Thursday, July 17, 2008

Briefly Noted: Fratello Metallo

by Karl Steel

Some of you might not know that some time ago my colleague Nicola talked me into being in a metal band with him. Although we've not played any shows (yet), we have had the fun of condensing Paul Freedman's Images of the Medieval Peasant into one hard-hitting song that just might prove to be our hit (the title? "Peasant.").

Whatever we might be, we'll never equal what you're about to witness.

Jul. 17 - A Capuchin monk is a convincing lead singer in an Italian heavy metal rock band.

62-year old Friar Cesare Bonizzi describes himself as a "preacher-singer".

He's been singing for over a decade, and last month wowed heavy metal fans at Italy's "Gods of Metal" festival, where he performed with his band Fratello Metallo (Metal Brother) alongside groups such as Iron Maiden.

Bonizzi has released his second album "Misteri" or mysteries, inspired by a group of southern Italian women who sang about Jesus' mother Mary.

A heavy metal version of the song features on the album, but Bonizzi also sings about how alcohol can warm the heart, but then damage the liver if drank in excess as well as how important sex is to man.

Two questions: since the Capuchins are a post-medieval order, I'm uncertain of where to find the right answer. Is it technically correct to call a Capuchin a monk?

Second: anyone who gets me a Fratello Metallo t-shirt (medium please) will have my eternal gratitude, 4 delicious beers, or a song dedication: whichever you prefer.


Chris said...

Ha! Reminds me of The Bishop and the Warlord (except the fratello looks rather a lot like my father).

Rick Godden said...

Karl, if you and Nicola can do something even a quarter as cool, that would be awesome. I always knew that monks liked metal.

Eileen Joy said...

Karl: your t-shirt is on the way as a belated "thank you" for letting me stay with you and Alison in Brooklyn back in March. Also, Myra and I discussed it, and after a certain stint of heroic "above and beyond" duty that you took on at a certain Saturday evening dinner with a certain, um, difficult personality [in May and you-know-where], I was supposed to send you roses [and I forgot--oops, now Myra knows the truth]. So, enjoy the tee!

Karl Steel said...

Eileen, that's great! Thanks! You get everything: eternal thanks, beer, and a song dedication (Black Sabbath's "The Wizard").

Rick, unfortunately Nicola and I are only 3/16's as cool....

And Chris, thanks for the link. I'm reminded of a deeply ironic guy I knew back in the day who used to do stentorian readings of metal lyrics on his radio show (e.g., "Slicing jaws a way of life / Brought up to waste mankind / Loki's pets his little children / deadly every time"). His zine, Hessian Obsession, was probably the funniest thing in the USA c. 1993-4.

Now, Capuchin taxonomy bleg? Why do I suspect that religious historians have shown the firm boundary between monks and friars to be anything but? That would be the trend, wouldn't it?

Eileen Joy said...

Oh, and I forgot to say, I will take the song dedication. I can buy my own beer.

Nicola Masciandaro said...

Here are the lyrics to Peasant!.

Viva Metal!

psieve2 said...

The first post was cut too soon. He would not say sex under any condition would be important to man. He would, as a Catholic religious, believe it comes after marriage.

These Franciscan Friars of the Renewal has a Hispanic friar that raps and (a white) one that skateboards on a ramp--a new generation has joined orders, it seems.
John Michael Talbot did this "Monk Rock" album, but it's not quite like Bon Jovi and definitely not Fratello Metallo