Behind The Flag

Kharkiv hardcore band BEHIND THE FLAG the war in Ukraine, solidarity and resistance

2 mins read

Within the resilient pulse of Ukraine’s heart, under the shadow of conflict that has draped itself over the nation, emerges Behind The Flag, a collective whose metamorphosis from thrash/modern metal to the visceral realms of hardcore-punk and vibrand vibes of melodic punk encapsulates not just a change in musical direction but a profound narrative of resistance, identity, and survival. The band’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of music, a medium through which they narrate the stories of their embattled homeland, echoing the resilience of its people.

“Our journey was unexpectedly short,” the band reflects on their evolution, highlighting a broad musical horizon that once embraced everything from Motorhead to Green Day.

Behind The Flag

The departure of a guitarist catalyzed a pivotal shift towards hardcore and punk, genres that resonated more deeply with their collective conscience, leading them to new sonic territories and the embrace of the local hardcore-punk community. This transition, fueled by covers and a desire for change, was crystallized in their first EP, ‘Empty Eyes‘, marking a new chapter in their saga. “Some guys said that it was a mix of old punk rock, hardcore with some metal stuff,” they recall, underscoring the diverse influences that have shaped their sound.

The band’s narrative is punctuated by line-up changes, each new member infusing the music with their unique essence. The departure of their first vocalist, Dmytro, led them to Kiril, whose theatrical background and explosive stage presence propelled the band closer to a hardcore vibe. Yet, as they navigated the pandemic and the ensuing global shutdown, the band faced a crisis, culminating in the release of ‘Planet Terror‘, an album that delved into the themes of reign, time, and terror.

The advent of the war profoundly affected Behind The Flag, compelling a hiatus in their recording sessions for their third album. The conflict not only disrupted their creative process but also their lives, with members scattering across the country.

Behind The Flag

Despite these trials, the band persevered, gathering in late 2022 to continue their work, resulting in an album that reflects the tumultuous times they live in. “We rewrote all the text to make it more actual to our hard current circumstances,” they share, revealing a deliberate choice to sing in Ukrainian as a form of cultural assertion and resistance.

Behind The Flag’s story is deeply interwoven with the fabric of Kharkiv’s robust punk-hardcore community, a proof of the enduring spirit of collaboration, solidarity, and mutual support that music fosters. “It’s the one big shape that consists of many elements where we are just a part of this mechanics,” they explain, highlighting the communal essence that underpins their existence and resilience amidst the ongoing conflict.

The band’s creative process, challenged by the loss of their rehearsal space and the dangers of daily life in a conflict zone, is a narrative of adaptation and unwavering commitment to their work. Music, for them, is a way of coping with the uncertainty and terror of war. “The music is a part of our life, its sounding inside our heads every time,” they assert, a poignant reminder of the power of art to sustain the human spirit in the face of adversity.

As they look towards victory and peace, Behind The Flag envisions their music as a contribution to Ukraine’s fight for freedom and identity. “Victory and a peace that will come after it – it’s the key moment for all of us,” they state, embodying the collective hope and determination of a nation in turmoil.

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