WINTER DAYS OF METAL - November 28-30th, 2019@Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia

For the first time, we had a chance to visit the Winter Days Of Metal festival in Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia that happened between November 28th-30th.

This was already the fourth edition of this festival. The first one was in 2017 and the other two happened both last year.
This is a much younger brother of Metaldays festival who is happening in Tolmin, Slovenia during Summertime in August.

Day one - Thursday - November 28th

The first day of the festival was reserved pretty much for black metal bands.
For the first time ever in my life, I decided to see all the bands on the bill.

The opener was Swiss old school Trash/Black trio Matterhorn, formed in 2012 and for now they have released one album under their belt "Crass Cleansing" in 2017. A small group of people decided to see the band. The people complained about the sound, maybe too much bass lines. They did their best for the time that has been given to them and successfully opened the festival.

Next was a Polish Black Metal act, Blaze Of Perdition with Dark Rock and Post Punk influences, formed in 2007. The band had numerous line-up changes at their beginnings, but the core remained intact. The band has released so far four albums and are planning to release next year their fifth one on Metal Blade Records.
We could see more people under the stage this time around and the first headbanging started to happen. I enjoyed the band even though it differed from my usual music preferences.

The third band of the night was Swiss Black Metal duo. Yes, you heard it right, a duo named Bölzer. This only two-piece formed by drummer Fabian „HzR“ Wyrsch and vocalist/guitarist Okoi „KzR“ Jones with his 10 string guitar was quite something to see and had some djent vibes that I liked.
The frontman had such a strong presence that there is really no point having another guitarist or bass player on stage.
The band was just fresh of releasing an EP "Lese Majesty". They had quite a few technical difficulties and the singer was visibly angry with the sound settings that at some point he stopped the song and started over. But never the less with all of this they were by far winners of the night with the biggest fans/audience.

The fourth band of the night was Norwegian four-piece Black Metal Dødheimsgard. The band was formed in 1994 in Oslo. Their last album "A Umbra Omega" was released four years back. There were visibly fewer people for them than the band before. Despite the smaller audience, they had some solid stuff.

The headliners of the night were trio speed legends, Exciter, formed back in 1980.
The drummer is also a singer wich we can't see quite often in metal bands.
This was once again a proof, especially for younger bands with their egos to reach star doom with being a headliner at the local shows.
There was barely 100 people left when they started the show and despite the drummer/singer's effort to engage the crowd, there was not such a big reaction from it. Why? This was a black metal night, and second, there were not so many people there that we could call them fans of this band, especially with young ones.

Day two - Friday - November 29th

First band to come on stage was Slovenian Groove Death Metal five-piece Morywa. They proved that there are also other good heavy bands, not just Noctiferia and Within Destruction that come from this little county.

The second band of the night was the UK Death Metal trio, Dyscarnate. The band has released three albums till now, and the last one "With All Their Might" was being released in 2017. Solid performance with some groovy parts. More than enjoyable for my taste.

Next was the Italian finest Symphonic Death Metal, Fleshgod Apocalypse. The band that needs no introduction. We could hear all their major songs from them. The crowd was very active during their set. Mosh pits, a wall of death, you name it was there! Song "Fool" was definitely one of the more awaited songs of the night! Brilliant show!

There was also some room for some modern stuff and that being said it was time for some Deathcore sound and for that Whitechapel was perfect.
They released an amazing new album "The Valley" and it was something fresh for this genre. They recorded their first full clean vocal song "Hickory Creek" and I was so eager to hear it and was hoping it will be part of the show. Fortunately, they played it and it was superb! We could also hear "When Demon Defiles A Wich", "Forgiveness Is Weakness", "Brimstone" and "Black Beer" among others. The fans that mainly came just to see them were not disappointed at the end of their set.

Next to rush on the stage was the Canadian Death Metal machine, Kataklysm.  I was standing right next to one Italian guy that was more and more excited each song went by. They opened the dances with "Soul Destroyer". Mosh pit started immediately. We could hear also "The Serpent Tongue", "The Black Sheep", "Guillotine" and among others one of the fans favorite "Crippled & Broken".
Definitely winners of the night and the festival itself. They had the biggest crowd, that's the fact!

Next to hit the stage was Norwegian four-piece Pegan Black Metal, Kampfar. The band was formed in late 1994. They released this year their new album "Ofidians Manifest". After being bombed the previous day with Black Metal I witnessed the band only for three songs and called it a quit for tonight. Even though this is not the genre I normally listen to, it was an enjoyably sinister lullaby before hitting the sack.

Third day - Saturday 30th

The last day of the festival started with Australian four-piece Progressive Metal outfit, Copia. Definitely one of the more enjoyable acts of the festival for me personally.  The band released their last album "Epoch" in March 2017. Frontman Andrew Bishop combines clean singing parts with growls. Good quality songs and structure, the band that deserves more attention for sure.

Next to hit the stage was Finnish five-piece Stam1na. They combine trash with progressive elements and sing in their native langue. Their last album "Taival" was released last year. They were eager to teach us some Finnish words throughout the night. It was a good show with a lot of entertaining elements.

Without any doubt, the most interesting performing act of this edition goes to Okilly Dokilly. The band was formed in 2015. As they describe themselves "Nedal" music; a subgenre of metal music themed around the animated character Ned Flanders from the television series The Simpsons. All five of the band's members perform dressed as Flanders, and the majority of the lyrics to their songs are quotes of his.
The band has released two albums so far, the last one "Howdilly Twodilly", which was released on March 29, 2019. If I heard right this was their first time in Europe! They even threw us a donut who was meant to be destroyed and the crowed obeyed to this without hesitation. I can't describe how fun and entertaining the show was! These are the type of bands that you must go to see them live, despite the music you listen to! Memorable!

The Black Dahlia Murder also doesn't need a special introduction! Melodic Death Metal outfit from the states is always on the spot when comes to live performance. Ruthless, no compromise and straight forward! A big punch in the stomach! Trevor Strnad holds the stage and crowd always in hand! They released their last offering in 2017 under the name of "Nightbringers" and it certainly is one of their best records. We could hear the "Widowmaker", "Warborn", "Matriarch" and the title track of their last album among others.

We continued with Melodic Death, this time from Finnland, Insomnium. The band was fresh of their newly released album "Heart Like a Grave". They started with "Valediction", continued with "Through the Shadows" and other great ones like "Pale Morning Star" and superb "While We Sleep".
Great show from Finnish quartet!

The closing of the great festival went to M.O.D. aka Method Of Devotion. Oh no, wait, god damn you Okilly Dokilly (this was their interpretation) Method Of Destruction!
This trash crossover band formed in 1986 are the living legends!
They released their last album "Busted, Broke & American" two years back, but like singer Billy Milano explained they are touring only now to promote it, due to his mom's cancer. They had some mic problems during the first song, but that was sorted out quickly and the show was full of nostalgia for older fans. Like previous days they didn't have big crowd despite being the headliner of the day.
Never the less they pulled out a good show and for ones who were there we enjoyed it very much!

For conclusion. The promoters did an amazing job. No delays between bands. One thing for sure worth mentioning was a free, yes free bus ride from the capital Ljubljana to the venue every single day! Never heard something like that before! Congrats to the all involved!