In case you’re wondering, I just got back from an amazing Italian vacation. I enjoyed several different cities, shacked up in a Tuscan villa and ate/drank all of the wine, pasta and cheese my body could handle. One thing that I did notice was that there was NOT a very large metal presence during my trip despite Europe’s major love affair with our favorite genre and I couldn’t really figure out why that is. Sure, I saw some younger kids in Suicide Silence, Lamb of God and Children of Bodom t-shirts — even a Slash poster for an upcoming concert… but I didn’t even see any LACUNA COIL pride over there.
Then, I started thinking about how many Italian metal bands I knew and I realized that there is certainly something strange going on with Italians. There are a ton of amazing bands there and Europe is well known for accepting metal into the mainstream so where was the scene happening. Certainly not in Florence, not in Venice either, I saw exactly 0 metal in Milan and I saw a total of 3 kids in metal tees during my stay in Rome.
Do you know where the scene is really happening in Italy? Fill me in!
Now, let’s run through some Italian bands that you should know!
- LACUNA COIL – obviously, this would be equal to saying American fans need to know who LAMB OF GOD is. They’re the biggest stars in the Italian metal scene for sure.
- RHAPSODY OF FIRE – one of the most prolific and lauded bands in Power Metal. Nerds everywhere worship this band and with good reason! Never as cheesy as other bands in the genre, RHAPSODY OF FIRE are ultra-skilled and quite entertaining.
- FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – technical death metal and still brutal as fuck! These guys have become mainstays on the major death metal tours in the US over the past two years (even being included on this year’s Summer Slaughter lineup). FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE just inked a deal with Nuclear Blast so I imagine that their stock will continue to rise!
- HOUR OF PENANCE – freshly signed with Prosthetic Records, HOP has been dominating brutal DM scene for more than 10 years. Ask any underground circle of fans and you’ll hear one thing, these guys are fucking awesome at what they do!
- ABORYM – Combining black metal with industrial instrumentation, these guys went from being worshiped by some music circles to seemingly fading away after last year’s disappointing ‘Psychogrotesque’. This band also has a rich history, formerly the employer of Atilla Csihar and currently home to Faust’s drumming abilities (ex-Emperor, ex-Thorns).
- NOVEMBRE – never reaching the status of LACUNA COIL, these gothic giants have quietly been churning out masterpiece after masterpiece for almost 20 years. If you like doom and/or gothic metal with a deathy-influence, check ‘em out!
- THE SECRET – Southern Lord’s latest and greatest, this band quickly became one of my new favorites for 2010. Combining black metal with grind, they come across like the Italian TRAP THEM – only more visceral. If you’ve never heard ‘Solve et Coagula’, you need to change that!
That’s it for me! Did I miss anyone? Is there a band I should check out? It’s your turn to sound off!