Ukraine doesn’t exactly generateacts that attain success on an international scale. Naturally, there are plenty of metal bands in Ukraine, and why wouldn’t there be in an Eastern European country? It has the perfect recipe for heavy metal themes: it’s dark, depressing, and violent, right? I think that’s the general perception here in North America anyway.
For one reason or another, Ukrainian bands haven’t exported well. Thankfully there’s an Internet to even up the odds, which led me to finding CrystalNight, a symphonic/progressive metal band with boatloads of talent. Their about page on Facebook is a bit difficult to decipher, but here’s what I’ve gathered:
Max Romeo and Leo formed CrystalNight in 2005, shortly after the two met at a biker rally and discovered that they had similar musical tastes. Next to join the group was Maxim Senchilo on bass, and the three set out to find themselves a drummer. In the interim, however, Julia Hanol joined to contribute vocals. Working under the unfortunate band name Power Jem, the band found themselves performing at several local festivals and running the club circuit.
Power Jem decided to change their name, and with that came a musical direction set by Max. CrystalNight was now a “melodic death-power” metal outfit, but still without a consistent drummer. Julia was a casualty of the change, and Max took over vocal duties.
By the end of 2006, session drummer Kyrilchyk Oleksandr joined the band full-time, as did Maha on synthesizer. With this lineup, CrystalNight produced their first demo, “The Sadow,” which the band calls symphonic/progressive metal.
Still a band in its infancy, 2008 saw yet more changes to CrystalNight’s lineup: Mary took over on synthesizers and Kyrilchyk Sasha took over the skins. From here, the band evolved professionally, played more gigs, and in 2009 organized the “Metal Heads’ Mission” in Zhitomir. Also in 2009, CrystalNight made another change to the lineup, this time putting Sergii Grkavenko on bass and Donets Stepan on drums.
2010 saw CrystalNight perform at a number of higher-profile fests and venues, including Коррозия Металла\Corrosion of Metal, DMA XXII Progression Towards Melodies, Terroraiser fest, and others. In addition, the band became the festival contingent at Iron March in Ukraine.
In 2012, the band added Jozsef Horvath (from Hungary) on vocals and, with a solid cast of members, CrystalNight began work on their first album, composed entirely by Max. Since then, the band has continued to push forward playing more and more shows, expanding their reach into Russia.
In the player just below, watch CrystalNight in full concert:
CrystalNight definitely has a sophistication of sound that comes from years of refinement and hard work. What I can hear is a masterful blend of symphonic, progressive, and black metal. “Further for the Sun” (in the player below) exemplifies this sound and showcases the band’s talent:
If you visit CrystalNight’s Facebook page, you’ll find a number of songs to listen to. The sound quality of most of the tracks found there are sub-par, but it’s good enough to know that there is something really happening with this band. As a fan of good music, I hope this band finds its way to the rest of Europe and eventually to North America.
Spread the word, metalheads.
Max Romeo – Vocal/Solo Guitars
Sergii Gorkavenko – Bass, Guitars
Mary – Keyboards
Donets Stepan – Drums
Leo – Guitars
Jozsef Horvath – Vocals
Rock Hard \m/