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Italian Metal Gets Religion

Italian Metal Gets Religion

Laura E. Ruberto (August 26, 2008)
Fratello Metallo

An Italian monk hears Metallica and turns the mystical and divine into heavy metal.



Check out The World’s review of Fratello Metallo, Cesare Bonizzi, the 62-year-old Capuchin monk, former Ivory Coast-missionary, who mashes up Catholic dogma and heavy metal.
I’m not a big metal fan, but I’m always up for hearing new sounds. A few years ago when I was living in Campania, a neighbor, a University of Naples undergrad, made my husband and me a series of metal CDs after countless conversations about music, movies, and television. Except for an occasional Italian track (like “Siam tre piccoli porcellini” by Afterhours), most of it was US-based. And, I admit, I barely got through each CD once.
Although Bonizzi's been playing metal for over ten years, he’s only recently started to get noticed outside of Italy and Christian metalhead circles. Listening to him is probably not going to make me a convert—either to metal or back to Catholicism. But it is yet another reminder of the crazy ways of popular culture and, not to turn all Gramscian again but, the power of hegemonic discourse to cultivate (and appropriate) potentially subversive forms of culture. 

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