Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Italian Power Metal Scene
Each week in Unearthing the Metal Underground, we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. This week I take on the ever emerging Italian power metal scene.
When one thinks Italian power metal, likely the first band to come to mind is Rhapsody, or as time and subsequent “amicable splits” would have it: Rhapsody of Fire and/or Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. Italy has been spawning off power metal far back into the 1980’s with bands like Domine, Wotan, Wyvern and White Skull, but few have ever reached such worldwide stardom as Rhapsody/Rhapsody of Fire/LT Rhapsody.
As the 90’s commenced, one of the other well-known pioneering Italian power/progressive exports, Labyrinth, was just starting out under the moniker Visions. It wasn’t until 1994 that the name Labyrinth was born. Within that same year or shortly after, Rhapsody would just start out along with bands like Drakkar, Arthemis, Derdian, Heimdall and Power Symphony. The late ’90’s would see a greater emergence of the scene with another well-known export Elvenking, along with Vision Divine (with Rhapsody vocalist Fabio Lione) Spellblast, The Dogma and Rapid Fire.
By the time the new century started, the Italian scene was bursting with talented power metal acts. Power metal bands seem to pop up on a more frequent basis that new gellato flavors, however, trying to locate the best of the emerging talent isn’t as easy as consulting the Yelp application on your smart phone. To provide some guidance, this week we introduce three of the lessor known Italian power metal bands: From the Depth, Aeternal Seprium and Nightland.
From The Depth
From the Northern Italian region of Parma, From the Depth was formed in 2008 and play an epic power metal which marries the styles of Finnish symphonic greats Stratovarius with the Germanic power/speed of early Helloween. With thrilling guitar work from Alessandro Cattani and Jens Johansson-esque key work from Davide Castro the band is backed by the solid rhythm of drummer Cristiano Battini and bassist Alessandro Karabelas and anchored by the soaring vocals of Raffo Albanese. In 2010, the band released the demo “The Will to be the Flame,” which caught the eye of U.K. label Rising Records. In 2011, the band released its first album “Back to Life” and presented the album during a live show with Italian pioneers Labyrinth. The band then secured a spot on the European leg of the Rhapsody of Fire tour and is now set to play Metalcamp in Slovenia this August.
In November 2011, the band released its first music video for the song “The Will to be the Flame:"
Hailing from the Lombardy region of northern Italy, AEternal Seprium can actually trace its origins back to 1999 when 3/5ths of its members started the band Black Shadows. The band’s name and lyrical subject matter are tributes to their regional heritage when it was known under its original name “Seprio,” and it represented the crossroads for such ancient cultures as the Romans, Celts and Lombards. The band plays a more straight forward Germanic power style in the vein of Running Wild, Rage and early Blind Guardian with a healthy dose of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. In 2007, the band released its eponymous debut demo and followed that up three years later with the demo “The Divine Breath of Our Land.” The band signed on with Italy’s Nadir Music and just this past February released the debut full length LP “Against Oblivion’s Shade.”
AEternal Seprium consists of the following members:
Filace Leonardo "UNTO" - Guitar
Colombo Adriano - Guitar
Talarico Santino - Bass Guitar
Tommasini Matteo - Drums
Silvestrini Stefano - Voice
Hailing from the northern Adriatic region of Pesaro, Nightland play an exciting form of metal that combines the blackened folk strain of Ensiferum and Alestorm, the symphonic elements of Stratovarius along with the power anthems of HammerFall and Iron Maiden. If you are looking for something different from the norm, Nightland is your band. In 2011, the band released the EP “Knights of the Dark Empire.” On May 29, 2012, the band released its most mature song to date “In Solemn Rise,” which was recorded at Twilight Studio
Unfortunately, although the band has multiple tools available for promotion - website, Facebook Page, MySpace and YouTube Channel, there is little to no background or historical information contained within. Perhaps the band should consult Metal Underground’s Guide to Optimizing a Band’s Profile.
Ludovico Cioffi - Vocals/Guitar
Filippo Scrima - Guitar
Andrea Sangervasi - Bass
Francesco Ambrogiani - Keyboards
Filippo Cicoria - Drums
Certainly there are more quality bands in the power metal genre and its various strains. So if you'd like to recommend some other good underground power metal bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.
Check back every Monday as we delve into different scenes or genres to unearth some new underground metal bands.
Carl Frederick is a staff writer for Metal Underground.com. From the early to mid-90's, Carl published his own fanzine called C.R.O.M. In 1997, he released a compilation entitled "CROM: The Resurrection of True Metal," which featured songs from bands from around the world, including the first U.S. release of any kind for bands like Italy's Rhapsody (n/k/a Rhapsody of Fire) and Brazil's Angra. Follow Carl on Facebook and Twitter: @CROMCarl.
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