Malokarpatan will bring together metal and the Slovakian countryside at Roadburn 2019

“We’ve had fans, friends & contacts in the Benelux area since the start of Malokarpatan, but through various practical obstacles our plans to play a few underground style shows there have been cancelled before. Then, perhaps as a reward for these past failures, we unexpectedly received an offer to do this in a more megalomaniac fashion – at the famed Roadburn of all places. We will make sure to make the long wait worth it!” So the band told us, and we are positive that not only those waiting for a long time, but also those who are just now coming in contact with them will be in for a very special treat.

Unless you hail from Slovakia itself, the name Malokarpatan might need a couple of mental repetitions until you get it right. And when there are song titles such as V Rujnovej Samote Pocichu Dumá Lovecký Zámek Zvlčilého Grófa, for instance, gaining linguistic familiarity might seem like a steep challenge for all of us non-Slovaks. Here’s a shortcut though – get Nordkarpatenland, the latest album from this eccentric troupe.

If you still have a metaller’s bone in you, we guarantee it will consume your mind, demand repeated spins and before you know it you’ll feel like you’re able to speak fluent Slovak. You probably won’t, but such is the atmosphere created by these songs that you’ll indeed feel like you’re roaming the countryside of that beautiful country, listening to their old folk songs and living among the creatures of its ancient myths and legends.

The fascinating part is that Malokarpatan achieve this with very little in terms of bells and whistles. Their sound is actually pretty raw, even including the cow bells and other touches that help build that folk ambiance. A mix of the best classic heavy metal (think Iron Maiden especially, also King Diamond in places) and the oblique take on black metal typical of the often underrated but super creative extreme bands of yore who hailed from that region of Europe, of which the revolutionary Master’s Hammer are the prime example, they are able to sound familiar and instantly gratifying but also incredibly weird and totally unique at the same time.

When someone tells you that originality and innovation is impossible within the realms of the more established genres like heavy metal or black metal, slap them in the face with a copy of Nordkarpatenland.

No one will be able to shut Malokarpatan up at Roadburn 2019, however. Fists will be raised and cow bells will be struck hard.

José Carlos Santos / October 2018

Date: April 11

Time: 23.50-00.40

Stage: Het Patronaat

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