With the creation of The Corroseum's Old Metal World Map it became evident that the only really thorough article on Albanian Metal history was the one posted on The Corroseum forum back in 2011. Already back then it was planned to be added to the main site, but various things came inbetween and it wasn't until now that I've come so far down my miles-long to-do list to actually make it happen. Some spelling, syntax and various google-translate blurbs have been edited. Published with the kind permission of author jnfernal.
A brief introduction
Enver Hoxha has been the Prime Minister of Communist Party in Albania from 1944 to 1985. During these years Albania was considered one of the most mysterious and underdeveloped countries not only in Europe but also within the Communist Bloc. In 1948 Albania broke relationship with Yugoslavia when Tito seemed to choose a different way from Socialism criticizing the Stalinist Russia. Subsequently intense political relationship was held with ex USSR until early 60’s, when also Nikita Kruscev criticized the Stalin years and start a critical review of those years. Enver Hoxha was firmly intended to pursue a radical and orthodox Stalinist policy and did not join to the process of revisionism that was developing in the early 60’s inside the other communist countries in Europe. Every political relationship with ex USSR was suspended in 1968 after the invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Being completely isolated and closed to every form of revisionism and modernism Albania was forced to establish political relationship with Mao’s communist China. But, even in this case partnership ended in the early 80’s when China opened it’s doors to modernism and Deng Xiao Ping started to plan a new, modern capitalistic economy for the country.
During the 80’s, Hoxha thus pursued an even radical way to reach the perfect communist society inside his country, relegating Albania to a total isolation and a dramatic underdevelopment.
In 1985 Ramiz Alia became the new leader of the country but the crisis stroke Albania, as well as all other ex communist countries in 1990. The collapse of communism during 1990-1992 was particularly tragic due to the terrible conditions of poverty and underdevelopment in the country.
Being a radical, socialist society, popular music as well as any other form of young artistic expression was forbidden until the very last years of the regime. Only traditional music and child music was allowed and a very strict censorship was striking every lyric and content. Only around 1988-1989 the first underground, clandestine pop bands emerged, when the communist regime was a step behind its total collapse. In 1990-1991 the scene was already pretty active and many bands started recording albums and had tv show contributions.
Unfortunately another big crisis stroke the country in 1999-2000 during the war in Kosovo. Almost 2 millions of kosovans came to Albania thus forcing Albanians – whose economy was still weak and in a full process of recovery – to migrate once again to Italy and other countries. During 1999-early 2000’s most band disbanded and members moved to other countries and the music scene was almost collapsed. Only in recent years new music bands emerged but the heavy metal scene is still pretty weak. Complete lacking of music labels, music magazines, producers, venues and recording studio do not allow a real growth of the music scene in the country. As far as I have seen only in Nepal, where the conditions are strangely similar, every heavy metal/death metal/black metal band in the country is forced to record just a few songs and spread them through the only channels available: Youbute, Myspace and Facebook. No traces of “physical” releases are available in music shops and there isn’t real trace of long running demos or even albums. Albanian “heavy” scene is – without any doubt – the weakest in Europe and one of the weakest in the whole world (I compare it with Nepalese scene only: there are a lot of similarities).
Particularly dramatic is to gather information about old bands and early rock/metal bands. Almost every album/demo recorded is impossible to find. Most of times it’s even impossible to find out the album title or even a tracklist, if not the music style they played. There is a complete lack of interest in rescuing such old recordings and most album seem completely disappeared or faded in obscurity though they sold thousand of copies at the time. So, that’s why, as you can see, in most cases I couldn’t specify the music style or couldn’t add any relevant info in biographies. Though a certain band was pretty successful, up to now most recordings are unavailable as well as even artworks or some sample songs.
Please note that it is included a review of musical scene in Kosovo and Macedonia as well. For Albanian culture both countries belong to the same linguistic and cultural area so it’s absolutely normal to include bands from Kosovo in the most generic “Albanian music scene”. In most cases it’s even difficult to determine the country of origin of many bands, being all labelled under “Albanian metal”. A section about heavy metal in Kosovo and Macedonia is below.
(roughly in chronological order)
ALBATROS: Formed in 1989.
Nothing is known. One of the earliest “rock” band in the country active from 1988 probably.
Most members went in Megahertz and Thunder Way later.
Contrary to what people believe, they didn’t play heavy metal nor hard rock but a mix of pop and rock with 70’s predominant keyboards. Only 1 track available until now, “Ne kete nate”, a big success that has been covered during the next years by many pop/rock bands and solo singers. No info or biography available, no trace of further recordings.
Original Line Up:
Gjergji Jorgaqi: Vocals
Eduart Bexho: Guitars
Altin Naquellari: Bass
Arjan Ibrahimi: Drums
Arben Bexho: Keyboards
Line Up 1990:
Gjergji Jorgaqi: Vocals
Eduart Bexho: Guitars
Altin Naquellari: Bass
Roland Fusha: Drums
Bruno Qerimi: Keyboards
Eduart Hyseni: Manager
Songs: Ne kete nate, (youtube)
Were formed in the late 80’s, probably around 1989, by 2 ex members of Albatros: Roland Fusha and Gjergj Jorgaqi.
Early line up was:
Gjergj Jorgaqi (vocals, ex Albatros)
Redon Makashi (previous band: Zemra E Cdo Moshe)
Bledar Sejko (guitars)
Roland Fusha (drums, ex Albatros)
Very little is known and the only reference I could find comes from Luk Haas’ “Discography of eastern European punk music 1977-1999” book:
“The first rock band in Albania was Megaherz formed in the late 80’s by Bledar Sejko, which only recordings are lost or hidden somewhere in the archives of Radio Tirana”
At the end of 1991 members of Megahertz, Qepa (Onions) and Albatros join forces and give birth to Thunder Way.
The only song available on the net is “Ti bote e heshtur” (You, the silent world)
Ti bote e heshtur (Live at RTSH 1991) (youtube)
THUNDER WAY (Thander Uej)
Called “Thander Uej” on a 1992 video shot for Albanian TV, were formed in 1992 by some former members of Albatros (Gjergj Jorgaqi and Roland Fusha, also members of Megahertz between 1990-1991), Megahertz (guitarist Bledar Sejko) and Qepa.
The first line up was:
Gjergji Jorgaqi – Vocals up to 1992 (ex Albatros & Megahertz)
Bledar Seiko – Guitar (ex Megahertz)
Artan Xheladini - Guitar
Alban Laro - Keyboards
Mit'hat Laro - Bass
Roland Fusha – Drums (ex Albatros & Megahertz)
Elton Deda (a keyboardist formerly in the pop/blues band Tingulli I Zjarrte and in the 70’s inspired rock band Aneroid) joined as singer in 1992 and lasted until 1995 when he left in order to follow a successful solo career in blues and soft rock (he will record a solo album in 1999 called “'Rrugë drejt”). With him the band recorded in Skopje (Macedonia) their first and only Demo Tape in 1993: “The order executors” that is recognized as the first heavy metal recording ever in the country. The tape will sell almost 1000 copies among Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo.
They had very few Live shows, the first TV appearance being in 1992 with the song “Legenda e heroit” (Hero’s legend), their only song sung in Albanian language.
In 1995 they won the First Prize at the Albanian Rock Festival and – at the end of the year Elton Deda left the band due to different musical directions.
-The Order Executors (Demo 1993 - 9 tracks. Recorded in Skopje, Macedonia. 1000 copies pressed)
-Legenda e heroit (Videoclip recorded in 1992 for an Albanian TV show)
-The order executors (Promo video recorded in 1993)
-Victims of confusion (Promo video recorded in 1993 but broadcasted in 1994)
Elton Deda at Wikipedia
TINGULLI I ZJARRTE
TINGULLI I ZJARRTE (“Blazing Sound”) was Elton Deda’s first band in 1990 and one of the very first “rock” band in the country ever. Sound is typically 70’s rock inspired by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Credence Clearwater and AC/DC. Lyrics deal mainly with hippie culture and the new liberal winds of change in Communist regimes.
Prior to the formation of TIZ Elton Deda plays piano in a classical/orchestral band along with other students of the Artistic Lyceum “Jordan Mysia” as we can see on a rare video on Youtube. They were all around 17 years age.
Tingulli I Zjarrte officially born in early 1990 and – during the same year - the band participates at the “Festival I Kenges/Festival of Song” with the song “Jemi emri I vete jetes” (“We’re the name of life itself”) at the end of 1990, which is broadcasted on Albanian Tv and the group is voted as “The best new band” of the festival. Because of its “provoking” look and lyrics the organization forces the band to add two pop/traditional singer in the line up (Eda Kako and Enkeleida Kodra) in order to show the audience a lighter sound and image.
1990 saw also the recording of first album “Adoleshenca” (Adolescence, presumably printed on Tape only). Despite several researches I couldn’t find a tracklist, so I can’t say anything about it.
At the 1991 edition of “Festival of Song” they play a new song called “Na lini je jetoime” (Let us live). The band introduces itself with a completely different look: long hair and typical clothing of the seventies. They got huge success and the song is still remembered today as a big influence on many young people because of the lyrics focusing on need to freedom and urge to change.
In July 1991 they play 2 live shows a mini tour in the main towns of Albania is organized, characterized by “scandalous means of transportations” (see Elton Deda’s biography on his homepage)
During Spring 2nd album called “Road to hell” is recorded. Despite the title it seems a typically 70’s rock/progressive opus. Unfortunately it’s impossible to find any more detailed info.
In 1992 they reach 3rd place at the Te Rinjte Takojne Europen/Young Generation Meets Europe Festival but Elton Deda is thinking that “Tingulli I Zjarrte” made its day and need to explore new musical directions. Chance comes when vocalist Alba Emri left the band in early 1993: Elton Deda joins forces with talented guitarist Arian Gjici and a new band is formed: Aneroid.
Tingulli I Zjarrte line up (1990-1991):
Elton Deda: Keyboards, piano, Lead vocals, Back up vocals
Alban Emiri: Lead vocals
Lulzim Bacova: Lead and rhythm guitars
Altin Koka: Bass guitar
Hektor Leka: Drums and percussions
Artur Polo: Lead vocals (1991-1992)
Tingulli I Zjarrte discography:
- Adoleshenca (Recorded in 1990. Format unknown, tracklist unknown)
- Road to hell (Recorded in 1991 – 10 tracks. No more infos available. Presumably released on tape)
Tv Appearances and video clip:
- Unknown video 1989 (pre Tingulli I Zjarrte: orchestral/classical music)
- Jemi emri I vete jetes (We’re the name of life itself) at Festival Of Song 1990
- N’a lini të jetojmë (Let us live) at Festival Of Song 30-12-1991
- Wind of change (Scorpions cover) recorded live somewhere in 1991
- Some sources say that the Festival Of Song 1991 was held on December, 31st but this can’t match what Elton Deda says in his biography where he states that the 2 live shows, the mini tour in Albania and the recording of 2nd Lp were made after the success the band got at the 1991 festival
- Particularly interesting is the live video of “Wind of change”. The new singer, Artur Polo holds a primitive mic connected with a prehistoric cable. The song is pretty well executed but the singer looks/dresses like a bricklayer/generic worker that has just left work a few minutes before!
When the singer Alban Emiri leaves Tingulli I Zjarrte in early 1993, Elton Deda decides to call it a day for the band and explore new musical directions along with his new partner, guitarist Arian Gjici and former members of Tingulli I Zjarrte. A new band is born, Aneroid. The band doesn’t last so long and – in the following years Elton Deda will regret often this choice as he consider this project as his most satisfactory one.
They record only one album, called “The world is yours” that is introduced to the audience with an unplugged live show, one of the best in Deda’s career according to his memories. According to the few sources available they played a sort of 70’s inspired acid/progressive rock.
Aneroid line up:
Elton Deda: Lead vocals, keyboards
Arian Gjici: Lead guitar
Lulezim Bacova: Rhythm guitar
Altin Koka: Bass
Nalton Kraja: Drums
- The world is yours (1993. Format unknown. Music style unknown,, Tracklist unknown).
Elton Deda joins Thunder Way in 1993, after the end of Aneroid. They go to Skopje to record the Tape Lp. In 1995 they win the first prize at the Albanian Rock Festival. In 1995 Elton Deda left Thunder Way for musical differences and follows a solo career.
AKULLTHYESIT (Ice Breaker)
Formed in 1989 in Elbasan by Bledi Shishmani (Keyboards) and Gentjan Haxhiademi (guitar/clarinet). One of the early rock band in the country along with Albatros and Megahertz.
Later Ermir Dyrmishi (drums and pianoforte), Blerim Lolja (bass and cello), Ymer Ashiku (vocals), Juljan Binjaku (Sax) and Mimoza Oga (second keyboard) joined the band. Akullthyesit are almost all graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana.
Their first concert is held in August 1991 in Elbasan Skampa. The same year Bledi Shishmani, Gentjan Myftarj and Met Gurra joins the group.
Big Oga later left the group because he was dedicated only to classical music and is now professor at the Academy of Arts in Tirana.
In 1992 Akullthyesit participate in the National Song Contest Festival with the song “Vrasje ne herresire” (Murder in the dark) on Radio and Television and shortly after Bledi Shishmani, the group leader leaves from Albania to Italy (Milan), to study pianoforte at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory. He later returns home to end up at Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana.
During this period the Group did no concert. Met Gurra decides to leave the group and is dedicated to studies at the Academy of Arts.
In 1994 Akullthyesit leave for Macedonia to record their first album “Lindja e ujkut” (East Pass) in the Tra-La-La studio. During the recording of the album Blerim Lolja decides to leave the group because he failed to fit in in the studio recording ... for it was the first time he was playing in such a place. “Lindja e ujkut” is a curious and partially good mix of heavy metal, power, soft rock and ballads.
Every year AkullThesit participate in the National Festival of Song: in 1995 with the song "Vetmi e harruar” (One of the Forgotten), in 1996 with "E dashura” (Love), in 1997 with “Djemt” (Boys) and in 1998 with "Mos me moho” (Do not Deny). But their style had then turned into commercial rock.
In 1998 Bledi Shishmani and Ymer Ashiku moved to Italy. The group appeared for the last time in 2000 with the song “Pse jo?” (Why not?).
Tape 1994 “Lindja e ujkut” Recorded at Studio Tra-La-La, Skopje 1994
-Vrasje ne erresire
-L dhe B
-Mbret i fuqishem
-Simfonia e lamtumires
-Qello ne do te jetosh
-Vetmia e harruar
-Dhe ne qofsh i vetem ne bote
-Loti i ndarjes
Line Up for Tape 1994:
Ymer Ashiku (Vocals)
Gent Myftaraj (Guitars + Bass)
Ermir Dyrmishi (Drums)
Bledi Shishmani (Keyboards)
Gentjan Haxhiademi (guitar/clarinet)
Blerim Lolja (bass/violoncel)
Julian Binjaku (sax)
Mimoza oga (keyboards)
Motiv I larget (1991) dedicated to the immigrants who landed in Bari in 1991 with the ship “Vlora”
E dashura (Festival I Kenges ne RTSH 1996)
Djemte (Festivali I Pranveres 1997, Jess Studio, Tirana)
Mos me moho (1998)
Pse jo?! (2000)
Cila je kenga magjike (2008)
Nate e bardhe (2008)
Participates in the Festival Te Kenges 1991, 1992 and 1994. Boring soft rock. The song “Dashuri e dhunuar” is more hard rock, in a particular Zappa-style. No album or other recording is known.
- Gjithmone shoke (Live at Festival Te Kenges 1991)
- Dashuri e dhunuar (Live at Festival Te Kenges 1992)
- Jam i lire (Live at Festival Te Kenges 1994) the most hard rock song
- Gabimi (Live at TVA 1995)
- Legjenden ne duar e kam (Live 1996)
Illir Ibrahimi: Vocals 1991-1992
Luan Xhemal: Vocals 1991
Gazmend Sulo: Guitar 1991-1992
Neritan Molla: Guitar in 1992 (later in Centaur)
Fabian Asllani: Bass (later in Centaur)
Mentor Mezini: Keyboards
Altin Pulumb: Drums in 1991
Abaz Zusi: Drums in 1992
CRAZY DIAMOND (Crazy Diamand):
Crazy Diamond (or Crazy Diamand) was Gjergj Jorgaqi’s next band after he left Thunder Way (replaced by Elton Deda) in 1993. Very little is known. It seems they played some live show with Thunder Way (but this information may be wrong and a mistake originated by the fact the singer was in such band) and participated to some Music Festival for Albanian Tv in 1991 or 1992 but also this last information seem not confirmed.
In the handful of videos available (one is without audio) they play a sort of romantic, slow rock/metal ballads though the song “Martin” (the name is dubious) turns into a very powerful heavy metal tune in its second part (despite people in the video are dancing and waving like in a disco!!!) while the first part is another boring rock ballad. Nothing else is known. Probably very short lived.
Gjergj Jorgaqi: Vocals (ex Albatros, Megahertz, Thunder Way)
Enrik Gjoka: Guitars
Erald Llakaj: Bass
Gent Xhani: Keyboards
Dritan Miluka: Drums
- Unknown song recorded in 1993
- Martin (Live 1993. On this videoclip the band is called “Crazy Diamand”)
- Another unknown song without audio recorded in 1993
Wild Feeling was formed in Peshkopi 1992 in the northern region of Diber. They soon started writing materials and by 1994 they released their first demo "The Death Spirit" which sold over 3000 copies. At the same year Albert Vranici won the best vocalist at the Rock Festival in Albania. Tours and gigs followed and won the band a wide fanbase who kept supporting them. In 1996 they started to write material for their album "Agony" which was heavily influenced by the northern Albanian folk and 80-90 metal scene. Unfortunately in 1997 the band split due to personal problems and parted their ways.
Alfred Seferi-Lead guitar
Northern Albanian folk and old school metal
The Death Spirit Demo 1994 (recorded during 1993-1994 at Edmond Zhulalit Studio)
2) Kidnap of a spirit
3) The death spirit
4) Horror of the day
“Agony” unreleased Lp 1996 (on CDR)
2) Tracking it down
3) Horror of the day
4) Kidnap of spirit
5) The death spirit
6) Crying of the night
7) World of demons
8) Wild feeling
9) To die for love
DJEMT E DETIT
Boring hard rock with some metal elements. But the most successful song is “Balade par Jakup Ferri”, a very ferocious and unusual thrash/metal attack recorded in 1995.
- Enderrat qe per ty i thurra (1991)
- Lamtumire (1992)
- Balade per Jakup Ferrin (1995)
- Mall (1995)
- Mos qaj (1997)
-1989 Formed in the town of Lezhes
-1991 Second prize in the Festival R.T.SH. with the song "Endrrat qe per ty i thura"
-1995 Second Prize in the First Festival of Albanian Rockut
-1996 First Prize in the Second Festival of Albanian Rockut
-1996 Special award at the Festival of ART for the elaboration of ethno folk-rock song with the
song "Balade per Jakup Ferri"
-1997 “Best performing group” Award at the ART Festival with the song "Do not Cry"
-1997 First album "Izolimi vdes” (Isolation die)
-1998 “Best performing group” and “Best song” Awards at Festival ART accorded by the Ministry of Culture with the song "Time Without You"
-2002 "Golden Microphone" Prize with the song "Not Now"
-2007-2008: Recording of 2nd Lp “Epos”
-2009, March 14th: “Epos” is launched on CD
“Izolimi vdes” 1997 Tracklist
1 Mos qaj
2 Jo tani
3 Kohe pa ty
4 Balade per Jakup Ferrin
5 Izolimi vdes
8 Endrra ime
Heavy/Thrash band inspired by Metallica and Testament, turned into boring hard rock on their 2nd Tape Lp.
First concert: 25 September 1992 Live at the Palace of Culture with Erion Zaloshnja on vocals. (5 songs + 2 cover)
Second concert: 9 October 1992: Live at Academy of Arts 11 songs + some covers (GNR; Sweet child of mine, Knocking on heavens door, Black Sabbath: Paranoid, U2: Desire). Concert was discontinued by police when the room caught fire.
Invited for a live concert at TOB in 1993 but never showed up.
- June 1993: Concert in Shokder (12 songs + 4/5 cover). Support band: Black Moon (Sidrit Bejleri on vocals)
- 25 December 1994 – August 1995: “Where the demons die” Tour. First show at Cultural Palace. Last show (august 1995) in Shokder. Support bands: Meteor + 2 unknown death bands.
- 1995: Invited by the Albanian Ministry of Culture to represent Albania at the Council Of Europe in Paris, 07-1995. Some live shows. Line up: Gent Pjetri (vocals), Nertan Molla (lead guitar), Ilir Picari (rhythm guitar), Fabian Asllani (bass), Erion Banushi (drums)
- 1995: Returning to Albania. Roland “Land” Fusha on drums, Live concert with Thunder Way, Black Moon, Radical Obscurity. Centaur play 7 songs + 3 covers (2 Judas priest, 1 AC/DC)
- 1995 (September): Beginning of recordings for “Mr. Centaur” album at Jess Studio. Bassist Fabian Asllani is the sound engeneer. Line up:
Gent Pjetri (vocals), Nertan Molla (lead guitar), Dorian Golemi (rhythm guitar), Fabian Asllani (bass) and Land Fusha (drums). Ilir Ibrahimi (from group Shook) special guest on backing vocals.
- 25-12-1995: Centaur plays at the first Rock Festival held in Albania, at the Pyramid. 4 songs. They win 3 over 5 awards for best lead guitar, best drums, best bass player
- 1996: Changes in line up. Ilir Picari returns and substitutes Dorian Golemi on rhythm guitar. Second Rock Festival: they play the song “Burning roses” (in playback!) and on the final day they perform 4 songs: Mr. Centaur, The sphinx, Man on the road, Judas Priest’s Breaking the law)
- 1997: Live at the Pyramid with an unknown italian (!) band. Festival Of Spring Concert (spring)
- 1997: Recording of second album. Hard rock style all sung in albanian language. Recorded at Studio Arb. Audio technician: Fabian Asllami and produced by Centaur
- 1997 (December): Live at the Sport Palace with Thunder Way (reformed) and Radical Obscurity. 10 songs played
- 1998: Bledar Gamo on drums. Live at Urithi Pub. 15 songs played.
- 1998-1999: Almost all members emigrate to Italy.
Erion Zaloshnja – Vocals 1992
Gent Pjetri – Vocals (ex Megahertz) 1992-1998
Illir Picari – Guitar 1993-1997
Nertan Molla – Lead guitars 1991-1998 (ex Shook)
Dritan Hoxha – Rhythm guitars 1991-1993
Dorian Golemi – Guitars 1995-1996
Bledar Mbroci – Drums 1991-1995
Erion Banushi – Drums 1995
Roland Fusha – Drums 1995-1997 (ex Albatros, Megahertz, Thunder Way)
Bledar Gramo – Drums 1997-1998 (later in Black Moon and Radical Obscurity)
Fabian Asslani – Bass 1991-1998 (ex Shook)
Bojken Lako – Keyboards 1992 (later founder of Radical Obscurity)
Saimir Cili – Keyboards 1994-1996
Line up for Mr. Centaur (1995):
Gent Pjetri: Vocals
Nertan Molla: Lead guitars
Dorian Golemi: Rhythm guitars
Fabian Asslani: Bass
Roland Fusha: Drums
Illir Ibrahimi: Backing vocals (special guest)
Mr. Centaur (1995) recorded at Jess Studio. Heavy/Thrash.
2nd Lp (1997) recorded at ARB Studio. Hard rock.
Videos on Facebook:
-Bote I cmendur, Evil cry, The world is mine, Koha per rikthim, Get back (Beatles cover), Udhetim ne nate, Ne jete netuar me pare, Brezi I djegur, The sphinx, Mr. Centaur, Asgje nuk ndryshon (Live at Festival e Pranveres, September 1997)
Metal grunge. They were the 1st band playing outside Albania at the 2nd Balkan Underground Festival, Skopje, Macedonia 12-1999. First Albanian metal CD ever.
From official biography:
"Crossbones were formed in 1995 in Tirana, the capital city of Albania. First rehersals took place in a friend’s house basement...hell yeah! ...and they hit the road to rock n roll with powerful explosive vocals, heavy guitar riffs and breathtaking drums. The first members were Olsi BALLTA(vocals) and Arbi XHELO (guitar). Then Klodi SHEHU (guitar) and Alban MALE (drums & keyboards) joined the band and till 1998 they always had session bass players. At this time Fatjon GJASHTA joined the band as a bass player till 2000 when he left the band and moved to USA.
The band had no name until Ols (vocals) opened an Albanian-English dictionary and picked the first word of the first page…and it was CROSSBONES (1995). Crossbones is the 1-st albanian rock band releasing an album on CD, called "Days Of Rage" in 1997. It was recorded in a home studio and at that time the quality of sound was not so important more than the fact that Crossbones were entering in the Albanian rock music history as the first band ever recording and producing an album on CD - of course with a little help with the financial issues. They are definitely the most powerful and famous band in the albanian metal underground.
Crossbones performed live in several concerts and rock festivals in Albania but the most important one was the Balkan Underground Music Festival held for 3 days in Skopie, MACEDONIA 17-19 December 1999(punk,hardcore,thrash etc). 'Crossbones thrash/metal band from Albania managed to keep the crowd moving...that's for sure'. (comment taken from Rock n roll Los Angeles Magazine).
Crossbones had never had a record deal because in Albania there’s not such industry for rock music and the only way is to look around in other countries. They have recorded lots of songs since their 1st album, but they never released a second one due to financial and sponsor support issues and because of what was mentioned above. Maybe it’s time to make a serious step to go to a next level. If any record label,radio,magazine,festivals,sponsors related with the rock music, want to help us out…is more than welcome. We just want to have the chance to prove ourselves. Hails to our fans in Albania and all around the world!!! We’ll never disappoint you!!! Stay heavy & Keep on Rockin' babe!!! CROSSBONES/ALBANIA If you want to contact Crossbones for any issue related with rock music,write at: Address: Rruga “DURRESIT”, P.79/5/47 Tirana – Albania Tel: +355 4 258 108 Fax: +355 4 225 520 Mob: +355 69 29 36362 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Myspace:"
Crossbones line up:
-Olsi Ballta: vocals
-Arbi Xhelo: Guitar
-Klodi Shehu: Guitar (1995-1998)
-Alban Male: Drums (from 1998)
-Fatjon Gjastha: Bass (1998-2000)
-Eduard Dashi: Bass (2000-)
-Days of rage (Recorded in 1997. Format: CD. Self released)
- Crossbones: Revolucion (Live at Promozone Show for Tv Channel Klan)
- Crossbones: Perseri (Live at Promozone Show for Tv Channel Klan)
- other Crossobones videos here.
Active between 1993 and 1998. Boring soft melodic hair/hard rock. They played live with Centaur in June 1993 and 1995. Most members migrated to Italy in 1999.
- Liqeni I zi
- Rebel girl (Live at TVA, July 12th, 1998)
Album: “100 vjet vetmi” (100 years of solitude), 1998
-They were my friends
-My land 1997
-Liqeni I zi
-Deaf blind man
Dorjan Golemi-Lead Guitar (ex Centaur)
Bledar Brahusha-rhythm guitar
Bledar Gramo-drums (ex Centaur, later in Radical Obscurity)
Death metal (early)/Alternative HC/Crossover/Metal (later)
Created in early 1990 by Gent Lako (rythem and Lead guitar and vocal) Fred Nosi (rhythm & lead Guitar), Gent Thanasi (bass guitar) Erion Banushi (drums).
They played death metal and had a repertoire which consisted of different cover and songs of its own. In 1994 E. Banushi leaves and new drummer Bledar Gramo (ex Centaur and Black Moon) comes. In 1995 also guitarist Fred Nosi leaves and the band keep playing as a three members only. In summer 1996 the Demo Album “Stump’s Bar” is recorded at Jess Studio: the music played is not Death metal anymore but a mix of thrash-death-core-art alternative. The album was never published and only few songs were performed live until early 1998 when bassist Thanasi leaves the band. For In the last months new bassist, Redi Hasa and a second guitar player, Trim Rado join the band but soon after they disbanded.
First Line Up:
Gent Lako: Vocals, Guitars
Fred Nosi: Guitar
Gent Thanasi: Bass
Erion Banushi: Drums
Redi Hasa: Bass in 1998
Trim Rado: Guitars in 1998
Stump’s bar Unreleased Demo 1996 (recorded at Jess Studio) Tracklist:
1) When I’ll be dead
2) Stump’s bar
4) 19 septembre 2010
Listen of me
Some punk Bands from Albania:
Former punk band turned progressive rock. In 1993 they played on Albanian TV during the election of Miss Albania
-King of beers Tape 1993 (10 tracks)
-“Old Man” on “No border jam Vol. 3” CD (Front Rock Records, Slovenia 1994)
Slow punk. Only 2 songs ever recorded. One appeared on “last call for the lost scenes Vol. 1” 72 Ep in 1997. All members moved to Italy in 1999.
-JERICHO (or JERICHO WALLS)
Active since 1996. They play raging HC with Nazist/Nationalist lyrics. In 2006 they released “Perendim a lindje?” Lp
Some new heavy/death/black bands from Albania:
-SKENDERBEG: One song: Liberty or death. Epic power metal with NS/Fascist lyrics.
-MAGMA: Active from 2006. Modern heavy metal. Not bad
-MUZGART: Black/Death/Brutal/Technical. ADemo is announced but not released yet.
-QELBANIX: Modern grunge
-SYRGJYN (black metal): Manifest of essence Album 2005 (mp3 release only). Other songs: A lost soul and swallows (1999), Xhehenem
-THRONE OV MIGHT (Mitrovice, 2008): Thrash metal
-ODIOUS: Black metal from Shkumbini, formed in 2008: Symphony of dark autumn Demo
-ARS DEMENTIA: Black metal from Tirana
-FJALET E QIRIRIT: Medaur’s drummer side project (name taken from an Elita 5 song)
-GVERR (ex Trout, from Tirana): Failed philosophy Demo 2010 (mp3 release only)
-META: AC/DC inflenced rock since 1996. No other info available.
-BLACK STORM: Groove Metal/Alternative. One song: Askujt (recorded in 2010)
-BAAL ZEVUL: Death
-SATRAP: Black epic
-FROZEN STORM: Black
-CATACHTONIUM: Black 1994-1998 from Elbasan. No info available.
-METEOR: unknown style.
-MORFINA. Available songs: Në rrugën time/Lindja e Foshnjes/Teër vonë/Në rrugën time/Bomba gazmore/Procesi
-MOCKS: Totally unknown. Probably, a very old band. No info available.
-ALBOYS. Formed in Tirana in 2001. They released a Demo and a single (actually mp3 only releases available through Myspace, Youtube and Facebook). They also play a cover of “Jakup Ferri”. Probably moved to Italy.
Kosovo has always been considered a part of Albania for historical and cultural reasons. After the war the percentage of Albanian speaking people reached 90% and main religion is Islam.
Kosovo has always been considered the poorest and most underdeveloped region in former Ex-Yugoslavia. Being an autonomous region inside Serbia, Kosovo hadn’t the right to pacifically declare its independence on any time: this right was granted by Federal Constitution to the other 5 States that composed the Yugoslavian Federation.
In 1968 albanian majority protested and asked for independence by Serbia, as well as in 1981-1982 (soon after Tito’s death) during the so called “Spring of Pristina” when violent clashes and riot wounded the whole country. Albanians protested for the low development of economy and their dependence from Serbian minority.
During the 80’s the Serbian population decreased to a less of 10% of total population, in a region where muslim Albanians reached 85%. Clashes and riots lasted for the whole 80’s. In 1989 Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic revoked every form of autonomy for Kosovo and abolished also the language parity between Serbian and Albanians, this latter recognized as the second official language within the country. Later in 1989 Milosevic again pronounced a very violent official speech against the Albanian people, comparing them to violent conquerors. It was the first step of the “Ethnic cleansing” planned by Milosevic in order to eradicate Albanians, croatians, muslim and non-serbian people in those areas considered as “Serbian territory” only. All the Albanian-only schools as well as every Albanian speaking officer in the region were removed and a vast Serbian immigration was promoted. In 1990 Kosovo self declared its independency that was recognized by Albania only. A referendum in 1992 confirmed this decision.
In 1995, after the Serbo-Croatian war, Albanians from Kosovo started a violent, armed resistance within Kosovo against the Serbian minority. The guerrilla was lead by former ex professionals employed during the serbo-croatian war and atrocious crimes were committed in these years against Serbians and non-muslim minorities as well as Albanian kosovarian that wouldn’t take part in this ethnic conflict.
From 1995 to 1999 Milosevic answered with a repressive ethnic cleasing all through the country, answering with massacres and atrocities to atrocities and massacres made by Albanians. Most of Albanian speaking population, almost 1 million, moved to Albania.
In 1999 the war was formally declared and Milosevic intensified his ethnic cleansing program: more horrors and massacres followed and another million Albanians were forced to move to Albania.
The war was officially over in 1999 when NATO sent troops and international observers.
In the following years most Albanians returned to Kosovo but violence and revenges didn’t cease: when returning to Kosovo most Serbians were killed and hunted and still today Albanians want Kosovo to be an Albanian-only state. Violences between Serbians (who decreased to a mere 6% after the war: most people migrated to innser Serbia in order to escape albanian’s revenge and violence) and Albanians still go on and until now it’s not clear the destiny of this small and poor region. Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo’s independence and only in late 2010 negotiates between the two enemy countries started, under the supervision of International Observers.
Considered a historical and cultural part of Albania, it’s not strange that many music bands from Kosovo are listed as belonging to Albanian scene in its total. Sometimes it’s even difficult to distinguish a band from Albania to a band from Kosovo as they’re considered both Albanians.
Rock and metal in Kosovo hasn’t been much developed: it was the poorest region in Ex Yugoslavia but some music studios were active in Pristina. Most Albanian bands, due to the complete lack of music studios in the country, went recording in Pristina or in the best equipped studios in Skopje, Macedonia during the early 90’s.
Pop and rock in Kosovo started in the early 60’s. Almost every band sung in Albanian and there is a very scarce trace of Serbian-speaking bands from Kosovo. Ex Yugoslavia was, compared to other ex-communist countries in Europe, one of the most prolific countries ever and rock and pop music, as well as punk and experimental music had a real boom during the 80’s.
Among early pop bands in Kosovo, we must remember:
Blue Star/Modestët (founded in 1964), Mak, Fan (both with Albanian and Serbian musicians in their line ups), Telex, Seleksioni 039, Menkins.
One of the most successful bands was Gjurmët who played a sort of new wave/pop with experimental parts. They put out a self titled Tape in 1983 and in 2002 a wonderful complete discography was printed on vinyl with songs from 1980 to 1986.
Other famous bands was 403, formed in 1981: they played a light rock and in 2006 a retrospective CD was announced.
Minatori had 2 albums out and they played a sort of light rock during the late 80’s/early 90’s
Another famous band is Lindja playing punk/post punk active since the late 80’s.
The Metal scene hasn’t been very active in Kosovo during the 90’s and was completely unknown in the 80’s.
The first – and successful – heavy metal band from Kosovo can be considered Troja, formed in 1990 in Pristina. Their first concert was in 1993.
Ekzistenca/Per bekin Ep 1995
Çohu Rexho Ep 1997.
People Lp recorded in 1997 but out in 2002.
Ongoing Lp recorded in the 2000’s
Amaneti Ep…available only through youtube or facebook.
Very few bands appeared in the late 90’s, expecially in the heavy metal/death field, considering the very difficult situation of the country.
The only band I have information about is Purgatory, the most successful heavy metal band in Kosovo.
From their biography:
Purgatory is a Rock Band from Kosovo, and are domiciled in Switzerland. Purgatory name has nothing to do with religion. This name is actually real and that stems from the media "Divine Comedy" of Dante Aligerit.
From this name came first singer Purgatory-t somewhere in the garage of Pristina during the exercises. It was Fatoni known driver nicknamed "Kika" who made the proposal for that name. While Aligeri Dante in his Divine Comedy Purgatory-n as a wall between heaven and hell described the group describe it as a common pathway of various musical styles. There have never thought to define a style, because just as individuals have different tastes of music, be it grunge, rock, soul, heavy metal or death etc.. Therefore decided to find a common pathway of these styles. Purgatory in this group viz. common road where they meet various styles of music.
The first album went on sale in 1998, and was entitled “Larg Vendit të Shqiponjave“ "away from the Eagles" this title was adopted with the name of grupës "PURGATORY" given that members were in exile, and everyone in the city of Basel - Switzerland. Took part in many different international festivals, concerts, etc. .. Hit best known of these was the ballad “Do ti lutem Qiellit “ (Do you pray Heaven) then "Jakup Ferri" and "Sadija."
Larg Vendit të Shqiponjave (1998) Tracklist:
1. Shqiponja 2. Do ti lutem qiellit 3. Në stilin tonë 4. Nëna t'birin Pret 5. Jakup Ferri 6. Chaos 7. Sadija 8. No place for me in heaven 9. Larg Vendlindjes
Valton Berisha - Solo Gitare ; Enis Potoku - Vocal ; Haxhi Berisha - Vocal ; Berat Fejzullahu - Bass ; Driton Ajeti - Daulle ; Bekim Krasniqi - Ritëm Gitare ;
New bands started activities in very recent years, after the war, when the situation was normalized.
Unfortunately most of them are into Black Metal or a modern Mallcore/Deathcore/Crossover sound, no traces of heavy metal or thrash bands.
Most of them do not have the chance to record any proper album nor even a “physical” demo: lack of money, lack of proper studios, lack of music stores and labels, magazines, venues. The few song recorded are mainly spreaded through Youtube or Facebook and it’s almost impossible to find CD or CDR edition of the handful of album recorded.
I could find only the following bands active in the last years:
-STONED (from Pristina, 2007). Deathcore. Two song: Will to freedom (2007), Ugly world (2008)
-MADGOD: (Pristina, Kosovo formed in 2007) Deathcore/Crossover. Released the single “Hypocrites”
-MEDAURUS: Black metal. Formed in 2009. nationalistic illyric band. Run you cowards/Illyrian’s wrath
-TROUTS (Death/Brutal/Black). Some members formed Diadema and Gverr. Good band, unfortunately theyr myspace account is deleted so no information is available. Active for some years.
-DIADEMA (formed in Pristina, 2001). They have some cover song (Ballade e Jakup Ferri, Simfonia e vdekjes) as well as own songs: Pragu im, Kur bie muzgu, Mbijetesa. With drummer of TROUT. Death metal/Crossover/New metal.
-ENEMY: Modern metal/death/crossover. Formed in 2008. One song available: “Crushed down”.
-DESERT ROSES (a female band): Released a Demo. Formed in 2009
-BURN: Formed in 2004. They have one CD: “One step forward” (2008) and 5 videoclip. 23 songs in total. New album planned in summer 2011
-KORROTOS (black metal): 1 song: Pjesa e errët e shpirtit tim
-HEAVILY: Formed in Pristina in 2008. One of the very few thrash/speed/metal bands from the country. They play Metallica covers + own songs (Pale death, Mos harroni).
-PANIKA (formed in Presheva, 2005). They’re currently recording a debut album. They cover the famous “Jakup Ferri” song.
-TOXIN: HC/Metalcore/Thrash from Prishtina. Born in 2004. CD: Revolucion (2008)
Rock in the albanian language is popular also in the small Republic of Macedonia, where the albanian speaking population reaches a 44% of total population. Macedonia is independent since 1991. Most band from Albania and Kosovo came to Skopje to record their albums, where good music studios and better organization existed since the 70’s.
The music scene was pretty active since the early 80’s with a lot of interesting post punk bands, mainly.
One of the most important and historical bands singing in albanian is Blla Blla Blla, active since the late 80’s: they play punk with folk and ethnic elements and they appeared in some international compilation.
Elita 5 is another popular rock/pop band. They recorded some albums, including “Fantasia/Symphony 5/Reflections” recorded 17-10-1995 at Angel Records. But they can’t be considered really rock.
The only true heavy metal from Macedonia singing in Albanian that I know is ULURIMA E QETËSISË.
The band was founded in 1994 in Tetovo. From heavy metal to ethnic sounds, they released at least 1 Lp a few years ago but I haven’t any other information. The only known line up is:
Nderim Jonuzi: Bass
Naser Saliu: Guitar
Gazmend Dauti: Drums
Asllan Saliu: Vocals
Another band very famous band is SHEKULLI I DREQIT (Century of the Damned), a rock group from Struga, Macedonia founded in 1988. During their lifetime they recorded three albums but only two have been published: “Apocalipsa” in 1993 and “Kori i engjujve” in 1995. Both albums had typical heavy metal/hard rock sound elements but also some boring rock ballads. Their first, unreleased album (whose title is still unknown) can’t be considered even rock at all according to their biography: it lacked both drums and bass and it can be considered more pop that even rock.
Initially, this group was founded by three members from the village of Struga in 1988: “Breakdance” Allka, vocals, Menderes Lumani guitars, Samedin Dini, bass. Later drummer Ergin Borova and keyboardist Fatou join the band. Line up reaches its peak when Selmani joins as solo guitarist and bassist Ardian Demiri comes in 1993. At that point musical style turns into powerful heavy metal.
During their heavy metal period, line up was: “Breakdance” Allka vocals, Menderes Lumani guitar, Ardian Demiri bass, Honor Selmani guitar, Fatou Pollozhani keyboard and F. Bajrami on drums.
The group reached big success until 1997, when guitarist Selmani moved to the USA. He was replaced by Kathy Tjeter but things didn’t go very well. The band was then kept in a sort of hiatus for some years, until 2001 when they recorded a new album, “Urra e sherreve” (Bridge of hassle) which was never released due to financial problems. After this period, the group had more attempts to return to the music scene, however, had little success in this. The group definitively disbanded after some promotional live gigs for their album.
One of the very last gigs was at TV Program “Today 7”: the group was presented with a team consisting of 15 spectacular members, where the band sang for the last time - live - the songs "S not allow," "Meeting in the grave ", "Bridge of hassle" and 12 other songs.
Then in 2005 the bass guitarist Ardian Demiri left the group group (though were formally inactive for 3 years) for professional reasons (he worked as a lawyer in Struga) and this marked the real end of one of the very first heavy metal bands in Albania, active since 1988.
-Unreleased Tape Lp 1991 (unknown title, unknown style: probably vocal pop)
-Apocalipsa Tape Lp 1993 (heavy metal)
-Kori I enjujve Tape Lp 1995 (heavy metal/hard rock)
-Urra e sherreve Tape Lp 2001. Unreleased. (Heavy metal)
Some songs on Youtube:
- Takimi ne varre - good hard rock/metal
- Kur folin engjujt