Latvia's most renowned pagan metal band SKYFORGER is preparing a unique performance dedicated to the fight for freedom at the Baltic culture and extreme music festival KILKIM ŽAIBU. This upcoming concert will mark the first time since 2000 that our neighbours will dedicate an entire performance to their album “Latviešu strēlnieki”.
SKYFORGER, one of the most loyal festival companions, visited KILKIM ŽAIBU many times. Nevertheless, each of their performances offers the audience something new, unheard and unseen. This year, when the concept of the struggle for freedom has acquired not only historical but also real, current significance, the band is preparing a special programme specifically for the KILKIM ŽAIBU audience. The whole show will be dedicated to the album “Latviešu strēlnieki”. Despite it being released over 20 years ago, there was only one occasion in which SKYFORGER played songs from this album exclusively. Our Latvian brothers are preparing a performance that will not only feature beloved songs, but also rich scenography and video projections.
The inspiration for “Latviešu strēlnieki” comes from heroic Latvian Riflemen struggles between 1915 and 1917, during World War I. Although Latvia as well as Lithuania was part of Tsarist Russia back then, soldiers of the brotherly country asked to form exclusively Latvian units and their request was granted. Thereafter they impressed Russian and German soldiers alike with their motivation and fighting spirit, because the land where riflemen shed their blood was their own, they were defending their homes and families.
The conflict in Ukraine prompted SKYFORGER to blow the dust off their old album. Some parallels can be found between the history of Ukraine in the last decade and that of Latvia almost a century ago. Nine years ago, the Ukrainian people, divided by Russian propaganda and political technology, were pitted against each other, east against west. The Latvian Riflemen, influenced by propaganda and demoralised by the failures of the Tsarist army, caused by the mistakes of the Russian generals, also split, some of them siding with the Bolsheviks. However, metalheads from Latvia are certainly not singing about the red Riflemen. The most honored soldier in the SKYFORGER album is colonel Frīdrihs Briedis who led the Latvian Riflemen into their most successful battles. Later, the national Latvian hero was executed by Chekists for anti-soviet activities.
Get ready for a real storm!