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Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Label : Dragonheart Records/Audioglobe
Review by Tony Cannella
It is hard to believe that the Italian traditional heavy metal band White Skull released their debut album back in 1995. And with their latest album, “Under This Flag” has just released their ninth album. The band has gone through a number of lineup changes throughout their history; including a time with a male vocalist, fortunately the band came to their senses and re-formed with Federica De Boni she is the singer for them, in my opinion. With all of the metal bands coming from Italy, White Skull were one of the trailblazers for the current crop even though musically they are quite different than a lot of the current Italian metal bands. “Under This Flag” is just a full-on heavy metal assault from the opening song “Hunted Down” to the closer “Redemption” and everything in between. There are very few quiet moments and certainly no ballads – not that White Skull were ever a band to write many ballads, the closest thing to a ballad is “Red Devil” which quickly heats up and leaves any thoughts of a ballad behind quickly and turns into an anthemic metal track. The band performs with all the enthusiasm and fire of young band. Lead vocalist Federica delivers her vocals with ferocity, power and not much in the way of subtlety. The production is relentless and in-your-face; a fact brought forth on songs like “Bottled Mind”, “Lost Alone”,“Under This Flag” and “War After War”. The riffs come fast and furious throughout this disc which lasts almost an hour. When it comes to writing straight-forward heavy metal songs, there is no way you can question White Skull’s conviction or sincerity. With such a large body of work, you would think that it might be difficult to maintain that hunger, but with “Under This Flag” White Skull has managed to do that. White Skull just seems to get better and better with age and with “Under This Flag” has recorded quite possibly the best album of their long career.
Rating - 90/100
Interview by Miriam “NocturnalConcerto”
Talking via Skype with a legend of the heavy metal is not one of your regular day, believe me but we’re able to track down Federica “Sister” De Boni, the legendary singer of the Italian defenders White Skull share with us some infos about the new album “Under This Flag” and a small chit chat about coming back in Italy and personal tastes. Hail on!
First of all Federica, welcome back in Italy!
Thank you dear!
How’s coming back in Italy after so much time and what’s the thing that you missed so much when you were in America?
It is amazing. Me and my family loved it here and were missing the Italian life. I think I missed my friends and metal the most. We lived in a State where country music rules.
A curiosity, what state?
I was saying Tennessee I was close hahah
Yeah …. just southern where the bible belt runs the place.
I totally got it.. I’m just wondering now one of those places with a wood bar all drinking beer and dancing country songs.. how you endure this, I mean your’re a real defender in the midst of some lousy rockers…
Ha ha ha I felt just like you said… just staying in my porch with hubby and kids listening to “House of Hair” (Dee Snider Heavy Metal Radio Show) part.
Well, I must say that it was a great choice for endure all that stuff, something to clutch on hahaha…
Yeah, pretty muche THE ONLY choice and a few occasional concerts of local metal bands but very few oh and also we used to watch “That Metal Show” on TV so well we had some choice.
Luckily you have had that too, in Italy (I mean nowadays) except maybe for Virgin Radio we haven’t nothing like that.. you’re away 10 years but from that point of view nothing changed unfortunatly…
I realized that when I came back but we can still go online and look for those shows, we need to be flexible and get what we can find, right?
Exactly.. the Italian TV and the radio are only good for commercial music sadly. There are so many HM bands here in Italy and deserve to be recognized, we need to go to concerts and support them.
It’s totally a good thing to do, support italian metal underground, in this case the HM genre.You know if the media is not supporting HM in Italy we have to stand up and support our way.
And I’m not to saying pleasentries now, I prefer to support underground instead of the big acts I mean the big big acts has already the right following of fans sometimes we need to look inside our country and give our support to this little bands but way back to us andif you are back in Italy, it’s natural that you’re back in White Skull. How’s was the first meeting with the guys, how’s after so much years (I remember to the readers that you left the band in 2000) being back in the White Skull squad?
I agree. I love big bands myself but just love to listen to what local (italian) bands come up with. It was just like it wasn’t that long… I mean, since the first rehearsal we connected immediatly. We wrote the new album in no time. That really blew my mind how simple and natural the return has been.
You know, for the startest when I have read the news that you were back in WS I was really happy and yes kind of surprised I must admit it, yesterday that I was nailing down some questions I was thinking about it “Damn, after 10 years that she didn’t record anything, would very hard for her” instead you tell me it easy maybe after all those years you still have had the “fire” burning inside you..
It comes natural for me. First I have known metal for 20 years or more, then I do have experience in song writing and most of all I do live Metal as my life style.
Everything helps.. well I’ve listened a little bit to the album congratulations.. it’s very clear and an HQ production, what you can tell me about its genesis? Despite the fact as you have stated before that come out in a natural way…
WS is known for the concept albums. This time we wanted to get away from the past and talk about something modern and close to us. Therefore we had close experience with the wars around us and wrote about it. I’ve been a soldier wife and had a lot to say about the warfare and here comes “Under This Flag”… fight for everything you care for.
And for this is reason that the cover album, if we compare to “Public Glory, Secret Agony” or “Tales from the North”, is more straight-in-your-face and very simply? Probably more direct but very powerful maybe means also “if we reunite us under a flag we can fight this wars (or evil) together”.. when I saw I thought this interpretation, can be right?
Damn right. We want to get the Metal headbanger to join us and fight for Metal. We will say it as loud as we can and for as long as we can. WS flag is really a stand to reunite what is left of metal…
Well, talking about gather around and female solidarity I’m curious to know how was being a woman singing in a heavy metal band in the 90s? It was difficult or haven’t had a model to follow? For what I know closest rode model that you have had at the times were Doro, Girlschool and Sabine Classen.
I was really lucky Tony believed I could do the job, in 1990 a woman singing Metal was sort of a “odd thing” even if Doro and Girlschool, Lita Ford and so on was around.
Maybe if we go deep deep in the italian underground we have Morgana, I don’t know if you know her she was singing in the 80s/first 90s.
I do know Morgana and she did really challanged the Metal scene, I am really proud of having been around since the 90s and back now.
You are a national heritage, I mean also if the media won’t promote the scene you’re one of the Italian precursor female singer..comes really hard to think (at least for me) a closest singer to confront with you.
Thank you. I feel I am just one of many that are here living what they believe.
Many CDs of your discography are sold out since ages, there are any planes to re-released them without spending a lot of money on eBay? I know that the Polish Metal Minds Production has re-released years ago (in 2008 to be precise) in a limited number of copies “Tales From The North” and “Public Glory, Secret Agony” but the stocks are gone, really really gone and for the young fans that are trying to collect and buy the first albums is a problem, are really hard to find and it’s kinda become utopistic have your entire discography.
I heard about it but this is the market and WS is unable to have a say about it. Sad but true YouTube helps this out by publishing the songs for free.
But if you face the truth you cannot earn anything from that…it’s not fair! I mean is disrespectful towards you, the musicians.
I know but as far as WS music is broadcasted we will be all right.
So you count that all that people that listen WS on YouTube will support at live concerts and buying the last releases?
YouTube will spread the word, get us more opportunities and maybe some CDs sold but as we said Metal is not the TREND right now but who cares, we will get our message through.
Maybe I’m talking the wrong person (I’m imagine that you collect a lot of vinyls/CDs) but do you think about the digital music stores like Itunes?
Sure Itunes can sell the music. But this will be our label sale policy to decide it.
But now I put the question in a more personal way, as music lover what do you prefer the CD format or the digital one?
Right now in a digital world it would make more sense to get it out via internet I just do love the CD with pictures and lyrics.
Because you can “feel” them right? I mean when I see my collection I still cannot believe it have it and collect them everytime I listen to them and have the booklet in my hand I feel very proud of myself..
Yes, it does become a personal matter, you have it and can ask the musician to autograph it just like your own treasure, so much worth it \m/
Hahahah that’s true!! Well, we’re near the end what are the next planes talking live gigs and promotions? I hope you come again near where I live ‘cause some years ago with the old band members WS played a gig!!
We have a lot of gigs on schedule and I do really hope we will have the chance to play in your area as well…I am sure we will meet someday! Keep the Metal on and since then … if it ain’ t Metal, well it’s crap!!!!!!!
That’s for true! As a final question I’ll asking you to greet freely you fans and our readers and thanks for this awesome interview, Sister!
To all the metal heads: have a blast !!! WS is back and ready to kick ass just come out and play!!! Thank you for this opportunity I’ve really enjoyed the interview.
Rating - 85/100
Label - Reality Entertainment/Dreamcell 11/Aural Music
Review By Tony Cannella
The Shiver is a melodic, gothic metal band from Italy. Their second album is titled “A New Horizon” and the band has already drawn favorable comparisons to Evanescence, thanks in part to the infectious melodies that can be found throughout the CD and the Amy Lee-esque vocals provided by Federica Faith Sciamanna. “A New Horizon” features a playing time of 41-minutes and the first thing that I realized is that there is a certain contagious charm on display throughout the duration. The songs flow together nicely and from the outset of the opener, “In Obscurity” is quite apparent that “A New Horizon” will be an enjoyable ride. “Crushing Down” follows the opener and instantaneously became a huge highlight. The band shows an immense appreciation for melody throughout the CD as can be heard on “Empty People Empty Words”, “Nothing Left To Waste”, “No Longer Here” and “Desire”. The Shiver maintains a similar tempo in the songs throughout “A New Horizon”. In addition to her soaring vocal delivery, Federica also adds some death grunts at various points, these are done more as background enhancements on choruses, so they don’t overwhelm anything and they are a nice, added touch. “A New Horizon” is an excellent first effort from this very talented and appealing Italian band. The Shiver is a new powerful force in the realm of gothic metal.
Rating – 80/100
Review By Tony Cannella
Yet another band from Italy. Raving Season plays a mix of death and doom metal and feature two female lead vocalists, each with two very distinctive styles. Judith is the clean voice (she also plays piano & synth) and Federica handles the more extreme vocals. Their debut EP goes by the happy-go-lucky title “The Brightness of My Disaster”. Even though the CD is technically considered an EP there is plenty of music that is featured on the release. The CD has a total run-time of 35-minutes and features 5-songs - 3 of which are up over 8-minutes long. Not bad for an EP. The shortest track the intro “My Darkest Season Part 1” is a 1 minute acoustic piece that leads us into the longest track on the CD, the 10-minute “Your Shadow in This Frozen Garden”. This is probably my favorite track on the CD. It is quite the journey and a very complex, huge and epic like number. It has so many changes, going from soft to heavy and back again. The vocals of Judith are operatic, while Federica handles the growls. A strong opener that really grabbed my attention. The next track “The Sterile Caress of Violence” is another good one. This track is just a straight out heavy assault. The vocals are once again split pretty evenly hear and they mesh quite well together and once again this is a complex track that goes off in different directions without warning and it really makes this an interesting listen. “Shield Cage” is next and continues on in the heavy tradition of the previous songs. The final track is the beautifully melancholic piano ballad “My Funeral”. A great way to bring this powerful disc to a conclusion. “The Brightness of My Disaster” is a must for fans who like their music down-tuned and above all else heavy. The songs are well written and even the long ones never failed to hold my attention. The clean voice in conjunction with the brutal vocals are well done by Judith and Federica. They are to be commended and Raving Season are definitely a band that comes highly recommended for fans of the doom metal genre. Awesome!
Rating - 90/100