Category Archives: Columns

Albums that had impact on my life: Iron Maiden-No Prayer For The Dying

f

When I was a kid growing up and circa 14 years old in 1991., I was into Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode and above all, Queen. The songs of Freddie Mercury influenced me much, but that is another story.

It was Autumn in 1991.war in my country was getting even nastier and airstrike alarms were often, but fortunately for us, we are so far north that Serbs didn˙t bomb us, only flew over our heads. My family was alive and well back then, we just moved to our new house but I wanted to finish school, eight grade where I went for my whole elementary schooling, so I took a walk from our new house to my school circa 20 minutes every day. One day, I went with couple of my friends to now defunct department store in the center of the city, and we watched cassette tapes and I spotted one with cool cover and band called Iron Maiden. Ashamed to say, I nicked the tape from the shelf and took it home. Upon putting it into my tape recorder I was awed when first riffs of Tailgunner started and when the tape was over, I listened to it over and over again. I fell in love into heavy metal and more extreme form of music with that tape. In time, I knew all the songs by heart(still know every note today), suffered in love and questioned my teenage life with the title song, started to understand some political relationships with Mother Russia, imagined that i was a hitman with The Assassin and started to hate imposed christianity with Holy Smoke. There was no internet, so imagine my surprise when I discovered Maiden had many other albums and that this one was by no means the best or my favorite of their works. But, through this album, I found out metal, or it found me and it was this band and this album that presented to me the whole new sphere of metal and extreme music in my formative years.

 

The Devil Next Door:You never know if your neighbour is a war criminal.

MV5BN2FiZmExYTAtYzNiYS00MjY0LWFhMTQtMDE1NjNkZDljYWFhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzEzMDM1ODA@__V1_

I recently watched the five part series The Devil Next Door. It is a documentary about the arrest and prosectution of US citizen of Ukrainian descent John Demjanjuk for alleged war crimes. During WWII, Demjanjuk was an operator in gas chambers of infamous death camp Treblinka, called Ivan The Terrible by the inmates. He used to stab with his sword people on their way to death in gas chambers and cut off their body parts to make their deaths even more horrible. He worked in Ford factory in America, but was extradized to Israel to be processed there for his crimes. He defended himself that he was not that man, that he was framed for his Ukrainian anti Soviet movement sentiments. The crucial and almost only proof besides testimonies of the survivors was a photograph from the old ss identity card. This documentary series is heavy, heartbreaking when seeing actual survivors of Treblinka and other death camps stating their testimonies at the court in Israel. It is also a story of morality, ethics, how far could you sacrifice your ideals for money and what would you do for survival. Me personally wasn´t sure that the guy was Ivan The Terrible indeed, but as the series progressed and finished, now I am sure that the guy was a war criminal, whether that guy or some other ss camp killer it is not so important. Does war crime ever ends being important issue? Never! I have many old people in my neighbourhood, I often caught myself thinking while watching this series, how much do I know them? Maybe that smiling, old nice man was indeed a beast in human form killing thousands couple of decades ago. This is not light to watch, but it is important issue, never being out of importance.

(column) Sick Of It All were my first big hardcore show that I saw. Which one was yours?

Back in 1996.it was June and I was 18 years old and finishing my highschool. That week on Friday our prom night was scheduled to take place, so my parents gave me some trouble about going to Zagreb, capitol of Croatia to the gig on Wednesday night and returning Thursday morning. But, I managed and adventure was about to start.

Our hometown is only 90 kilometers away from the capitol, but back then the journey by train took almost three hours to get there and unfortunately almost nothing changed even now, I think it still takes about two and a half hours to get there. Us bandits met at local train station, about ten or so of us and rode the train, drinking a little wine, joking and we were all very excited we were about to see one of our favorite hardcore bands play live. The trip was slow, but fun. I remember that somewhere in Zagorje, being Zabok or Trgoviste, my friend Kreso threw remains of an apple straight into railway man˙s forehead while we waited at the train station hehe. Delinquent times, eh?

Upon arriving to Zagreb, our then friend, Pete waited for us at the train station to show us the way to OTV Dom, nowadays Boogaloo where the gig took place. Pete was fine back then, later he turned to be nazi skinhead and an asshole, but that is another story. We were drinking some beer and awaiting to let us in but then we spotted the tour bus and SOIA drummer Armand hanging out so we walked to him, talked to him and Pete Koller and those guys were so patient with us teenage pigs, so down to earth and great. Back then, SOIA had new bassist, Craig Setari just joined in, so no one of us really knew how he looked like since there was no internet or Google back then. So Kreso talked cheerfully to one guy convinced that he was Craig Ahead and even the guy signed his ticket, but later when real Craig showed up, it turned out that the guy that Kreso talked to was really Dutch roadie for the band. Later, all four of SOIA guys signed my disgusting undershirt which was sweaty and on me wearing it, even Lou Koller laughed as my friend told him not to worry because I am disgusting hehe.

Little by little, the gig started and that was the first time I also saw Croatian hardcore legends Deafness By Noise in action and I was stunned and awed by the amount of energy they produced that night. Saw them later tens of times until now and they still rule. The singer Krmpa had some sunglasses with light frames if I remember right and they played all their old school fast material with old school lineup and their show is forever in my heart as one of the best Croatian hardcore bands I saw ever.

The second support band was Pure Stems Pack from Gajnice, Zagreb. I never liked their music. They didn˙t impress me back then when I was a kid, and they didn`t impress me later on when I saw them again. Too groovy, Bruce˙s growling vocals just never worked for me. I remember they played Madball cover at the end of their set and that was the best thing I liked about them.

When SOIA entered stage, I remember the first song was Scratch the surface, the whole club exploded in energy, I flew moshing into four girls and they literally kicked my teenage ass moshing on me, the set list was great, all the old school hits and couple of songs from then not yet released Built To Last album. This band still manages to destroy stages and clubs and festivals with their energy twenty plus years later and hats off to them for that. There were many wounded on that show, I saw a guy with broken forehead, one with broken arm, leg and stuff. Back then, things were pretty wild and dangerous hehe. Later when the gig ended we went back to the railway station to kill couple of hours until our train arrives and had tons of fun back then, drinking beer and laughing. Back then it was still safe there. Couple of years later, Importane center around the railway station became the base and meeting point of nazi skinheads and not really a safe place to be there at night being punk or hardcore kid. Next morning I arrived home and started this hardcore journey that lasts still today as I am writing this.

I didn˙t see SOIA live again for 20 years until 2016.because I was somehow afraid that if I saw them again, they will somehow destroy the myth in my mind about above mentioned gig. But, I saw them twice in last three years and they still are amazing and they still kick ass, so it doesn`t matter anymore. I will use every opportunity I have to check them out again haha.

68590667_528123507728047_5756654218559619072_n