they don't exist anymore.

A drunk punk band from Sofia since 2006. Ex-TVU members in the line up. Existed for a short time, leaving the scene with a memorable shows and songs which have become a legendary hits.

Toxic Hate Alive Inside / Seven Ate Nine
Screamo band but not my cup of tea, so I cannot tell you much about them.

New melodic hardcore band based in Sofia with members from the cities of Plovdiv and Yambol. They play atmospheric hardcore with touchy lyrics, screamed with passion.

Avril In Blood
Sofia hardcore/metal band with very heavy guitar riffs. Standard guttural screams.

It’s hard to type for a band in which I am involved, so let me just say that we play oldschool thrashy hardcore punk.

Experimental hardcore band. Very low, but fast guitar riffs.

Bright Sight
Very nice young melodic hardcore punk band with new school sound.

I would like to make some resume of the scene here in Sofia. Maybe we’re missing bands and I’m sure about this, but at the moment they’re not active, or just existed for too short.

The hardcore scene in Sofia remained underground with some exceptions. And during this glorious 15 years there were peaks and drops and maybe the greatest times were in the beginning of the 00’s. Recently we can notice another wave of young kids, getting involved in the scene and who are starting bands, going to shows and just listening to hardcore music.

We have already mentioned the great impact that Last Hope and their booking agency RE-ACT had for the Bulgarian scene, which during their tours in Europe established valuable contacts and that gave a chance for them to invite some of the biggest names in the world scene. RE-ACT also puts and annual hardcore festival around Christmas, which features the most hard working bands through the year. However, not all shows were booked by RE-ACT, but also by Ugly and Proud, For the Kids, Hardcore Spirit, I Hate Mondays Radio and random enthusiasts.

The biggest problem in the Bulgarian scene are the venues. There were different small venues throughout the years, but never one dedicated mostly for hardcore and punk shows. Some were closed and others just decide to seek another audience, because of violence, low profit or just plain absence of enthusiasm among the people. The bigger concerts were held at rented halls which are very expensive for the promoters who are booking shows only on enthusiasm and almost every time they have to pay the losses from their pocket which is very hard considering the low wages in Bulgaria /av. 200 euros per month/.”

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