At the moment I’m packing up my gear to head to Lithuania for the festival Kilkim Zaibu. A combination of metal, folk and re-enactment all in a package near a lack in Varniai. I’ll be reporting for Echoes & Dust on this fest and I’m extremely excited about it.
Now, since I don’t have too much knowledge about re-enactment, let me give a little prelude to the music program Kilkim Zaibu has to offer and why it is so exceptionally awesome.
A festival is often judged by its headliners and on that front Kilkim Zaibu has a treat in the mighty Abbath as a headliner on the main stage on saturday. The former frontman of Immortal might not be the force of the past on some levels and true, his shows are not always great… but when they are great, they are awesome. I had the pleasure of seeing Abbath play at Netherlands Deathfest this year, where hey was supreme.
For the other days, the program is slightly different. On thursday we have a folk day, with Skyforger sort of headlining the event with a folk set. Now, those acquinted with the Latvian folk metallers know that they have mastered that craft well enough, having even done an album of folk. On friday, we have Mgla from Poland taking the honours, which is since ‘Excercises in Futility’ nothing else but very well deserved.
The paricularly interesting thing for me is the Baltic line-up. Having bands from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania filling the bill is a joy, because there’s some excellent material available to see, whether it is folk or metal.
Ūkanose from Lithuania is one of the latest additions to the Baltic folk metal pantheon, with their self titled debut album having come out in 2016. Bridging between folk and metal and truly meeting half way, they are an excellent listen. Loits from Estonia may have caused controversy in the past, mainly based on misunderstanding the artistic vision the band had and the stories they wanted to convey, but is one of the best black metal bands out there as far as I’m concerned.
On the folk end I’m overjoyed to see that Ugnivijas is playing as well as Romuwe Rikoito. Two excellent formations, breathing life into the ever simmering folk traditions on a biggers stage.
Light a Pagan Fire
A festival is more than just the bands lined up on stage, it’s a complete package and the wrapping is the atmosphere. Kilkim Zaibu aims to offer a modern pagan experience, which works extremely well in a country where the roots are so important and appreciated. The combination of black metal and folk is in fact a great combination and I for one am extremely excited about it.
There’s a lot of ritual and tradition to be found at the fest and a lot of work goes into it. Great artwork by the way, which puts it on par with the more cultish festivals around Europe.
I can’t wait and I hope to see you there. Don’t be a stranger and say hi!