Albanian rock

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Albanian rock describes music in Albania, Kosovo, and other Albanian-inhabited areas closely related to western rock. It has a wide variety of subgenres like heavy metal, punk, alternative and death metal. Albanian rock music first started in Kosovo through bands like Gjurmët,[1] Lindja[2] and later Jericho,[3] and in Macedonia with bands such as Elita 5, being continued to this day by Asgjë Sikur Dielli, Por-no,[4] Cute Babulja,[5] Blla Blla Blla, Bojken Lako, CROSSBONES, and Retrovizorja.[6] In Albania, the first rock concert was organized by Aleksander Gjoka in 1989. Only after the collapse of communism in Albania did the first rock groups appear there. The first rock band in Albania was Megaherz, founded by guitarist Bledar Sejko, after the fall of communism, he went on to form Thunderway, with Elton Deda a thrashmetal band which recorded the first rock album in Albania called "The Executioner's Orders", on cassette. Meanwhile, Bojken Lako was experimenting rock with his first band, The Fishhook, who released one album on cassette. The first recorded rock album on CD in Albania was released in 1997 by Crossbones entitled Days of Rage.[7]


American and British influence among Kosovars was also present in rock music.[8] The first known Albanian rock band was called Blue Star appeared in 1964 in Pristina, later they renamed it to Modestët.[9] In the beginning of the 1970s, rock music stage present in Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo (then Yugoslavia) was made of both Serbian and Albanian bands. Some of these bands, like MAK[10] had both Albanian and Serbian musicians. Another bi-ethnic band was FAN also based in Mitrovica.

Pristina was the most important city for Albanian rock music during the 1980s. In the mainstream circles Gjurmët (founded 1981) were among favorites. Their combination of rock with "muzikë qytetare" laid the foundation of Albanian rock. Other known bands that formed during this period were Ilirët, 403, Telex, Seleksioni 039, Minatori and Menkis. On the other hand, the underground music was more leaning towards punk. Most notable underground rock/punk band of Pristina in the 1980s was Lindja with its lead musician Luan Osmani (lead guitar). The beginning of the 1990s introduced other rock bands and individuals that played mainly in Kosovo like Troja, Dardan Shkreli, Blla blla blla and Elita 5 (from Macedonia).


In Albania the most prominent rock bands and individuals only appeared after 1990. Before that period rock music was prohibited. Although youth groups found ways to listen it through clandestine channels.[11] Bojken Lako is considered as one of the most influential rock musicians in Albania.[citation needed] Some notable rock bands include Akull Thyesit (Icebreaker) from Elbasan (first rock album Lindja e Ujkut[citation needed]), Meteor from Durrës, Djemt e Detit, Albatros, Grupi X, and singers like Gjergj Jorgaqi (who sang for a short while for Thunderway), Redon Makashi and many others. Guttersnipe was a short-lived punk band from Tirana in the early 1990s (one song was released on the compilation last Call for the Lost Scenes vol.1 7" vinyl on Tian An Men 89 Records in France). The guitarist, Eduard Dashi, went on to play as a session musician, while the vocalist, Klodi Agostini emigrated to Denmark.

Qelbanix were the first progressive band in Albania and in 2008 they released their first and last album "Infinit Relativ" with double cd. In this album there is an artwork for every song of it made by Qelbanix. While in 2011 Projekti was another musical project from Albania, the first one to compose trip-hop music by cellist Mardit Leki. The alternative band Linda ne Boten e Cudirave was created in 2009 with leader signer and guitarist Linda Rukaj, who later on in 2011 she released her single acoustic album "Jam" (I am) which was written and composed by her. She was the first female artist in Albania to be a singer/songwriter and guitarist.

In the extreme music scene, Syrgjyn from Tirana, is the first Albanian death metal band to release an album in June 2010. The album "Manifest of Essence" is an indie metal/death metal/industrial self-produced. The band is the only official Albanian extreme metal act still performing.

New rock scene[edit]

During parallel governance (1989–1999) and after the 1999 war in Kosovo several new bands emerged, among which most famous are Diadema, KEK ("Kreativ e jo Komercial" = Crative and not commercial), 7me7, The Hithat, Cute Babulja, Por-no, Gre3n, Retrovizorja.

In Macedonia the main Albanian rock/punk band is considered Blla Blla Blla founded in 1989.[12] Their influence can be seen not only in Albanian but also in Macedonian rock music. Another Albanian band from Macedonia is Shekulli i Dreqit (Century of Blood), metal from Struga.

After 2004 many alternative rock band appeared forming a new wave. Many bands formed, dissolved than re-formed. Bands like Votra, Gillespie, The Bloody Foreigners, and Gre3n (ceased existing in 2008). Also the Glasses, the Dizzies (with some band members of Gillespie) Freelancers most of them debuting in 2009. During those years in Albania they were lots of alternative and rock bands like Permit of stay, Germs, Ora 3, The Room, 00 Genti, The S Forest.

Main bands and individuals[edit]

For a full list, see List of Albanian rock bands.

Hard Rock[edit]



Indie, alternative, electronic[edit]


Punk/Post-Punk/New wave[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Elsie: Historical dictionary of Kosova, "...from the period 1981-1986, as the head of a Prishtina rock group called Gjurmët"
  2. ^ Oxygen
  3. ^ Oxygen
  4. ^ Oxygen
  5. ^ Oxygen
  6. ^ Retrovizorja
  7. ^ Crossbones, "...Crossbones is the 1-st albanian(AL) rock band releasing an album in CD..."
  8. ^ Sabrina P. Ramet, Gordana Crnković: Kazaaam! splat! ploof!: the American impact on European popular culture, page 176 "...rock music spread in every corner of Yugoslavia—even to economically and socially underdeveloped Kosovo..."
  9. ^ Agim Bass Berisha, "...It was this year, 1964, when Agim and Afrim decided to form their band, which was named “Blue Stars”..."
  10. ^ Agim Bass Berisha, "...1970-1979: these were the years when rock in Kosovo really bloomed. Many new bands were formed those years, and the leading band was “MAK” from the city of Mitrovica..."
  11. ^ Miranda Vickers, James Pettifer: Albania: from anarchy to a Balkan identity, page 121 " the 1970s Beatles songs could only be heard in clandestine condition..."
  12. ^ No Borders, "...The band exist from 1988..."
  13. ^ Music Radar Crossbones

Further reading[edit]

  • Era e Ndryshimit (Kozeta Kurti, 2010)

External links[edit]