As any metalhead will tell you, the 90’s were the most prolific decade in the genre’s history. Two bands that blazed new trails for extreme music at the end of the 20th century and keep that passion alive today are Sepultura and Katatonia. Both of them will bring their enthusiasm at the Mystic Festival, as well as Hentai Corporation and Black River.
The Brazilian metal invasion took Europeans by surprise, but what else could we have expected from the explosive cocktail of Brazil’s highly sophisticated musical culture and the extreme conditions of daily life in that country? Among many excellent bands, one exceptional group began to emerge: the metal kings from Belo Horizonte, Sepultura. Their musical journey is a fascinating one: from black and death metal through ethnic and downright nu-metal sounds, to original thrash metal. Equally extraordinary is the persistence with which they pursue this sonic crusade. Their ability to rise from the ashes of one lineup change after another and their indifference to shifting trends in metal: these are just two reasons why Sepultura remains at the top of the metal game. Look out for two more in 2020: their upcoming album “Quadra” and their performance at the Mystic Festival. We can’t wait for either.
We all intend to have fun this coming June, but just to make sure things don’t get too jolly, the lineup will adorn a band that specializes in spoiling the mood, scratching at wounds, and conjuring up dark vision. We refer, of course, to Katatonia, a Swedish act of impenetrable darkness. Launched in the early 90’s as an extreme metal band like many others, Katatonia soon found its own groove, somewhere between noir rock and prog-metal. They marked their trail with such unique records as “Tonight’s Decision”, “Last Fair Deal Gone Down” and “Viva Emptiness”. Katatonia’s last album to date “The Fall of Hearts” came out in 2016 and is just as successful as the above LPs in its extolling of pessimism.
The title of this Czech band’s debut album alone will make you to make to witness this bizarre act live. To put it briefly: it’s about a tree that has a vagina, has captured Hitler, and it being attacked by schnitzels from outer space (!?). Their music is equally far out: a combination of modern, open thrash metal with impish rock’n’roll. Add to that their powerful, no-holds-barred concert performances, and Hentai Coporation just might turn out to be the greatest surprise of the festival.
Black River’s story reaches way back into the early 90’s, when the band rose form the ashes of the popular group Neolithic. Their new moniker made sense: gone was Neolithic’s melodic death/doom metal, and in came a mixture of dark rock’n’roll and stoner metal. It’s hard to tell whether Black River’s power stems more from their captivating riffs or from Maciej Taff’s excellent vocal performances. After a decade of silence, in 2019 Black River released Humanoid, marking the band’s triumphant return to the stage – and to their true form.
So it’s not such a big surprise that the Mystic Festival is in the running for the European Festival Awards in as many as two categories: Best Medium-Sized Festival and Best New Festival. Make sure to give them your vote here!