B.T.R. (band)

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B.T.R. is a Bulgarian modern rock band, founded in 1984.

Some members of B.T.R. with special guest Glenn Hughes
Background information
OriginSofia, Bulgaria Bulgaria
GenresHeavy Metal, Hard rock
Years active1984–present
MembersAtanas "Nasko" Penev (vocals), Slavcho Nickolov (vocals & guitars), Ivan Kalfov (vocals & bass guitar), Ilian Dikov (drums), Kiril Bojkov (guitars)


Formation & Early Years (1984 - 1993)[edit]

BTR was established in the period 1984-86. During the early years up to nearly thirty musicians pass through the band.For the first time BTR is on stage on the rock festival in Troyan in 1990.For their first album, the band consists of: Hristo Angov ( vocals),Valentine Guevski (guitar), Kiril Bozhkov (guitar), Ivan Kalfov (bass), Georgi Milev (drums). It was released by "Riva Sound" in a concert, with performances from the concert hall "Valentin Andreev" of 29.01.1992 g. In 1993 BTR released their first studio album Bending the Rules. The album consists of powerful heavy metal tracks, mixed with some more melodic ballads. It is distributed by Unison - RTM and became one of the best-selling albums in Bulgaria during 1993.

New members & International Success (1993 - 2004)[edit]

Since 1993 B.T.R. consists of Kiril Bojkov (guitars), Ivan Kalfov (bass guitar), Ilian Dikov (drums), Slavcho Nikolov (guitars, vocals) and Atanas Penev (vocals). Their first album with this lineup is "Feel the Life" and it consists of traditional heavy metal tracks. Following extensive promotion in small clubs and concert halls, the band makes an impression in France and gets positive reception amongst the French fans. B.T.R.'s arrival in Nice coincides with the soccer victory of Bulgaria over France, and the band is invited to play soccer with the semi-professional University of Nice soccer team.

In 1994 the band is invited to play in F.R.A.C.A., a large musical forum in Southern France in which over 20 bands perform. A year later, the band opens for the legendary Iron Maiden in Sofia.

Mainstream success[edit]

In 1997, "B.T.R. '97" is released, which is a significant step forward for the band. The album is actually recorded in 1996, but not released until a year after. Amongst the songs is the instant hit, and perhaps one of B.T.R.'s most recognized songs "Elmaz i Staklo" (Diamond and Glass). Following the critical success of "'97", the band is again invited to perform in the French festival Cosmopoliten, featuring various international acts.

B.T.R.'s 7 Ballads is one of their best-selling albums

1998 marks the release of the hit single Salvation, their most acclaimed song to date. The song becomes an anthem of the anti-drug movement in Bulgaria and received considerable airtime on radio stations all over the country. December of the same year the album 7 Ballads is released, which includes Salvation and various songs from Feel The Life, but all in Bulgarian language. The album is also the first Bulgarian Enhanced Audio CD and features music videos for Salvation and Elmaz i Staklo, as well as interviews from all the band members.

In 1999 the band records Dreams. It differs from previous albums in style, and features more complex compositions, as well as a more melodic style, with more developed lyrics. Their first single Flower from the Moon is an instant success and demonstrates the band's maturing and professional tone. Both the album and the single reached the number one spot in many different billboards across the country. The album followed with extensive touring with different sponsors (over 30 gigs) with many of the venues being sold out.

In the year 2000 the band continued their touring and opened in the Romanian festival Golden Stag with bands INXS and UB40. At the end of the year, the band also made another appearance in China.

In 2002 they release The Game, followed by their most well-known performance, in the National Palace of Culture with a special guest Glenn Hughes, the bass player of Deep Purple. Together they play some of Deep Purple's biggest hits, such as Stormbringer and Mistreated. The concert also featured a symphonic orchestra for two of their songs.

From 2003 onwards, the band has played countless shows in many countries, and has also played in Beijing, recording Meet in Beijing. B.T.R. has also visited Vietnam where a recorded show of the band has been watched by over 50 million Vietnamese people.

New Developments[edit]

In 2008 the band released Deja Vu, which contains covers of famous Bulgarian rock songs. They are also chosen as band of the year by Bulgarian audiences.

In 2009 they are touring in over 13 cities in Bulgaria.

2014, March 15: Live Concert in Toronto, Canada


Year Title
1992 Live
1993 Bending the Rules
1993 Feel The Life
1997 B.T.R.
1998 Seven Ballads
1999 Dreams
2002 The Game
2004 93-04 1
2006 93-06 2
2008 Deja Vu
2014 Why
2018 Invisible Walls

External links[edit]