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New Forces / Malta mourns rock pioneer / Mużika Mużika

New Forces by MetalDays 2024: A Showcase of Malta's Thriving Metal Scene

The Maltese metal community is gearing up for an electrifying event as New Forces by MetalDays 2024 prepares to take the stage on the 8th and 9th of March at The Garage in Zebbug, Malta. With an impressive lineup featuring both established acts and rising stars, this event promises to be a celebration of the vibrant metal culture that thrives on the island.

Friday night kicks off with a bang as doors open at 18:00 hrs, ushering in a diverse array of sounds and styles. From the intense grooves of Mur.Doc 104 to the bone-crushing aggression of Morsrot, there's something for every metalhead to sink their teeth into. Align the Tide brings their signature blend of melody and brutality, while Krishna offers a taste of their unique brand of spiritual metal. Saħħar and Luciferi Regnum round out the lineup with their own distinctive sounds, ensuring that Friday night is a memorable experience for all in attendance.

As Saturday dawns, the excitement only continues to build. Once again, doors open at 18:00 hrs, welcoming fans to another night of sonic mayhem. Oblique Visions kicks things off with their atmospheric blend of progressive doom metal, setting the stage for an evening of intense performances. Damaged & Co. bring their raw energy and infectious enthusiasm to the stage, while Lady Lizard captivates audiences with their dynamic stage presence. Rankin, Repugnance, and Haine close out the night with their blistering performances, leaving concertgoers exhilarated and hungry for more.

Adding to the excitement of the event are the esteemed judges who will be in attendance, including Gunnar Sauermann of Prophecy Productions and Metal Hammer fame, Michael Berberian of Season of Mist, Thomas Strater of Testimony Records and Metal Hammer, and Roman Hilser of Summer Breeze Festival. Their expertise and discerning ears will help determine which band will have the honor of representing Malta at METALDAYS 2025 in Slovenia.

In addition to the thrilling performances and expert judging, attendees will have the opportunity to support their favorite bands as each ticket will serve as a vote for the band of their choice. Priced at €10:00 per day, this is a chance for fans to not only enjoy an unforgettable weekend of music but also to actively participate in the continuation of shaping the future of Malta's metal scene.

So mark your calendars and join us at The Garage in Zebbug for New Forces by MetalDays 2024. See you in the pit!

Malta mourns rock pioneer Cliff D'Ugo

Cliff D'Ugo is not a new face to those who follow the local music scene. He was part of the group The Boys, together with Marc Storace and Enzo Gusman and The Country Brothers later on.

Unfortunately, Cliff left this world on Friday, February 16. His death was announced on Facebook by his niece, the actress Becky D'Ugo.

Cliff plays guitar and vocals on the first ever original song recorded by the BOYS alongside singer Marc Storace, Anthony Farrugia on bass, Godwin Borg drums and vocals, and Joey Chircop on organs and vocals. It was titled 'Our Love Is Still There' and was recorded at Msida between1968 and 1969. the song can be heard here.

Cliff also featured on the album 'It's About Time' which The Boys released in 2001.

Condolences to Cliff's family and friends

Muzika Muzika 2024 date closing in

In November, Festivals Malta made an announcement regarding the selection process for Mużika Mużika, revealing that out of 40 entries that had advanced from the elimination phase following live performances accompanied by backing tracks, 20 songs had been chosen.

Paul Abela, the Artistic Director of Mużika Mużika, emphasized the diversity of styles represented among the chosen 20 songs, highlighting the anticipation for the varied performances they will offer to the Maltese audience. He noted the festival's continued popularity with conventional and traditional styles while also commending Maltese artists for their ongoing exploration of innovative compositions, as evidenced by the eclectic range of submissions received across different musical genres.

Raymond Bugeja, Chairman of Mużika Mużika, affirmed the festival's importance within the Festivals Malta portfolio, expressing confidence that the upcoming edition would maintain the exceptional standards set by previous iterations.

The songs which have reached the semi-finals are as follows:

  • 3 ta’ Ġunju 2021         Neville Refalo

  • Dawk l-Għajnejn          Miguel Bonello

  • Din Għalik                  Moira Stafrace

  • Fil-Qrib                      Cliff Zammit Stevens

  • Ġenna                        Victoria

  • Ġranet Sbieħ               Mark Micallef Costa

  • Grazzi                       MARA

  • Ħolma ta’ Mument        Dario Bezzina

  • Iljun                           Andreana DeBattista

  • Imħabba Vera              GIADA

  • Imqar Għal-lejla            Megan May

  • Kewkba F’Tarf L-Irdum    Cherylis

  • Kieku Kelli                   Thea Aquilina

  • Lulju                           Karen Debattista

  • Meta Tridni Ħdejk         Qalb

  • Mhux Tal-Aħħar             Maxine Pace

  • Mingħajr Kliem             Keith Zammit Mintoff

  • Paradoss                     Haley

  • Vjagg Sabiħ                 Kantera

  • Waħdi                         Janice Debattista

The festival will take place between 14 -16 March 2024.

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